CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural component of the Cannabis Sativa L. plant. It’s part of a family of compounds, known as cannabinoids, that occur naturally in cannabis plants. CBD extracts have traditionally been used for medicinal purposes, and research into the therapeutic benefits of CBD is ongoing. Unlike THC, the primary cannabinoid in marijuana, CBD won’t get you high. CBD is generally regarded as safe and non-addictive and can actually reduce or neutralize the “stoned” feelings that THC can induce.
It is important to note that CBD is still psychoactive (I am sure you have heard the opposite of this from less informed blogs) but just not in the way that THC is. CBD is psychoactive in more positive ways, including promoting mental clarity.
How Does CBD Work?
We cannot talk about CBD without also discussing anandamide. It's made by your body and is a primary endocannabinoid that works directly with your endocannabinoid system. It has been called your body's “bliss” molecule. When levels of anandamide increase, so does your overall state of well-being. CBD works by slowing the breakdown of anandamide in your endocannabinoid system (ECS).
You may also see that a lot of other blogs claim that CBD activates the cannabinoid receptors. This has been proven false in scientific studies. The primary way that CBD interacts with the ECS lies in its ability to inhibit the breakdown of anandamide. Anandamide is naturally broken down in your body by an enzyme called Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH). CBD inhibits FAAH from breaking down anandamide, which results in an increase of the body's levels of the bliss molecule.
CBD does even more than inhibit FAAH. Researchers have identified at least 65 molecular targets of CBD. It was found that CBD binds with serotonin receptors and this action is also thought to be responsible for CBD’s effect on mood and overall well-being. Even though it has an affinity for other receptors within the ECS, CBD’s primary mode of action lies in its ability to increase the body's levels of anandamide, which promotes a more balanced body and mind.