CBD - what it is, how it works and what the side effects can be

CBD also known as cannabidiol is a chemical extracted from the cannabis plant.

Ludwig Jelonek - AuthorAuthorLudwig Jelonek
Ludwig Jelonek - Author
AuthorLudwig Jelonek
Natu.Care Editor

Ludwik Jelonek is the author of more than 2,500 texts published on leading portals. His content has found its way into services such as Ostrovit and Kobieta Onet. At Natu.Care, Ludwik educates people in the most important area of life - health.

Learn more about our editorial process

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Ilona Bush - Reviewed byReviewed byIlona Bush
Verified by an expert
Ilona Bush - Reviewed by
Reviewed byIlona Bush
Master of Pharmacy

Ilona Krzak obtained her Master of Pharmacy degree from the Medical University of Wrocław. She did her internship in a hospital pharmacy and in the pharmaceutical industry. She is currently working in the profession and also runs an educational profile on Instagram: @pani_z_apteki

Learn more about our editorial process

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Michael Tomaszewski - Edited byEdited byMichael Tomaszewski
Michael Tomaszewski - Edited by
Edited by
Michael Tomaszewski
Editor

Graduate of Journalism and Artes Liberales at the University of Warsaw. Since 2017, he has been working with the biggest portals in Poland and abroad as an editor. Previously worked for 3 years in one of the leading pharmaceutical companies - he knows the health and beauty industry inside out. In his free time, he most enjoys playing tennis or skiing.

Learn more about our editorial process

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Matthew Podlecki - Fact-checkingFact-checkingMatthew Podlecki
Matthew Podlecki - Fact-checking
Fact-checkingMatthew Podlecki
Natu.Care Editor

At Natu.Care, she educates about healthy lifestyles and debunks dangerous myths, contrasting them with the results of the latest scientific research. Additionally, she is interested in new technologies and their impact on health and everyday life.

Learn more about our editorial process

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CBD - what it is, how it works and what the side effects can be
29 April, 2024
13 min
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CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the chemicals found in cannabis. It is supposed to have a calming and therapeutic effect, as well as improving sleep quality. In this article you will find information about the properties, dosage and side effects of CBD use.

Inner peace, a sense of security and complete relaxation. We would all like to experience at least one of these states on a regular basis. CBD is supposed to provide us with all three, plus reduce inflammation and promote sleep. Is this really possible? Together with Ilona Krzak, MSc Pharmacy, we present the most important information about CBD.

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From this article you will learn:

  • What CBD is and whether it is safe
  • .
  • What properties CBD has
  • .
  • Who should not use CBD
  • .
  • What can be the side effects of CBD use
  • .

See also: 

What is CBD?

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CBD (cannabidiol) is one of more than 100 cannabinoids extracted from the cannabis plantand, more specifically its inflorescences. This chemical has no psychoactive effects . CBD does, however, exhibit numerous health-promoting benefits, such as anti-cancer, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory effects.

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CBD has anti-anxiety, antipsychotic and neuroprotective effects. Furthermore, the substance alleviates the symptoms of addictions. It does not eliminate them completely, but it reduces the attraction to stimulants. CBD also reduces the frequency of epilepsy attacks.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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CBD versus THC - what are the differences?

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CBD and THC are the most common cannabinoids extracted from cannabisand. Their chemical structure is strongly similar, but the substances are not the same. THC induces a feeling of euphoria ('high') that is not experienced after CBD. Combined, they form the popular drug marijuana.

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Marijuana is unequal to marijuana - as the concentration of CBD increases relative to THC, its psychoactive effects will be less. 
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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Is CBD legal in Poland

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All products containing CBD are legal in Polandand. However, they must not contain more than 0.2% THC, which is illegal. The appearance of dried CBD is very similar to illegal cannabis, which is why the police can arrest you for possessing it, on the grounds that you are presumed to have committed a crime .

But rest assured - CBD is quite popular in Poland, so avoiding arrest is usually unproblematic. 

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In what forms is CBD found?"

