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How Does CBD Oil Work with the Body?

CBD works in the body by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a system of cannabinoid receptors dispersed throughout the body that influence the central and peripheral nervous systems and the immune system. These receptors are activated when cannabinoids are introduced (or released) in the body. When the receptors are activated, they affect certain neurotransmitters released by the brain.

Neurotransmitters are essentially chemical “messengers” or signals that allow neurons, nerve cells, and other cells throughout the body to communicate and transmit information with each other. Neurotransmitters also boost and balance these signals that are constantly occurring throughout the body. Neurotransmitters affect many different physical and psychological functions including sleep, movement, mood, and brain function. Deficiencies or problems with neurotransmitters can lead to a host of diseases and health concerns including Alzheimer’s and epilepsy. (For more information on neurotransmitters click here and here.)

The ECS works with neurotransmitters and other internal processes to promote homeostasis or balance in the central nervous system and physiological functions and plays a significant role in modulating pain and inflammation. (Studies here and here describe the ECS as such.)

So where does CBD fit into all of this? Although the body produces endocannabinoids on its own (“endo” meaning within or internal), the hemp plant also contains a host of naturally-occurring cannabinoids. When cannabinoids like CBD or THC are ingested, they latch onto receptors in the body just like endocannabinoids would. When the receptors are activated, neurotransmitters kick into gear causing an internal reaction or response. CBD has been shown in many preclinical studies to have a number of positive therapeutic effects on the body including anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, anti-depression, antioxidant, pain management, and enhanced sleep.

In short, our bodies have a system naturally installed to absorb and utilize cannabinoids in a potentially balancing and beneficial way.

Science is only beginning to scratch the surface on the variety of ways CBD can influence the endocannabinoid system and ultimately be used for therapeutic and medicinal purposes.

Have any more questions? Try our CBD Oil FAQs