Everything you Want to Know about CBD
With hemp becoming legal in all 50 states, there’s a lot of marketing buzz around CBD-inspired cures for a wide range of ailments. But are these claims backed up with research and science, or are we looking at a new multibillion-dollar snake oil industry? Are CBD products like CBD gummies safe to consume? What about their psychoactive properties? Here is everything you wanted to know about CBD:
What is CBD?
CBD is short for Cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in hemp. While the hemp plant has more than 400 different naturally occurring compounds, around 60 of them are cannabinoid compounds. Cannabidiol is one such compound that researchers have found offers multiple medicinal and therapeutic benefits.
Although cannabis has been used traditionally as medicine for thousands of years in the East, the compound Cannabidiol was isolated only in 1963. CBD-isolated products are different from other CBD-related products (commonly referred to as full-spectrum CBD) in the sense that the former is labeled as being 99% pure CBD.
How Does Cannabidiol Affect the Mind and Body?
A breakthrough study in 1992 discovered the existence of cannabinoid receptors in human cells. Meaning the body produces its own version of cannabis. However these receptors are not designed for cannabis; rather, they tap into the endocannabinoid system (ECS) within the body. ECS is a neurotransmitter network that helps the mind and body communicate with one other effectively. Together, endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors help the body react to internal and external stimuli. it regulates sleep, pain, appetite, cognition, etc.
As of date, researchers have identified two cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. These receptors are found in various parts of the nervous system. CB1 is found in the brain, spinal cord, and other peripheral organs of the body, and CB2 receptors are found on white blood cells, tonsils, the immune system, and in the spleen. Phytocannabinoids (plant-based) like CBD interact with these cannabinoid receptors present in human cells.
CBD may not trigger the CB1 and CB2 receptors, but it changes their ability to bind to cannabinoids. It also enhances endocannabinoid levels in the cells. When CBD binds with the CB1 receptor, it inhibits the release of an excitatory neurotransmitter, glutamate. This helps to protect the brain from seizures. CBD also increases levels of anandamide, an endocannabinoid which has anti-inflammatory effects.
CBD also affects calcium levels in the cells by tapping into the Transient Receptor Potential channels in the body. Plus, CBD is found to enhance the signaling of the 5HT- 1A receptor, a serotonin receptor. Serotonin dysfunction is associated with depression and anxiety.
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