What is CBD?

CBD for dummies. A beginner's guide.

More and more people are approaching CBD, the cannabinoid with promising therapeutic effects that, unlike THC, does not cause psychophysical changes.

We thought of this page as a kind of essential information leaflet for those looking for a first approach to cannabidiol, based on our experience as growers, producers and distributors of cannabis extracts.

And thanks to our experience, we realize how much more confusion there is in this area, both in terms of products and from an informative and legislative point of view.

What is CBD?

Hemp or Cannabis, a plant belonging to the Cannabaceae family, has been used for centuries by the populations of the world for its different uses: from the most controversial ones, linked to its psychotropic properties, to the therapeutic ones, closer to the subject we will discuss below.

We are talking about hemp, because it is from this plant that different chemical molecules/compounds called "Phytocannabinoids" are extracted. Among the more than 100 Phytocannabinoids identified so far, the best known and most used are THC and CBD. CBD, unlike THC, has no psychoactive effects, on the contrary, it helps to counteract the psychoactive effects of THC.

Many people are beginning to appreciate CBD and its benefits, and several scientific studies are carrying out research on its effects and possible applications. The interest from the scientific community for the therapeutic potential of CBD is increasing: it has already been used in several scientific studies, for the treatment of many health problems and is now recognized among the main elements of the so-called "Therapeutic Cannabis".

The production process

The extraction of CBD is carried out on the basis of cannabis varieties entered in the European Community Register and accepted for cultivation for industrial use. These are cannabis with a low THC content (always below 0.2% as required by law). At the beginning a raw extract is obtained from the hemp plant. In this extract there are many components of the plant, CBD and smaller amounts of other cannabinoids, chlorophyll, wax, terpenes and everything that can be extracted from the plant we find in the first extraction phase that looks like a dark molasses and that preserves the whole spectrum of molecules of the hemp plant.

Starting from this first extract, various phases of refining follow one another, which gradually lead to an ever greater purity in the final product. The more we refine the product and the more we focus our attention only on a specific molecule, the more we find high percentages of CBD in the final extract and a much lower quantity of all the other substances. Once the threshold of 80% purity of CBD within the extract is exceeded, it begins to solidify or, using the specific term, to crystallize. Only at this stage can the first crystals in the extract be detected.The refining process continues until everything other than pure cannabidiol is eliminated and a final extract 99% pure and above is obtained: in practice, with the crystal we have the pure cannabidiol molecule (CBD).

How does the CBD interact?

Cannabidiol (CBD) modulates some mechanisms that already exist and are in place in our body. In essence, when an imbalance or decompensation occurs in our body, the modulation provided by cannabidiol (CBD) - which acts, for example, on the immune system or indirectly on an inflammatory process - tends to restore the original balance. Thus, cannabidiol (CBD) involves an indirect modulation of a disruption of the human endocannabinoid system caused by disease or trauma.

Endocannabinoid system

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system present in the human body that acts on the regulation of a wide variety of both physiological and cognitive processes, such as appetite, feeling of pain or mood. It is composed of a number of specific receptors that interact with cannabinoids. Cannabinoid receptors are therefore like mailboxes that receive information from cannabinoids, "messengers" that act in our body, and are divided into two types, called CB1 and CB2.


Cannabinoids are chemical compounds capable of interacting with these specific receptors, and can be found in three forms: endogenous, natural and synthetic.

Endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids)

Endogenous cannabinoids are organic compounds that are generated within the human body and act within the central and peripheral nervous system. They are, in fact, a class of lipid messengers capable of interacting with the cannabinoid receptors that make up the endocannabinoid system. For the moment there are five endocannabinoids known to the scientific community: anandamine, arachidonoglycerol, noladin, virodamine, N-arachidonoildopamine.

Natural Cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids)

Phytocannabinoids are present in the Cannabis plant and are concentrated in its viscous resin. For the moment, scientific research has managed to identify at least 113 different cannabinoids present in cannabis. Science has studied - and continues to study - in particular the three most abundant phytocannabinoids in the cannabis plant: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN). In addition to the three main cannabinoids it is necessary to consider the presence of cannabigerol (CBG): a non-psychoactive cannabinoid discovered in 1964. Cannabigerol (CBG) is composed of cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). This, in the course of plant maturation, can be transformed by the action of some enzymes in the other cannabinoids already mentioned.

Synthetic cannabinoids

They are cannabinoids made in the laboratory and then used for therapeutic purposes as a component of various drugs. Synthetic cannabinoids simulate the characteristics of endocannabinoids by interacting with CB1 and CB2 receptors of the body's endocannabinoid system.

The properties of CBD

Here are several therapeutic properties attributed to CBD. Some of these are widely supported by scientific research, others are the result of the experiences of consumers around the world who strongly appreciate its qualities. Let's see some of them:

reduces the perception of pain due to its action on the endocannabinoid system present in the human body. Cannabinoids bind to receptors in the brain and stimulate responses in different areas of the body, promoting beneficial neurological mechanisms.

