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How Does CBD Affect Your Brain?

cbd and brain

How is CBD Different from THC & Other Phytocannabinoids?

Each phytocannabinoid interacts with your brain and body differently. Let’s take CBD for example. Unlike THC, CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid so consumers won’t feel “high” or under the influence. However, those who use CBD may expect to feel alterations in their mental and physical state with a reduction in anxiety and tension that brings about a greater feeling of calmness. Consumers who are interested in the health benefits of hemp and cannabis gravitate more towards CBD when they do not want the psychoactive effects of THC or when they cannot use THC due to its federal status in the workplace. CBD is an excellent alternative for those looking to relax, de-stress, alleviate pain and reduce  inflammation—all the benefits without the “high” that is so commonly associated with THC.

What are CB1 & CB2 Receptors?

CB1 receptors can be found in various parts of the brain, and are connected in areas that affect memory, cognition, senses and emotions. When THC attaches to these receptors, it causes the person to feel “high” by impacting their memory, perceptions and thinking. CB2 receptors are closely related but are found mostly on microglia—a type of neuroglia located throughout the brain and spinal cord. Microglia account for roughly 10-15% of cells within the brain.

How Does CBD Interact with the Brain?

While CBD doesn’t attach itself to cannabinoid receptors like CB1 and CB2, CBD does amplify the binding-efficiency of specific protein-coupled receptors found throughout the body. Your body has its own natural system for interacting with cannabinoids, called the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a neuromodulator signaling system that plays an important role within the central nervous system. The endocannabinoid system leverages receptors found throughout the body and can perform different tasks determined by the tissue location. The goal of these tasks is to achieve homeostasis and allow communication between different cell types. As an example; when you have an injury, cannabinoids may decrease the release of sensitizers from the injured tissue. This helps to stabilize the nerve cell, and can also normalize nearby immune cells. This may prevent inflammation so the body can take necessary actions to address the injury.

Nuclear Receptors

Nuclear receptors are peroxisome proliferator activated receptors—or PPARs for short—and may be activated by CBD. CBD can activate a receptor called PPAR-gamma, which starts an inhibiting process on malignant cells. The activation of this receptor may cause some tumors to regress cancer cell lines within the lungs, liver and breasts.

GRP55 Orphan Receptors

The GPR55 orphan receptors affect bone density and blood pressure modulation. These receptors are known to cause the migration and multiplication of cancer cells. CBD is shown to block the signal of the GRP55 orphan receptors, which may inhibit cell growth of cancer cells.

trpv1 receptors

CBD is shown to bind to the TRPV1 receptors, which influence temperature regulation in the body, inflammation and your perception of pain. When CBD binds to the TRPV1 receptor and is activated, this can cause your pain tolerance to increase as well as to help efficiently regulate the body’s temperature through thermoregulation.

Serotonin Receptor

CBD activates the serotonin 1A receptor, which is thought to be associated with therapeutic effects. You may be familiar with serotonin, as it is responsible for the regulation of hormones that influence how we react to stress and impact our mood. When CBD activates this receptor, CBD users have felt a decrease in anxiety, depression and nausea.

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