Why is CBD oil so popular?
Cannabidiol (CBD) has gained most of its notoriety in the US and Canada where medical marijuana is mostly legal and quite commonly prescribed to those who need it. The demographic of people using medical cannabis and CBD products can explain why it has been raised into a multibillion-dollar industry over the past few years. Cannabis isn’t just something that is used by the angst-ridden teenager anymore, it is now being used by aunties and uncles and even grandparents.
CBD oil has also gained traction in the UK with the biggest rise being since medical marijuana was legalised in November 2018. It is being touted as a miracle substance with no known side effects and that has no potential for abuse or overdose limit and it can help with symptoms from multiple different ailments. But, how does CBD oil affect humans and has there been enough clinical trials to suggest that CBD is the wonder compound that everybody says it is?
How does CBD oil affect the human body?
The human body (and almost every other living creature on earth) has a network of receptors called the endocannabinoid system. These receptors fall into two main groups known as CB1 and CB2. When CBD interacts with receptors in the endocannabinoid system there appears to be a number of associated health benefits.
CB1 receptors are found predominantly in the central nervous system which consists of your brain and spinal cord. In fact, CB1 receptors are one of the most abundant receptor types in the brain. They are mostly associated with effects concerning sleep, memory and depression.
CB1 receptors are what THC binds to in order to elicit its psychoactive effects. CBD doesn’t physically bind to the CB1 receptors but in fact, changes how other molecules bind to it. Because CBD doesn’t directly bind to the CB1 receptors, it doesn’t cause the same psychotropic effects as THC.
In fact, it has been shown to alter the way in which THC binds to the CB1 receptors and hence it has been associated with reducing the intensity of the psychoactive effects of THC.
CB2 receptors are found predominantly in areas other than the central nervous system, so on tissues and organs as well as cells of the immune system. They are mostly associated with effects concerning immune response and inflammation.
CB1 and CB2 aren’t the only two types of cannabinoid receptor. They are just the most abundant, the first to be discovered and therefore the most studied and understood.