Is CBD Naturally Occurring In The Body?
Stay with us here.
We'll answer that question directly but more importantly, we'll show the fascinating way that CBD fits into a recently (relatively speaking) discovered system that may be the key to many modern problems.
That sounds like an overreach but just a quick example with cancer:
- Healthy cell with low inflammation - CBD has no effect
- Healthy cell with high inflammation - CBD reduces inflammation
- Cancerous or infected cell - CBD INCREASES inflammation
Read that back over because it's at the heart of how CBD works in the body.
Three different results depending on the state of the cell.
How is this possible?
We'll get into it below and also cover these questions:
- Is CBD naturally occurring in the body
- Is CBD naturally or synthetic
- Is CBD naturally occurring in hemp
- Why do we have cannabinoid receptors
- How does CBD work in the endocannabinoid system
Lots to cover. First, the question that probably brought you here.
Is CBD naturally occurring in the body
CBD is short for cannabidiol.
It does not naturally occur in the body. Your body does not make CBD.
It does make other cannabinoids naturally...they most prominent being:
In fact, our body has a complicated and interwoven system called the endocannabinoid system which is tasked with balancing other key systems:
- Nervous system - neurotransmitters, etc
- Endocrine system - hormones
- Immune system - inflammatory responses (such as cancer effect above).
CBD works within this system in a very special way.
We'll look at that below but it's key to why CBD is so promising.
First, is CBD natural or synthetic?
Is CBD naturally or synthetic
CBD is a naturally occurring substance found in the cannabis plant.
There are other cannabinoids such as THC (its psychoactive cousin), CBN, CBG, CBC, etc.
THC and CBD are the two most prominent cannabinoids found in cannabis.
We've covered the differences between THC and CBD here.
Our CBD has no THC as there are downsides there but this is an important piece to the next question.
What's the difference between hemp and cannabis in terms of CBD present?
Is CBD naturally occurring in hemp
Yes. In fact, hemp is just a legal term for cannabis with .3% THC or less.
For that reason, the levels of CBD will be much higher in industrial hemp.
We go a step further and extract just the CBD which is called CBD isolate and add that to a base (organic MCT oil from coconuts).
The point of hemp (besides making clothing, rope, etc) is to maximize the levels of CBD for a finished product.
Some companies will sell hemp oil with CBD in it (hopefully) and this is called Full Spectrum (versus the CBD isolate).
It can have up to .3% THC which may make fail a drug test. THC also has some issues long term unless you're trying to increase appetite and maybe on the pain research side.
The bigger issue is tolerance with THC over time (see CBD and tolerance).
Secondly, roughly 40-60% of people have histamine or allergy issues.
That number goes up as we get older and for women.
Many people will have bad reactions to full-spectrum which goes away with CBD isolate.
That's how we found CBD isolate, to begin with (after 3-4 of the biggest full spectrum brands).
So, CBD does occur naturally in the hemp plant.
Let's start to tease out then how CBD works in our body and brains.
Why do we have cannabinoid receptors
Almost everything you eat will have chemicals that can interact with various systems in our bodies.
That's part of sharing one giant and very old tree of life.
The endocannabinoid system that occurs naturally in our bodies was not designed to interact with the cannabis plant.
It just so happens that they share a chemical structure that's similar to our own endocannabinoid system.
Endo just means "within" as in, naturally occurring in our body.
Take THC and anandamide.
Anandamide is named after the Hindu goddess of bliss, Anand.
It's a master player in our stress response system with integration across a range of other pathways.
THC just happens to mimic the chemical structure of anandamide enough to where it can fit into its receptors (called CB1 receptors) throughout the brain.
That's how it has both its good and bad effects throughout the nervous system.
How does CBD work in the endocannabinoid system
CBD operates very differently.
Research is showing that it acts like a feedback system on the endocannabinoid system.
Technically, it's called a negative allosteric modulator.
Usually, a signal goes from neuron to another.
CBD sends a response signal back from the receiving neuron!
- We're running low over here, send more.
- We're fine over here, stop sending.
This is why we don't see overdoses with CBD with levels tested up to 1500 mg.
This feedback effect has been shown direction on powerful pathways like serotonin, a master regulator in the brain, nervous system, and gut.
Known as the "feel good" neurotransmitter, it's directly involved in all human behavior.
A primary means of CBD's activity is within this serotonin pathway via the feedback mechanism above.
There are two powerful groupings of effects that CBD has in the body:
- It promotes the balancing of neurotransmitters, hormones, and immune agents (inflammatory pathway)
- It promotes neurogenesis (building and repairing the brain and nervous system).
Needless to say, the net effect of these effects is both varied and multiple.
Always work with a doctor or naturopath with any supplement!
The information provided here is not intended to treat an illness or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.