The benefits of CBD are becoming increasingly well-known and there’s very good reason for this, but first let’s look at what CBD actually is.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many compounds found in the cannabis plant that belong to a class of substances called cannabinoids.
As CBD is non psychoactive, you will not get high but reap the benefits of CBD instead.
Another substance in this group is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Both CBD and THC are often sold as a ‘food supplements’, with research highlighting how it can help a number of medical conditions.
THC is the part of the cannabis plant that people use for recreational purposes and the ‘high’ feeling that’s associated with marijuana.
Due to UK laws, any CBD products in the UK can only be available for sale with a maximum of 0.2% THC. Despite some CBD products containing THC, it won’t result in you feeling ‘high’.
This is because THC needs heat in order to breakdown, which is why it’s smoked or used in cooking for recreational purposes.
Inside the human body, there’s the endocannabinoid system, with its receptors spread throughout the body and brain.
What many people don’t know is that the endocannabinoids can activate these receptors. The human body can naturally activate these receptors, as well as the plant cannabinoids.
Cannabinoid receptors like the CB1 and CB2 receptors have involvement in a series of processes. These include the regulation of pain, sensations, appetite, memory and mood.
THC activates both CB1 and CB2, however, CBD does not directly stimulate these receptors.
The CB1 receptors are mostly found in the central nervous system. Smaller numbers of CB1 receptors are also found in other areas of the body, such as the liver, kidneys and lungs.
CB1 plays a role in the release and the production of neurotransmitters as well as having involvement in the lipogenesis process, which takes place inside the liver.
From research conducted, CB1 plays a role in the maintenance of the body’s internal equilibrium (homeostasis).
Further studies on CB1 also suggested that it can influence pleasure, appetite, concentration, memory and pain tolerance.
The CB2 Receptors are part of the immune systems and are also found in the hematopoietic blood cells.
CB2 receptors are also involved in a variety of functions, this includes immune suppression, or apoptosis (programmed cell death).
Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t stimulate these receptors directly, but instead, it activates other receptors. The activated receptors that of CBD are:
Studies on CB2 suggest that it also modulates the pain sensations.
When the CBD activates the adenosine receptors, the benefits of can include the anti-anxiety or anti-inflammatory effects.
Adenosine receptors also contribute to the release of glutamate and dopamine; these two neurotransmitters play major roles inside the body.
Dopamine plays a role in reward mechanisms and motivation, motor control and cognition. While glutamate is one of the major mediators of excitatory signals. It is also involved in cognition, learning and memory.
Serotonin research has shown that High concentrations of CBD can activate the serotonin receptor (5-HT1A). Once activated, it can exert anti-depressant effects. It’s also involved in other processes, which includes; pain, nausea, appetite and sleep.
Not only does CBD stimulate receptors, but it can also block them. CBD blocks the GPR55 signal, which is widely present in the brain.
The GPR55 helps with the modulation of brain density and blood pressure, as well as cancer cell proliferation.
As a result, when CBD blocks this signal, research has shown that it can decrease bone resorption and can prevent cancer cells from spreading.
While some people prefer products that contain both THC and CBD, the benefits of CBD are still present without the THC.
When you combine CBD and THC, the CBD blocks the psychoactive action of THC, as a result, the benefits of CBD are not dependent on the presence of THC.
The benefits of CBD are often shouted about on social media and in the news lately. Consequently, due to UK regulations, we are unable to make any medical claims for Cannabis products whatsoever.
However, research has shown that CBD may benefit a person’s health in a number of ways and relieve certain symptoms, these can include:
– Natural pain relief
– Help with quitting smoking & drug withdrawals
Although the body of research is growing on a weekly basis, it may still be some time until pure CBD products are available on the NHS.