How Does CBD Work?

Go back in time 25 years and ask anyone, “How does CBD work?” and most people would probably respond with, “What is CBD?” In fact, up until the passage of the Farm Bill in 2018, most people didn’t know what CBD was, let alone how it works.

Nowadays, most people know that CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. There are plenty of compounds (both psychoactive and non-psychoactive) found in the cannabis plant, but the two that have gotten the most press have been CBD and THC.

THC has been popular for a long time, dating back 45 centuries when records showed ancient civilizations using cannabis and marijuana medicinally. And once the Farm Bill was signed into law in 2018, CBD’s popularity skyrocketed. It was hailed as a miracle drug that could help with an impressively wide range of ailments like pain, depression, anxiety, inflammation, sleeplessness and recovery. But how does CBD really work to accomplish all of these amazing things?

To understand how CBD works, we have to understand what CBD works on, and that’s our endocannabinoid system.

What is the Endocannabinoid System?

Everybody’s got an endocannabinoid system in their body, and the primary function of it is to maintain homeostasis, or balance, throughout your body. It does this by signaling the release of neurotransmitters in your brain — basically being the traffic cop of the chemicals in your brain. It tells them when to go and when to stop.

If your body experiences an injury, it’s the endocannabinoid system that signals the brain to release the proper chemicals to begin healing. Almost completely healed? Your endocannabinoid system knows that, and that’s why it is signaling your brain to slow the release of the neurotransmitters, because their work is almost done. Great job, endocannabinoid system!

Similarly, if you’re experiencing anxiety, inflammation, depression, or any other imbalance in your body, it’s your endocannabinoid system’s job to restore balance by directing the chemical traffic in your brain.

Understanding the endocannabinoid system makes it so much easier to understand how CBD works and why CBD is so effective against such a wide range of conditions. But just like all of our brain’s functions, the endocannabinoid system itself also runs on neurotransmitters that travel through synapses and bind to specific receptor sites (called CB1 and CB2 receptors), which is basically how your brain “throws & catches” or “passes & receives” the chemicals that tell it what to do. And the fuel that moves the chains forward for our endocannabinoid system are called, you guessed it, endocannabinoids.

What are Endocannabinoids?

Endocannabinoid is a mashup of the words “endogenous”, which means ‘made naturally by our body’, and cannabinoids, which are essential chemical compounds that act as the engine of our endocannabinoid system. The two main endocannabinoids are called 2-Arachidonoylglycerol and anandamide. Together, these endocannabinoids are instantly created out of proteins right when they’re needed to travel & bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptor sites to initiate any number of physical responses.

These physical responses can serve to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, induce sleepiness, enhance appetite, or promote recovery, for example. Whatever it takes to bring your body back to a state of equilibrium, the endocannabinoids in your endocannabinoid system won’t rest until the job is done.

To learn what CBD’s role in all of this is, we need to understand that CBD is a special kind of cannabinoid known as a phytocannabinoid, which means that CBD occurs naturally in the cannabis plant (‘phyto’ means ‘relating to plants’). Once endocannabinoids (our hard-to-pronounce friends, anandamide and 2-AG) are created and released in your body, they travel and bind to their respective CB1 and CB2 receptors, where their message is conveyed before they’re ushered away from their receptor sites and immediately degraded by proteins & enzymes.

In much the same way that we don’t take just one bite of food and proclaim ourselves to be sufficiently nourished, our body’s path toward homeostasis is not achieved through a single “dose” of endocannabinoids. Once the first round has done their job and begins to degrade, we’re going to need more endocannabinoids. Bonus points if we can get either longer lasting, more effective cannabinoids; am I right?

Enter CBD.

When we introduce CBD into our body (either via tincture, softgel, gummy, topical salve or other method), it does two very important things. First, CBD runs interference on the proteins and enzymes that seek to usher anandamide away from its receptors to begin its degradation, thus inhibiting anandamide’s reuptake and enabling it to exist & be effective for a longer period of time. Second, CBD also promotes anandamide synthesis, or enables it to create more of itself.

By increasing the efficacy & longevity of existing anandamide and promoting anandamide synthesis, CBD is effectively acting as the nitrous boost in the fuel tank of our endocannabinoid system. This means that CBD helps us be more effective and efficient at maintaining whole body homeostasis.

How Do I Choose the Best CBD for Me?

By understanding how CBD works, you’re better equipped to make an informed decision on which CBD products are best for you.

Supplements like CBD Softgels and CBD Capsules are an excellent way to ensure the proper dosage of CBD that is right for you, as each serving will contain the exact same amount of CBD as the others. Just Live’s CBD Softgels and CBD Capsules are specifically formulated with other beneficial ingredients to help promote better sleep, prepare for a workout, recover from a workout, or simply promote whole body wellness.

Ingestibles like CBD Oil / CBD Tinctures offer fast absorption and the most versatility in dosing because you can adjust your intake based on need. Additionally, they can taste great! Just Live’s line of highly effective CBD Oil Tinctures feature both a natural, earthy flavor and a deliciously refreshing minty flavor.

CBD Gummies are a tasty way to get your wellness fix. At Just Live, we’ve infused each 25mg CBD Gummy with a citrus kick of vitamin C that’ll do right by your body and your taste buds!

CBD topicals are great for immediate relief on a specific area of your body. Just Live’s Pain Relief Cream and Freeze Therapy Roll-On are two of the best products on the market because of their ease of use and high-quality CBD that we use.

Speaking of high quality CBD, when determining what CBD product is best for you, many companies will claim to have the highest percentage of CBD, but the only way to know for sure is through third-party testing and verified Certificates of Analysis (COA).

Before you buy, ensuring that each CBD product has a valid COA will confirm the efficacy of the product you’re buying.

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