How Does CBD Affect The Endocannabinoid System

How Does CBD Affect The Endocannabinoid System?

May 04, 2020

There’s a lot of talk about the health and medical benefits of medicinal cannabis around the globe. One of the key discussions regarding this topic is the main active compound in cannabis, which is cannabidiol (CBD). This is known to be the main agent and is now used to help with multiple medical disorders like Alzheimer’s, PTSD, anxiety, Parkinson's Disease, and even some types of cancers. So what does this component do in our body and how does it work? Read on to find out.

What is CBD?

Scientists have found more than 400 components in the Cannabis plant out of which more than 60 are Cannabinols and Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of those 113 chemicals. This Cannabidiol (CBD) combined with Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) is the most abundant chemical in the plant. Though THC is the component, which makes you high, CBD is nothing like it. In fact studies show that CBD is the component that counters the effects of THC and reduces the high. In addition there is a natural endocannabinoid system developed in our body to interact with these active components, which help to maintain the body's homeostasis. Also, CBD has many other benefits like CBD tincture that can help you sleep but if it's in combination with a sleep aid such as GABA or melatonin, it will probably be more effective to help you get to sleep and stay asleep.

How does the Endocannabinoid System Work

The endocannabinoid system not only in humans but is also present in fish, birds, reptiles, and other mammals. The Endocannabinoid receptors are present throughout the body and regulate and maintain a balance for us to function properly controls many functions like sleep, moods, appetite, pleasure, immune response, memory, fertility, and many others. When any abnormality arises in the body the EC system releases natural cannabinoids to remedy the problem. However, when the problem can't be solved, it may potentially lead to a more severe condition.

The Main Components of the EC System Include:

  1. Endocannabinoids: "Endo" means endogenous; these are referred to as cannabinoids, which are produced by the body. There are two such cannabinoids identified in our body that are Anandamide and 2-AG.

  1. Cannabinoid Receptors: These receptors are found on the surface of different body cells. These receptors bind to external and internal cannabinoids detected in our body, which help them communicate to different body functions and maintain a balance. Two primary cannabinoid receptors present in our body are CB1 and CB2.

  • CB1 receptors: Present in our central nervous system.

  • CB2 receptors: Present in our peripheral nervous system.

  1. Enzymes: Once the purpose of the endocannabinoids in our body is served, digestive enzymes are released to decompose them to avoid excessive accumulation of endocannabinoids. Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) are the enzymes to digest Anandamide and 2-AG, respectively.

                    The Effects of CBD on the Endocannabinoid System

Just like anandamide and 2-AG found in the body, CBD and THC in cannabis have an affinity to bind to the system. However, the CB1 receptor has more affinity to bind to THC than CBD. In fact, CBD is believed and proven to reduce the effects of active component THC, which is responsible for the high we get after taking CBD. Scientists have found out that CBD only affects the properties of CB1 receptors when it binds with THC.

On the other hand, the CB2 receptor is entirely different. This receptor works on causing inflammation in the body. The effects of CBD and THC on this receptor repress it, which is the opposite of its impacts on CB1 and enhances its impact. This repression of the CB2 receptor provides CBD and THC with their anti-inflammatory properties. The results of these active chemicals on these receptors are meager and next to negligible.

So, where do the healing effects of Cannabidiol come in? There are known indirect effects of CBD on our body other than the impact on receptors. These indirect effects provide a significant impact on improving medical conditions in the body.

Indirect Effects of CBD on our Body

Apart from receptors, CBD also enhances the quality of enzymes and transports protein present in the endocannabinoid system. CBD is the inhibitor for the enzyme FAAH, which degrades the endocannabinoid enzyme anandamide. By inhibiting the activities of FAAH, CBD increases the quantity of anandamide in our body, which increases the calming effects of anandamide. So, in this scenario, CBD doesn't work directly on the endocannabinoid system but rather significantly helps to enhance its effects.

Another way CBD increases the anandamide effect is it inhibits the effects of fatty acid-binding protein (FABP). The role of this protein is to bind to anandamide and help it metabolize. Then, the CBD binds with FABP and reduces the affinity of the anandamide and attaches to it. This way, CBD reduces the metabolism of anandamide in our body, resulting in enhanced and prolonged effects. One can buy high-quality CBD products from cbd oil toronto and reap out all the benefits of it.


We have seen the different direct and indirect effects of CBD on the endocannabinoid system, though CBD has a more significant indirect impact on the body and the direct effects can't be neglected. There are quite more possibilities other than the endocannabinoid system as CBD interacts with other significant systems. Studies on the medical effects of CBD on different medical conditions are ongoing and there are many case studies in which CBD has helped with medical conditions, which were beyond treatment. A scientific explanation of these case studies is still in progress, but they can potentially provide us with a more organic means of treatment for sound results.