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How CBD Works in Your Body

CBD has been touted as a cure for conditions ranging from chronic pain and fibromyalgia to anxiety and depression to epilepsy and acne. But many patients have questions about how CBD works in the body, whether or not it’s safe, and whether or not it’s possible that CBD is actually the medical wonder it’s cracked up to be. Recently CBD has been gaining significant recognition in the medical community, as scientific studies find it has a wide array of benefits.

What is CBD?

Most commonly Cannabidiol, (CBD) is associated with the cannabis plant. However unlike marijuana, CBD does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for producing the “high” of pot.

Many plants contain cannabinoids. CBD is actually one of more than 120 naturally-occurring cannabinoids, including black pepper, cloves, dark chocolate (cacao), flax seeds, ecchinacea, basil, cinnamon, oregano, and lavender.

These natural compounds have been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. Clove oil is frequently used by dentists to relieve tooth pain. Ecchinacea helps to boost our immune system to fight off common infections, such as the cold or flu. And dark chocolate with a high concentration of cacao has been used as a mood elevator.

How CBD Works

Cannabinoids work with our bodies’ endocannabinoid system. (ECS) This system manages the receipt and translation from cannabinoids we ingest. Our bodies also produce some cannabinoids on their own, called endocannabinoids. Your ECS helps to regulate your important body functions, including sleep, pain, and your immune system.

According to the National Institutes of Health, “many of the effects of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids are mediated by two G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), CB(1) and CB(2), although additional receptors may be involved.”

CB(1) receptors are found in high levels in the brain, and in lower amounts in the rest of the body. These receptors help regulate pain response, mood, emotions, appetite, and physical coordination.

CB(2) receptors are more restricted, and found only in certain immune cells and neurons. These receptors help to regulate pain, inflammation and immune system responses.

Unlike marijuana, which contains THC, CBD does not produce a high – it simply influences your body to more effectively use its own endocannabinoids by either activating or inhibiting other compounds in your ECS.

For example, CBD reduces pain by preventing your body from absorbing a compound called anandamide. CBD can reduce inflammatory response in the brain and immune system, which has been found to reduce pain, and relieve insomnia.

CBD is also believed to alter a body’s serotonin signals. Low serotonin has been linked to conditions such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia — and several studies have reported that CBD relieved many of the symptoms of those conditions.

A 2011 study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology reported that participants who used CBD experienced reduced symptoms of anxiety, social anxiety disorder (SAD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Another study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine found that CBD targeted α3 glycine receptors, reducing pain and inflammation. The researchers also discovered that unlike with traditional pain medication, subjects were unlikely to build up a tolerance to the effects of CBD.

Vaping CBD Oil is Most Effective

State University of New York, Albany researchers have determined that inhaled CBD oil enters the bloodstream faster than with other delivery systems – including oral applications, or through topical treatments such as lotions or bath bombs applied on the skin. In fact, the inhaled CBD oil works in as fast as 30 seconds, which is especially useful for anyone seeking immediate anxiety or pain relief.

CBD Side Effects

CBD is known to have some side effects, which are generally considered to be milder and more easily tolerated than prescription medication used in treating the same ailments.

CBD is generally considered as safe by the Food and Drug Administration, however, some people may experience side effects including stomach discomfort, dry mouth, dizziness, sleeping difficulties, fatigue, and/or mood changes.

While the medical community is still discovering the treatment potential of CBD, and there is more research to be done, the study results look extraordinarily promising thus far.

Check out Soupwire for the latest in CBD research and news.