The Discovery of CBD and how CBD Works
1. The Discovery of CBD
We just briefly talked about it in the previous article. CBD is one of many cannabinoids which we can find in the plant cannabis sativa.
It is non-psychotropic which means that the consumption won’t lead to euphoric sensations or highs like THC.
In 1940 CBD was isolated from cannabis sativa the first time and the findings were published by a group of chemists from the University of Illinoi. However, without much extensive research, the substance was classified as toxic and excluded positive effects on the human body. Nonetheless, this was the first significant milestone in the history of CBD.
Afterwards, strict enforced laws in regards to marijuana made further researches extremely difficult that CBD remained a mystery for a long period.
It took till 1963 where Cannabidiol (CBD) was further explored by Raphael Mechoulam and his team. It was also the same group of scientists who were the first to synthesized CBD in 1965 and one year later the more famous cannabinoid THC.
It took almost another 10 more years where scientific experiments revealed that CBD can limit the effects of THC in the human body.
In 1974 it turned out that pure THC could cause besides its “high” sensation also unpleasant side effects like short- cognitive impairment and paranoia. In combination with CBD it allowed the scientists to use THC solely with its beneficial properties and in a dosage, which would have been impossible before.
Since then CBD has become a favorite of the medical research community and numerous clinical experiments and trials followed.
In the late 1980s, scientists discovered the endocannabinoid system in the human body. With this breakthrough several discoveries followed and suggested unimaginably possibilities of cannabis or CBD as a medical application.
Today CBD has proven remarkable therapeutically benefits. For example, in treatments of illnesses such as insomnia, anxiety, depression, nausea due to chemotherapy, post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and epilepsy. And this are just a few of them.
2. How does CBD work and influences our body?
In fact, the human body produces its own cannabinoids which are called endocannabinoids.
These molecules are deeply embedded in the cells of various regions in our body. They are able to stimulate specific responses from these cells, depending on the signals they receive from the cannabinoid receptors.
While there are a lot of cannabinoid receptors in our body, the most researched are:
CB1 which are mainly located in the brain and central nervous system
CB2 which are more prominent in the immune system.
You have to imagine that millions of small communication hotspots are scattered throughout the body and are waiting for the right signal from the body itself or from an added product – in this case THC or CBD.
As you probably already could guess, once THC is consumed, it will interact mainly with CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain and central nervous system. This affects the cell responses in these systems and causes the feeling of pleasure, euphoria and the better-known mind-altering effect.
CBD instead is interacting primarily with CB2 receptors which are located in the peripheral nervous system. Within it will likely affect the rest of your body without giving you the “high” sensation THC brings.
Besides this, CBD interacts with non-cannabinoid receptors as well. For example, opioid receptors which are associated with pain regulation and it affects dopamine receptors in the brain which regulates cognitive behavior.
To sum it up – we could say that cannabidiol acts on a variety of receptors and additionally affects non-cannabinoid receptors whose effects have not been fully explored yet.
What is known till today has already enormous potential for medical applications.
This is exactly why CBD products such as oils and nutritional supplements have become a trend for many people. In addition to oil drops in tea or food it can be consumed in a variety of ways like vaping it.