Discovered in 1940, CBD (aka Cannabidiol), is one of the hundreds of compounds called cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids can also be found in the human body, and are key in normal immune and central nervous system functioning. A patent filed by the US Department of Health & Human Services defines cannabinoids as “antioxidants and neuroprotectants.”
CBD was discovered many decades ago, but it has only recently been appreciated for its wide range of benefits. While some use it to ease anxiety, manage pain or reduce inflammation, others simply consume CBD as a plant-based nutrient to maintain a state of homeostasis. Homeostasis is a term used to describe the process of maintaining internal balance in an ever-changing external environment. In humans, homeostasis refers to balancing all the processes that ultimately keep our bodies functioning properly: sleep, digestion, blood pressure, body temperature, mood… the list goes on. Our internal system responsible for maintaining homeostasis is called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
Despite the multitude of functions performed in each area of the body, the primary objective of the ECS is always the same: homeostasis, as it is quite literally the “bridge between the body and our mind”. The ECS is comprised of two primary receptors: CB1 (found mostly in the brain, nervous system, and outlying organs and tissues) and CB2 (found mostly in white blood cells, tonsils and spleen). Even though CBD has low affinity for these receptors, it does interact with other nominal receptors with remarkable effects. These include treating pain and inflammation as well as antidepressant, anti-anxiety, and neuroprotective effects.
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