What Is Cannabidiol CBD?

Cannabidiol is a chemical compound found in the cannabis sativa plant, also known as marijuana. CBD is just one of more than 400 compounds found in the plant and is a cannabinoid in high concentrations.

Cannabidiol banner with cannabis sativa plant

Cannabinoids actively bind to special receptors on your cells and are part of what is known as your endocannabinoid system. This is a huge network of cell receptor proteins that have a vast array of functions. Some receptors are found within your central nervous system, whereas others are found in other places, such as your reproductive organs, skin and digestive tract.

This system is responsible for controlling your mood, appetite, sleep, immune response, movement, sperm development, ovulation and cognition.

CBD and Receptors

CBD activates receptors like serotonin, adenosine and vanilloid receptors, which have the following functions:

  • Serotonin receptors aid in controlling your mood.
  • Adenosine receptors aid in controlling your sleep-wake cycle.
  • Vanilloid receptors are responsible for mediating pain signals in your body.

Your body produces its own compounds that are similar to those found in cannabis. These are known as endocannabinoids, and CBD regulates these, too. It works by blocking the fatty acid called FAAH that’s responsible for breaking down your body’s natural endocannabinoid anandamide.

Anandamide regulates many of your basic functions, like sleep, pain, reward, pleasure and more. As the FAAH is blocked from breaking down the anandamide into smaller parts, CBD boosts this chemical within your body. Furthermore, CBD connects with the receptors in your body that are responsible for regulating your body temperature and immunity, actively reducing inflammation.

Marijuana plant

Although the major active ingredient in marijuana is THC and accounts for 40 percent of cannabis extracts, it’s no wonder cannabidiol is now being studied as a new drug. CBD is one of the most exciting cannabinoids as it’s becoming increasingly known for its potential uses in treating illnesses.

 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License

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