How CBD Works: A Beginner's Guide to CBD

Reading time – 11 minutes 

Wellness trends seem to be popping up all of the time. That’s good. Our generation is focusing on self-care and healthier lifestyles. That’s why CBD has been booming because it’s easy to use, works and is safer than ever.  

It's new. That means there are a lot of CBD beginners out there. You're probably one, and that's fine. It's exciting! 

With so many options to choose from with CBDgetting started can seem like a daunting process. New terms. New products. New choices.  

But don’t worry. We’ve put together a beginners guide for everything you need to know when starting your CBD journey. So let’s get started! 

CBD Definition 

Let’s start with the most crucial question. What exactly is CBD?   

CBD stands for Cannabidiol. It’s naturally occurring and is found alongside over a hundred other cannabinoids in the Cannabis plant. CBD is the second most abundant cannabinoid found in cannabis. Cannabinoids are found naturally in our bodies already and in Cannabis plants. 

Cannabinoids interact in the body in a lot of different ways, but the most important thing to know is that they make up the endocannabinoid system (ECS). ECS balances out our bodies when they are dealing with stressors. These stressors could be pain or disease. We’ll talk about this more later, but it’s important to know that its essential to maintaining wellness.   

One of the biggest misconceptions about CBD is that it gets you ‘high’. To be clear – it does not! THC is the part of the Cannabis plant that causes that ‘fuzzy-headed’ sort of feeling and is separate from CBD.  

How CBD Works 

So now you know what CBD is, but how exactly does it work? It all starts in the ECS we mentioned earlier. Get ready because it’s about to get a bit more scientific. 

In the late 1980s, researchers found cannabinoid receptors in the brain in areas that were responsible for our physiological and mental processes. The receptors are where vital things like cognition, sleep, emotion and memory are taken care of; they also found these cannabinoid receptors in the immune and central nervous systems. All are significant places in our bodies. When an endocannabinoid binds to these receptors, it signals that ECS needs to start working. 

ECS is vital for maintaining homeostasis. That’s what helps us keep a stable internal state despite what is going on outside of our bodies. For example, if we get a fever, our ECS kicks in and helps us fight it. This process is happening all of the time in our bodies in multiple systems. Needless to say - it's important!  

As we age and your body gets disease or injuries, our ECS is impacted, which can throw our body out of whack. That’s why CBD is so great. Researchers don't know exactly how it works with the ECS, but they do know that CBD modifies the cannabinoid receptor’s ability to bind and enhances our natural level of endocannabinoids. In other words, ECS and CBD are a great pair.  

History of CBD 

Cannabis has been around for a long timeSo long, that hemp is considered to be one of the most significant crops for humankind until the last century. Here is a quick CBD timeline. 

Ancient Times:  Let’s start way back. There are reports of cannabis being used as far back as pre-Neolithic societies. It was used by people in ancient Egypt as a medical plant and was an essential herb in ancient Chinese medicine.  

1920s: Flash forward a few centuries and cannabis eventually made its way to North America and the UK in the 1920s, and that's when it became prohibited.  

1940s: American scientist Dr Roger Adams first isolated CBD in a study at the University of Illinois, and it was initially thought not to affect the human body.  

1960s: The exact structure of CBD was discovered by Raphael Mechoulam, who is known as 'the father of cannabis research.’ It allowed future researchers to have the ‘absolute structure’ of CBD so they can predict possible effects. 

2017: The story of Charlotte Caldwell and her son Billy caught the attention of the world. CBD reduced her son’s seizures from epilepsy down to only a few per week. Before, he was having 100 per day. Her CBD was seized at the Heathrow Airport by customs. This action gained the attention of the media and started a debate in parliament.  

2018: Medical cannabis prescribed by a doctor became legal in the UK. 

2020: Under UK law it’s legal to sell CBD oil, but it must have less than 0.2% THCNow with the popularity of CBD, its estimated to be worth £1B in 2025.  

CBD In The UK 

Cannabis is still listed as a controlled drug in the Misuse of Drugs Act, but CBD is not. CBD oil is legal in the UK, but there are some stipulations.  

