What is CBD? (Cannabidiol)
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a cannabis compound found in hemp and sativa cannabis strains. Not to be confused with its psychoactive cousin component Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD oil among other CBD products offer significant medical benefits to users without any negative side effects. It’s important to note that though THC is responsible for the “high” feelings associated with ingestion of cannabis, CBD does not affect your body in this way. CBD-infused products will not get you high.
What is the endocannabinoid system?
Your body is home to the endocannabinoid system; a complex network of cannabinoid receptors and connected molecules. It’s responsible for helping regulate a huge variety of bodily functions, such as memory, sleep, motivation and reward, immune function, temperature, and appetite. The system contains two main types of receptor: CB1 and CB2. The differences between CBD (a non-psychoactive compound) and THC (a psychoactive compound) can be identified by studying the way each compound reacts with these receptors. CB1 receptors mainly influence the release and production of transmitters, while CB2 receptors are involved in maintaining the effectiveness of your immune system. THC interacts with these receptors by overwhelming the endocannabinoid system and bonding with the synapses, throwing it off balance and causing a psychoactive response linked with pleasure, memory, concentration and pain tolerance.
How does CBD interact with the endocannabinoid system?
Unlike THC, CBD does not bond with the CB1 receptors. Instead, it stimulates activity in both the CB1 and CB2 receptors without binding to them. Additionally, when CBD is introduced into the endocannabinoid system it increases the release of 2-AG. This is a naturally occuring endocannabinoid which is produced to enhance the overall effect of the endocannabinoid system on the body. In high concentrations, CBD can even activate the 5-HT14 serotonin receptor, which is responsible for producing anti-depressant effects. It also influences appetite, anxiety, sleep, pain perception, addiction mechanisms, and nausea.