How Does CBD Work?
CBD seems to have quite a few benefits for health & wellness, but how is that possible?
The Endocannabinoid System
CBD works by interacting with a system in the body called the endocannabinoid system (or ECS). The endocannabinoid system is made up of a network of neurotransmitters and receptors that can be found all over the body. The two main kinds of receptors present in the endocannabinoid system are CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain and seem to play a critical role in things like muscle spasms, sleep patterns, chronic pain, and appetite stimulation. On the other hand, CB2 receptors exist in the immune system and vascular system and appear to be primarily responsible for inflammation.
CBD + The ECS
Neurotransmitters naturally found in the endocannabinoid system are nearly identical to cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. That means your body naturally creates compounds similar to cannabinoids! This is what allows cannabinoids like CBD and THC to interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system- because CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids are so similar to the neurotransmitters naturally released by our endocannabinoid system, they’re able to act similarly in the body. The endocannabinoid system helps regulate a lot of things, like the immune system, fight-or-flight responses (and other psychological responses), neurogenesis (new cell production), and more. A review published in 2006 states that:
“Modulating the activity of the endocannabinoid system turned out to hold therapeutic promise in a wide range of disparate diseases and pathological conditions, ranging from mood and anxiety disorders, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, to cancer, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, hypertension, glaucoma, obesity/metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis.”(9).
CBD is capable of modulating the activity of the endocannabinoid system, and although more research is needed to know exactly what CBD can and can’t do, the implications here are major. Many of the conditions listed above are ones where treatments are sorely lacking, and the potential that CBD shows now could mean life-changing options in the future.
Why CBD Is Best
While multiple cannabinoids could have this potential impact on health, there’s a big reason why CBD might be preferable over THC. CBD is non-psychoactive. It can’t get you stoned, so you can take CBD & feel improvements to your health, without any unwanted side effects. THC makes a direct bond with CB1 receptors, which is what allows it to be psychoactive (causing a high). CBD only makes an indirect bond with the same receptors, so it can impact the endocannabinoid system, but can’t get you stoned. The indirect interaction that CBD has with endocannabinoid receptors is what gives it the potential to do so much good in the body- while, at the same time, preventing it from getting you high. From a wellness standpoint, this makes CBD the ideal cannabinoid for people searching for the beneficial side of cannabis, but not the recreational side.
For people who want to feel better, without feeling altered. CBD is here for you.