The cannabinoid Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most prominent and promising compounds found in marijuana plants, and scientists are giving it much attention because of what it does to our bodies. CBD isn’t psychoactive and it doesn’t interact with the endocannabinoid system the same way as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) but it does exhibit a wide array of effects over other parts of the body. Here we address the question “what does CBD do to your body?” with what we currently know on the subject.
1. CBD activates several receptors and ion channels, including adensodine receptors (which regulate the release of neurotransmitters dopamine and glutamate), serotonin receptors (which is involved in many biological and neurological processes), vanilloid receptors (which control body temperature, inflammation, and the ability to feel pain), and others, especially when taken in high concentrations.
2. CBD deactivates GPR55, an “orphan receptor” that plays a role in controlling blood pressure, bone density, and cancer cell growth.
3. CBD inhibits the “reuptake” and breakdown of endogenous neurotransmitters (like anandamide), which raises the level of endocannabinoids in synapses of the brain and is thought to enhance the body’s natural neuroprotective effects. The anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory effects CBD has over the body are partly attributed to the cannabinoid’s ability to delay the reuptake of adensodine, as the receptors for this natural neurotransmitter control blood flow and cardiovascular function.
4. CBD can either inhibit or enhance the binding ability of several G‑coupled protein receptors.
5. CBD activates peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPARs) on cancerous cells, which has an anti-proliferative effect and often induces tumor regression. This effect CBD has on PPARs throughout the body may also lead to the development of treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and other metabolic functions.
6. CBD modulates the shape of allosteric receptors, which means it can both inhibit and enhance a receptor’s ability to transmit signals. A 2006 Australian study showed that as a “positive allosteric modulator” of (GABA) receptors CBD amplifies our bodies ability to transmit gamma-Aminobutyric acid, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the our central nervous system, and a 2015 Canadian study showed that CBD acts as a “negative allosteric modulator” of the CB1 receptor to reduce the psychoactive effects of THC.