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Cannabidiol (CBD): the non-high indulging healthy substance?!

CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the most recent and broadly discussed substances in the world. But, is it really necessary to consume it? And, who should use CBD and why?! These questions and more will I answer with this short review about CBD.

Due to the increased consumption and access to CBD products all over the world, CBD becomes one of the most discussed substances in the research area. It is one of over 100 chemical compounds in the cannabis or marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis and causes the sensation of getting “high” that’s often associated with marijuana. However, unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive (5). According to a report from the World Health Organization, "In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD" (4). This quality makes CBD an appealing option for those who are looking for relief from pain and other symptoms without the mind-altering effects of marijuana or certain pharmaceutical drugs.

Figure 1 THC vs CBD (Source:, Retrieved from 29.06.2021)

CBD is expected to have the potential for broad therapeutic use. Potential uses of CBD alone or in combination with THC include epilepsy, pain, cancer, anxiety, neurodegeneration, multiple sclerosis, psychotic disorders, and depression (1). But currently, only epilepsy, cancer-related pain, and multiple sclerosis are recognized indications for CBD by international federal agencies (1). Another discussed health benefit of CBD is predicted as an anti-inflammatory substance. There are many findings currently, but it needs to be considered that the experiments were conducted mainly with animals. An overview of the inflammatory benefits will be shown summarized in Table 1.

Tab 1. Inflammatory benefits (Source: Brown & Winterstein, 2019)

But most people who use CBD products have mainly no serious diseases. They use it because of the many reported health benefits of CBD. But, what are the main health benefits according to scientific research?!

Benefits of CBD

  • More recently, scientists have discovered that certain components of marijuana, including CBD, are responsible for its pain-relieving effects (5)

  • Using CBD has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression in both human and animal studies (5)

  • Though CBD has been shown to help reduce symptoms related to cancer and cancer treatment, and may even have cancer-fighting properties, more research is needed to assess its efficacy and safety (5)

  • CBD may have beneficial effects on acne due to its anti-inflammatory qualities and its ability to control the overproduction of sebum from the sebaceous glands (5)

  • Though more human studies are needed, CBD may benefit heart health in several ways, including by reducing blood pressure and preventing heart damage (5)

  • Some studies suggest that CBD may help with diabetes, substance abuse, mental disorders, and certain types of cancers. However, more research in humans is needed (5)

Though CBD is generally well tolerated and considered safe, it may cause adverse reactions in some people. Side effects noted in studies include: Diarrhea, changes in appetite and weight, and fatigue (5). So, before you start to use using CBD oil, discuss it with your doctor to ensure your safety and avoid potentially harmful interactions. And it is also very important to check out the legal conditions in your country if CBD products are legal. The consumption of CBD oil is not in every country legal!

In the end, we can summarize, that since the 1970s, a number of scientific articles showing the potential therapeutic effects of CBD in different animal models of neuropsychiatric disorders and some clinical trials have been published (3). But mainly animal studies were conducted. Therefore, more controlled clinical trials with different and larger neuropsychiatric populations should bring important answers in the near future and support the translation of research findings to clinical settings (3). But the health benefits are largely spread in the healthy population if you consume not high amounts of CBD.

On Friday, you will get instructions for your first CBD consumption. So if you are more interested in this topic, don´t forget to check out my post on Friday. See us then!


(1) Brown, J. D., & Winterstein, A. G. (2019). Potential adverse drug events and drug–drug interactions with medical and consumer cannabidiol (CBD) use. Journal of clinical medicine, 8(7), 989.

(2) Burstein, S. (2015). Cannabidiol (CBD) and its analogs: a review of their effects on inflammation. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry, 23(7), 1377-1385.

(3) Crippa, J. A., Guimarães, F. S., Campos, A. C., & Zuardi, A. W. (2018). Translational investigation of the therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD): toward a new age. Frontiers in immunology, 9, 2009.

(4) Grinspoon, Peter (April 14, 2020). Cannabidiol (CBD - what we know and what we don´t. Retrieved from 29.06.2021; from

(5) Kubala, Jillian (February 26, 2018). 7 Benefits and Uses of CBD Oil (Plus Side Effects). Retrieved from 29.06.2021; from

Additional Literature

Martin-Santos, R., a Crippa, J., Batalla, A., Bhattacharyya, S., Atakan, Z., Borgwardt, S., ... & K McGuire, P. (2012). Acute effects of a single, oral dose of d9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) administration in healthy volunteers. Current pharmaceutical design, 18(32), 4966-4979.

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