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CBD is one of the more than 100 cannabinoids of the hemp plant known to us and has triggered a real boom in recent years. The reason for this is the many positive properties that are attributed to the hemp extract, and which science has verified by means of large-scale studies.
The fact that CBD has no psychoactive effect, but can have a relaxing and antispasmodic effect, makes the substance an interesting product in medicine and cosmetics. This article would like to clarify what exactly CBD is about and how the effect can be savored in individual cases.

What is CBD?

Before it is possible to get into the medical details of the subject, a basic question remains to be clarified: What actually is CBD? The abbreviation “CBD” stands for cannabidiol, which is an active ingredient of the hemp plant. This is obtained from the female flowers of special cannabis varieties. In addition to CBD, the hemp plant also contains numerous other substances that belong to the large group of “cannabinoids”.

The hemp plant is a useful and cultivated plant that has been known for thousands of years and has probably spread throughout the world from the Asian region. Earlier cultures knew how to use it, for example, to make clothes, medicine or food.

CBD extracted from the flowers by means of special procedures does not cause intoxication, as has been proven by means of various studies [1]. Thus, ingestion of the active ingredient does not result in an intoxicating state, as is often associated with the term “hemp”. Instead, various other effects could be observed and analyzed in more detail in clinical studies. For example, CBD is said to have an anxiety-relieving effect and to be effective against various types of inflammation in the body [2].

Cannabis, cannabinoids or cannabidiol?

Around the hemp plant, various terms appear, which are insufficiently distinguished from each other in everyday life. In order to be able to correctly assess the use of CBD in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food supplements, it is particularly important to consider the terms cannabis, cannabinoids and cannabidiol.


The word “Cannabis” is the Latin name for hemp and defines the plant genus within the species of the hemp family. The subspecies relevant today include Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa. The following characteristics are also crucial:
Cannabis is not freely available for sale in Germany and is only available on prescription
Cannabis is subject to the German Narcotics Act (BtMG)
Cannabis has only been available on prescription since 2017
Cannabis contains natural tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
Cannabis can cause severe side effects


Cannabinoids are natural substances that are not found exclusively in the hemp plant. In animals and humans they are found in the so-called endocannabinoid system, in plants they occur in the form of phytocannabinoids.
Currently, 115 different cannabinoids are known
Cannabinoids can dock to the natural receptors of the endocannabinoid system
Cannabinoids can activate or block endogenous receptors
The exact mode of action of cannabinoids is not yet fully understood


Cannabidiol is the best known of the cannabinoids, and with its short form “CBD” is currently the center of interest. Since cannabidiol does not cause any psychoactive effects, it can be used for medicinal purposes. It is now commercially available in various forms, such as oil, capsules or cosmetic products. Due to the great interest, cannabidiol is the most researched cannabinoid.
Cannabidiol is an antagonist to THC and can inhibit its intoxicating effect
Cannabidiol could bind to the body’s own receptors of the cannabinoid system
Cannabidiol is not subject to the Narcotics Act and is freely available in Germany
Cannabidiol causes side effects only in extremely rare cases [3]
Cannabidiol was recently removed from the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) doping list

The effect of CBD

Anyone who wants to take a closer look at the effect of CBD will come across different and sometimes contradictory statements in the course of research. In some places, CBD is touted as a veritable panacea that can unfold its positive health effects in various disease patterns. Others claim that no effect can be proven at all. One thing is certain: since the perception of cannabis as a prescription medicine, the perception of hemp products as a healing plant with positive effects is awakening. Anyone who wants to learn about the effects of CBD must look at it from a scientific perspective.

How does CBD work in the body?

The basis for the effect of cannabidiol in the human body is the endocannabinoid system. This is an endogenous natural signaling system that reacts to the cannabinoids. The basis for this are several switching points, which are scientifically called receptors.
The receptors are responsible for the release of different transmitters, which in turn can influence our well-being in different ways. The regulation of the transmitters influences, for example, the quality of our sleep, our perception of pain or our current mood.

