CBD is an abbreviation for the for cannabidiol, one of the main chemical compounds found in the Cannabis sativa plant (also known as cannabinoids). In 2018 CBD was approved by the FDA as a medicinal compound for treating rare forms of epilepsy in the drug Epidiolex and has since been studied for its effects on inflammation, arthritic pain, neuropathy, anxiety, nausea and more.
CBD has been used throughout history for its healing properties. It does so by interacting with the body’s neurotransmitters and endocannabinoid system, including the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Benefits of activating the CB1 receptors may include: relieving depression, lowering anxiety, lowering blood pressure, lowering intestinal inflammation and more.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex cell-signaling system within the body. The endocannabinoid system’s primary purpose is to respond to cannabinoids produced within the human body. The ECS is active in your body even if you don’t use cannabis. Scientists researching the ECS have found that the system also responds to cannabinoids from external sources including cannabidiol (CBD).
Endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout the human body and bind to receptors to signal the ECS to take action.
ECS Includes Two Endocannabinoid Receptors
• CB1 Receptors – Mostly found in the central nervous system
• CB2 Receptors – Mostly found in your peripheral nervous system, especially immune cells
Cannabinoids like CBD can bind to either receptor (CB1 or CB2) and the effects of the cannabinoid varies based on where the receptor is located. For example, cannabinoids may target the CB1 receptors in a spinal nerve to relieve pain and others may bind to the CB2 receptors in your immune cells to signal your body’s experiencing inflammation.