Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of a number of molecules that cannabis plants produce. The CBD components within cannabis plants are second in number only to THC, which are the parts that produce a euphoric or “stoned” effect. Each of these types of molecules offers a different reaction on the body, but for our purposes here we will discuss only CBD.
What Are Cannabinoid Receptors?
Cannabinoid receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system and are located throughout the body, embedded in cell membranes. The endocannabinoid system is part of many physiological body processes; these include appetite, mood, memory and pain sensation. Our bodies produce endocannabinoids to stimulate these cannabinoid receptors.
What Does CBD Do in the Endocannabinoid System?
The endocannabinoid system in the body exists to respond to internal cannabinoids that the body produces. However, scientists and researchers have discovered that this system also recognizes and responds to external cannabinoids. In fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that introducing external cannabinoids (CBD) is useful in treating a variety of medical ailments.
CBD stimulates activity in the body’s endocannabinoid receptors present throughout the body, offering a systemic effect. The activation of adenosine by CBD is what gives the substance its anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety effects.
What Effects Can CBD Have on the Body?
Cannabinoids vary, and some interact heartily with CB receptors and cause strong effects. These include regulating mood and helping with concentration, easing pain and inflammation, and producing the feeling of euphoria, especially with cannabinoids that have high levels of THC.
CBD typically has more indirect effects on the endocannabinoid system.
External vs. Internal Cannabinoids
The endocannabinoid system works primarily with our internally produced cannabinoids. However, when external cannabinoids are introduced, cannabinoid receptors send signals that interconnect to coordinate with all bodily functions. CB1 receptors regulate senses, while CB2 regulates the peripheral nervous system and gastrointestinal response, which are separate functions with internal cannabinoids.
What Effects Does CBD Have?
There are many scientific reasons for the way that CBD works in the body, and most of CBD’s effects have been well-documented and proven. Although CBD interacts mildly with the body’s cannabinoid receptors directly, it can assist other cannabinoids to absorb more easily, or it can ease those effects that make them work less effectively. CBD’s indirect, but very positive, effects have been shown to boost nearly every function of cannabinoid receptors and provide far-reaching, soothing and relaxing effects.