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Cannabidiol 101: what is CBD?

For the uninitiated, Cannabis contains hundreds of chemical compounds, of which two have been researched and studied for decades : THC and CBD. Both were studied, yet, for entirely different reasons.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)  

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is the more famous (or should we say infamous) of the two. It is a psychoactive compound. THC is associated with the pleasant “high” that users experience after ingesting or smoking marijuana. If you absolutely cannot do without your weekly or daily dose of marijuana, blame it on THC.

Woman smoking THC Cannabis, not CBD or Cannabidiol
Woman smoking THC Cannabis, not CBD or Cannabidiol

Cannabidiol (CBD)  

The other compound is a lot more interesting. It’s called CBD or Cannabidiol and it is a non-psychotropic compound. CBD or Cannabidiol has shown immense promise in medicinal and therapeutic applications. Non-Psychotropic means that it does not cause the high that THC does. Instead, it helps the body in many, many other ways. We'll come to Cannabidiol shortly.
Woman taking CBD (Cannabidiol)
Woman taking CBD (Cannabidiol)
The research results regarding CBD and cannabidiol are extremely promising
As a result, many countries have already declared the production, purchase, sale and acquisition of CBD products to be legal. This, of course, is subject to certain reservations. The first regulation is that the CBD must be derived from hemp. Hemp is another variation of the Cannabis Sativa plant.

The second and even more important regulation is that any CBD product may not contain more than a certain prespecified percentage of THC. Yet the maximum limits vary from country to country. Does all this sound like scientific gibberish to you? Then let's try a layman's explanation here.

Scientific results of 1974's research on CBD (Cannabidiol)
Scientific results of 1974's research on CBD (Cannabidiol)
The breakthrough came in 1974

CBD was first isolated from the chemical structure of Cannabis Sativa in 1940. However, archaic laws relating to marijuana and medical cannabis made research extremely difficult. Thus, CBD remained a mystery for a long time. This was true at least until 1974 when a series of clinical trials revealed that pure CBD can limit the effect of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in humans. In other words: CBD has an antipsychotic effect.

It was discovered that besides the exciting high THC gives its consumers, some unpleasant side effects also creep in. For example, there is a tendency towards unconnected trains of thought. Furthermore, short-term memory impairment and even anxiety were found to be side effects of TCB. CBD helps to contain these side effects.

Click here to find the largest choice of Swiss CBD products in our online shop
Click here to find the largest choice of Swiss CBD products in our online shop

What difference between CBD/cannabidiol and THC?

We briefly touched on this earlier. CBD is one of the many cannabinoids found in the Cannabis Sativa plant. It has no psychoactive effects. This means, that, when ingested into the body, it does not cause the euphoria or high that marijuana users experience. Instead, it has shown remarkable therapeutic benefits. Cannabidiol has shown such benefits in treating conditions like epilepsy, depression, anxiety, as well as psychotic disorders. Other conditions where Cannabidiol has provided relieve are nausea caused by chemotherapy, PTSD, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, liver injury, as well as Parkinson's disease. And that's not even half the list.

CBD or Cannabidiol

Cannabidiol was first isolated from the chemical structure of Cannabis Sativa as early as 1940. However, arcane laws relating to Marijuana made research extremely difficult. This was the reason why CBD was always shrouded in mystery. That was, until a clinical CBD trial, conducted in 1974, revealed the ability of CBD in limiting the negative effects of THC (9 "“ tetrahydrocannabinol) in humans. 

THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol 

THC, apart from bestowing upon users, an exhilarating high, also sneaks in a few unpleasant symptoms. Among those symptoms are, disjointed thoughts or short-term memory impairment, as well as anxiety. CBD helps to limit these side effects. This allows researchers and scientists to use THC and medical marijuana purely with beneficial properties. Now they were also able to use THC in doses that would have otherwise been impossible to administer.

Research on CBD and Cannabidiol

Thus, CBD or cannabidiol enables researchers and scientists to use THC exclusively with its beneficial properties. This also applies to doses that could not possibly be administered without cannabidiol.

Subsequently, CBD has become the go to component of the medical research community. Numerous clinical trials were conducted to explore the potential that the compound has in an ever-increasing range of medical applications.

The article “Trial of Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant Seizures in the Dravet Syndrome” from Devinsky et al. was published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2017.

A clinical trial phase I was ongoing until the end of 2019 to study the “Treatment of Chronic Pain With Cannabidiol (CBD) and Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)” This study was completed under the supervision of Deborah Yurgelun-Todd from the University of Utah.

Another clinical trial, labeled “Evaluation of the Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) Compared to Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Alprazolam” from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) in the USA completed successfully in June of 2018.

In the past few years, full spectrum oil extracted from industrial hemp (a version of Cannabis Sativa) and other Cannabidiol or CBD products with high CBD concentrations have become quite the rage in both, the medical and fitness communities.  We know what you are thinking. Isn't Marijuana also Cannabis Sativa? What's Hemp then? And what's the difference between CBD hemp and marijuana?

Hemp or Marijuana? What does it have to do with CBD?

