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How Does CBD Work?

The human body is host to a special network of receptors that CBD can positively affect. Here’s how CBD works.

By Nancy Coulter-Parker

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The Live Naturally CBD Series  |  Part Three 
Answering your questions about CBD one step at a time

There’s no denying that the human body is complex. It is host to a number of systems, including a network of receptors called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is involved in regulating a variety of bodily functions.

The ECS oversees the body’s neurotransmitter network—think chemical messengers such as serotonin and dopamine—that is a part of the nervous system. The body produces cannabinoid compounds that are used by the ECS. The ECS has its own receptors. The majority of ECS receptors—referred to as CBD1 receptors—reside in the brain and help to regulate mood, sleep, pain, cognitive function and appetite. While CBD2 receptors help to manage immune system, pain and inflammation responses. Read on to find out how CBD works.

How Does CBD Work?

Where does CBD come in?

CBD—a plant-based cannabinoid—is thought to primarily help the ECS work more effectively by supporting the circulation of compounds as well as the release of neurotransmitters like anandamide, the “bliss molecule.”

In doing so, CBD is thought to help offset anxiety, pain, even nausea. Research also has pointed to CBD’s ability to help reduce certain types of seizures.

CBD is thought to function similarly to Prozac by limiting the reabsorption process so that more anandamide is available for longer, positively influencing mood and a sense of wellbeing.

How about THC?

Compared to CBD, THC is believed to interact differently by attaching to the receptors of your ECS, which creates the “high” effect.

THC is thought to mimic the neurotransmitter anandamide, which is similar to serotonin in influencing happiness and pleasure and helping us to feel calm. Typically, this neurotransmitter is released and then gets reabsorbed by enzymes and broken down.

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