How Does CBD Work?


Cannabis is well-known to permeate a wide array of physiological effects. These effects are due to cannabinoids, a group of complex chemical compounds. Scientists have found over 100 various cannabinoids, but two of the most well-researched and well-known are CBD and THC. CBD, or cannabidiol, has been gaining popularity because of its potential beneficial effects it has on the mind and body.

How CBD Works

The exact way in which CBD works in the body is still being researched. However, it's known you have CB1 and CB2 receptors in your body that are possibly involved, and it's also known that your body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS). Other research indicates activity at the glycine receptors, 5-HT1a receptor, GPR55 receptors ,and inhibition of adenosine might be involved. 

Cannabinoids bind to your ECS receptors throughout your body in cell membranes. 

Endocannabinoids and their receptors act in different ways in various types of tissues. But, no matter where they're located in your body, they all have the same goal: homeostasis. This is a state of stability and balance. As conditions inside and outside of your body change, your body has to adapt and react to return itself back to a balanced state. The ECS is one of the mechanisms your body uses to return to homeostasis.

CBD increases your body's production of its own cannabinoids. It blocks the enzymes that could break them down.

Basically, CBD and other cannabinoids are classified as phytocannabinoids, meaning they're derived from plants. However, you should know about the other types of cannabinoids, too.

For instance, the cannabinoids produced within your body's ECS are called endocannabinoids. These are:

  • Virodhamine
  • Arachidonoylethanolamine
  • Anandamide
  • And many others

There are also synthetic cannabinoids which are cannabinoids that are manufactured through chemical reactions in laboratories. Each type of cannabinoid interacts with your body in various ways. CBD, for instance, indirectly affects your endocannabinoid receptors. It also influences other common body and brain receptors as well as your serotonin receptors that help regulate your mood and opioid receptors that help to regulate your sensation of pain.

What Does CBD Treat?

There's also evidence CBD works for certain conditions, but definitely not for all the conditions it's being promoted for today. For example, there's no evidence it "cures cancer." It helps improve cancer symptoms, but that's it. There's also moderate evidence CBD helps improve things like:

  • Multiple sclerosis-related muscle spasticity
  • Sleep disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Fibromyalgia pain

Treating anxiety, sleep disorders, and pain seems to be the conditions that most benefit from CBD. Many individuals report a definite response to CBD for when using it for anxiety. It also seems to have fewer side effects than regular anxiety medicines.Numerous individuals report success with CBD for reaching a desired state of relaxation and calm.

CBD also has powerful antioxidant properties.

But, each individual is different, and since CBD's effects are still being studied, you should do your own research before you incorporate CBD into your everyday life.

Side Effects of CBD

CBD is generally safe and well-tolerated, according to the World Health Organization. And, in humans, it doesn't exhibit any effects indicative of any dependence or abuse potential.

Again, each individual is different, and they respond to things in different ways. So, it's possible you could experience some side effects when using CBD. A few possible side effects you could experience with CBD are: 

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Irritability

You'll want to pay attention to how your body reacts to your use of CBD, and consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

While there is a slight potential of experiencing side effects when using CBD, you won't have to worry about experiencing a "high" like you would with THC. This is because CBD isn't psychoactive like THC and doesn't cause any euphoric side effects. Since most CBD products have very little to no THC in them, they won't cause any mood-altering effects often linked with cannabis.

Today, there are so many different types of supplements on the market, but, CBD stands out as a naturally soothing and calming supplement, even though it is new on the scene. Also, researchers are staying open to the potential of wider CBD applications in the near future.

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