We admit that it does get confusing. This is especially true, since there's a very thin and blurred line to differentiate between the cannabis plants. Hemp and Marijuana both belong to the same species of the plant, Cannabis Sativa. Hence, the name often gets interchangeably used, especially by laymen who are as far from taxonomy as we are from the moon. So, Hemp is called Marijuana and Marijuana is called Hemp (mistakenly). And both may be called Cannabis and contain CBD. Whew! Did we lose you? No? Great!

Hemp used to produce CBD - Cannabidiol

Hemp or hemp stalk

Hemp or hemp stalk, or agricultural hemp, is a type of Cannabis Sativa. This type is specially cultivated for industrial applications. This includes CBD Oil, seeds, fibres, paper and cloth. The hemp plant has an extremely low THC content compared to marijuana. It grows higher (almost six metres) and has an easily recognizable thin and bamboo-like appearance. It is very adaptable and grows without much effort under a wide range of climatic conditions.

Marijuana plant
Marijuana plant


Marijuana, on the other hand, is a short, stout bush (not taller than five feet) that has to be carefully grown in a controlled environment. It is grown to source the glands or Trichomes that grow on the leaves and buds. It is those Trichomes from which weed or pot or whatever it's called, is extracted. The most important difference is the chemical makeup. The marijuana plant has significant levels of THC and very sparse CBD content.

Key facts


  • Low THC content

  • 15-20 feet tall skinny plant

  • Reared for its industrial applications

  • Mostly used to produce CBD hemp oil


  • High THC content

  • 3-5 feet tall, stout bush,

  • reared for its resin-rich glands or aromatic trichomes

Now that we have that out of the way, let's talk about the classification of Hemp-extracted CBD and Marijuana. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines Hemp-extracted CBD, as products sourced from Cannabis Sativa. Most importantly, the FDA specifies, that Hemp extracted Cannabidiol or CBD does not have any psychoactive properties. Since the introduction of the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD from hemp is considered a dietary supplement in the United States and federally legal. However, the only FDA approved prescription of CBD is Epidiolex, a medicine used to treat seizures in Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome.

Europe defines hemp as products sourced from Cannabis Sativa that have less than 0,2 or 0,3% of THC. Here in Switzerland, the level of legally permitted THC content in CBD products is 1%. Anything more is considered a controlled substance and is termed as illegal Marijuana possession.

So, for now, let's say that the level of THC and the way the plant is reared will define whether it's legal Hemp or illegal Marijuana that you have.

Usage of CBD, Cannabidiol and THC in medical conditions

Medical Benefits of CBD

Cannabidiol, or CBD is one of the most abundant, as well as important cannabinoids. CBD has a very similar chemical formula to THC, but the atoms are arranged slightly different, making CBD non-psychotropic and not causing the familiar “high” associated with THC.

CBD is probably one of the most researched cannabinoids, having proven to be an effective treatment protocol for a wide variety of symptoms and diseases. A few of those include:

Medical Benefits of THC
THC is the main psychotropic active ingredient in cannabis, and probably also the most well-known. It works by mimicking the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-AG which help modulate mood, perception, sleep, as well as a wide variety of other physiological functions.
Although people tend to associate THC with recreational use, it has also been shown to have several therapeutic properties, including:


The human body produces its own cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids. These tiny molecules are nested deep inside cells in different parts of the body. Cannabidiol can stimulate specific responses from these cells depending on the signals that they receive from Cannabinoid receptors. Those are another group of cells which are located on the cell surface. It's called the endocannabinoid system. This system runs throughout your entire body and includes Millions of receptors that can bind themselves with the cannabinoids you consume.

The endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in regulating a broad range of physiological processes. Those processes affect our everyday experiences like, our mood, our energy level, our intestinal fortitude, as well as our body’s immune system activity.  That is however not all, it also positively affects our blood pressure, as well as our bone density, glucose metabolism, how we experience pain, stress, hunger, and more.
Click here to find the largest choice of Swiss CBD products in our online shop
Click here to find the largest choice of Swiss CBD products in our online shop
Cutting-edge science has shown that the endocannabinoid system is dysregulated in nearly all pathological conditions. Thus, it stands to reason that modulating the endocannabinoid system activity may have therapeutic potential in almost all diseases affecting humans. As was suggested in the 2014 publication by Pal Pacher and George Kunos. They are scientists with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Cannabidiol or CBD and other cannabinoids

CBD (and other cannabinoids such as THC) mimic compounds that our body also produces naturally. These compounds activate themselves to maintain the inner stability and health of the body. To explain a complex system in simple terms, they mediate the communication between cells. When there is a deficiency or problem with our endocannabinoid system, unpleasant symptoms and physical complications occur.

When cannabis is consumed, cannabinoids bind to receptor sites in our brain (receptors called CB-1) and body (CB-2). Depending on the specific cannabinoid we have consumed, the chemical reactions in our body will vary. This is what enables CBD to be such a strong, effective and versatile compound.

THC and your body

THC, when ingested into the body interacts with CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain and the central nervous system. Thereby THC alters the cellular response in these systems. This creates the pleasure, as well as the euphoria, but also the notorious mind-altering effects.

