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  • August 18, 2022 5 min read

    How Does CBD Work?

    Cannabidiol (CBD), a naturally occurring cannabinoid in cannabis plants (including hemp and marijuana), has recently received much attention. For its medicinal benefits without the mind-altering effects, CBD extracted from hemp plants is attracting a great deal of interest.

    To explain this, it's important to note that unlike other cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not a psychotropic. To alleviate their problems without the side effects of prescription medications, more people are turning to cannabidiol (CBD). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may have many negative effects on those with depression or anxiety. CBD provides an alternative to highly addictive narcotics for those seeking pain treatment.

    What Is The Mechanical Action Of CBD?

    Researchers have known for decades that phytocannabinoids like CBD can boost general health and well-being in humans by enhancing the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).

    Understanding the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

    Scientists found one of the most significant and extensive receptor systems supporting good health in the 1990s. It has been recognized as a major regulator of the brain, endocrine, and immunological tissue function. Phytocannabinoids (such as CBD) and endogenous cannabinoids (such as THC) are merely two of the many ways the ECS may be stimulated to work better. Suárez et al. (2009) noted that CB1 and CB2 receptors are found throughout the body in the ECS. Cannabinoids are the key to unlocking these neurons. The hypothalamus, hippocampus, and amygdala all have large concentrations of CB1 receptors. Spleen, tonsils, the thymus, and immunological cells have CB2 receptors. Homeostasis relies heavily on the endocannabinoid system.

    Mood Disorders and CBD

    5-HT1A is a serotonin receptor, and CBD binds to the 5-HT1A receptor. The chemical messenger serotonin is connected to our mood. Campos et al. (2017) established that CBD's potential as an anxiolytic, an antidepressant, and even a neuroprotective (protecting the brain) chemical might be explained by its interaction with serotonin receptors.

    Pain Receptors and Cannabidiol

    Vennekens et al. (2008) commented that The TRPV1 receptor might be "de-sensitized" by CBD. The TRPV1 receptor is a heat and pain sensor and a thermoregulatory receptor. This interaction drives the analgesic (painkilling), antiemetic, and seizure-beating characteristics of CBD. This allosteric modulator of opioid receptors is another reason why CBD may have therapeutic benefits. CBD alters how pain signals are received and processed. Like a volume dial, allosteric modulators allow you to adjust how loud or soft your body hears a certain signal. The term "orthosteric modulator" refers to a class of allosteric modulators that connect to locations other than the primary receptor. This interaction may partly explain CBD's promise for treating opiate addiction.

    CBD and Immune System

    Immune system function depends heavily on CB1 and CB2 receptors. Central nervous system CB1 and peripheral nervous system CB2 receptors are more often encountered. Weiss et al. (2006) argued that cannabidiol (CBD) had been shown to reduce inflammation associated with the immune response by suppressing cytokine production. Because of its immunomodulatory properties, cannabis may benefit or harm patients, depending on their medical history and treatment objectives.

    The Effects of CBD on the Brain

    A crucial function in the brain's neuroplasticity (the ability to acquire new things, like a language) and memory is played by the NMDA receptor, a glutamate receptor type. In this way, CBD has neuroprotective characteristics and may be able to modulate brain activities such as memory formation, learning, and mood. In addition to its anticonvulsant properties, this interaction explains why CBD is often prescribed as an antipsychotic. Underlying these theories is an enormous amount of theoretical and presumptive scientific theory. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) might represent the future of pharmaceuticals and therapies, particularly given cannabis's safety and therapeutic characteristics. However, it's still an exciting field of study.

    The Liver and CBD

    The liver is where the majority of medications are processed; hence CBD has the potential to interfere with the metabolism of many other pharmaceuticals, such as opioids. As a result, if you are already taking any prescriptions, consult your physician before consuming any cannabis products. Anti-epileptic medicines (AEDs) and benzodiazepine-based treatments will need to be tapered to avoid harmful levels of benzodiazepines in the blood, for instance. The CYP 450 enzyme processes some antibiotics; hence CBD may interfere with the metabolism of such drugs.