Researchers have so far been able to identify two different receptors that are of particular importance for the endocannabinoid system:
CB1 receptors are located on many cells of the central nervous system, such as in the brain and in the area of the spinal cord [4].
CB2 receptors are associated with the cells of our immune system. In addition, they are found in the cells of many other organs, for example, the bones, skin, spleen, and liver
After taking cannabidiol, it takes some time for the active ingredient to reach the body’s endocannabinoid system. Subsequently, CBD affects the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors, eliciting different effects in this way. The broad spectrum of different modes of action currently being investigated in numerous studies tailored to CBD can be explained by its interaction with other receptors in the human body.

Scientists believe that TRPV1 receptors are linked to the analgesic effects of CBD [5]. In addition, CBD is capable of interacting with 5-HT1A receptors in the body. Researchers believe that in this way, both the anti-anxiety effects of CBD and positive effects on nausea can be explained in the future [6].
This scientific look at the effects of CBD shows how complexly orchestrated the substance’s mode of action is in the body. By far, not all effects of ingestion have been explored in detail. However, the rapid progress of the past few years is an indication of how quickly new knowledge is being gained these days.

CBD could help with these complaints

The intake of CBD can have an influence on different symptoms and clinical pictures in the body. The empirical values of the past years and the findings from clinical studies provided an impression of the broad spectrum of effects. In Germany, CBD can now be prescribed as a medicine by a doctor. However, the clear majority of users focus on the so-called CBD products, which are offered as dietary supplements. Especially the following effects are considered interesting:

CBD and skin diseases

For some time now, CBD has been used in ointments and cosmetic products. Its use is popular with patients suffering from skin diseases such as acne or neurodermatitis. The ingredients are able to care for the stressed skin and in this way contribute to natural regeneration. In this context, the vitamin E contained in CBD is considered particularly important. In addition, it would be possible that ointments and creams for oily skin help to unclog the pores, making it easier to achieve an even complexion.

CBD and diabetes

In recent years, scientists have increasingly focused on the effects of CBD in diabetes [7]. Studies in live mice showed that regular intake of cannabidiol may be associated with a lower risk of obese people not developing diabetes. The comparison group of mice that did not receive the drug were more likely to develop the disease.
Currently, there is a suggestion that CBD may have a positive effect on various autoimmune inflammatory processes in the body, such as those that occur during the course of his type 1 diabetes. In this way, CBD could become an important component in the fight against the disease in the coming years.

CBD for sleep disorders and stress

The fact that chronic stress in particular can be dangerous to health has been proven many times in the past. In particular, the cardiovascular system is exposed to special stress. Many users use CBD specifically to counteract the state of constant tension. They report a calming and relaxing effect, which was already investigated in initial studies more than 40 years ago.

Nighttime sleep also makes an important contribution to this recovery. Scientists assume that CBD positively influences the quality of sleep, which can alleviate sleep problems.

CBD against pain

Pain patients who have no natural way to relieve their suffering in everyday life often turn to CBD these days. The advantage of cannabidiol is that the use of classic medications can often be reduced. Depending on the dose, these can bring strong side effects, which often become a problem for pain patients.
Behind the effect, scientists suspect the connection of CBD and the body’s own CB2 receptors. According to this theory, painful inflammatory processes in the body can be positively influenced by blocking the receptors. A second theory explains the pain-relieving effect of CBD with the production of natural cannabinoids by the body. This could be enhanced by the ingestion of CBD. It is now the self-produced cannabinoids that block the CB2 receptors and in this way inhibit pain and inflammation.
In 2015, the Drug Commission of the German Medical Association also commented on the use of CBD in pain patients. The use in chronic conditions is described as particularly significant. Quote:

In chronic pain […] a positive effect is shown in the majority of clinical studies. Therefore, in chronic and especially neuropathic pain, a therapy attempt with cannabinoids is justified if other therapy strategies remained unsuccessful. Since cannabinoids can simultaneously stimulate appetite, elevate mood, inhibit nausea, and promote sleep, their use in palliative care can be considered. [8]

CBD and cancer

In recent years, intensive research has been devoted to the question of whether cannabidiol could have a positive effect even on such a serious disease as cancer. On the one hand, CBD was used with the aim of alleviating the strong side effects that occur during chemotherapy. In the course of this, it was found that CBD can have positive effects on cancer therapy in other ways as well.

