How does CBD work? What is an Endocannabinoid System??

Posted by Nicholas DeNuccio on

How Does the Endocannabinoid System Work and What Effect Does CBD Have on the System?

So, we know that Cannabidiol (CBD) does all of these amazing things for the body and mind, right? Yes. But how exactly does it work? Well, it actually has to do with how cannabinoids act on the endocannabinoid system.

The impact of CBD on the receptors in the endocannabinoid system is actually quite complicated. And we are here to explain exactly how it works, and exactly why CBD makes you feel so good.

The Endocannabinoid System

Endocannabinoid receptors are located in different parts of the body, scattered in varying concentrations. Parts of the body with the highest concentrations of these receptors are the areas that are most affected by cannabinoids.

The endocannabinoids themselves, which are cannabinoids that the body has synthesized, are what naturally activate the receptors and make us feel good. The most well-known endocannabinoids produced by the body are anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol.

Plant-derived cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD, mimic the endocannabinoids of the body and can also activate the receptors. This occurrence is similar to what happens when we ingest caffeine, alcohol, etc. External substances like these have the ability to connect with the body’s internal receptors.

CBD and the Endocannabinoid System

There are two types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are highly concentrated in the brain, central nervous system, intestines, connective tissues, gonads, and a number of other glands. Activating CB1 receptors can relieve depression, lower intestinal inflammation, lower blood pressure, and relieve anxiety, among other things.

CB2 receptors are highly concentrated in the spleen, tonsils, thymus, and immune cells, with a small amount existing in the brain. Activating CB2 receptors can help destroy the main component of the plaque that is found in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease.

As stated above, the relationship between CBD and the endocannabinoid system is a bit complicated. For starters, CBD is not exactly the compound that is preferred by the receptors. They would rather link with the innate endocannabinoid, anandamide and prefer THC over CBD.

Another complicated aspect is that CBD does not directly bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors. Instead, CBD indirectly impacts these receptors by activating TRPV1 receptors that control pain perception, body temperature, and inflammation.

CBD also works to prevent Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase, which creates higher levels of anandamide and other endocannabinoids. Anandamide is responsible for creating sensations of pleasure and motivation, and as we already know, it preferred by the CB1 and CB2 receptors.

So What?

Taking a look at how CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system allows us to understand why CBD makes us feel so good. While CBD does not directly activate our CB1 and CB2 receptors, it works with them indirectly to create those great benefits we have come to know and love.