CBD Stands For
CBD is a shorthand term for cannabidiol, which is one of over 90 cannabinoid molecules found in cannabis plants like hemp and marijuana. Cannabidiol is a phytocannabinoid, meaning it is a naturally occurring constituent in plants. There are also virtually identical molecules called endocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids found in the body of animals, as well as synthetic cannabinoids manufactured for medical purposes in a lab.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, has many potential uses in the health and wellness industry, showing a reduction in symptoms with ailments such as immune function deficiencies, sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, pain and nausea from chemotherapy treatments, chronic pain, epilepsy, autism, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and more. CBD oil is proving to be of great value to the world but how does it interact with our bodies?
As mentioned, CBD is one of the cannabinoids that appear in the cannabis plant but it is also the name given to a category of 7 cannabinoids that make up the Cannabidiol Type group of cannabinoids. These include the following:
Cannabidiol monomethyl ether (CBDM-C5)
Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA-C5)
Cannabidivarinic Acid (CBDVA-C3)
It is important to understand that endocannabinoids are created inside of animals and humans, because it helps explain how cannabidiol works. The endocannabinoid system is the largest system of nerve receptors in our central nervous system and includes the two known cannabinoids produced in our body, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, or 2-AG. Endocannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 are located in several different areas of the body, with CB1 receptors being concentrated mainly in the brain but also in the liver, lungs and kidneys, while CB2 receptors are located in the stomach, liver, kidneys, bones, blood vessels, lymph cells, endocrine glands and reproductive organs. Anandamide and 2-AG, the body’s naturally occurring cannabinoids, are very important as they are neurotransmitters.
Among its most important functions, the ECS is responsible for physiological processes like mood, pain perception, appetite, emotion and memory but that just scratches the surface. Cannabidiol and other cannabinoids interact with our endocannabinoid system and help to modulate nerve receptors in an effort to restore homeostasis or balance in our nervous system. CBD works to disrupt the cycle of anandamide and 2-AG by slowing down their uptake into the system, creating an overproduction of cannabinoids and thus increasing their effects in the body. There are more extensive biochemical processes behind the function of CBD in the body, however, for the sake of understanding by the lay-person, this is a simple visual to understand.
Cannabidiol works with the same receptors in the endocannabinoid system that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) does, yet it lacks the psychoactive effects of THC which is why it is gaining popularity as the cannabinoid of choice for health purposes.
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