How Exactly Does CBD Oil Work in the Brain and Body?

7th March 2022

The use of CBD oil among the general public has exploded massively in the last 10 years or so.  While it used to be the case that only those intimately familiar with CBD and all things cannabis used it, nowadays, people are using it as part of their regular routine.

The fact that even British people, famously anti-cannabis, are searching for the best CBD oils UK is evidence of how popular cannabidiol has become. 

However, there is a fundamental problem – despite how many people take it, liquid or gummies, not a lot of people really understand how CBD oil works to begin with.

So, how does CBD oil actually work once taken, and how does it interact with the brain and body?

What Is CBD Oil?

No matter how popular it becomes, plenty of people still don’t understand CBD or what it is.

Fundamentally, CBD oil is cannabidiol that has been extracted from hemp plants. From there, the CBD is immersed in food-grade oil that holds a variety of hemp compounds.

CBD oil is taken orally or used to make other types of CBD products, such as edibles or vape oil.

So, after you take CBD oil, how does it actually interact with the body?  

How Does CBD Oil Interact with the Body?

CBD oil is taken orally; this means it’s consumed via the mouth and travels through the body’s digestive system before interacting with the ECS. 

So, how does it work?

For starters, CBD is similar to other substances that affect the human body in that it works by binding to receptors throughout our body.

To start, the CBD is broken down with the liver, just like many other substances, and then it makes its way throughout the body to interact with our endocannabinoid system (ECS).

This system exists throughout the body and is essentially a system of receptors for interacting with various cannabinoids produced in the body.

That’s right; the human body makes cannabinoids all on its own. Cannabinoids are responsible for all sorts of different bodily functions, including helping to regulate the rate of inflammation.

When we take external cannabinoids from things like CBD oil or regular cannabis, we are essentially supplementing our natural cannabinoid production.

Because of this, many people are using CBD oils in the UK and further afield, encouraging the body’s natural processes to trigger a variety of different potential benefits.

These benefits occur due to CBD’s interaction with the ECS and its receptors, which allow the body to react in many different ways.

So, what are these receptors?

What Are the Different Bodily Receptors for CBD?

The trouble with trying to understand cannabinoids, in general, is the unfortunate truth that there are all sorts of things we still don’t properly understand.

While the research into cannabinoids is constantly ongoing, we are now starting to comprehend how cannabinoids work in the human body.

Modern research suggests that two principal receptors in the body interact with cannabinoids: CB1 and CB2. These receptors are basically like little locks that perfectly fit the ‘key’ shape of cannabinoids. When the cannabinoids lock into the receptors, they activate them to trigger different effects.

The two receptors are also fundamentally different based on their specific location. Though the receptors are spread all over, they are concentrated in different areas. For example, the CB1 receptors are primarily located in the brain, while the CB2 receptors are more frequent in the immune and gastrointestinal systems.

This fundamental difference is actually how CBD can affect the body differently from regular cannabis; CBD primarily interacts with the CB2 receptor. THC, on the other hand, works more strongly with the CB1 receptor.

THC affects our mental state more strongly as there are more CB1 receptors in the brain, inducing the typical sensation of feeling high.

CBD instead works with the CB2 receptor and actually triggers it more gently. CBD does not directly trigger the CB receptors but instead influences them via indirect pathways.

This allows for a gentler, less intensive effect, which is why CBD does not produce the sensation of feeling high at all. 

Final Thoughts: How Does CBD Oil Work in the Brain and Body?

Cannabinoids are ultimately pretty complicated, but they also perform a surprisingly large array of benefits within the body.

While there is still plenty of research to be done surrounding CBD and its effects on the human body, in the meantime, we can safely enjoy it for all sorts of purposes.

Just like with other supplements, though we might not completely understand it, we know that we can benefit from it and enjoy it at the same time.