Some things about CBD are only being discovered. Still others aren’t well understood. Much old information exists and we want to clear some things up about cannabidiol.
One major change in opinion on CBD is whether it binds to cannabinoid receptors or if it cannot bind. While it used to be thought THC binds to CBD and CB1 binds to CB2, nowadays there are different opinions on this. It appears CBD works more subtly.
While this news does not affect CBD’s place as a component of the Endocannabinoid System, it does change our understanding of exactly how CBD works.
Understanding Cannabidiol: How The Body Processes CBD
The Endocannabinoid System is comparable to other systems like your CNS. The difference is that the ENS (or ECS) is a network that revolves around endocannabinoids and the structures and substances that interact with them.
The’ system’ itself contains organic compounds your body makes called endocannabinoids. Additionally, it contains some receptors on cells in the body that connect to these endocannabinoids. Lastly, some essential fatty acids, as well as enzymes, interact with endocannabinoids. These are also part of the system.
Some cannabinoids are nearly identical to endocannabinoids. Others are just similar enough to bind to endocannabinoid receptors (like Anandamide and THC). Others might not bind to receptors at all, but influence the actions of the fats and/or enzymes in the system instead.
Understanding Cannabidiol: Contrasting CBD to THC And The Anandamide Connection
Anandamide is a neurotransmitter known as the bliss molecule. This name signifies it’s positive affect on mood. It also causes intoxication. One’s body makes this particular substance all on its own. It binds with your CB1 receptors and science believes it does a much more than simply produce joy.
It affects memory, cognitive function, coordination, the sensation of pain, motivation, hunger, anxiety, mood, hormones and even abnormal cell growth.
When you use marijuana, THC which is close enough to Anandamide connects to identical CB1 receptors. This produces the effects we associate with feeling stoned as well as affects the long list just above.
That is correct, CBD is not the only therapeutic part of cannabis!
Understanding Cannabidiol: About FAAH
It turns out that CBD does not really bind with CB1 or CB2 receptors. Instead, CBD alters the degradation of Anandamide and affects some of the other supporting substances in the endocannabinoid system.
Project CBD explains that cannabidiol affects several noncannabinoid receptors and ion channels. CBD also acts through various receptor-independent pathways. One way it does this is by slowing down the “reuptake” of endogenous neurotransmitters (such as adenosine and anandamide). It also affects the binding activity of certain G protein-coupled receptors.
Additionally, CBD slows down FAAH, a fatty acid which breaks down Anandamide.
There are many different ways CBD works including activating the 5 HT1A (hydroxytryptamine) serotonin receptor. More serotonin improves mood and decreases anxiety.
One other way CBD works is by interacting with ion channels. These channels are membranes which allow ions to pass through them. For example, CBD binds to TRPV1 receptors which mediate pain perception, inflammation as well as body temperature.