The Science Behind CBD: What is CBD and How Does it Work?
What is CBD?
CBD is not a strange new ‘drug’. Neither is it a ‘snake oil’ with magical healing properties. CBD is a natural compound found in the oils of the hemp plant. It has many health benefits without the “high” of cannabis. Amidst all the craze surrounding CBD, we find it helpful to offer an explanation that demystifies CBD and helps others understand what it is and how it works.
CBD (short for cannabidiol) is an organic compound found in hemp and cannabis plants. It is called a cannabinoid because it is unique to these plants, but it is in a class of common compounds produced by all plants, called terpenes. Terpenes are the natural oils that give plants their aroma, flavor, and color. Many people are familiar with essential oils, which are the concentrated oils distilled from plants. Essential oils are primarily terpenes. For example, when you smell the essential oil of Lavender, one of the primary aromas is the terpene Linalool. When you smell the essential oil of sweet orange, one of the primary aromas is from the terpene Limonene. When you smell the essential oil of hemp, one of the primary aromas is the terpene/cannabinoid CBD.
So CBD is basically the essential oil of hemp?
Close to it. CBD compromises about 75% – 85% of the essential oil of hemp, which is called distillate. The rest is other terpenes, flavonoids, and natural compounds that give different hemp varietals their unique flavors and aromas.
How does CBD work in your body?
While CBD is a terpene like those produced by more common plants, it has some special qualities. To understand what makes it unique, we need to understand how terpenes, including CBD, work in our bodies.
Terpenes connect to cellular receptors throughout your body, achieving different effects. They are used as neurotransmitters, sending signals from one part of your body to another. One of the things that makes CBD unique is the fact that it connects with over 65 different receptors in your body, which is extraordinarily high. As a result, CBD is able to impact many different body systems and functions, from sleep, to discomfort, to mood. This is why CBD offers so many treatment options.
The primary bodily system that CBD works within is the endocannabinoid system.
We all have an endocannabinoid system and its main function is to help regulate the other body systems for maximum health. The goal of the endocannabinoid system is to help your body maintain stable, healthy functioning despite outside influences and stressors. For example, your endocannabinoid system tells your immune system to calm down once it has killed invaders and you no longer need a fever. It tells your body to relax its muscles and lower your blood pressure after a perceived threat is gone. When your sleep schedule is thrown off or your appetite is out of whack, your endocannabinoid system works to bring them back into balance. Basically, your endocannabinoid system tells your body when to get certain processes started and when to stop them. It is a communication system and CBD is one of its most effective messengers.
“The discovery of the endoccanabinoid system is the single most important scientific medical discovery since the recognition of sterile surgical technique. As our knowledge expands, we are coming to realize that the ECS is a master control system of virtually all physiology.”
– Dr. David B. Allen
CBD works both within and beyond the endocannabinoid system to increase your health. CBD functions as a neurotransmitter within your endocannabinoid system assisting in sending signals to body systems that are over or under performing. For example, CBD can assist in sending the message to reduce inflammation in your gut or ease discomfort in a twisted ankle. CBD can stimulate CB1 receptors in your brain resulting in mood stabilization and feelings of well-being. CBD can also bond to CB2 receptors throughout your body making anandamide, your body’s natural discomfort-killer, more available by preventing it from being reabsorbed. Since the cannabinoid receptors in your endocannabinoid system are the most plentiful receptors in your whole body, CBD is a helpful tool for communicating and meeting the needs of your various body systems.
CBD also connects with receptors beyond your endocannabinoid system. For example, it directly stimulates the serotonin receptors in the brain that impact stress, mood, discomfort, and sleep. CBD also interacts directly with receptors in your body that mediate inflammation and body temperature. Its functions go beyond these, including anti-oxidant and neuroprotective properties. It is a long list of capabilities. But in general, your body uses CBD to get corrective messages through when a body system is out of line.
CBD can positively affect:
- Vanilloid Receptors, which modulate discomfort levels
- Serotonin Receptors, which impact stress, depression, and mood
- Adenosine Receptors, which regulate the quality and depth of sleep
- Endocannabinoid Receptors, which influence stress levels, energy levels, memory, and appetite
About Mission Farms CBD
Have you tried CBD? At Mission Farms CBD, we craft CBD products for specific conditions using a combination of CBD and terpenes found in essential oils. We start with the hemp on our award-winning farms, and oversee all processes until the product reaches your door – we are truly farm-to-family. We are committed to helping you feel good again, all-naturally.