The main thing you need to know is that CBD oil is legal if it has a THC content that is below 0.2%. When you're buying a CBD product, it should clearly state the THC content on it, so you know that you are following the law.  

Taking CBD 

One of the great things about taking CBD is that you have options. There are many ways that you can take it, and it all depends on your preference. One of the first things you should think about is bioavailability. 

Bioavailability sounds like another complicated scientific word, but its simple to understand. It’s the degree and rate that CBD can is absorbed into your bloodstream. Ingesting CBD would have a low degree of bioavailability because it has to be absorbed through the stomach and then passes through the liver before it reaches the bloodstream. Vaping CBD would have a high degree because it enters the bloodstream quickly through the lungs.   

Bioavailability also depends on how the CBD was extracted. The quality and consistency of your CBD ingredient have to be good to have better effectiveness. 

CBD Vape Oil 

CBD Vape Oil is one of the best ways to take CBD because of how fast-acting it isUsing a vape pen to inhale the CBD means it enters your bloodstream quickly. You can usually notice the effect in about 5 – 15 minutes. For CBD vape oil Amphora uses CBD distillate to give you excellent bioavailability and one of the safest ways to vape CBD. Some brands use dangerous carrier oils, but Amphora only uses terpenes to make sure our CBD is organic and safe.  

CBD Edibles and Capsules 

These fall into the slow-release category of oral CBD. CBD can be mixed with a bunch of different foods, the most common being sweets such as gummies or lollipops. When you swallow capsules or edibles, it passes through the digestive tract and is eventually metabolized by the liver. Because of this process, it takes longer to be released into your bloodstream so the effects can take anywhere from 30 to 180 minutes, but the good thing is that the effects will last longer. 

CBD Topicals 

The beauty industry has been booming with CBD products. They usually come in the form of creams, lotions or balms that are applied directly to the skin. This is not bioavailability but rather more of a localized effect. How fast it takes depends on how well it penetrates your skin so it could be anywhere from 30 – 120 minutes. 

What’s the Difference between CBD Isolate and CBD Distillate? 

CBD Distillate 

CBD Distillate is when you get all of the goodness found inside of the plant. Almost all the THC was removed in this process, but you still get terpenes, vitamins and fatty acids. All of these elements, working together, offers a lot of benefits, and this is why Amphora uses it. 

CBD-Isolate 

CBD-isolate products are pure CBD, without any other ingredients. When the CBD is extracted, it removes all of the other elements only giving you pure CBD. With this type of product, you don’t get the benefits of the entourage effect. 

Whats the Difference Between Broad and Full Spectrum? 

Broad-Spectrum 

This type of CBD has everything from the plant included except THC, which is removed during a process called winterization. This type of CBD vape oil still allows the opportunity for the entourage effect but without any of the THC.  This is the reason we choose Full-spectrum at Amphora. 

Full-Spectrum 

Full-spectrum CBD products contain everything that is naturally occurring in the plant-like terpenes, THC and other cannabinoids compounds. Research says that the compounds in cannabis working together produce a better effect than using them alone because of the entourage effect.

What Is the Entourage Effect? 

The entourage effect has been researched a lot lately because of the benefits. It happens when hundreds of compounds from the plant interact with your body. For this to happen, you need to use a full-spectrum, broad-spectrum or CBD distillate product. Amphora uses broad-spectrum CBD so that you can get all of the benefits of the entourage effect.   

A study by Dr Russo in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that terpenes and cannabinoids from the plant working together were beneficial for a lot of issues including pain, anxiety and inflammation.  

When you use CBD oil, you take in lots of botanical elements including terpenes and cannabinoids, each with benefitsThey interact with one another and may change depending on that interaction. Overall, it maximizes the benefits of CBD. 

CBD Dosage 

It all depends on you and your body. Each person's body and ECS works differently, so there is no exact scientific information on how much you should be taking.  

