WHAT IS CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a versatile remedy, having been extensively researched for its positive effects. Because CBD and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are both cannabinoids, meaning that they are both in fact sisters to the mother Cannabis plant, the production of CBD has been somewhat controversial. Despite the evidence that CBD is entirely legal and safe for consumption, for it does not have psychoactive effects like THC, people still often believe this treatment to be complicated and find it difficult to grasp. That is completely understandable, especially upon learning that CBD has contradictory side effects. For example, it can both improve sleep quality as well as increase alertness. In summary, there are many different ailments you can take CBD for and there are many different ways of taking CBD.
On this page, we've simply put together a general overview of the body's systems that CBD naturally assists, particularly explaining the amazing array of effects. We encourage you to take the time to review the available medical research and proven benefits of CBD and to reach out to our passionate customer service team in order to learn more about the promising results a CBD treatment can have.
How can CBD affect so many different aspects of the body? And why does this substance have such counteracting effects, such as improving sleep quality but also increasing alertness? Three facts!
First of all, these questions are best answered by the adaptogenic effect (adaptive or modulating effect) of CBD. But what actually is an adaptogen? Adaptogens or adaptogenic substances are used in herbal medicine for the claimed stabilization of physiological processes and promotion of homeostasis.
Secondly, it is helpful to remember that you are a multitude of complex systems, all constantly interacting with each other under your main nervous system. Here are a few examples of your body’s regulated systems:
The immune system, which is responsible for both the control of pathogens but also for allergic reactions.
The hormone system (endocrine system), which does not only contain growth and sex hormones but also the hormones necessary for metabolism, especially that of insulin.
The cardiovascular system regulates blood pressure and heart rate.
The exocrine system includes all body glands such as sweat, salivary, mammary, ceruminous, lacrimal/tears, scent, sebaceous and mucous but also the pancreas and liver as they also secrete products.
The gastrointestinal system includes digestion, detoxification and expelling waste.
The respiratory system, in relation to the endocannabinoid system, regulates the intake of oxygen and expels carbon dioxide.
The list seems endless. If you remember that you are a multitude of complex systems, all constantly interacting with each other under your main network, the nervous system, then it is easy to understand how one ailment can easily spread negative effects to other systems. Thirdly, it is important to understand the relationship between the nervous system and the endocannabinoid system (named after the plant that led to its discovery).
The nervous system sends neurotransmitters, i.e. messages, throughout your body. These neurotransmitters are like packages of information, providing signals from one cell to the next and to the next. In other words, the nervous system sends a variety of neurotransmitters to transmit commands and sensory effects; a message binds to the receptor of the cell, which then triggers another electrical signal, passing the message onto the next cell, and so on and so forth. Thus, the nervous system involves your motor skills and reflexes; sensation of pain and mediation; emotions; the psyche and its disturbance; regulating organs and digestion; the day and night rhythm; and so much more.
The endocannabinoid system is involved in regulating pain, immune system, sleep, appetite and much more. So in other words, the body produces endocannabinoids that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system. CB1 receptors are located in the nervous system (connective tissues, gonads, glands, and organs) but there are also CB2 receptors in the immune system (spleen, heart, kidneys, bones, blood vessels, lymph cells, endocrine glands, and reproductive organs), which is why scientists are, for instance, fascinated with the benefits of CBD for inhibiting the growth of tumors. (Researchers today suspect that there may even be a third cannabinoid receptor which has yet to be discovered!) In other words, the endocannabinoid system regulates many bodily functions. The peculiarity of the cannabinoid receptors is their location. To explain, your nervous system is built of transmitters and receptors, i.e. first and secondary cells. So, normally, receptors are located at the secondary cell to forward the signal on. However, oddly, the cannabinoid receptors are located on the former, i.e. the transmitter cell. This means that CBD is not directly responsible for the forwarding of the signal, but the transmitter cell retrograde, that is, returns information in a retrograde manner. Cannabinoids thus provide feedback to the transmitter cell. The messengers of the endocannabinoid system are therefore referred to as retrograde neurotransmitters or neuromodulators. So although CBD has a little direct binding affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors, it can influence the actual information transferred, also modulating several non-cannabinoid receptors and ion channels. Essentially, CBD works alongside the CB1 and CB2 receptors, supporting your whole endocannabinoid system, such as by enhancing or inhibiting the binding action of certain G-protein coupled receptors. For example, Jose Alexandre Crippa and his colleagues at the University of San Paulo in Brazil and King’s College in London have found that CBD directly activates the 5-HT1A (hydroxytryptamine) serotonin receptor, thereby conferring a calming effect. Another example, CBD binds to TRPV1 receptors, which also function as ion channels, TRPV1 being known for mediating pain perception, inflammation and body temperature.