How does CBD work? It should be a simple, but it’s hard to get a simple answer for it, not least because there is a lot that we still don’t know about cannabidiol and the reactions it has with the human body, how it affects certain illnesses and issues, and how it makes people feel.
Full disclosure from the outset here, this article is not going to end with us claiming that we know exactly how every aspect of CBD works, because nobody does, and anyone who tells you they do needs to take the time to carry out more research.
But what we can do here is use or experience and expertise to inform you of what we know. So that’s what we’re going to do.
Fair warning, there’s going to be a bit of science, but we will keep it simple, partly because it allows more accessibility to this article, and partly because we don’t want to spend hours checking how to spell the names of obscure scientific names for body parts, chemicals, and various ailments.
Does CBD work like THC?
This is where one of the biggest misunderstandings about CBD comes in. While most understand by this point that CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it does not get you high like THC does (more on that here ) but that isn’t the only misconception.
Most believe that CBD and THC react with the body’s cannabinoid receptors in the same way, but this isn’t actually true (here comes the bit that lets you show off at dinner parties!).
There are cannabinoids that occur naturally in the human body, these are called endocannabinoids, and exist in the body’s endocannabinoid system (logically enough).
This system also has cannabinoid receptors, which the cannabinoids bind to in order to assist in various processes that occur in the body, such as appetite, fertility, and pain control. THC, like most endocannabinoids, also binds to these cannabinoid receptors, and that’s where the psychoactive effect comes from.
For a while, it was assumed that CBD worked in the same way, but it has been discovered that this is not, in fact, the case.
CBD does not bind to cannabinoid receptors, it works slightly differently, instead, CBD works as a regulator, potentially enhancing the ability of these receptors to bind to various cannabinoids.
This is, in the opinion of many, why there are potential health benefits to CBD, because it can allow the endocannabinoid system to, in principle, function more effectively, and therefore aid the processes that this system is involved with.
What Can CBD Help With?
As we have mentioned in other articles (but will repeat here to save you finding them) the jury is still out when it comes to the effects of CBD on various conditions. There is research being carried out, and in many instances, the results have been promising, but science has to be sure, and as impatient as we all may be, that is understandable.
The one exception at the time of writing is in the treatment of epilepsy related seizures, especially in younger people.
Research into CBD and its relationship to epileptic seizures has been happening for decades, and recently, results were conclusive enough for the first FDA approved medication to contain CBD to be released.
Epidiolex is an epilepsy medication that contains CBD, and has been seen by many CBD advocates as a big breakthrough.
There are still doubters, and the FDA themselves have released some controversial materials which seem to oppose their own approval of CBD medication, but the first of anything is important, and while Epidiolex didn’t exactly open the floodgates for CBD medications to gain official approval, it’s certainly wedged the door open.
As we understand more and more about how CBD works, how it treats with the body, and the potential benefits that exist as a result, the closer we come to proving (or indeed disproving) the ability of this cannabinoid to help with certain conditions.
Will Epidiolex remain the only CBD medication with regulatory approval? Personally, we don’t believe so, but it remains to be seen.
What’s your opinion? How Does CBD Work? Share with us in the comments below, or get in touch if you have any more questions.