The cannabis plant contains over 60 unique chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a naturally occurring cannabinoid component of cannabis and has become widely used for its therapeutic effects. While delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the major active ingredient of the cannabis plant, cannabidiol (CBD) can make up about 40% of cannabis extracts depending on the plant. CBD does not cause intoxication or euphoria (the “high”) that comes from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is THC (and not CBD) that is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana.Benefits of CBD
Clinical studies have shown that CBD could be beneficial for many health conditions including anxiety, chronic pain, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, sleep disorders, PTSD and epilepsy- to name just a few!How CBD Works on Receptor Sites in the Body
Serotonin receptor sites: At high concentrations, CBD directly activates the serotonin receptor, thereby conferring an anti-anxiety effect which may help with anxiety, addiction, appetite, sleep, pain perception, nausea and vomiting.
Transient Receptor Potential Cation Channel Subfamily (TRPV) ion channels: CBD binds to TRPV1 which can influence pain perception, inflammation and body temperature.
GPR55-Orphan receptor: Some studies indicate that CBD functions as an antagonist that blocks, or deactivates, another G protein-coupled receptor known as GPR55. GPR55 is widely expressed in the brain, especially in the cerebellum. It is involved in modulating blood pressure and bone density, among other physiological processes. GPR55 promotes osteoclast cell function, which facilitates bone reabsorption. Overactive GPR55 receptor signaling is associated with osteoporosis.
Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptors (PPAR): Activation of PPAR-Gamma has an anti-proliferative effect, which may induce tumor regression in human lung cancer cell lines. PPAR-gamma activation degrades amyloid-beta plaque, a key molecule linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. This is one of the reasons why cannabidiol, a PPAR-gamma agonist, may be a useful remedy for Alzheimer’s patients. PPAR receptors also regulate genes that are involved in energy homeostasis, lipid uptake, insulin sensitivity, and other metabolic functions. Diabetics, accordingly, may benefit from a CBD-rich treatment regimen.Is CBD right for you?
Above, we have discussed a few of the benefits of CBD, and some of the ways in which CBD works on the human body. If you are considering a trial of CBD products to help with any health concerns, it is recommended you have a full evaluation with your medical provider to discuss benefits, or potential risks, in regards to the use of CBD.
Julie Cunningham, PMHNP, MBA