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Many forms of CBD can be found on the market. Most products come in the form of CBD oil, which should be applied sublingually - according to MA Pharmacy, the oil is better absorbed then. Despite the popularity of CBD oils, there is no shortage of alternatives to this solution.

CBD can be found in the form of:

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  • suck,
  • .
  • tablets,
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  • capsules,
  • .
  • pollen,
  • .
  • pastes,
  • .
  • hashu (resin concentrate),
  • .
  • fips,
  • .
  • teas,
  • .
  • sweets (jelly beans, sweets, chocolates),
  • .
  • additive to cosmetics (creams, ointments),
  • .

Magister of Pharmacy, Ilona Krzak, emphasises that when choosing CBD oil, it is important to pay attention to its quality. The hemp from which these preparations are produced absorbs all heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium) from the soil like a sponge. Therefore, only rely on oils with quality certificates. 

According to the pharmacist, the best definition of quality is the certification of Golden Cannabis, a certification body for hemp productsand. The Golden Cannabis team tests random samples of a given product from circulation, and the tests are performed in an accredited laboratory - so it is one of the more reliable bodies on the market.

It is also worth mentioning the difference between 'oil' and 'oil'. An oil is extracted by extraction, while an oil is pressed from seeds, for example. The difference in price is most often significant, but the oil is much better concentrated.

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In addition to cannabidiol, CBD oil also contains a mixture of phenolic-terpene compounds in its composition, including other phytocannabinoids. Their effects are similar to those of CBD itself. More often than not, preparations that are called 'CBD oil' are diluted oil. So we are actually dealing with a solution of the oil and not the oil itself.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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Is CBD safe?

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CBD is considered safe, especially in low doses (20-30 mg/day) it rarely causes side effects. CBD is most often well tolerated and does not lead to health problemsand

It is sometimes possible, however, to experience side effects such as drowsiness or diarrhoea. CBD should also not be used with certain medications (such as blood thinners).

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A CBD dose of 20 mg/kg body weight is considered relatively safe. The possible side effects of using this substance are most often mild to moderate.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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CBD - properties

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The popularity of CBD has influenced numerous myths regarding the effects of this compound. Together with MSc Pharmacy, we present the properties of CBD that have been confirmed by scientific studies.

Alleviates pain

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Research suggests, that CBD can reduce chronic pain and inflammationand. Furthermore, it can provide relief from back pain  and neuralgia . Although the findings are very promising, further testing is needed to confirm the role of CBD in pain management.

Positive effects on mental health disorders

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CBD may be helpful in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Studies indicate that CBD oil can treat insomnia and anxiety in children suffering from PTSDand. Furthermore, the remedy may reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in adultsand.

Other studies suggest that CBD may have a positive effect on treating social anxiety . Some trials indicate a positive effect of CBD on depression . However, more robust studies are needed to determine the role of this agent in the treatment of depression.

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CBD may be helpful in the treatment of schizophrenia. Studies have shown that chronic stress factor has a neurodegenerative effect on hippocampal cells, which may contribute to the development of schizophrenia. In contrast, CBD use had a neuroprotective effect and enhanced neurogenesis in the hippocampus, which significantly reduced schizophrenia symptoms.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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Vitamin B1 and vitamin B3 can also support the treatment of depression.

You can find out more about them from these articles:

Promotes heart health

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High blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease, as well as strokeand. Research suggests that CBD may reduce blood pressure . What's more, taking CBD may support the function of the arteries, and improve blood flow .

Omega acids, especially omega-3, also support heart health.

Check out these articles:

May reduce opioid dependence

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CBD can treat opioid dependence. A study conducted on heroin addicts showed that after a week of using CBDand, their desire to use the drug was reduced. What's more, CBD can positively affect anxiety, insomnia or pain caused by addiction to various substances .

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Unfortunately, in the case of hard drugs, addiction is incurable. Irreversible changes to the brain then occur and what remains is substitution therapy such as methadone or possibly CBD.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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How else does CBD work?

