Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of the 100+ cannabinoids found in Marijuana. It’s non-psychoactive and considered the main medicinal property of the plant but most people don’t know what it does or how it benefits the body. Here is a breakdown of how CBD works:
When Cannabis first enters the body, CBD metabolizes a bit differently from other cannabinoids within the plant. Where THC uses brain receptors to have an affect and CBN uses body receptors to have an affect, CBD uses enzymes to have its affect.
Once consumed, CBD inhibits a specific enzyme called Fatty Acid Amide Hydroxylase (FAAH for short). Usually FAAH’s job is to break down and metabolize a cannabinoid the body already makes; Anandamide (also known as the “Bliss Molecule) which our body uses for pleasure and pain relief. However when CBD is put into the body, it keeps FAAH from breaking down the Anandamide cannabinoid. When FAAH isn’t able to do it’s job, the endocannabinoid system’s response intensifies leading to the effects that we’re familiar with as the benefits of CBD.
How CBD counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC
Now say you’ve smoked one too many bowls or had too strong of an edible. You’re feeling on edge and possibly on the verge of an anxiety attack. Any Budtender or Marijuana Professional will tell you to take CBD to counteract the psychoactive THC effects. Now how does that work?
Picking up where we left off, because CBD blocks FAAH from breaking down Anandamide, we now have more Anandamide lingering in our brain. The pleasure effects of the Anandamide overrides the psychoactive effects of THC, relieving the user of any unpleasant feelings.
There are other ways that CBD works in the body depending on how you consume it and in what form, but a lot of how CBD works is still a mystery to scientists.
If you’re interested in learning more about the different ways CBD works in the body, you’ll find more information here.
National Center For Biotechnology Information
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