CBD is becoming the most famous cannabis compound with each passing day. With an increasing number of studies on its therapeutic effects, it is drawing the attention of everyone. So far, we know that CBD helps in relieving patients from anxiety, lethargy, chronic pain, and some other conditions as well. It is the new favourite because it heals without any intoxication.
The world has been unfair to the compound. It’s not its fault really since all it knew was marijuana. Mary’s little cousin just got neglected. Nobody knew what hemp was. But today, we have a range of hemp products that can accompany us from breakfast to bed.
Featured Read: 101 Hemp Products You Can Buy in India
And with hemp comes its many constituents which inherit its properties, the most popular of them being CBD. CBD is a wonder cure that can cater to 30 (and probably more) different medical conditions. But why is CBD so effective on the human body?
What is CBD?
Short for Cannabidiol, CBD is a cannabis compound, among other 118 identified cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. CBD accounts for up to 40% of the plant’s extract. CBD has significant medical benefits. CBD-rich cannabis, unlike its much notorious cousin, does not make feel high.
One of the cannabis plants rich in CBD is hemp. Also known as the non-psychotic marijuana, hemp—because of its high CBD content—is an appealing option for patients looking for relief from pain, anxiety, inflammation, seizures, etc.
How does CBD provide relief from these ailments?
Scientific research has shown us that CBD relates to the human Endocannabinoid System. This system is the largest receptor system in the human body. It is responsible for helping maintain multiple functions in the body. Its involvement is witnessed in physiological processes such as appetite, mood, pain sensation, and memory as well as in mediating the intoxicating effects of marijuana.
The ECS works on cannabinoid receptors such as CB1, CB2, TRP, etc. CB1 receptors are primarily dominant and located on
- the nerve cells in the brain,
- spinal cord
- central nervous system
This is the main reason why cannabinoid (CBD) relieves the body of stress, depression, anxiety, vomiting, chronic pain etc.
CB2 receptors are usually found on the white blood cells throughout the body and therefore are responsible for providing therapeutic benefits.
ECS and the Human Body
The ECS has cannabinoid receptors throughout the human body. Some of these link to the central nervous system which links itself to the human brain. Since the author is not a big science nerd, she will just say that different chemicals react with different kinds of receptors. Some receptors (CB1 and CB2) bind well with CBD triggering a neural connection in the brain.
This effect is mostly indirect. That explains why CBD does not intoxicate the body. But, that’s not the main point here. CBD interacts with multiple receptors in the brain. It can increase the level of the naturally-produced cannabinoids in the body. And it can influence numerous non-cannabinoid receptor systems.
- CBD interacts with the opioid receptors which work for pain regulation.
- CBD interacts with dopamine receptors which regulate behaviour and cognitive aspects.
These two interactions indicate CBD’s ability to curtail drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms. More research is being done on this.
- CBD interacts with the serotonin system as well. Studies indicate that CBD can directly activate multiple serotonin receptors in the brain. This accounts for CBD’s anti-anxiety properties.
CBD and the Human Brain
Science can tell you what’s happening on the 6th planet of our solar system with more confidence than it can about the human brain. That is just how it is. There is a growing body of scientists researching the interaction of cannabinoids with the brain. These are following the breakthroughs that were made in the 20th century.
Now, scientists know that the key answer to these CBD effects lies in its pharmacology. CBD has the ability to influence a wide range of receptor systems in the brain and the body.
It is the 1960s. A team of Israeli scientists identify the chemical structure of CBD and THC. Studies begin and scientists find an endocannabinoid system in the human body. They establish the interaction between this system and the cannabinoids.
Potential Neurological Effects of CBD
CBD is gaining popularity because of its many medicinal properties. Some of those include:
- Neuroprotective effects: CBD protects the neurons from degeneration. Therefore, it could be useful in treating neurological conditions.
- Anti-tumour effects: Studies show that high doses of CBD might be able to inhibit cancer cell growth. This could help in treating leukaemia and ovarian cancer.
- Analgesic effects: CBD is a popular pain reliever. It can impede neuronal transmission without causing any analgesic tolerance. This leads researchers to believe that it could help in treating chronic pain.
- Anxiolytic effects: Studies show that CBD can reduce anxiety, discomfort, and cognitive impairment in the brain thus proving helpful in treating anxiety disorders.
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