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  • Positive effects on sleep qualityand.
  • May support treatment of schizophrenia .
  • Reduces symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis .
  • .
  • Dampens inflammatory reactions .
  • .

Deficiencies of pantothenic acid, biotin and folic acid can lead to sleep problems. I invite you to check out these articles! 

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CBD may be helpful in treating neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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CBD - dosage

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The dosage of CBD depends on our expectations. At the beginning of your adventure with this substance, it is advisable to start with the lowest doses (and concentrations) to get your body used to it. Then you can gradually increase the dose to achieve the desired effects. It is best to stay in contact with your doctor or pharmacist at all times.

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Daily dosage of CBD for selected conditions:

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  • Anxiety disorders: 300 mg to 600 mgand,
  • .
  • Intestinal disorders: 10 mg (two doses of 5 mg each) ,
  • Sleep problems: 25 mg ,
  • .
  • Cancer pain: 50 mg to 600 mg ,
  • Psychosis: 600 mg .

Contraindications to the use of CBD

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Although CBD is considered safe, not everyone should use it. Which groups of people should be particularly vigilant?

Contraindicationsto the use of CBD areand:

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  • pregnancy,
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  • breastfeeding period,
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  • underage,
  • .
  • hepatic disease,
  • disease of the liver
  • Parkinson's disease,
  • .
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Research into the effectiveness of CBD in treating Parkinson's disease is ongoing. So it is possible that soon this condition will not be a contraindication, but an indication for the use of CBD.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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CBD - side effects

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Side effects of taking CBD are not common. Most often, the remedy is safe. Nevertheless, a few symptoms stand out that indicate a negative reaction of your body to this compound.

Side effects of taking CBDand:

  • diarrhoea,
  • .
  • dryness in the mouth,
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  • reduced appetite,
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  • insomnia,
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  • fatigue,
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  • dizzinessand,
  • .
  • irritability ,
  • anxiety ,
  • .
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Side effects of taking CBD include an increase in aminotransferases (leading to, among other things, hepatitis), anaemia, and elevated prolactin levels (leading to problems with the monthly cycle in women).
Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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CBD and alcohol

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CBD should not be combined with alcohol. This can cause drowsiness and impaired coordination. These substances can reinforce each other's effects. Furthermore, studies suggest that taking CBD with alcohol impairs motor and psychomotor performanceand.

Interactions of CBD with drugs

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CBD can react negatively with some medications. Therefore, not everyone should use this substance.

According to the pharmacist, CBD may interactwithand:

  • antiepileptic drugs,
  • .
  • opioids,
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  • levothyroxineand,
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  • amiodarone ,
  • .
  • sleeping medicines,
  • .
  • high doses of paracetamol,
  • .
  • antifungal medicines,
  • addictive drugs.
  • verapamil,
  • - antihistamines.
  • anti-histamines,
  • antifungals,
  • nitrofuranto.
  • nitrofurantoin,
  • amoxicillin,
  • amoxicillin.
  • amoxicillin,
  • .
  • some antidepressants,
  • .
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Studies have noted that when CBD is used in children with epilepsy along with drug treatment (based on clobazam or sodium valproate), liver dysfunction or pneumonia are more common.
Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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Note! 

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CBD can also react with many other medicines. If you are taking any medications, check with your doctor before using CBD.

See also:

Summary

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Hopefully, you have learned the most important things about CBD.

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This is a lot of information, so I would like you to remember some of the most important facts. 

  • CBD is a chemical substance extracted from the cannabis plant.
  • CBD can be legally purchased CBD in Poland.
  • CBD is a chemical derived from cannabis.
  • CBD is mainly found in the form of oil, however it can also be found in many other forms (dried, tablets, hash).
  • .
  • CBD can relieve pain, support heart health, and positively affect mental health disorders.
  • The dosage of CBD is dependent on the effects expected.
  • The main contraindications to the use of CBD are pregnancy, minors and liver disease.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Taking CBD may be associated with side effects such as diarrhoea, dry mouth and decreased appetite.
  • .
  • CBD should not be combined with alcohol.
  • .
  • Some medications may react with CBD.
  • .

