What does CBD do? (how does it interact with the ECS)

Cannabinoids interact with the naturally present endogenous endocannabinoids in the body. Their unique way of interaction through receptors and enzymes may lead to the effective functioning of the ECS.

But, before trying to learn what CBD does, you need to know about Cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, ECS, and how they interact in the body.

CBD is a compound that is increasingly getting investigated for its widespread applicability. It works in the body by interacting with the endocannabinoid system.

We have been reading and hearing a lot about CBD based products and its numerous potential benefits. At the same time, to make informed decisions about what we consume, it is essential to get educated and improve awareness.

The pharmacological effects of CBD on the human body is a vast subject that is currently gaining increased research interest. And studies about it have just taken momentum. More and more pharmaceutical companies, as well as medical professionals, have started to explore the options of combining plant-based compounds to test its applicability in treating conditions.

In the same vein, it is indispensable to ignore the complexities involved in understanding the effect of a chemical compound in the human body. Nordic oil’s inclination to extend the right awareness about CBD reflects as informative and educative publications.

This article aims to share knowledge about how CBD works in the body.

What does CBD stand for?

CBD stands for cannabidiol.

According to the World Health Organization, “To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD”.

The reports also state that CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile. Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications.

Several countries have modified their national controls to accommodate CBD as a medicinal product.

What is CBD?

CBD is one of the most popularly identified compounds of the cannabis plant. Research reports that, out of 400-525 natural compounds that have been discovered, around 60- 80 only have been identified. Among them, the two widely known names are THC and CBD.

What is the Endocannabinoid System or ECS

Firstly, let us understand the endocannabinoids.

Endocannabinoids are compounds or molecules naturally produced in the human body. In other words, they are endogenous.

Endocannabinoids are often considered similar to the cannabinoids compounds produced by the cannabis plants.

Furthermore, the research identifies three components in the ECS. They are:

Endocannabinoids (Molecules similar to cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant)

Receptors ( present and distributed throughout the body including the skin, immune cells, bone, fat tissue, liver, pancreas, skeletal muscle, heart, blood vessels, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract)

Enzymes (substances that regulate the rate at which chemical reactions take place in the body)

Each of these components possesses and deliver their functions to help the body maintain homeostasis. Altogether, they form the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and is an essential part of the human body.

Thus the ECS initiates physiological processes that help in controlling and maintaining body processes like mood, stress, immune system, and the neurological system.

Although studies claim that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has evolved over 500 million years ago, it got discovered only in the 20th century. Moreover, all vertebrates – mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, produce endocannabinoids.

How does CBD interact with the body?

Before analyzing how CBD interacts within the body, it would be helpful to understand the difference between how CBD and THC and interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

  • THC binds with the receptors of the ECS and mimics the actions of the ECS, hence producing psychoactive effects.
  • On the other hand, CBD does not bind with the receptors of the ECS. It grants the ECS access to its endocannabinoids allowing the ECS to carry out its functions effectively.

How does the ECS Receptors Work?

(i) A study reports that ECS receptors present in the entire human body consist of cell receptors. They support in regulating pain, immune system, memory, mood, and sleep patterns.

(ii) The Enzymes in the ECS actively take part in the human body processes. They play a very important role in regulating all chemical reactions taking place within the body in humans and all living organisms. This is because they help in metabolism including breaking down of food molecules, the transformation of energy, and cellular construction.

(iii) The receptors function like an information center by sending and receiving messages. The human body contains two known receptors. Cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) is concentrated in the nervous system and Cannabinoid Receptor 2(CB2) that works in the immune system, nervous system, and digestive tract. Endocannabinoids function like messengers that go between these receptors.

(iv) The interconnection between the endocannabinoid system and the functions of the endocrine system is evident from a2018 study. Cannabis-derived compounds exert their effects by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors. Especially in women, maintaining hormonal balance is always challenging. Puberty, Pregnancy, and Menopause are the most important biological events that display drastic fluctuations in hormone levels. It is worth recalling that the endocrine system is responsible for producing and regulating hormones.

(v) Terpenes interact with receptors and neurotransmitters and act as serotonin uptake inhibitors.

Wrap up points

  • CBD oil or CBD extract is sourced mostly from hemp that is rich in CBD. It is usually best delivered with carrier oils in order to produce the best bio-availability. CBD is available in various concentrations such as CBD oil, CBD capsules CBD Gel, CBD cream, CBD Balm, and more.
  • The endocannabinoids are endogenous molecules present naturally in living organisms. This is similar to the cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant.
  • CBD allows the ECS to access its own endocannabinoids allowing the ECS to carry out its functions effectively.
  • A study reports in detail on the proven benefits and applicability of CBD to various conditions. It is worthwhile to refer to it to understand the increasing qualitative and quantitative scientific references about CBD and health.
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