As a nonpsychoactive natural chemical compound, CBD is getting increasingly popular with time for its numerous health benefits. CBD has founded a firm ground and a new platform of herbal and natural treatments for its exceptional health healing qualities and anti-inflammatory properties without any severe side effects. Extracted from the stalks, flowers, and buds or leaves of the hemp plant, CBD gets pressed into oil and used to treat and even prevent a wide array of health issues. CBD oil is undoubtedly more effective and more natural than most non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. This quality makes CBD an appealing option for those looking for relief from pain and other symptoms without the mind-altering effects of marijuana or certain pharmaceutical drugs. CBD oil is produced by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant and diluting it with a coconut or hemp seed oil-like carrier oil. It’s gaining inspiration and strength for market expansion in the health and wellness world. Some scientific studies confirm that it may ease symptoms of ailments like chronic pain and anxiety.
Now, you may ask – how does CBD work in the body? The answer is not possible in a word. To know it, you have to know several things first, such as cannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, the endocannabinoid system, its constituents, and the functional relations among them. This article will help you know more than your desired answer with appropriate explanations. Read this article to know all about how CBD oil works in the body, or how CBD works in the human body,
What is CBD?
CBD is the short form of cannabidiol, a naturally occurring cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. CBD is one of the most famous cannabinoids discovered in Cannabis Sativa plants in 1940. CBD is now a trustworthy and desired natural medication, significantly to gain relief from muscle pains and inflammations with some other aspects. CBD is an essential chemical compound and a feasible alternative for medicines to treat many different conditions like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, dementia, nerve and muscle pain, weight loss, and chemotherapy side effects.
As for the sources, Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa are two main types of Cannabis plants. While CBD is derived from both, CBD hemp is extracted from Cannabis Sativa plants only. CBD is a well-known compound or nonpsychoactive and non-intoxicating cannabinoid of Cannabis Sativa plants. However, unlike CBD from the cannabis plant- marijuana, CBD hemp does not contain a high concentration of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)- another famous compound but responsible for the psychoactive effects of causing “high” in the human body. THC also has a similar chemical structure that comes from the same group of marijuana plants. The molecular structure of CBD has 30 hydrogen atoms, two oxygen atoms, and 21 carbon atoms (C21H30O2). Roger Adams, the Harvard University alumni, was the first to bring out the healing properties of a Cannabis sativa plant.
The CBD-loving proponents adore the compound for its wide range of medical benefits, including treatments of Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate the purity or safety of the substance, CBD is considered safe. The most efficient way to acquire CBD is through carbon dioxide extraction. This expensive method uses carbon dioxide to separate CBD oil from plant matter. The combination of a highly pressed environment and low temperatures maximizes the quantity of CBD extracted during the process.
CBD products are made from either full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate cannabidiol. Full-spectrum CBD is produced from the cannabis plant and carries terpenes, trivial cannabinoids, and trace levels of THC. In comparison, broad-spectrum CBD carries a similar range of cannabis matter, excluding THC. And isolate CBD is separated from all other components and made to a pure powder form. Some common forms of CBD are as follows:
CBD oil: CBD oil is the most common and favorite form of CBD among users. CBD extract gets mixed into an oil carrier, for example- coconut oil, and forms a tincture. The tincture is easy to ingest orally or to apply to the whole body.
Edibles: CBD can be marinated or made into edible products, like chocolate, gummy candy, and other candies and foods.
Capsules, pills, and sprays: A fun way to ingest CBD as a capsule, pill, or oral spray.
Creams and lotions: Some CBD-infused lotions and creams are great for using externally on the body skin.
Vaping: It is the quickest and easiest way to gain the vital effects of CBD by taking in vaporized CBD oil with an e-cigarette.
How Does CBD Work in The Body?
So, how does CBD work in the human body? There is an endogenous cannabinoid system within your body. It means that cannabinoid receptors exist all over your organs and tissues of skin, joints, nerves, lungs, and brain. When needed, CBD blocks some of the effects of those nerves and organs, resulting in less pain. Inhaled CBD gets into the bloodstream the fastest depending on the usage, while edibles take a little longer to enter your system. Entering into the body cells, CBD works by interacting with your body through the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Mainly the three components- endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes create the ECS. CBD reconstructs your body by interacting with the ECS. By inspiring the ECS receptors, CBD allows the body to create its cannabinoids. All types of cannabinoids can grow different effects in the body by interacting with cannabinoid receptors, by taking part in the endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoid receptors are found all over the human body, attached in the cell membranes, responsible for regulating multiple processes that we experience daily, including mood, appetite, memory, and pain sensation. These receptors can be activated by naturally occurring endocannabinoids (created in the body) or phytocannabinoids (like CBD) found in hemp and cannabis.
Two primary cannabinoid receptors are available– CB1 and CB2 receptors. However, researchers speculate that there may be a third cannabinoid receptor waiting to be discovered.
CB1 receptors: CB1 receptors are prevalent in the brain and central nervous system but rarely occupy other parts of our bodies. CB1 receptors perform dealing with thinking, mood, appetite, memories, pain, emotion, movement, coordination, and several other functions. THC binds easily with these receptors.
CB2 receptors: CB2 receptors are available mainly in the peripheral organs, especially cells related to the immune system. CB2 receptors are great for fighting inflammation and pain.
