How Does CBD Work In Our Bodies?
How does CBD work? How do different CBD products work within us? This amazing plant chemical can calm you down, reduce stress, relieve pain, and treat some physical health problems, but how does it affect the brain and the rest of the body to produce these effects?
Cannabidiol (CBD) works in complex ways that we are still trying to figure out. It affects many parts of the brain, including our cannabinoid receptors which we will get into later.
TL;DR – CBD works by interacting with a vast collection of different cells and receptors throughout our bodies that make up the Endocannabinoid System.
How Does CBD Work?
CBD works by interacting with different receptors within our body, known as the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. We’ll get into these later on in this article. It is also believed that CBD mimics the effects of serotonin. Serotonin is a powerful chemical that stabilizes your mood. CBD oil products act as an effective substitute for serotonin and can help people who have a serotonin deficiency.
All of these things put together make CBD a powerful, natural alternative to many of the harmful medications on the market.
CBD and Serotonin
Serotonin is one of the most important or the most important “happiness chemicals” that your nerve cells produce. The chemical lifts and stabilizes your mood and increases energy levels.
Many different chemicals affect how you think and feel, with serotonin being one of the most important. Serotonin is found mostly in your digestive system and in your central nervous system, not in your brain, though it is there as well.
Serotonin does a bit of everything. It helps you sleep, makes you feel better, makes your bones healthier, and even helps your wounds heal.
Raising levels of serotonin often eliminates depression and anxiety. It is a powerful feel-good chemical that everyone needs and benefits from. You can improve your life by raising levels of serotonin with CBD or in any other way.
Serotonin is great for your emotional stability. Your mood won’t swing wildly as a result of small events, especially not negative events. Serotonin also improves your focus.
What Does CBD Do?
Since CBD does not affect the brain the way THC does, it does not get you high. We do not yet fully understand how CBD works, but we know that it works in several ways, including:
- CBD affects serotonin receptors. Serotonin, to oversimplify, is a chemical that makes you happy. CBD mimics the effect of serotonin, giving it an anti-anxiety effect.
- CBD interacts with the TRPV1 receptor, which affects inflammation, body temperature, and perception of pain. Many other plant medicines work by interacting with other TRPV receptors, which there are dozens of.
- CBD is anti-inflammatory. CBD activates the endocannabinoid system, which has all sorts of advantages, including treating rheumatoid arthritis as a topical lotion, or help relieve back pain.
- CBD also indirectly deactivates or blocks the GPR55 receptor. The GPR55 receptor is associated with cancer cell growth and bone loss.
- CBD makes you more sensitive to GABA, a calming neurotransmitter. Sensitivity to GABA can treat anxiety.
- CBD prevents the reuptake (reabsorption) of certain neurotransmitters. Preventing reuptake causes these neurotransmitters to build up in the brain, which can treat certain mental health problems.
CBD and THC are not the only things that trigger our endocannabinoid system. Your body will use this system even if you never use any cannabis plant products. Your endocannabinoid system works on natural chemicals that your body produces, called endocannabinoids.
While your endocannabinoid system is stimulated by these natural chemicals, it can also be stimulated by cannabinoids such as CBD and THC.
Sometimes, a person is deficient in natural endocannabinoids. When you take THC or CBD, you may improve your health by making up for this deficiency within your endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system affects sleep, mood, appetite, memory, and fertility. We do not yet know very much about the endocannabinoid system, but THC and CBD can presumably treat any kind of disorder that a cannabinoid deficiency causes.
The Brain and Cannabinoid Receptors Explained
While THC directly stimulates two cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) located throughout the human body, CBD works in a different way – or so we think.
Interesting fact: immune cells as part of our immune system actually have CB receptors.
Sleep is a popular example of many benefits that these receptors can help with. However, sleep isn’t the only form of relief, this is just one example.
In the human body, cannabinoids are broken down by enzymes. CBD prevents these enzymes from working normally, keeping the cannabinoids in the body. This has many physical and mental health benefits for many people.
Research on how CBD interacts with the brain and endocannabinoid system is limited and in its early stages. It was not even discovered until the 1990s and is still some what mysterious. Read the article in the link above for more information on this system.
List of Potential CBD Health Benefits
People use CBD for many different benefits. There is scientific evidence in favor of many of these benefits.
Other benefits the human body may experience are only believed to be true without any medical studies. Even a list of health benefits that there is some scientific evidence for is extensive:
- Stress relief
- Chronic pain relief
- Minor pain relief
- Better sleep
- Reduced inflammation
- Promotes stable mood and emotions
- Improved digestion (this makes sense because serotonin affects digestion)
- Improved metabolism
- Better motor coordination
- Faster learning and sharper memory
- Better cardiovascular health
- Muscle growth
- Bone growth
- Improved reproductive function
- Improved liver function
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