Effects of CBD (Cannabidiol) on your body
Effects of CBD (Cannabidiol) on your body

CBD or Cannabidiol, on the other hand, is different altogether:

Rather than interacting directly with these receptor sites, CBD or Cannabidiol stimulates the production of more endocannabinoids in the body. So, you suddenly have more connectivity hotspots with the potential for a variety of cellular responses.

Furthermore, CBD also influences these two (CB1 & CB2) receptor sites. But it does this indirectly rather than directly binding to it. Hence it does not cause any mind-altering effects.

It works on non-cannabinoid receptor sites also. For example, the Opioid receptor sites, which are associated with pain regulation. This might assist in treating addiction to painkillers and opioid drugs like morphine and fentanyl

CBD also influences dopamine receptors in the brain thereby regulating cognitive behavior among other things

This is why CBD products like cannabidiol oil and dietary supplements have become a trend for many people.

A trend that has grown from the addition of CBD drops in tea or salad to inhaling through vaping as well as the consumption of gummy bears with CBD As you can see, cannabidiol can be consumed in many different ways. And the users have a thoroughly great experience with it.

Swiss CBD or Cannabidiol products in unserem online shop
Swiss CBD or Cannabidiol products in unserem online shop

Types of CBD products & how to use Cannabidiol

CBD comes in a variety of different Cannabidiol product types. They cover a variety of life styles, conditions and needs. The most popular products types and their usages are summarized in the table below.

Product Type
CBD oils & tinctures
Oral Application:
Place a few drops under the tongue and hold it for 30-60 seconds

- Versatile in usage
- Available in a wide variety of types, strengths and concentrations
- Effective for acute and chronic symptoms
- Ideal as a supplement for general health and wellness

CBD Capsules

Oral Application:
Swallow a capsule with water

- Discreet
- Ease of application
- Effective for acute and chronic symptoms
- Ideal as a supplement for general health and wellness


Oral Application:
Enjoy in the same way as any other candy or baked product

- Easy to use and Discreet
- Precision dosed
- Successful against acute and chronic symptoms
- Great as a supplement for general health and wellness

Topical Application:
Apply the product directly to the affected area and cover with a bandage if necessary

- Fast, effective and localized relief
- Effective for acute conditions such as pain and strains from injury
- Ideal for chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis

Skin Products
Topical Application:
Apply the product directly to the skin / use as directed

- Anti-ageing, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory
- Effective preventative and treatment for overall skin health
- Effective treatment of a wide variety of skin conditions including acne, eczema and aging
Vape Products
Vape products come in either concentrate or in a “tank” style and can be either disposable or refillable

- Fast onset time of 20-60 seconds
- Helpful against acute conditions such as neuropathic pain, anxiety, tremors and seizures

Smoking, dabbing or vaping

- Fast onset time of 20-60 seconds
- Effective for acute conditions such as neuropathic pain, anxiety, tremors and seizures

CBD - Cannabidiol dosages

Many people struggle with CBD dosages. They either don’t know how much to start with, or what an effective dosage would be for them and their needs.

The problem with CBD dosing is that there isn’t one “correct” Cannabidiol dosage that works for everybody. However, it is always recommended to start low and go slow, starting with a dose of 25 mg of CBD taken twice a day. If needed, increase the CBD dosage every 3-4 weeks by adding another dose of 25 mg daily until symptoms are relieved. However, if you experience any unwanted side-effets, decrease the dose by 25 mg.

For more specific CBD dosage recommendations and considerations, head over to our CBD Usage & Dosage guide.

CBD for pets: does Cannabidiol work for them too?

With all the buzz around CBD or Cannabidiol, using CBD for pets is fast becoming just as popular as it is with humans. But for most people, giving any type of medicine or supplement to their pet comes with questions.

However, because Cannabidiol is relatively new to the pet world. Most veterinarians are not yet educated in, or always open to recommend and prescribing its use. This is the reason why, for many pet owners many of these questions remain unanswered.

That’s why we’ve put together a quick-read guide. This guide explains topics like how CBD oil works, what CBD oil can and can’t do, and what the benefits are of CBD oil for cats as well as dogs.

Conclusions on CBD and Cannabidiol

To sum things up, CBD or Cannabidiol affects a variety of receptor sites and also influences non-cannabinoid receptor sites. The effects Cannabidiol has on them, are yet to be fully studied. However, what is known so far about Cannabidiol, has tremendous potential in medical applications. That's precisely why CBD-rich products such as CBD drops and supplements have become a rage among the general population. 

From adding a few drops of CBD to their tea and even salads to vaping it, as well as chewing CBD gummies, people are consuming CBD in any and every possible way. And they have only great experiences to talk about. In case you are interested in trying CBD products for yourself, talk to your doctor and have a look at uWeed's high-quality product range in our CBD online shop. You should try out the very best of Cannabidiol products. CBD products of the highest quality are Swiss CBD products. Swiss CBD products are produced under strict control and offer you a perfect, reliable product.
Click here to find the largest choice of Swiss CBD products in our online shop
Click here to find the largest choice of Swiss CBD products in our online shop

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