Although scientists once thought and believed that CBD got attached to the CB2 receptors, some new studies have found that CBD does not attach directly to either receptor. Now, it is supposed that CBD influences the endocannabinoid system indirectly. We all know that CBD performs many outstanding beneficial traits ranging from relieving anxiety to pain and even having anti-cancer properties.
How Does CBD Oil Work in the Body?
You should know that CBD oil is a potent cannabinoid and a significant element of the endocannabinoid system too. CBD oil can bind with the receptors in your body and help in the suppression of pain. One of the dominant CBD oil effects is to reduce chronic pain. CBD oil directly influences endocannabinoid activity and can be used as a very useful and long-term analgesia. It can also fight and suppress inflammation.
How Does CBD Enter the Human Cell?
How Does CBD Penetrate a Human Cell to Bind to an Atomic or Cannabinoid Receptor as an External Plant Compound? Firstly it has to go through the cell membrane by kicking off a ride with a fatty acid-binding protein (FABP), which escorts various lipid molecules into the cell’s interior. These intracellular conveyer molecules also accompany tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the brain’s marijuana-like molecules, the endocannabinoids anandamide, and 2AG across the membrane to several targets within the cell. CBD and THC regulate the nucleus’s surface receptors, which modulate gene expression and mitochondrial activity.
CBD and Your Endocannabinoid System
CBD is a natural non-intoxicating cannabinoid that performs as a pleiotropic drug and produces many effects through multiple molecular pathways. Pleiotropy refers to the expression of multiple impacts by a single gene.
You have already learned that CBD doesn’t directly interact with the two cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. But many cannabinoids, such as THC or CBG, can interact with them directly. CBD interacts with endocannabinoids. Endo means endogenous or internal, and these internal cannabinoid receptors are considered “endogenous cannabinoids” as the extrinsic cannabinoids interact with them.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a neuromodulatory biological system consisting of endocannabinoids and enzymes. They take part in occurring the synthesis and degradation of endocannabinoids. This system performs vital services in central nervous system (CNS) development, synaptic plasticity, and the response to endogenous and environmental insults.
The endocannabinoids- also known as endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters- can perform actions by making them bind with cannabinoid receptors (CBRs) and cannabinoid receptor proteins. These are released via the vertebrate central nervous system (getting added with the brain) and peripheral nervous system. The endocannabinoid system can be involved in controlling different physiological and cognitive processes. Virtually, the ECS acts as a unique communication system between the brain and body by affecting many essential functions like- how a person feels, moves, and reacts.
The body releases some different natural chemicals to continue interactions within the EC system. These chemicals are also called cannabinoids. These cannabinoids take part in interacting with receptors to regulate those essential body functions. When you take CBD, it goes into your cells and to the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Since CBD has no particular binding affinity, scientists believe CBD’s therapeutic benefits come from indirect action.
CBD suppresses fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) from breaking down anandamide and weakening it. CBD inhibits and weakens FAAH, which leads to an increased concentration of anandamide. Anandamide is regarded as the “bliss molecule” as it plays an essential role in generating pleasure and motivation. The enhanced concentration of anandamide may leave a positive effect on the endocannabinoid system.
CBD also affects the fatty acid-binding protein (FABP). BindIng to anandamide, FABP proteins carry the enzyme outside the synapse so that FAAH can break down and metabolize it. CBD affects the transportation process of FABP to metabolize less anandamide. Thus, resulting in a higher concentration of anandamide again.
Finally, CBD attaches itself to the G-protein receptors called TRPV-1. TRPV-1 receptors are associated with regulating pain, body temperature, and inflammation. Scientists think that CBD helps with inflammation and pain relief through this binding.
However, researchers have made their minds that the Endocannabinoid System works to regulate processes like:
- Motor control
- Immune function
- Reproduction and fertility
- Pleasure and reward
- Temperature regulation
The endocannabinoid system can control these areas only when working right. If this system fails, we will see an increase in disease and disorders like migraines, fibromyalgia, and IBS.
The Bottom Line
CBD is one of the many phytocannabinoids present in cannabis plants. It works excellently in the human body resulting in numerous health benefits. This natural chemical compound CBD has a wide range of potential mental and physical benefits, especially against stress, anxiety, depression, epilepsy, pain, and inflammation. Understanding what CBD does in the body or how CBD oil works in the human body should be the first step to responsible usage. Although there are unknowns and studies are yet insufficient, CBD is a viable form of treatment.
The endocannabinoid system is a complex network of receptors that signal the body to maintain a state of functional balance called “homeostasis.” Yet, it lets us enjoy the benefits of endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids, like CBD, for therapeutic and recreational purposes. Though there is an information gap, growing research will develop our understanding of pure CBD and support many medical claims. We are likely to see more thorough studies soon.
Carlos B. graduated from Oxford in 2014 after pursuing biological sciences, and his passion has been so much about health and lifestyle. He later quits his career as a health consultant to focus on writing. His love for hemp and endless possibilities, including the practical medicinal functions in making CBD is among the reasons he now writes about it. Carlos is an informative writer that delivers timely content about hemp, its uses, and its potentials of hemp. He enjoys his leisure time visiting the people suffering neurological conditions and advises them on the best practices that can change their lives.