Science breaks down how receptors in our body interact with CBD
CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors and helps increase the amount of endocannabinoids in the body. Endocannabinoids are part of our ECS (endocannabinoid system.)
CBD and other cannabis compounds, known as phytocannabinoids, work by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex network of endcannabinoids, enzymes, and cannabinoid receptors that regulate homeostasis, a state in which physiological processes in the body are stable.
What is CB1 and CB2?
The ECS is composed of two receptors: CB1 and CB2, each with a unique function in our body. CB1 receptors are mainly found in the brain and central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are mainly found in the immune cells, such as the tonsils and spleen, and also the skin. Activating these receptors affects the release of cytokines responsible for immune and inflammatory responses.
Endocannabinoids are naturally produced in the human body, but when they are not enough, plant-derived cannabinoids can help the body achieve homeostasis. Cannabinoids have been used to help treat a variety of symptoms and conditions including anxiety, depression, chronic pain, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, psoriasis, acne, IBS and gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer-related nausea and vomiting.
cannabinoids and receptors
When cannabinoids bind to receptors, the body reacts by inhibiting or stimulating the formation of chemicals in cells, opening or closing ion channels in cells, and affecting various biological processes such as pain modulation, appetite, anti-inflammatory effects, immune system responses, memory, mood, and sleep.
CBD, in particular, does not directly bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors but instead has indirect effects by influencing the binding capacity of the cannabinoids to receptors. CBD is a non-intoxicating compound that has enormous medical potential. It works as a receptor agonist by blocking receptors so that other cannabinoids cannot bind with them.
When paired with THC, CBD can help reduce THC’s negative side effects, including anxiety, intoxication, and increased heart rate. For this reason, CBD is a popular and non-intoxicating alternative to THC-based medicine.
In the body, CBD turns off signals that make the body stop the production of cannabinoids, resulting in an increase in endocannabinoids being produced. It also inhibits the reuptake of endocannabinoids, improving the overall efficiency of your ECS, blocks alpha-adrenergic receptors, lowering blood pressure, and reduces dopamine signaling in the brain, minimizing the effects of THC.
In conclusion, understanding the endocannabinoid system and how CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the body is essential to understanding the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids. By targeting the ECS, CBD and other cannabinoids have shown promising results in helping to treat a variety of symptoms and conditions.