Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of more than 100 phytocannabinoids in the hemp plant (CBD sativa L.). The hemp plant is native to Central and South Asia and has been used for thousands of years for its practical applications and medicinal properties. Today’s CBD preparations contain a standardized amount of CBD (and CBDa or cannabidiolic acid, a precursor substance of CBD) and no more than 0.025% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another common cannabinoid in the hemp plant that has psychoactive effects in addition to medicinal ones. The best scientifically substantiated is the antiepileptic effects of CBD. Research done in recent years supports the therapeutic potential of CBD in other conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety disorders and psychosis.
What is CBD?
CBD is a fat-soluble phytocannabinoid. Although it has the same chemical formula as THC, its three-dimensional structure and action are quite different. CBD has a variety of biological effects that are beneficial to health, is safe to use, and does not cause a “high” or “stoned” feeling like THC. For these reasons, CBD is currently the most researched cannabinoid.
Scientific research shows that CBD has many properties that can promote health. For example, CBD has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antioxidant, anti-anxiety, antidepressant, neuroprotective, antipsychotic, and antiepileptic effects, among others. In addition, CBD inhibits the enzyme aldosereductase which is responsible for the first step in glucose metabolism, namely the conversion of glucose to sorbitol, and plays an important role in diabetes complications. There is also evidence that CBD counteracts autoimmunity. Also, when used simultaneously, CBD counteracts acute effects of THC, such as triggering anxiety.
The exact mechanisms by which CBD exerts its effects have not yet been fully elucidated. It is believed that CBD influences communication between neurons and is thus therapeutically effective in disorders of the nervous system. To date, 76 molecules in the body (“targets” of CBD) have already been identified, mainly receptors and enzymes, with which CBD can interact.
CBD is able to bind to receptors that are part of the body’s own (endogenous) cannabinoid system. In fact, the body itself makes substances that are very similar to cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids. These substances and the receptors to which they bind are involved in the regulation of many processes, including pain perception and appetite. CB1 and CB2 (cannabinoid receptor types 1 and 2) are the most studied cannabinoid receptors to date. However, CBD has a very low affinity for these receptors compared to THC.
However, CBD does indirectly affect the endocannabinoid system through inhibition of the enzyme FAAH (fatty acid amide hydrolase) responsible for the degradation of anandamide, an important endocannabinoid. A number of other receptors, including the GRP18 and GRP55 receptors, are now tentatively believed to be part of the endocannabinoid system as well. These receptors are primarily located in the central nervous system, but are also found in other organs and tissues. Through these and other receptors, CBD initiates molecular changes in the cell.
CBD also has “targets” outside the endocannabinoid system. Among other things, CBD is an agonist* of the receptor TRPV1 transient receptor potential vanilloid which regulates pain sensations, among other things, and of the serotonin receptor 5HT1A. In addition, CBD modulates the levels of various neurotransmitters, such as glutamate, GABA, serotonin, and dopamine, through interaction with receptors and through inhibition of reuptake. Find the Best RD oils by going to this link.
CBD also inhibits adenosine reuptake. Adenosine is an important molecule that is, among other things, part of the energy carrier ATP (adenosine triphosphate), of numerous coenzymes such as acetyl-CoA (acetyl-co-enzyme A) and NAD/ NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), and of AMP (adenosine monophosphate) that make up DNA and RNA. High levels of adenosine have been associated with neuroprotection and anti-inflammation. In addition, CBD is an agonist of the adenosine A2A receptor which plays a role in dampening inflammatory responses. The mechanisms of action of CBD described above are the most important and best studied to date.