    Epilepsy and the use of CBD

    According to Rubin (2018), a major advance in cannabis therapy was the FDA's approval of Epidiolex, a treatment for severe types of epilepsy. The FDA has approved a non-synthetic marijuana medicine for the first time with Epidiolex. These two severe kinds of epilepsy, caused by mutations in the cannabinoid receptors in the CB1 gene, have been given FDA approval to use a CBD oil-based prescription medication to control seizures in those patients. Epidiolex's pure CBD binds to various brain receptors to help control and prevent seizures in epilepsy. Children with epilepsy may benefit greatly from Epidiolex's safety profile and potential uses. Like dronabinol, Epidiolex does not have the same adverse effects as synthetic marijuana-based drugs. The most frequent Epidiolex side effects are lethargy, diarrhea, and appetite loss.

    What Method Of Taking CBD Do You Use?

    CBD oil, supplements, gummies, and lotions enriched with hemp-derived CBD may be found in most regions of the nation. Many of these things may be purchased online. CBD oil is a common form of CBD compound. The cannabis plant's cannabinoids are extracted and purified to make CBD oil. CBD oil may be used topically or orally (with a stopper put under the tongue). Hemp-derived CBD oil differs from hemp oil in that it is not produced from hemp. Cannabinoids are not present in hemp oil, which is made from the seeds of the cannabis plant and is not psychoactive.

    Does It Pose Any Danger?

    It might be tough to tell precisely what you're receiving from a CBD product since not all of them are created equal. The FDA does not presently monitor the safety and quality of dietary supplements, which is why CBD is mostly sold as a supplement. While CBD is safe and well-tolerated, potential side effects include exhaustion, changes in appetite, and digestive difficulties. According to experts, a combination of CBD and other supplements and drugs might be responsible for many of these reported side effects (including blood thinners and those that come with a grapefruit warning). Additionally, CBD may cause liver damage or lung issues.


    Endocannabinoids and terpenes operate better together, according to the entourage effect. To get the most out of a dose of CBD on its own, it may need a greater dosage or be useless for some diseases. However, the plant's terpenes plus a little quantity of THC may have a wide range of beneficial effects when combined. A growing number of users are turning to CBD to escape the effects of THC. To get the advantages of cannabis without experiencing the psychoactive high, pure CBD is your best option. In contrast, the entourage effect naturally enhances the potency of cannabinoids and terpenes when they are consumed together.


    Campos, A. C., Fogaça, M. V., Scarante, F. F., Joca, S. R., Sales, A. J., Gomes, F. V., ... & Guimarães, F. S. (2017). Plastic And Neuroprotective Mechanisms Involved In The Therapeutic Effects Of Cannabidiol In Psychiatric Disorders. Frontiers In Pharmacology, 269.

    Rubin, R. (2018). The Path To The First FDA-Approved Cannabis-Derived Treatment And What Comes Next. Jama, 320(12), 1227-1229.

    Suárez, J., Llorente, R., Romero‐Zerbo, S. Y., Mateos, B., Bermúdez‐Silva, F. J., De Fonseca, F. R., & Viveros, M. P. (2009). Early Maternal Deprivation Induces Gender‐Dependent Changes On The Expression Of Hippocampal CB1 And CB2 Cannabinoid Receptors Of Neonatal Rats. Hippocampus, 19(7), 623-632.

    Vennekens, R., Vriens, J., & Nilius, B. (2008). Herbal Compounds And Toxins Modulating TRP Channels. Current Neuropharmacology, 6(1), 79-96.

    Weiss, L., Zeira, M., Reich, S., Har-Noy, M., Mechoulam, R., Slavin, S., & Gallily, R. (2006). Cannabidiol Lowers Incidence Of Diabetes In Non-Obese Diabetic Mice. Autoimmunity, 39(2), 143-151.