It has been shown to mitigate symptoms associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which have been shown by several studies to be caused by an anandamide deficiency in the human endocannabinoid system.

Some scientific evidence suggests that cannabidiol helps to treat schizophrenia and other mental health problems, such as bipolar disorder.

CBD oils can easily reduce this disorder by effectively treating rejection symptoms. CBD oils are easily digestible, contain no chemical components and do not give off the unpleasant flavors of normal antiemetic drugs, rich in antacids and bismuth.

CBD would be very effective in treating certain forms of childhood epilepsy, including Dravet's Syndrome.

Known for its calming effects, CBD also offers energizing properties, thanks to its detoxifying action and its ability to strengthen the cells of the human body, contributing to their proper regeneration. It is also an excellent antioxidant, according to a 2008 study, even better than vitamins C and E.

The forms of CBD

Oil, crystals, capsules, eliquids, cosmetics: to each his own. The great difference between the different products lies exclusively in the form in which the CBD is presented, and therefore in the way it is taken.

For example, the best known oils of the "group" are used for an effective and rapid action on the body, given by the sublingual intake. It is made in different concentrations to better adapt to the specific evidence.

The oils are also characterized by the presence of different cannabinoids, giving rise to a product called Full Spectrum.

On the contrary, the crystals are chosen because of a single component of cannabis, in our case CBD or CBG. They are preferably taken through a vaporizer suitable for the purpose, able to control the temperature.

Eliquids, characterized by the presence of a natural aroma and therefore associated to a different way of consumption - a sort of CBD "On the Go" - are very useful to enjoy the pleasure of vaporizing, without necessarily having to take nicotine.

Finally, CBD can be used in dermocosmetics, thus associating the benefits of cannabis to the skin.

When and how to take CBD

CBD (Cannabidiol) has acquired in recent years much importance for its application in the therapeutic field. There is still a long way to go both from medical research and institutions but, since the first studies have highlighted its beneficial properties, cannabis has enjoyed some great attention.

How much CBD can you take?

The amount of CBD to take is very subjective, depending on individual needs, whether we use cannabidiol therapeutically or not. The metabolism of CBD being involved in many physiological processes as a modulator of other systems, not only endocannabinoid, is very personal. "Listen to yourself" is the right answer, starting from a few drops and looking for the necessary dose for your individual needs. Obviously if it is used for specific pathologies it is important and recommended to consult a doctor, there are also users who need a higher concentration of cannabidiol.

If you would like to know more, we invite you to download the PDF guide.

Is there a risk of overdose?

Studies show that the maximum dosage used in humans is 1500mg CBD/day, with good tolerance and no particular side effects. In general, studies report that CBD has low toxicity. To date, there are no data available about the risks of overdose linked to other factors, including the presence of particular pathological conditions and the simultaneous intake of certain drugs. In general, studies report that CBD has low toxicity. As of today, there are no data reported that investigate the risks of overdose linked to other factors, including the presence of particular pathological conditions and the simultaneous intake of certain drugs.

CBD side effects

A review of more than 130 papers published in literature reports that even for high dosages of CBD (up to 1500mg/day) there are no significant side effects. The report of the World Health Organization (WHO) published in 2018 showed that there are no significant adverse effects on human health in general, but rather different medical applications of CBD. According to the WHO report, cannabidiol has a good safety profile and is well tolerated by humans and animals. Furthermore, according to the report, CBD has no psychoactive effects, does not induce physical dependence and is not associated with any negative effects on public health. Despite the reassurances published by both the World Health Organization and a review by researchers at Harvard Medical School, some studies presented in recent years have also indicated some possible side effects.


Let's go back to the two main cannabinoids present in nature: THC and CBD are used, with different purposes, in therapy. Both have benefits for human health: THC is antispamodic, analgesic, anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory, and can stimulate appetite and antiematic properties. CBD has anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antipsychotic, antioxidant, neuroprotective and immunomodulatory effects.

What are the differences between THC and CBD?

THC has psychotropic characteristics as opposed to CBD, which is able to counteract the action of THC. A further difference between THC and CBD lies in the ability of the former to bind to the CB1 receptor, which is present in the central nervous system, as opposed to cannabidiol, which interacts with the CB2 receptor, which is present in various areas of the human body, especially in the immune system.

CBD and Cannabis Light

Let's try to clarify a little bit. First of all, "What does Cannabis Light mean?" The so-called term - perhaps too simplistically with this ending - is to be understood as the whole range of various preparations derived from dried cannabis inflorescences in which the THC concentration is between 0.2% and 0.6%. Light is the adjective that indicates a very low concentration of the active substance that is responsible for the psychotropic effects of cannabis. In this historical moment, for the majority of people CBD and cannabis light are associated mainly with inflorescences for technical use due to the great commercial development they have had on the territory, with the opening of many dedicated shops. But CBD is present in different forms. Let's see which ones.