The curiosity surrounding CBD has been growing every single day. With a global pandemic and the ease of finding information on the internet, people are searching for answers about CBD more and more.
So we’re going to start with the very basics and discuss how CBD works in your body.
Knowing exactly what CBD is and what it does once it enters your system is important in deciding whether or not it’s the right option for you. So let’s take a closer look at the human body and how CBD affects it.
What is CBD?
CBD stands for Cannabidiol, one of the most well-known cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant alongside THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). It is the non-psychoactive compound in marijuana, the part that doesn’t make you feel high but provides health benefits.
Extracting CBD from hemp plants can be done in a multitude of ways. The most efficient uses carbon dioxide to extract the oil from the plant matter, though it is more expensive and takes longer than other methods.
The way CBD affects your body is by interacting with the endocannabinoid system and its receptors.
The Endocannabinoid System
Discovered in the 90’s, the endocannabinoid system is still somewhat new in the world of science and there’s still a lot to be discovered about it. This system is incredibly complex and plays a role in your everyday life whether you use CBD or not.
This system consists of receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids that work together to regulate processes such as sleep, mood, appetite, and many more.
There are two main receptors in your endocannabinoid system — CB1 and CB2. They are affected by different cannabinoids which bind to them. While CBD doesn’t exactly fit either receptor, it still has powerful indirect effects on both which lead to multiple health benefits.
CB1 is present in your brain and central nervous system. These receptors have an influence over your mood, appetite, pain, emotion, movement, and other functions.
THC is the key to unlocking the CB1 receptor, though it’s not the only cannabinoid that can have an effect on it. THCV, a cannabinoid similar to THC in structure, can block your CB1 receptor, effectively suppressing your appetite.
That’s why recipes rich in THCV are perfect for weight loss.
CB2 receptors are found in the peripheral nervous system and have an influence over your immune system by helping with inflammation and pain.
It was once believed that CBD attached to CB2 receptors but that’s no longer the case. CBN (cannabinol) can attach to these receptors but CBD only has an indirect influence over both receptors.
Effects of CBD on the Human Body
CBD affects your body in many beneficial ways. Because it’s non-psychoactive, it can be put to use in a variety of therapeutic practices.
TRPV1 plays a big role in the way your body interprets pain. Prolonged activation of this receptor works to decrease pain and reduce inflammation by blocking those signals.
That’s where the CBD comes in.
When CBD activates your TRPV1 receptors, it blocks pain signals from reaching the rest of your body. It provides relief from discomfort, swelling, and aches that may come along with short-term or chronic illnesses.
Consuming CBD increases the production of a molecule called Anandamide. This neurotransmitter resides in your brain and is only produced when there is a need for it. It has an influence on the parts of your brain that control happiness, pleasure, and sensory functions.
When you introduce CBD, it increases Anandamide production, which then tells your brain to create more dopamine, which makes you feel better.
Anandamide also plays a role in regulating your mood, reducing pain, managing stress levels, and helping you sleep better. Along with CBD, you can help your body produce more Anandamide through exercise, acupuncture, or eating chocolate, fruits, and vegetables.
A lot of studies are being done every day about the effects CBD has on a range of illnesses. There has been some evidence to suggest it could help in the treatment of a variety of diseases.
There’s research being done on how CBD may be useful in treating symptoms of diabetes, seizures, Alzheimers, and cancer, among other things.
While this research has shown promising results in many instances, there is still a lot of studying to be done. However, evidence continues to mount showing the positive benefits of CBD on the body.
We don’t know everything there is to know about CBD or the endocannabinoid system yet but all the signs point to amazing things. One thing is for sure, CBD affects your entire body and can be really helpful for a lot of different reasons.
Knowing how CBD works in the human body is a good first step in using it responsibly.