All the benefits offered by cannabidiol compounds are determined by its interaction with the endocannabinoid system in our body that was discovered in the 1990s .It is named after the plant that led to its discovery.
The attempts of researchers to find out plant-like molecules produced in the human body led to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system. The cannabinoids produced by human body are called endocannabinoids. They are similar to cannabinoids present in cannabis plants like hemp and marijuana.
Major functions in our body including pain perception, sleep, mood and appetite are regulated by the endocannabinoid system through its receptors. Two major cannabinoid receptors are CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are mostly found in the brain and central nervous system while CB2 receptors are primarily located in the peripheral nervous system.
How Does CBD Interact With The Endocannabinoid System?
It was believed earlier that CBD offered therapeutic benefits by directly attaching to the receptor sites of the endocannabinoid system. However, later studies proved that it is the other way. CBD does not bind directly to the endocannabinoid receptors but exerts an indirect influence on the endocannabinoid system. In fact, CBD has very low binding affinity to endocannabinoid receptors.
The presence of the fatty acid, FAAH breaks down the neurotransmitter, anandamide that plays a crucial role in generating a sense of pleasure. CBD inhibits FAAH leading to increased concentration of anandamide in your body.
Fatty Acid Binding Protein (FABP) binds to anandamide and transports it outside of the synapse, after which it is metabolized by FAAH. CBD influences the transportation process of FABP to reduce the amount of anandamide that is metabolized.
By binding to G-protein receptors, TRPV-1, CBD offers relief from pain and inflammation. CBD directly activates 5hT, the serotonin receptors that act as an atypical antipsychotic. Cannabidiol blocks GPR55, and the series of events involved in the action may help prevent growth of cancer cells and produce antiseptic action. CBD has the ability to change the shape of CB1 receptor sites, making it difficult for THC to bind to the receptors, explaining why cannabis strain with CBD and THC present in equal ratios causes lesser anxiety.
Developing a clear idea about the interaction of CBD with the endocannabinoid system and how different functions are influenced by the interaction will be a major boost to research going on to discover the whole range of benefits that CBD can offer.