CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
CBD is a relatively new phenomenon compared to THC, and is therefore less understood in its interactions with the Human Endocannabinoid System. Scientists are currently studying all the ways in which it interacts with the ECS but here is what we do know:
- CBD interacts with presynaptic receptors in the brain
- It effects the presence of cannabinoids - making their interactions longer and potentially more intense
- CBD inhibits the enzyme Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and delays the time it takes to break down anandamide (AEA) - meaning it increases the signal regulated by endocannabinoids, and slows the reuptake of them by enzymes.
In anxiety disorder studies, inhibiting the FAAH enzyme has been shown to help stop anxiety disorders. CBD for anxiety is one of the purported benefits of CBD.
CBD does interact with the brain making it by definition psychoactive - but it is non intoxicating, meaning that it won’t cause the “high” euphoric state that THC does. It is important to note that some Full-spectrum CBD products due contain THC - the legal requirement is under 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis. If you have an addiction or substance abuse history, Full spectrum CBD should be avoided. Using a large quantity of a full-spectrum product (well beyond any suggested use) will cause a high due to the presence of THC.
THC and the Endocannabinoid System
THC’s interactions with the ECS is much more understood because scientists have had more time to study it. THC is the direct phytocannabinoid that will interact with the body’s natural endocannabinoid receptors. THC can aid the human Endocannabinoid System natural processes, but it can also do harm.
THC is mainly used by the medical community as a prescription substitute for pain, inflammation, and certain serious medical conditions like glaucoma. The problem is that unregulated amounts of THC increase paranoia and anxiety over time, and cause the “high” that some people find very uncomfortable.
- The diverse CB1 and CB2 receptor pharmacology of three plant cannabinoids: D9 -tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol and D9 -tetrahydrocannabivarin