What is CBD and How Does it Work in the Body?

By
Alan Carter

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant species. It is one of over 100 different cannabinoids found in the plant and has gained a lot of attention in recent years for its potential therapeutic properties.

Hemp, unlike marijuana, contains only trace amounts of THC and is therefore not considered to be a psychoactive substance. Hemp is now legal in many countries, including the United States, and is widely used for various purposes, including the production of CBD oil and other products.

Unlike its more famous sibling, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is non-psychoactive and does not cause the “high” commonly associated with cannabis use. Instead, it is said to offer a range of benefits for physical and mental health.

This is because THC acts on the CB1 receptors in the brain to produce its psychoactive effects, while CBD does not have a significant affinity for these receptors. In fact, CBD has been shown to counteract the psychoactive effects of THC by acting on the CB1 receptors differently. It is now available in a variety of forms, including oil, tinctures, creams, and edibles.

What is CBD and What does CBD do in the body?

To understand what does CBD do in the body, we need to look at the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The human body contains an endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex network of receptors and neurotransmitters that regulates various functions, including mood, appetite, sleep, and pain.

The ECS is believed to play a crucial role in maintaining homeostasis or balance in the body. CBD works by interacting with the ECS and its receptors. It is thought to influence the production of endocannabinoids, naturally occurring compounds produced by the body that interact with the ECS. By modulating the ECS, CBD may help to regulate various physiological processes, including pain, inflammation, and anxiety.

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Ways in which CBD Interacts with ECS to Provide Therapeutic Benefits

CBD interacts with the ECS in a number of different ways to provide therapeutic benefits, including:

Inhibiting the breakdown of anandamide

Anandamide is a neurotransmitter produced by the body that acts on the CB1 receptors in the brain. CBD has been shown to inhibit the breakdown of anandamide, increasing its levels in the body and potentially enhancing its effects. By increasing the levels of anandamide in the body, CBD can help to reduce pain, improve mood, and regulate appetite and sleep.

Activating the 5-HT1A receptor

The 5-HT1A receptor is involved in regulating anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders. CBD has been shown to activate this receptor, potentially providing therapeutic benefits for people with mood disorders. By activating the 5-HT1A receptor, CBD can help to reduce anxiety and improve mood.

Reducing inflammation

Inflammation is a key factor in many chronic diseases, including arthritis, heart disease, and cancer. CBD has been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory effects, potentially reducing the risk of these diseases. By reducing inflammation, CBD can help to improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Acting as an antioxidant

CBD has potent antioxidant properties that can help to protect cells from damage caused by oxidative stress. This is important because oxidative stress is involved in the development of several diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. By acting as an antioxidant, CBD can help to prevent cellular damage and promote overall health and wellness.

Regulating the immune system

 The ECS plays an important role in regulating the immune system. CBD is thought to interact with the immune system in several ways, such as reducing inflammation, reducing oxidative stress, and improving the function of immune cells. These effects may be particularly beneficial in conditions such as autoimmune diseases, where the immune system is overactive and causes harm to the body.

Various Forms of CBD Products

There are various forms of CBD products available in the market today, each with its own unique characteristics and benefits. Some of the most common types of CBD products include:

CBD Oil

What is CBD oil? CBD oil is the most popular form of CBD. It is made by extracting CBD from the hemp plant and diluting it with carrier oil, such as coconut oil or hemp seed oil. CBD oil is available in a variety of strengths and can be taken directly or added to food and drinks.

CBD Capsules

What is CBD Capsule? CBD capsules are another popular form of CBD. They are made by encapsulating CBD oil in a soft gel capsule, making them an easy and convenient way to take CBD.

CBD Edibles

What is CBD edible? CBD edibles are food products that are infused with CBD. They come in various forms, including CBD gummies, chocolates, and candies. CBD edibles provide a convenient and delicious way to take CBD.

CBD Topicals

What is CBD topical? CBD topicals are products that are applied directly to the skin. They come in the form of creams, lotions, and balms, and are commonly used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

CBD Vapes

What is CBD vape? CBD vapes are products that allow you to inhale CBD. They come in the form of e-liquids that can be used with a vape pen. Vaping CBD provides a fast-acting delivery method, making it a popular option for people who need quick relief.

Before incorporating CBD into your health routine, it’s important to understand that not all CBD products are created equal. It’s important to choose a high-quality product from a reputable brand and to talk to your doctor before using CBD, especially if you are taking any medications or have any pre-existing health conditions.

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What is CBD and How does CBD Differs from Delta 8 and THC?

Delta-8 is another compound found in the hemp plant. Unlike CBD, delta-8 has psychoactive effects, although they are milder than delta-9 THC. Delta-8 THC has a lower affinity for the CB1 receptors in the brain than delta-9 THC, which means that it produces less intense psychoactive effects.

THC is the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana. It acts on the CB1 receptors in the brain to produce its psychoactive effects, including the “high” associated with marijuana use. THC is also responsible for the majority of marijuana’s medicinal benefits, including pain relief, reduction in nausea and vomiting, and stimulation of appetite.

In comparison, CBD does not have a significant affinity for the CB1 receptors in the brain, which is why it does not produce psychoactive effects. Instead, CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in a variety of other ways to provide therapeutic benefits, including reducing anxiety, improving sleep, and reducing pain and inflammation.

Conclusion

So, What is CBD? CBD is a naturally occurring compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant that has gained a lot of attention in recent years for its potential therapeutic properties. It is non-psychoactive and does not produce the “high” commonly associated with cannabis use.

It is believed to offer a range of benefits for physical and mental health. While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms by which CBD works and to establish its safety and effectiveness, it is an exciting area of study with a lot of potential.

No, CBD and THC are different compounds found in the Cannabis sativa plant. THC is the compound that produces the “high” commonly associated with cannabis use, while CBD is non-psychoactive and does not produce this effect.

The legality of CBD can vary depending on the country and state in which you live. In the United States, CBD derived from hemp is generally considered legal, while CBD derived from marijuana is subject to more restrictions. It’s important to research the laws in your area before using or buying CBD products.

No, CBD is non-psychoactive and does not produce the “high” commonly associated with cannabis use.

CBD oil can be taken directly or added to food and drinks. It is available in a variety of strengths and can be found at many health food stores or online. It’s important to talk to your doctor before using CBD, especially if you are taking any medications or have any pre-existing health conditions.