How Does CBD Work?

Your body is home to a complex biological system known as the endocannabinoid system. This system was discovered in the early 1990s so it’s a relatively new area of knowledge. It comprises a variety of receptors that trigger physiological reactions, thereby inducing the various effects of cannabinoids.

The two main receptors in the endocannabinoid system are CB1 and CB2. Where THC directly affects these receptors, CBD has a subtler, more indirect approach. Instead of attaching to these receptors, CBD affects how these receptors signal the body and its chemicals. Furthermore, CBD increases the production of the body’s own cannabinoids by blocking the enzymes that can break them down.

Along with its indirect effects on endocannabinoid receptors, CBD also influences other common receptors in the brain and body. This includes the opioid receptors, which play a role in regulating the sensation of pain, and serotonin receptors, which plays an active role in regulating mood.

What is a Cannabinoid?

Simply put, cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant. There are dozens of compounds including Cannabidiol (CBD), THC, and a host of other cannabinoids. Together they are responsible for the benefits and drawbacks to medical marijuana and industrial hemp-based products.

Technically, CBD and its sister cannabinoid compounds are classified as phytocannabinoids, which means that they’re derived from plants. But there are also several other types of cannabinoids you should know about too.

For example, the cannabinoids produced within the body’s endocannabinoid system are known as endocannabinoids (such as arachidonoylethanolamine, virodhamine, and many others). There are also cannabinoids manufactured via chemical reactions in laboratories, known as synthetic cannabinoids.