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CBD in a nutshell

■  The active compounds in hemp and cannabis are called “cannabinoids.”

■  CBD is a cannabinoid.

■  Human beings, and many living creatures, have natural bodily systems that use CBD.

■  The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is the primary system that uses CBD.

■  CBD is non-euphoric.

How It Works

The main benefit CBD confers to humans (and many other creatures, too) is as an anti-inflammatory agent. We are coming to appreciate that inflammation is the common seed for many forms of disease and underlies seemingly unrelated conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. CBD acts to reduce or prevent inflammation in both the brain and body, and this simple action can have huge impacts on your health and well-being.

So how does CBD do it?

CBD works in our bodies through the endocannabinoid system, a master regulatory mechanism for the entire body. 

CBD in the Brain and Body

CBD impacts our bodies by working indirectly on both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, stimulating these receptors while also blocking a key enzyme from breaking down our own endogenous cannabinoid anandamide, effectively making CBD a reuptake and breakdown inhibitor. This increases the levels of anandamide in the brain and is thought to be why CBD has proven to be so effective at helping to manage seizures. By acting as a reuptake inhibitor (preventing the reabsorption) for the neurotransmitter adenosine, CBD is able to provide anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory effects.

Another way CBD provides a therapeutic effect is by binding to several non-cannabinoid receptors in the brain.

By directly stimulating the serotonin 5HT1A receptor, CBD can impact anxiety, appetite, sleep, perception of pain, mood, nausea and vomiting, and sexual behavior, to name a few. New science is showing that CBDA (the acidic form of CBD in raw plants) also has a high affinity for the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, and is proving to have even more powerful anti-nausea effects than CBD and THC. CBD also interacts directly with the TRPV1 receptor, which is known to mediate pain perception, inflammation, and body temperature. Our own endogenous anandamide also stimulates the TRPV1 receptor.

CBD blocks the GPR55 receptor, and by doing so can both help prevent osteoporosis and limit cancer cell proliferation. By stimulating the PPAR-gamma receptor, CBD can also have an antiproliferative effect as well as limit tumor growth in human lung cancer. PPAR-gamma activation can also help degrade the amyloid-beta plaque associated with Alzheimer’s. And if that wasn’t enough, PPAR receptors also regulate genes that are involved in energy homeostasis, lipid uptake, insulin sensitivity, and other metabolic functions. Because of its influence on PPAR receptors, CBD might be a future treatment option for diabetes and other metabolic dysfunctions.

It is primarily through its work on all these receptors that CBD provides an impressive array of therapeutic benefits, benefits that go way beyond symptom relief to provide deep healing at the molecular level. 

Source: Healing with CBD by Eileen Konieczny