So how does CBD work? Essentially, as with other compounds found in the hemp plant, when someone uses CBD, it attaches to certain receptors in their brain. Many people take CBD for chronic pain, and as mentioned, it doesn’t cause a high which is often associated with the use of cannabis including THC and marijuana. Some studies have shown promise as far as using CBD hemp oil as a way to deal with chronic pain and other health issues, and it’s being looked at in particular as an alternative to opioids which are so widely used and abused in the U.S. by sufferers of chronic pain and other conditions.When someone takes CBD, it impacts the endocannabinoid system which includes receptors that are located throughout the body and brain. THC specifically activates two receptors, which are the CB1 and CB2 receptors. On the other hand, CBD doesn’t stimulate these receptors, at least not directly. The cannabinoid receptors that are found inside the human body regulate a lot of different processes that we experience daily including mood, appetite, memory and pain sensation, and when they’re activated, it can be by naturally-occurring endocannabinoids, as well as the plant cannabinoids found in hemp and cannabis.
CB1 receptors are found primarily in the central nervous system, although also in smaller amounts throughout the body including in the liver and lungs. CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are part of the human immune system, and they’re found in certain blood cells. CB1 receptors are part of how the body and the central nervous system produces and releases certain neurotransmitters, which is why there are psychoactive effects of using certain types of cannabis. The CB1 receptors also deal with various processes in the liver, and they can impact things such as pleasure, appetite, and tolerance for pain. As was touched on, CB2 receptors interact with the immune system.
However, while the CB1 and CB2 receptors are activated by the use of cannabis with THC contents, CBD is different. CBD activates receptors such as the serotonin and adenosine receptors. Because of the receptors activated by CBD, using CBD hemp oil can change things like pain perception and inflammation. CBD also activates the adenosine receptors, which helps with anxiety because these receptors release dopamine. In some cases when people take higher concentrations of CBD it may activate the 5-HTIA receptor, which is a serotonin receptor, and this is why people feel CBD has an anti-depressant effect. Also important to understand when looking at how CBD works is the fact that when someone takes it, it blocks the psychoactive effects of THC, so people can take advantage of what some say are the benefits of CBD without the mind-altering effects of THC.