For thousands of years, the hemp plant and its derivatives have been used as a source of medicine for humans around the world. CBD in particular is commonly used to treat everything from pain and inflammation to acne, anxiety, and insomnia.
According to a 2020 SingleCare survey, one-third of Americans have used CBD at least once. With the CBD industry expected to top $25 billion by 2025, it’s safe to say that this miracle drug is here to stay. In honor of National CBD Day this month, we are breaking down how CBD works in the human body in this easy-to-read guide.
Stay tuned to learn all about the endocannabinoid system, how CBD interacts with our bodies, and the different ways that CBD can help you feel your best.
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
Every animal on the planet, including humans, has the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in their bodies. This intricate system is a collection of cell receptors and endogenous cannabinoids that exist throughout the body, working as a unit to maintain physiological and biochemical balance.
The endocannabinoid system regulates tons of the processes that enable us to survive, including sleep, mood, digestion, motor control, fertility, immune function, and more. When this system begins to fail, it can lead to a number of serious issues like IBS and fibromyalgia.
Medical advancements have shown that when the body fails to produce enough endocannabinoids on its own, plant cannabinoids can be used as a supplement. Enter: the magic of CBD. Plant cannabinoids like CBD interact with the cell receptors in the ECS to regulate natural homeostasis in our bodies, essentially picking up the slack when our endocannabinoid system needs a little support.
Types of Endocannabinoid Receptors
As we mentioned above, the endocannabinoid system is made up of cell receptors that are found all throughout the body. The two largest types of endocannabinoid receptors that exist within us are known as CB1 and CB2, each affecting different parts of the body. Here’s a basic breakdown of each of these primary receptors.
This type of endocannabinoid receptor is found in the central nervous system, primarily on nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain. Medications that affect the CB1 receptors are better suited for patients experiencing pain, depression, and nausea.
This type of endocannabinoid receptor is found in the immune system on white blood cells, the spleen, tonsils, and immune cells. Medications that stimulate the CB2 receptors are known to provide relief to patients suffering from conditions like IBS or Crohn’s disease.
CBD and Our Receptors
While CBD doesn’t bind directly with our cannabinoid receptors the same way other cannabinoids do, it mediates the binding affinity of other chemicals. Have you ever wondered why CBD is able to help with so many different issues?
You can thank your endocannabinoid system! Because we all have endocannabinoid receptors in all of our major functioning organs, CBD is able to provide a broad spectrum of relief across many areas. Below is a brief description of each of the main receptors that CBD interacts with to create various medicinal properties.
- CB1 – Because of its activation by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), this receptor is associated with psychoactive and neuromodulatory effects.
- CB2 – This receptor is associated with anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects, but is not associated with psychoactive effects like CB1 receptors.
- GPR55 – This receptor plays a role in many bodily functions like neuropathic pain, cancer, bone health, and inflammation. CBD acts as an antagonist of GPR55 receptors, providing therapeutic benefits in these areas.
- TRPV1 – Also known as the capsaicin receptor, this receptor helps to control our body temperature and how we feel pain.
- PPARS – This is a multi-functional receptor that interacts with CBD, which acts as an agonist and triggers this receptor to help improve or prevent symptoms like pain, obesity, and inflammation.
Effects of CBD on the Human Body
By interacting with the cell receptors in our bodies, CBD can be a powerful medicinal tool. When using CBD as medicine, it’s best to opt for full spectrum CBD, which contains trace amounts of THC, because the THC enhances the effects of the CBD.. Many people use high-quality CBD oil to treat a wide range of issues, including:
- Autoimmune diseases
Cannabidiol (CBD) can be applied topically, through edible consumption, or by smoke inhalation to interact with the receptors in our endocannabinoid system. Now that we’ve briefly covered some of the many issues this cannabinoid can be used to treat, let’s break down a few of the most promising health benefits of CBD.
- Pain Relief
The cannabis sativa plant has been used to treat pain for thousands of years. Studies have shown that CBD, a chemical compound in the cannabis plant, can help to reduce chronic pain by reducing inflammation and interacting with our endocannabinoid system. While it’s most effective when combined with THC, CBD can be effective on its own for certain types of pain like nerve and back pain.
- Reduced Anxiety and Depression
Pharmaceutical drugs are a popular route for treating mental health disorders, but are known to cause unpleasant side effects like drowsiness, sexual dysfunction, headaches, and irritability. Studies around the world have shown that CBD can be used to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression without causing these side effects.
- Neuroprotective Properties
Because of the way CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system, many researchers believe that it can be used as an effective treatment for neurological disorders like MS and epilepsy. One recent study showed that CBD was able to reduce spasms in 75% of patients with MS who were experiencing muscle spasticity.
Browse Our Online CBD Marketplace
As Virginia’s most trusted CBD manufacturer, CBD Livity is dedicated to providing our customers with high-quality natural products. We believe in taking a holistic approach to medicine and educating the consumer market on the fascinating benefits of this powerful plant. Check out our expansive collection of CBD products to infuse CBD into your life through all-natural bath products, salves, oils, and more!