CBD oil or Cannabidiol oil has become a popular product in recent years and is seen by some as an alternative to THC, but how does it actually work? CBD interacts with our body through the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and has several potential benefits. Let’s explore the different receptors and molecular pathways that are affected by CBD via the ECS and learn what happens when they are stimulated.
The Endocannabinoid System
The ECS is a receptor system responsible for supporting and maintaining a healthy balance, or homeostasis. It’s composed of cannabinoid receptors–CB1 and CB2–on cell membranes that regulate processes of eating, sleeping, relaxation, and cognition.
CB1 and CB2 receptors are activated when cannabis is consumed. CB1 receptors are found mostly in the brain and other areas of the body, and CB2 receptors are found mainly in the peripheral nervous system, organs, immune and gastrointestinal system. When it comes to CBD vs THC — the psychoactive compound of cannabis — THC binds more closely to the CB1 receptor than the CB2 receptor, while CBD interacts directly or indirectly with various receptors.
How CBD Oil Works
Derived from hemp plants, CBD is a mighty phytocannabinoid found in hemp and known for supporting the body and mind in many ways. CBD oil can’t interact directly with CB1 and CB2 receptors, but it activates the ECS to create balance. Our bodies produce their own endocannabinoids – but getting these compounds from outside sources, such as high-quality CBD oils, can give our system a real boost. CBD may also slow the breakdown of endocannabinoids by inhibiting the enzyme that metabolizes them, so the endocannabinoids can stay in your body longer.
CBD specifically comes from the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant. After harvesting, CBD oil is obtained by CO2 or alcohol extraction of the ground plant material to pull out the CBD and other beneficial compounds.
CBD is considered non-intoxicating, and any CBD oil made from the hemp plant must contain less than 0.3% THC to be sold throughout the country. The final product is popularly produced as CBD oil, but can also be produced as topicals, gummies, or capsules.
CBD Oil Benefits
CBD oil is lauded as a dietary supplement with multiple benefits, served in a convenient dropper delivery system or liquid capsules. Depending on the type of product or serving size, effects may vary but generally we to turn CBD oil for:
- Better sleep*
- Reducing inflammation after working out*
- Supporting a sense of calm for focus*
- Managing everyday stresses*
CBD oil is a versatile supplement and health-conscious consumers who use it on a regular basis see positive effects. Studies show that hemp extract with CBD can be well-tolerated by many. With common results of calm and focus, relief from exercise-induced inflammation, support for healthy sleep cycles, and relief from everyday stresses, anyone looking for support in these areas might benefit from CBD oil.