How CBD Works: CBD & Your Body
Everyone is curious about how CBD works. As more is uncovered about CBD and the endocannabinoid system, this versatile little compound continues to make headlines. As people hear more about CBD, it’s natural to be curious if it could be a good addition to their own wellness regimen.
Of course, you’re a unique individual, and CBD doesn’t have the same effects for everyone. If you have questions about how CBD works for someone with your specific wellness goals and healthcare needs, it’s a good idea to chat with your healthcare team about whether or not CBD would be an appropriate addition to your daily routine.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the core information you need as you explore CBD and the endocannabinoid system, and how they may work together for your benefit.
What is CBD?
Before we can get into how CBD works, let’s clarify the basics. CBD stands for cannabidiol, a phytocannabinoid compound found in cannabis plants, most predominantly in hemp. However, hemp with CBD isn’t the industrial hemp cultivated to grow into tall stalks in order to harvest its strong fibers. CBD is medicinal hemp, grown to encourage flowering to make use of its cannabinoids.
Hemp is a wildly diverse plant containing a variety of cannabinoids. And since research is still budding (pardon the pun), there is still so much we have to learn about the potential for each cannabinoid, as well as the effects of their combined structure. However, we are learning more about how CBD works in the body, and have discovered some surprising things along the way.
The Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system is also a relative newcomer to the popular conversation surrounding the possibilities of CBD. What we know so far is that a variety of species, including humans, have endocannabinoid systems. Why? Because this system helps restore homeostasis, which is the necessary balance to ensure our survival in changing environments and conditions. This system is so complex that researchers have only begun to scratch the surface as to how it works, let alone begin to understand all of its functions.
When we look at how CBD works, it’s easy to think that because CBD is a cannabinoid it stands to reason that CBD and the endocannabinoid system work together. However, that isn’t entirely accurate. CBD is capable of “antagonizing” the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system. However, this only occurs in the presence of its more notorious cannabinoid cousin, THC. The truth is, CBD doesn’t interact with the endocannabinoid system, as popularly thought.
CBD & The Endocannabinoid System
It is actually your body that produces chemicals, known as endocannabinoids, which bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These endocannabinoids play their role in the body’s function and are removed through their own processes. While we know that CBD and the endocannabinoid system don’t directly interact, researchers are still looking at how they do work together, if at all.
But just because CBD and the endocannabinoid system don’t have the relationship we once believed they do doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the road for CBD. Quite the contrary, actually. We have learned that CBD targets other systems within our bodies. This discovery has led to further research on CBD’s potential anti-inflammatory properties and other possible benefits.
The Entourage Effect
Another popular phrase that accompanies the conversation surrounding how CBD works is “full-spectrum”. But in order to understand its full-spectrum effects on the body, it’s helpful to understand the Entourage Effect.
The Entourage Effect describes how phytocannabinoids and other compounds such as terpenes — the compounds which give the plant its distinctive smell — work together. In other words, terpenes, CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids—when all present in the body—may be more effective in unlocking the full spectrum of benefits of hemp and cannabis than any of the individual compounds by themselves. Research on this relationship is still in the fledgling stage, but we’ve already seen that the various phytocannabinoids do work together, and how that synergy affects people overall.
You may be surprised to learn that there are hundreds of “cannabinoids” that occur in nature, independent of hemp. While the compounds found in herbs, such as oregano, and spices such as cinnamon, aren’t technically cannabinoids as they are not derived from the cannabis genus, they have been found to bind to the receptors of the endocannabinoid system.
Of the many cannabinoids so far discovered, more than 100 are derived from hemp, with the potential of many more. Promising research is ever-unfolding on how these compounds can possibly help us thrive, and enthusiasts aren’t shy about pointing out that the possibilities are infinite.
You may have noticed that we’ve talked a lot about ongoing research when it comes to how CBD works in our bodies. From a scientific perspective, research into how CBD and the endocannabinoid system work together is still in its infancy.
That’s an exciting time because there’s still so much to explore and learn. The good news is that full-spectrum hemp products include many of the cannabinoids so far shown to be effective, including the popular up-and-comers like CBN and CBG, both of which are showing promise with their very own anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, research so far has shown they both bind to endocannabinoid receptors, unlike some of their more popular counterparts.
When it comes to CBD and other endocannabinoids, It’s an exciting time to learn and explore new possibilities in your journey to greater wellness. We encourage you to do your own research to learn more about how CBD works, checking in with your healthcare team to ensure that full-spectrum cannabinoids are safe and appropriate for you.
If you have any questions about our products or about hemp-derived, full-spectrum CBD oil or creams, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Remember that while researchers work to uncover how CBD and other full-spectrum cannabinoids work in our bodies, some of the best information is reported by people just like you. As more information becomes available, Sound CBD is always working to keep you informed so you can Be Safe. Be Sound.