The Science of Cannabidiol (CBD)- How CBD Works

We’re Made For Each Other!

Homemade Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil & some CBD Flower

CBD (Cannabidiol) has shown benefits in so many conditions, especially when inflammation is involved.  But, it can be ultimately MOST useful in re-setting your body’s system of maintaining its own balance.

Introducing the ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM (ECS) – think “Enter Cannabis System” because this is where the amazing Cannabis plant fits into us and how it works its healing “magic”! This means that:

We have places all over our bodies that are a perfect fit for the compounds made in the Cannabis plant.

We didn’t create a chemical to target a certain receptor here (like how most pharmaceuticals work)- the medicine already existed in nature that fits right into our bodies to make us feel better.

I first learned about this system in Dr. Bonni Goldstein’s book, Cannabis Is Medicine and it was a revelation for me. She says, “It’s not a Miracle, it’s science.”  I think for me, it’s both. 🙂

The Science

The Endocannabinoid System, or ECS, is your body’s most widespread receptor system, found in most of the systems in us that we know by their functions, like the digestive system, the reproductive system, etc. Many other species have an ECS as well, not just us mammals either.  The ECS’s purpose is to maintain BALANCE !!!  In science books, it’s called homeostasis. It kicks into gear when we’re sick or stressed and it’s constantly adjusting for us. The ECS keeps us running smoothly and is made up of:

  1. “Chemicals”- really, they’re natural substances WE MAKE called endocannabinoids that float around like boats in your body, making you feel good.  Also called Cannabinoids (but not “endo-“ since they aren’t made IN us), are THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) like you inhale when smoking marijuana,  CBD (Cannabidiol), like what’s in all of those oils, beauty products, and supplements at most stores, CBG, and others. [*It’s actually the chemicals that turn into THC and CBD, but that’s irrelevant until we’re cooking it.] THC and CBD are shown in number 1 and 2, respectively, in Figure 1.
  2. Receptors that act like boat slips and are found in our skin, our brains, our bones, ALL THROUGH US! Numbers 1 and 3 in Figure 1 show boat slips (receptors).

Figure 1

The reason I prefer the boat slip metaphor for explaining receptors is due to the failure of the typically used “lock-and-key” model to account for the jet ski’s activity. A jet ski can park in the slip (though it’s not a perfect fit) and keep the boats from docking in their usual spots.  Boats floating undocked in your system make you feel better.  Having CBD around can also make the boats you take actually work better- I’ll explain that in a minute.  The chemical boats we’re talking about are produced only two places we know of: in us, and in the Cannabis plant. Like we co-evolved together 🙂

ECS Dysfunction-

Chronic illness and stress can cause Endocannabinoid System Dysfunction, which means we’re not making enough of our own boats.  Then, you have empty boat slips and not enough feel-good boats floating around. Thus, leaving all those other systems that the ECS balances off-kilter.  When the system that maintains balance gets out of balance, CBD and Medical Cannabis can fix it.

As a pharmacist who spent years learning the ways drugs work, the best thing about Cannabis medicine is that IT TREATS THE ACTUAL PROBLEM!  

 ECS dysfunction can look like many things, including:

  • Anxiety/Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • PAIN

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Migraine Headache
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • More

*The above list is compiled from Dr. Bonni Goldstein’s book Cannabis Is Medicine (2020).

If you are dealing with any of the above and want help getting Cannabis to work for you, go to my Services page and find a program that suits your needs! I would love to support your Cannabis journey!!

For a Cannabis recommendation for your medical card, please visit Prestodoctor’s website at the following link to get quickly and easily connected to a physician who can help. They’ll get your application started for you, you can see a doctor right from your phone or device, and you’ll be officially on your Cannabis journey! Prestodoctor link: Using my link can help support this site, so thank you!!


Now, let’s talk watercraft.  The boats I keep referring to are both our internal cannabinoids that our bodies make (endocannabinoids, the most famous of which is called anandamide) and THC from THC-rich Cannabis plants (the kind that do have a psychoactive effect).  

Jet skis are CBD, which can now be found in everything from bath bombs to gummies and more.  Remember, CBD changes the way boats (THC and your own happy molecules) can dock.  Therefore, CBD makes THC and your body’s endocannabinoids work better (float around longer) and that makes you feel better.  Plus, CBD treats the underlying cause of the pain, nausea, etc.  

CBD causes no “head change” or “high” on its own, even in very high doses (up to hundreds of milligrams per day) and has very few side effects which mostly occur at those higher doses.  CBD also affects the activity of so many other receptors that its activities include anticancer, antipsychotic, antidepressant, anticonvulsant, and many more.  For more on the science of CBD and all of the ways it works, visit    

Better Together

Cannabinoids are also meant to work together- it’s called the entourage effect. The benefits of any combination taken together (THC with CBD or with CBG), and with other medicinal compounds in the Cannabis plant, (including terpenes like limonene & pinene) is greater than taking any one of them alone.  Even a tiny bit of THC in your CBD oil can make the difference between feeling relief or not. This is whole plant medicine and it is powerful stuff.  

However, plant medicine is also dynamic.  One time you go to the dispensary and find a 1:1 “flower” (the part of the plant you can smoke, or use to make infused oil, like I’ll show you) meaning it has equal amounts of CBD and THC in it.  Next time, not one product containing any CBD.  

Luckily, today we can order CBD flower through the mail (check your state or country’s law) and I will show you the simple steps to MAKE YOUR OWN MEDICINE!! Go check that out here 🙂

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