Subscribe to our newsletter

Click here

Read time : 3 minutes

What Is CBD? Beginners’ Guide


Most of us have heard of CBD, at least in passing, but there are many questions surrounding the supplement – such as, what is CBD used for and is CBD addictive? We answer these questions and more on our blog. So, what exactly is CBD?

Short for ‘cannabidiol’, CBD is an active compound found in the cannabis plant. CBD is found alongside tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in cannabis, but where THC is the ingredient that facilitates the ‘high’ popularly associated with cannabis, CBD is not intoxicating in the same way – and there’s ongoing research into whether it has health benefits that can treat a wide variety of issues.

Is CBD legal?

As it doesn’t have the psychoactive effects associated with cannabis, CBD is legal to use as a food supplement in the UK and can legally be sold and used in the UK if it meets certain criteria; manufacturers must comply with regulations that state the THC content in any CBD product must not exceed government restrictions.

How is CBD taken?

There are a number of ways in which CBD can be taken and plenty of options on the market to suit your needs. CBD can be taken orally, which lends it to a wide variety of products. These include capsules, oils, sprays and edibles. It can also be vaporised and inhaled, which leads to some users adding it to their vape juice. Additionally, it can be used locally on the body, widening the scope of application even further to balms and beauty treatments.

With so many options, it’s worth researching the different formats to find the best cbd for you. A simple online search will present you with a plethora of options, but be sure to scrutinise your source and buy from a trusted supplier with a good reputation.

How does CBD interact with the brain?

When introduced to the nervous system, THC and other active compounds in cannabis interact with two cannabinoid receptors in the brain – CB1 and CB2. The former is associated with mental processes like cognition, emotion and memory, whereas the latter is associated with more physical processes, such as the immune system and inflammatory responses.

CBD, on the other hand, has little interaction with these cannabinoid receptors and instead works on the brain’s endocannabinoid system, stimulating it to make more of its own cannabinoids. It also slows down the eventual breakdown of the cannabinoids and, as a result, the unwanted side effects of compounds like THC that can accompany a user’s ‘high’ in large doses – such as paranoia, anxiety and dry mouth – are avoided while the benefits of cannabinoids can still be experienced.

Serotonin

Serotonin receptors are associated with cognition, mood and appetite. When CBD is taken, it targets the serotonin 1A receptor in the brain and increases activity. Because of this, studies are underway to investigate CBD as a treatment for numerous conditions associated with low serotonin levels, including depression, anxiety, neuropathic pain and obesity.1 As CBD is well-tolerated by most people, it could be a promising alternative to other medications.2

Neuron Protection

Neurological diseases are those which cause degeneration in the brain. Where less neurological degeneration has taken place, a person’s cognition will be healthier. Investigations into whether the development of Alzheimer’s Disease3 might be slowed with CBD is ongoing, and research into whether it can prevent the hallucinations that can accompany Parkinson’s disease is underway too.4 Research is also being conducted into the treatment of epilepsy using CBD.5

CBD and the body

As a supplement for physical issues, CBD is fast-becoming an addition to treatment plans for conditions as diverse as inflammation, physical pain, acne and high blood pressure. As a result, it might be effective for those managing pain, recovering from surgery or for those who simply want an effective boost to their body’s recovery following exercise. Research is beginning to suggest that CBD might assist the body in achieving homeostasis6 – a balance of the body’s overall physical functions – which opens the door for its use in many different therapeutic applications.

How much CBD should I take?

Now that you know more about what CBD is, you may be wondering how much to take. As with most treatments for any illness, the amount you should take is very much dependent on your own circumstances, so there is no set dosage.

Most manufacturers will provide very general guidance on dosage, but if you’re considering adding CBD to your routine, many factors will play into your dosage – including your weight, your diet and the severity of your condition. Before using CBD, consider speaking to your GP or a medical professional about the amount you should be taking, and always check the instructions.

Is CBD for me?

The effect of cannabinoids on human physiology is extremely complex, and research into its interactions with the body is still in its infancy. That said, a whole host of studies are looking at the benefits of CBD in treating myriad physical and neurological issues.9 If you are looking for a supplement to aid your treatment for any of the conditions outlined, it would be worth discussing CBD as an added option with your GP.

Pureis is a food supplement, not intended to treat or prevent any physiological or psychological disease.


  1. Cannabidiol modulates serotonergic transmission and reverses both allodynia and anxiety-like behaviour in a model of neuropathic pain – National Library of Medicine
  2. How to Try CBD for Depression – Healthline
  3. In vivo Evidence for Therapeutic Properties of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Alzheimer’s Disease – Frontiers in Pharmacology
  4. Cannabidiol for the treatment of psychosis in Parkinson’s disease – Sage Journals
  5. The proposed mechanisms of action of CBD in epilepsy – Epileptic Disorders – Wiley Online Library
  6. Effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in neuropsychiatric disorders: A review of pre-clinical and clinical findings – ScienceDirect