How does CBD work?
Many of us have considered the use of CBD products, but as we are unsure of how it works we are put off the idea, regardless of whether it would work or not. To better understand why you should take CBD, it’s best to know how it works within your body.
How CBD Reacts with the Body
Within our bodies we have something called the endocannabinoid system. It runs deep and touches all the major systems of our body. Cannabinoids usually found in cannabis interact with the endocannabinoid system, making changes to our bodies such as altering and regulating our moods or stimulating appetites and reducing pain. CBD is one of the cannabinoids which is highly reactive to the endocannabinoid system, as it binds to the receptors in the body. It stimulates all sorts of changes and these are mostly beneficial, such as reducing pain. THC activates the CB1 and CB2 receptors, while CBD does not directly stimulate these receptors.
CB1 and CB2 Receptors
The receptors are activated by endocannabinoids and are grouped into two main categories, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are mostly found in the central nervous system and can also be found in the liver, kidneys and lungs. Whereas CB2 receptors are part of the immune system and are also found in the hematopoietic blood cells. The CB1 receptors play a part in the psychoactive effects of THC. This compound stimulates the receptors releasing neurotransmitters and ultimately, “gets you high”. As well as this, CB1 receptors are involved in the lipogenesis process that takes place inside the liver, playing a role in the maintenance of the body’s equilibrium.
CB2 receptors affect the immune system. Studies suggest that it modulates the pain sensation, meaning it could play a role in various diseases such as liver and kidney problems and neurodegenerative diseases.
How does CBD work within the body?
CBD does not stimulate the CB1 and CB2 receptors; it activates other receptors within the body such as vanilloid, adenosine and serotonin. By activating the vanilloid receptor, cannabidiol plays a role in the mediation of body temperature, pain perception and inflammation. CBD then inhibits the FAAH enzyme, a compound that activates the CB1 receptor. CBD in return minimises the activation of CB1 by THC, reducing its psychoactive effects.
The use of highly concentrated CBD has shown to activate the serotonin receptor, producing high levels of anti-depressant effects. The same receptor is also involved in a number of processes from anxiety, appetite, pain perception and nausea to sleep and addiction mechanisms.
The anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory effects of cannabidiol is due to the activation of the adenosine receptors. These receptors are also involved in the release of dopamine and glutamate, two neurotransmitters that play major roles inside the body. Dopamine is connected to motor control, cognition, reward mechanisms and motivation. While glutamate is connected to learning, cognition, being involved in memory and excitatory signals.
CBD blocks the CPR55 signalling, which decreases bone-absorption and cancer proliferation. It is present inside the brain and is linked with the modulation of bone density and blood pressure.
As mentioned, CBD blocks the psychoactive effects of THC. The positive effects of cannabidiol are not dependent on the presence of THC. This means you can take advantage of the health benefits of CBD, without also having to consume THC.