How Marijuana’s CBD Works In The Body According To Science

It can fight pain and inflammation, but how?

Marijuana's CBD
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Staff/Getty Images

Marijuana’s CBD and THC are the two most famous cannabinoids present within the marijuana plant. CBD differentiates itself from THC because it’s non-psychoactive and it also has a large impact on a therapeutic level. For this reason, CBD has been a large area of interest for scientists and researchers who have uncovered some of the most valuable properties for the cannabinoid.  

Studies from the university of Sao Paulo and London have discovered how CBD affects anxiety, targeting 5-HT1A, a serotonin receptor that’s involved with the regulation of anxiety, pain, appetite, addiction and others. CBD produces an antidepressant effect, alleviating the symptoms previously mentioned. It’s also been discovered that CBDA – cannabdiolic acid – present in cannabis in its raw form, also stimulates 5-HT1A. Unlike mushrooms, LSD and other stimulants that excite the receptor, CBD slows it down.

CBD is also able to interact with receptors that are responsible for pain perception, inflammation and body temperature. One of these receptors is TRPV, also known as a vanilloid receptor, named after the vanilla bean due to the analgesic and antiseptic properties it has in common with the plant. Marijuana’s CBD stimulates TRPV, producing great therapeutic results when it comes to treating different sorts of pain.

Some studies suggest that CBD not only stimulates receptors like TRPV and 5-HT1A, but that it’s also capable of blocking them. GPR55 is a receptor that facilitates bone reabsorbtion, and when there’s too much of it studies link it to diseases like osteoporosis and cancer.

CBD’s anti-cancer effect is extended in other ways as well, like with the activation of PPARs, receptors that are located on our cell’s nucleus and that may induce tumor regression and the prevention of the growth of these cells.

More studies need to be conducted, but this information is promising in terms of what CBD could do for preventing cancer, osteoporosis and treating the symptoms of many other diseases, like Alzheimer’s and diabetes. For more information you can read this article, which goes into more detail about the benefits and ongoing studies regarding CBD.

This story originally appeared on the Project CBD website.

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