Cannabinoids are something you may have come across when researching into CBD. But what are they and how do they impact the body when you consume CBD products? In this blog, we’ll explain exactly how cannabinoids work, what they do to the body and how they can benefit you if you integrate CBD into your daily routine.
What are cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds which are found in the Cannabis sativa plant. There are over 480 compounds in this plant, but less than 70 of them are categorised as cannabinoids. The most common cannabinoid is THC – also known scientifically as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol – and this is the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. However, cannabidiol, or CBD, is another key component which accounts for around 40% of the resin extract from the plant.
What are the effects of cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids interact with specific receptors on the surface of cells in the body, which are found in various parts of the central nervous system. The two main forms of cannabinoid receptors are CB1 and CB2. So, the effect of these compounds in the body actually depends on the area of the brain that’s involved.
If the effects are on the limbic system, this could impact cognition and psychomotor performance, while mesolimbic pathways affect pleasure responses and pain perception. Cannabinoids produce these effects by regulating how cells communicate, such as how they send, receive and process information.
How does CBD play a part?
Cannabinoids impact the body differently depending on the level of psychoactivity they provide. While THC is a psychoactive compound, cannabidiol is not. CBD is one of the most abundant cannabinoids and it is believed to produce anti-anxiety effects, calming the mind and helping with sleep, as well as affecting pain and inflammation levels, helping people with conditions such as arthritis.
CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD on the market, as it contains no other compounds, and it can be purchased in crystal, powder or drop form (such as in Vitabiotics CBD), making it easy to integrate into your lifestyle. CBD isolate can be taken sublingually for the quickest absorption and it can also be added to beverages or food as a convenient way to take this supplement. CBD can also be purchased in broad-spectrum or full-spectrum form, but these both contain other compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids.
If you’re new to CBD, it’s worth starting off with low doses and gradually working up until you’re familiar with how your body responds to it. However, do not exceed 70 mg per day and always check with your GP before taking new supplements to ensure it’s safe for you to do so. Likewise, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you should avoid CBD.