FAQ

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. CBD - from how old can you buy?.

CBD can be bought by anyone - you do not need to be over 18. The exceptions are products with more than 0.2% THC in their composition. These drugs are illegal in Poland and cannot be both bought and sold.

. Can you drive a car after taking CBD?.

Yes, CBD does not have a psychoactive effect, so you can drive after it without fear. Studies suggest that the drug does not cause intoxication and does not affect our driving.

. Is CBD addictive?.

No, CBD does not contain addictive substances. Furthermore, research suggests that it can aid in the treatment of addictions to other substances (e.g. cocaine or opioids). However, these are preliminary tests that require additional confirmation.

. What concentration of CBD to choose?.

The appropriate concentration of CBD depends on our expectations. It is best to choose it together with your doctor or pharmacist. A specialist will advise us on the concentration to choose, as well as how to dose CBD. In this way, we will safely and quickly achieve the expected results.

. How much CBD persists in the urine.

The half-life (the time it takes the body to remove half of the substance) for CBD ranges from one hour to up to five days. In contrast, it takes about four to five half-life periods for the substance to be completely eliminated from the body. Thus, CBD persists in the urine from 5 hours to up to 25 days.

. How much does 1 gram of CBD cost?.

The price of 1 gram of CBD in Poland can range from around 40 to 80 PLN, depending on the manufacturer and quality. However, it is worth noting that the cost may vary depending on the region of the country and how CBD products are distributed. Therefore, research the market before buying and then make your decision.

. Is 30% CBD a lot?.

The appropriate concentration of CBD depends on a number of factors, such as individual needs and bodily responses. However, 30% CBD is a very high value. More often than not, CBD products having concentrations above 20% are considered potent and intended for people with a higher tolerance to cannabinoids.

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Sources

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Cannabis, CBD oil and dementia | Alzheimer's Society. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2023, from https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/treatments/alternative-therapies/cannabis-cbd-oil-and-dementia

Cannabis (Marijuana) and Cannabinoids: What You Need To Know. (n.d.). NCCIH. Retrieved February 16, 2023, from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/cannabis-marijuana-and-cannabinoids-what-you-need-to-know

CBD: Safe and effective? (n.d.). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved February 16, 2023, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/is-cbd-safe-and-effective/faq-20446700

Commissioner, O. of the. (2020). What You Should Know About Using Cannabis, Including CBD, When Pregnant or Breastfeeding. FDA. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/what-you-should-know-about-using-cannabis-including-cbd-when-pregnant-or-breastfeeding

Commissioner, O. of the. (2023). What You Need to Know (And What We're Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD. FDA. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/what-you-need-know-and-what-were-working-find-out-about-products-containing-cannabis-or-cannabis

Consroe, P., Carlini, E. A., Zwicker, A. P., & Lacerda, L. A. (1979). Interaction of cannabidiol and alcohol in humans. Psychopharmacology, 66(1), 45-50. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00431988

Cox-Georgian, D., Ramadoss, N., Dona, C., & Basu, C. (2019). Therapeutic and Medicinal Uses of Terpenes. IN N. Joshee, S. A. Dhekney, & P. Parajuli (Eds.), Medicinal Plants: From Farm to Pharmacy (pp. 333-359). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-31269-5_15

Darkovska-Serafimovska, M., Serafimovska, T., Arsova-Sarafinovska, Z., Stefanoski, S., Keskovski, Z., & Balkanov, T. (2018). Pharmacotherapeutic considerations for use of cannabinoids to relieve pain in patients with malignant diseases. Journal of Pain Research, 11, 837-842. https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S160556

García-Gutiérrez, M. S., Navarrete, F., Gasparyan, A., Austrich-Olivares, A., Sala, F., & Manzanares, J. (2020). Cannabidiol: A Potential New Alternative for the Treatment of Anxiety, Depression, and Psychotic Disorders. Biomolecules, 10(11), Article 11. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10111575

