CBD (cannabidiol) is one of 85 chemical substances known as cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant. CBD is a major non-psychoactive component of cannabis, representing up to 40% of its extracts.
CBD interacts with receptors found throughout the endocannabinoid systems in our own bodies. There are two types of cannabinoid receptors that have been identified—CB1 (located in the brain) and CB2 (located in the peripheral nervous system). CBD has a higher affinity for CB2 receptors and is believed to interact with several signaling systems besides the CB receptors, including a serotonin receptor.
The endocannabinoid system is an essential communications system throughout our brain and body that affects many important body functions including pain, mood, movement, memory, and sensation. It helps maintain immune function and homeostasis. Our endocannabinoid system receptors interact with cannabinoids—endogenous cannabinoids we naturally create within our own bodies and cannabinoids from cannabis like CBD.
Although phase III clinical trials sanctioned by the FDA are still technically needed to establish the use of CBD for specific conditions, numerous clinical studies, clinical research, and anecdotal evidence demonstrate the range of CBD’s therapeutic benefits can offer relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis, seizures, spasms, and other conditions without disconcerting feelings of lethargy or dysphoria.