Prevention plays an important role. The development of cancer is mainly due to the fact that the genetic material of the cells is damaged over the years. The enzyme CYP1A1, for example, offers protection against this lasting damage. Its benefit is that harmful substances that could have a negative effect on the genetic material can be excreted more quickly by the organism.

An important research work on the subject investigated the potential influence of CBD on the CYP1A1 enzyme [9]. Those responsible concluded that cannabidiol can provide increased activity, which in turn has positive effects on the protection of genetic material. Even before its actual emergence, CBD could contribute to cancer therapy in this way.
Further research on the interaction of CBD and cancer focused on specific types of cancer, such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and leukemia [10]. This showed that slower cell growth could be achieved with the use of cannabidiol. This is relevant for tumor patients, for example, whose life expectancy and possibly their chances of recovery could be dependent on this cell growth. Perhaps in the future, cannabidiol will be seen as a complement to the classical methods of cancer therapy that have characterized medicine in recent years and decades. So far, research on this topic is still in its infancy. In any case, there would be a great need for suitable therapy options.

Mode of action in the body and dosage

Individuals react to stimuli in very different ways. Similarly, their metabolism follows its own unique beat. As a result, medications and dietary supplements containing CBD can also act in very different ways. For example, the answer to the question of when the effect of CBD begins depends on the individual disposition.
On the other hand, it should be noted that the dosage of the active ingredient in different products varies greatly. Many of the positive health effects associated with cannabidiol are dependent on the respective dosage. This is confirmed by a look at current research articles on the subject [11]. Currently, the thesis of a bell-shaped effect of cannabidiol receives broad approval: Both with a too low, as well as with a too high dosage, the desired effect remains absent.

For the field of medical application, the expert Franjo Grotenhermen provided more detailed information. According to his findings, an appropriate dosage for treatment with CBD is about 150 – 600 mg daily [12]. Those who pursue only therapeutic purposes with the use of cannabidiol can and should set the daily dosage much lower without medical supervision. Grotenhermen considers it possible that in this context a benefit may occur from a daily amount of 20 to 40 milligrams. The dosage should be even smaller for private use.

Which cannabinoid works best for me?

Up to this point, 115 different cannabinoids are known to research. A WHO report suggests that there may be as many as 200 different substances. For many users, this brings up the question of how they can now find that cannabinoid that best suits their own disposition and physical needs.
To make a selection, it is important to first further define the desired effect target or specific symptoms. For a long list of conditions that includes, for example, sleep problems, anxiety disorders, inflammation, and pain, CBD is considered the drug of choice. This is ensured by the many different forms of application, which make individual integration into everyday life possible.

Special medical attention is required when serious and possibly life-threatening diseases are to be treated with the use of CBD. For this it is essential to control a doctor and not to make any steps of the treatment only according to own gusto. Also, the explanations, descriptions and terms provided here are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease, but merely provide a non-binding overview of the subject.

These CBD products are available

The great public interest in CBD provided a strongly growing variety of products in the past years. EndoVit supplies a wide range of different CBD products for dietary supplements and cosmetics.

CBD oil can be considered as the currently most popular application form of CBD. The oil is easy to dose for users and is available in different dosages. In this way, different application targets can be addressed. With the help of a pipette, the drops can be placed directly under the tongue.
CBD cosmetics are among the latest additions to the product range of many manufacturers. Since cannabinoid receptors are also found in human skin, the active ingredient can be absorbed well. The products are especially interesting for people who suffer from skin diseases.
CBD capsules are suitable for users who find the natural taste of CBD oil too bitter. In dissolved form, the cannabidiol is integrated into the carrier medium, which is possible in different dosage levels.

CBD for animals is intended to develop the same positive effects on body and mind in the veterinary field that have been demonstrated in humans. For this purpose, the active ingredient is processed into special palatable forms of animal food. In this way, for example, the low-threshold treatment of an animal anxiety disorder becomes possible.
CBD foods have been available in German grocery stores for several years. The cannabidiol can be found, for example, in chocolate, muesli bars, drinks or chewing gum. This facilitates easy absorption of the active ingredient throughout the day.