11 Jan Is CBD Scientifically Proven to Work?
CBD, according to the preliminary research, has been shown to have positive therapeutic effects. But we’ve all heard that.
Most people are asking more along the lines of the “why and the how,” especially since most of the general public struggle to get through the dense and often highly technical papers that the scientific community publishes on the subject.
Plus, with all of the naturalist “cure-all” propaganda surrounding CBD oil now, it’s challenging to know what may be fact and what is wishful thinking.
Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll have a few more answers and a better understanding of how and why CBD oil has the effects on the body that it does, according to science.
Body Function Basics: Receptors And Molecules
First off, some perspective about the body and “substances” in general. Everything the body does is chemistry. From something as simple as chewing your food to breathing, all involve complex chemical processes. The body does this via receptors.
Every receptor has a distinctive shape, and if a molecule fits into the “keyhole,” then the receptor is then activated. From sensing the presence of a molecule to breakdown and disposal, everything is about receiving signals.
This concept relates to CBD because your body has specialized receptors that recognize cannabinoids, specifically.
The Endogenous Cannabinoid System
The system that recognizes cannabinoids is your endogenous (meaning occurring within the body) cannabinoid (meaning the type of molecule) system.
So, primarily, your body produces its cannabinoids, all on its own, with no contact high required.
The EC (endogenous cannabinoid) system is your body’s control dash. This system is involved in maintaining homeostasis – which essentially means that it monitors a lot of your bodily functions and works to maximize function and keep all essential compounds at the correct levels.
The EC system maintains a vast range of systems via two receptors: CB1 and CB2, located throughout the body.
CB1 receptors are located within the central nervous system affecting the brain and spinal nerves.
CB2 receptors are located within the peripheral nervous system (the nerve networks in your limbs), your gut, and specific cells within the immune system.
The EC system itself plays a part in regulating the following:
- Appetite and Gut Health
- Immune Function (including inflammation response)
- Body temperature
- Pleasure and reward centers
- Memory and mood
This is one of the reasons why CBD has such a wide range of maladies that it supposedly treats because the system it is interacting with is wide-ranging in its reach.
So How Does CBD Work?
In short, CBD works because the body has the receptors for the molecule. It just so happens that the receptors that are affected are a part of a system that is responsible for maintaining homeostasis.
Why Does CBD Oil Work
Hopefully, the “how” has been answered, the “why” is a little more complicated.
CBD research shows us that CBD oil interacts with the CB2 receptors, which interact with the immune system and gut, as stated above.
CBD does not affect these receptors by binding to them directly.
Instead, it modifies the receptors in a way that inhibits the breakdown of the two major endocannabinoid molecules: anandamide and 2-AG
Anandamide, whose name means “bliss,” affects the appetite and memory, among other systems, and it is this molecule that is the source of the famous “runner’s high.”
2-AG or 2-Arachidonoylglycerol, in research, has shown links to affecting mood, seizure prevention, and cardiovascular health.
But remember these are endogenous and the body, in all its processes, manufactures, executes, and breaks down. These breakdown systems are crucial in many processes to avoid runaway reactions.
But for people suffering from a chronic immune disease where inflammation is a significant cause of the discomfort, they would potentially and in anecdotal research have benefited from extended contact with anandamide and 2-AG.
The two breakdown enzymes are FAAH and MAGL. FAAH breakdowns anandamide and MAGL breakdowns 2-AG. CBD inhibits both. CBD also simultaneously stimulates the EC system by raising the level of cannabinoids in the blood.
This prolonged contact paired with the stimulation is the “how” of CBD.
By raising the EC response and allowing for those enzymes to have a longer life within the receptor, it results in the therapeutic properties of CBD. CBD affects such a wide range of symptoms because the EC system is involved in maintaining so many bodily functions.
So it’s true that CBD can change things as diverse as gut health, memory, and mood for the better.
So why aren’t we all over this already?
CBD does not function on its own in isolation.
This is what the crux of the problem has been with its study and development of therapies.
For CBD to perform, there must also be THC present – which is the molecule that gets you high, and the governments don’t want to legalize THC.
Though the THC can be present in sub-therapeutic levels, far below anyone’s threshold to get high, it’s still there and the government has…rules, you know.
Things are changing, but we won’t be seeing many labs taking up research in earnest until it’s not a potential felony, rightly so.
Thus, from a science perspective, yes, CBD does work, to a degree.
It is not a cure-all; it is not a miracle drug. It only just stimulates and intensifies the natural healing and regulating systems we already have within our bodies.
It won’t regrow limbs or cure any cancer. Still, for pain management as well as chronic illnesses that involve immune malfunction and inflammation, CBD could be a beneficial supplement to existing therapies to improve the day-to-day quality of life for sufferers.
This contradicts all of our clients who offer zero THC, CBD oil.