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Endocannabinoids are recognized as the most prevalent type of neurotransmitters that attach to specific receptors in the brain. They play an important role in maintaining body balance and homeostatic functions by keeping internal functions running smoothly. So, how does CBD work in the human body and the endocannabinoid system?

How CBD Works In the Endocannabinoid (ECS)

Endocannabinoids (ECS) and receptors are found in the brain, body organs, connective tissues, glands, and immunological cells. The body creates endocannabinoids, meaning they come from within. Therefore, while humans do not make CBD, they produce another type of cannabinoid that mimics CBD. CB1 and CB2 receptors cause the ECS to respond when full-spectrum CBD is absorbed into the body. While most CB1 receptors are in the neurological system, most CB2 receptors reside in the immunological system. When CBD is introduced into the body, CB1 receptors in the brain and gut are the first to be activated.

Experts are unsure how CBD interacts with the ECS. However, they suggest that it does not attach to CB1 or CB2 receptors in the same manner that THC does. Most people believe that CBD prevents the breakdown of endocannabinoids, permitting them to have a greater impact on the body. Others suggest that CBD binds to an unidentified receptor.

How CBD Works in the Human Body

Receptors in the human body are categorized into two; CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are largely found in the central nervous system and help to regulate pain, coordination, movement, appetite, memory, and mood. On the other hand, CB2 receptors are found in the peripheral nervous system, responsible for pain and inflammation. Endocannabinoids bind with receptors after the cannabinoids are broken down by enzymes. According to researchers, CBD does not bind to the receptors directly but modifies them. Most health benefits associated with CBD are due to the activation of these receptors. Nevertheless, CBD can also affect non-cannabinoid receptors. Further research shows CBD affects the 5HT serotonin receptor; thus treating psychotic conditions such as stress and anxiety disorders. It may also affect the TRPV1 receptor, crucial for alleviating inflammation and discomfort.


More research is still required to determine how CBD works in the human body and ECS. However, it is important to note that the ECS is critical to the stability of internal processes. As specialists acquire more knowledge of the ECS, it may one day hold the key to treating various diseases.

Latest posts by Ieva Kubiliute (see all)

Ieva Kubiliute is a psychologist and a sex and relationships advisor and a freelance writer. She's also a consultant to several health and wellness brands. While Ieva specialises in covering wellness topics ranging from fitness and nutrition, to mental wellbeing, sex and relationships and health conditions, she has written across a diverse range of lifestyle topics, including beauty and travel. Career highlights so far include: luxury spa-hopping in Spain and joining an £18k-a-year London gym. Someone’s got to do it! When she’s not typing away at her desk—or interviewing experts and case studies, Ieva winds down with yoga, a good movie and great skincare (affordable of course, there’s little she doesn’t know about budget beauty). Things that bring her endless joy: digital detoxes, oat milk lattes and long country walks (and sometimes jogs).

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