Factors that influence how your body interacts with CBD: 

  • Concentration of CBD 
  • Age 
  • Weight
  • Metabolism
  • Height
  • Genetic Predispositions
  • Biochemistry
  • Gender
  • Overall Health
  • Tolerance
  • Medications you are taking. 

Don't Be Nervous About CBD. 

We've gone over the basics of CBD, but you still might feel a bit wary of trying it out. You know that its legal and there are a lot of different ways to take it, but its normal to feel a little hesitant still. Here are just a few reasons why you shouldn't be nervous. 

You Won’t Get 'stoned.' 

CBD gets a bad rap because it’s part of the cannabinoid family, which includes THC. But it really shouldn’t. CBD does interact with your body, but its non-psychoactive, which means that you will not get high taking it.  

Researched  

CBD research is booming and has come a long way from when it was first isolated in the 1940s. Scientific studies are happening all of the timeA simple Google search will show you how much research is going into it. CBD research is happening all over the world, and 1 in 10 studies that are underway are happening right here in the UK. 

No Negative Side Effects 

CBD is safe for humans to consume, and the research backs it up. The World Health Organization released a report saying that CBD is well-tolerated and safe for human consumption. Imay affect certain people differently, but the majority will take CBD without ever experiencing a negative side-effect. Some have reported feeling a slight mood change and others had lower blood sugar levels, but this has primarily found to be because of the quality of the oil. Amphora only uses the highest quality organic oil to make sure your CBD experience is the best it can be.  

Not Addictive 

CBD doesn’t stimulate anything in the dopamine system – the part of the brain that produces the euphoria connected to opioids or nicotine. CBD will not get you high and doesn’t carry an addiction risk. In fact, the WHO released a report last year officially declaring the CBD is not addictive in humans.  

Take Your Time. Do Your Research. 

Since CBD became legal in the UK, more people are trying it outWhich is excellent news, but it also means a lot of new products are popping up. It’s hard to know who to trust. 

The number one thing to look for is lab reports or certificates of analysis. A trustworthy brand will have tested their product through a third-party lab and have those certificates available for you to take a look at. At Amphora, we have all of our certificates of analysis available for you to view right on our site. 

Just like any other type of medication or supplement that you may be taking, you need to read CBD labels carefully. You also should have a clear idea of what you’re looking for.  

When reading labels and researching companies, look for the answers to these questions:  

  • What other ingredients are present? 
  • Is it organic? 
  • Was it third-party tested?  
  • Is there a certificate of analysis? 

A reputable brand will make it easy for the consumer to read their labels and be transparent about what their product offers. 

CBD Is About Your Wellness Journey 

Stigma has surrounded CBD for too long. Thatstarting to change with more education and research available each day. No matter what reason you have for using CBDknow that its about you and how you want to use it. Hopefully, this guide will help you get started on the right path to find wellness with CBD! 

 

 

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Written by   Infused Amphora Team 

The Infused Amphora Team is dedicated to creating resources to educate and engage consumers on the growing evidence of CBD benefits and the extensive health and wellness properties of CBD oil.  

Contributors  |  Angus Taylor + Dr Gaylord Wardell 

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Angus Taylor    |    LinkedIn   IPI website
CEO Infused Products International Ltd.


IPI is a pharmaceutical ingredient company that cultivates cannabis strains curated to extract specific cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids for the formulation of 
effects-based health and wellness products. Angus is an experienced public speaker, engaging stakeholders, governments and media. Angus was the co-founder of NewLeaf Cannabis, Canada’s most successful retail brand to date, and has been established as a well-known and recognized expert in the field. 

 

Dr Gaylord Wardell BSc, MD, FRCP    |     LinkedIn   IPI website  
Chair, Infused Products International Ltd., Science Advisory Board       



Dr Wardell is a practising physician with over 40 years of clinical and educational experience in pain managemen
t, medical practices and education.  Dr Wardell is past President of the Pain Society of Alberta, and current President of the Alberta Medical Association, section of Pain. He is a popular public speaker, an active blogger on medical and pain-related issues, and proponent for scientific validation for patients experiencing pain.   

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Infused Amphora “Learn” is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.