Hurd, Y. L., Spriggs, S., Alishayev, J., Winkel, G., Gurgov, K., Kudrich, C., Oprescu, A. M., & Salsitz, E. (2019). Cannabidiol for the Reduction of Cue-Induced Craving and Anxiety in Drug-Abstinent Individuals With Heroin Use Disorder: A Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. American Journal of Psychiatry, 176(11), 911-922. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2019.18101191

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Is CBD Safe for People With Cancer? (2020, September 22). Cancer.Net. https://www.cancer.net/blog/2020-09/cbd-safe-people-with-cancer

Jadoon, K. A., Tan, G. D., & O'Sullivan, S. E. (2017). A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomised crossover study. JCI Insight, 2(12). https://doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.93760

Leimuranta, P., Khiroug, L., & Giniatullin, R. (2018). Emerging Role of (Endo)Cannabinoids in Migraine. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 9. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2018.00420

Nam, G., Jeong, S. K., Park, B. M., Lee, S. H., Kim, H. J., Hong, S.-P., Kim, B., & Kim, B.-W. (2016). Selective Cannabinoid Receptor-1 Agonists Regulate Mast Cell Activation in an Oxazolone-Induced Atopic Dermatitis Model. Annals of Dermatology, 28(1), 22-29. https://doi.org/10.5021/ad.2016.28.1.22

Ostlund, R. E. (2002). Phytosterols in Human Nutrition. Annual Review of Nutrition, 22(1), 533-549. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.nutr.22.020702.075220

Pietta, P.-G. (2000). Flavonoids as Antioxidants. Journal of Natural Products, 63(7), 1035-1042. https://doi.org/10.1021/np9904509

Price, R. L., Charlot, K. V., Frieler, S., Dettori, J. R., Oskouian, R., & Chapman, J. R. (2022). The Efficacy of Cannabis in Reducing Back Pain: A Systematic Review. Global Spine Journal, 12(2), 343-352. https://doi.org/10.1177/21925682211065411

Prud'homme, M., Cata, R., & Jutras-Aswad, D. (2015). Cannabidiol as an Intervention for Addictive Behaviors: A Systematic Review of the Evidence. Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment, 9, SART.S25081. https://doi.org/10.4137/SART.S25081

The anti-inflammatory effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on acne-PMC. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9078861/

Shannon, S., & Opila-Lehman, J. (2016). Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report. The Permanente Journal, 20(4), 16-005. https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/16-005

Sultan, S. R., O'Sullivan, S. E., & England, T. J. (2020). The effects of acute and sustained cannabidiol dosing for seven days on the haemodynamics in healthy men: A randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 86(6), 1125-1138. https://doi.org/10.1111/bcp.14225

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Meet the team
Ludwig Jelonek - Author

Natu.Care Editor

Ludwik Jelonek is the author of more than 2,500 texts published on leading portals. His content has found its way into services such as Ostrovit and Kobieta Onet. At Natu.Care, Ludwik educates people in the most important area of life - health.

Ilona Bush - Reviewed by

Master of Pharmacy

Verified by an expert

Ilona Krzak obtained her Master of Pharmacy degree from the Medical University of Wrocław. She did her internship in a hospital pharmacy and in the pharmaceutical industry. She is currently working in the profession and also runs an educational profile on Instagram: @pani_z_apteki

Michael Tomaszewski - Edited by

Editor

Michael Tomaszewski

Graduate of Journalism and Artes Liberales at the University of Warsaw. Since 2017, he has been working with the biggest portals in Poland and abroad as an editor. Previously worked for 3 years in one of the leading pharmaceutical companies - he knows the health and beauty industry inside out. In his free time, he most enjoys playing tennis or skiing.

Matthew Podlecki - Fact-checking

Natu.Care Editor

At Natu.Care, she educates about healthy lifestyles and debunks dangerous myths, contrasting them with the results of the latest scientific research. Additionally, she is interested in new technologies and their impact on health and everyday life.

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