How does CBD work
When CBD was identified in the 1940s, scientists assumed it had little or no effect on the body. The main focus back then was researching THC and its pharmacology. Fast forward to the 1990s and a research team led by Professor Raphael Mechoulam (commonly acknowledged as the grandfather of cannabis research) discovered what has come to be known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS) - and this changed everything.
The ECS is a vast communication network of cannabis-like chemicals - called endocannabinoids - and receptor sites found across all cells in our bodies. It is known as a homeostatic regulator, meaning that its main action is to bring balance to our bodies and minds.
Think of it as being like a dimmer switch, turning up or turning down activity to ensure equilibrium is reached. After all, this is the perfect environment for optimum health. THC was seen to activate this system because it is an almost perfect fit for the receptors in our brain and central nervous system, as well as partially activating those in our immune system and gut.
Scientists believe that CBD does influence the endocannabinoid system but in an indirect way. They have observed that CBD blocks an enzyme that breaks down anandamide: a key endocannabinoid otherwise known as the 'bliss molecule'. This means that taking CBD may allow more anandamide to be present in our bodies for longer, which is thought to potentially support and strengthen the endocannabinoid system.