Cannabidoil known as ‘CBD’ is easily the most studied cannabinoid of more than 113 known cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. CBD is non-psychotropic, this means CBD will not get you high. CBD is thought to be the most important cannabinoid ever discovered. With new research the list of its benefits continues to grow, giving new hope to patients suffering from a multitude of symptoms.
The human body has an extensive network of receptors, called the endocannabinoid system (also knows as ‘ECS’). The main function of this system is to help our body stay balanced and in good overall health. CBD and other cannabinoids bind to and regulate receptors of the endocannabinoid system, supporting many of the bodies important physical processes. Endocannabinoid system receptors are found throughout the body, including in the brain. Cannabinoid receptors control sensations in the body and mind which interact with phytocannabinoids from the hemp plant. These receptors are produced by the brain to be used in the body as required. The receptors are categorized as CB1 and CB2. Some sensations under the control of receptors include:
As well as indirectly influencing CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBD can increase the body’s level of naturally produced cannabinoids by tackling the enzymes that otherwise break them down.
- CB1: Found in the brain and central nervous system and several other parts of the body.
- CB2: Located throughout the body on cells associated with the human immune system.
While the CB1 receptors are associated with the central nervous system, they are also found in the lungs, liver, and kidneys. One of the main functions is the release of neurotransmitters. The CB2 receptor controls important features of the immune system such as immune suppression and apoptosis. CB2 also modulates the pain sensation.
The endocannabinoid system (also known as ‘ECS’) is a network of receptors located in the brain, and throughout the central and peripheral nervous system. These receptors are more commonly referred to as CB1 and CB2, which produce two main cannabinoids: 2AG and Anandmide. The ECS plays a crucial role in maintaining homeostasis of the body, regulating our physiology, mood, and everyday experience. The endocannabinoid system is believed to be the biggest neurotransmitter system in the body. Overall, the endocanabinoid system could play a role in:
- Bone Development
- Pain Perception
- Immune Function
- Motor Control
The main purposes of the endocannabinoid system are:
- Stress Recovery
- Immune Balance
- Neuro protection
- Creating a good energy balance
Research has shown that CBD may influence a host of non-cannabinoid receptors in the brain. CBD may interact with receptors sensitive to numerous drugs and neurotransmitters. One of the most significant discoveries is CBD’s potential for impact on opioid receptors which are involved in pain regulation. Our opioid receptors are the primary targets of strong painkillers and drugs such as heroin and morphine. CBD may also interact with: Dopamine Receptors: They play a crucial role in the regulation of cognition and behaviour such as reward seeking and motivation. Serotonin System: According to an increasing number of studies, CBD may directly activate several serotonin receptors in the brain. CBD could potentially be capable of reducing drug addiction as it decreases the desire to take drugs. CBD’s impact on the serotonin system may also explain why it could possesses anti-anxiety properties. Adenosine Receptor: By stimulating adenosine, CBD may help release glutamate and dopamine neurotransmitters. Glutamate is involved in cognition, memory formation, and learning among other things. Overall activating adenosine could lead to a reduction in inflammation and anxiety. There is still plenty more research to be done but all the early signs point towards CBD having the ability to produce a wide range of medical benefits.