Researchers have found that CBD doesn’t bind with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the same way THC or endocannabinoids do. Instead, it affects the way that other cannabinoids interact with those receptors.
CBD may lessen the side effects of THC by changing how THC binds with receptors. At the same time, CBD can prolong the action of anandamide and prevent the breakdown of 2-AG. So, like some anti-depressants, CBD’s action is mostly indirect; it changes how other compounds interact with receptors rather than acting on the receptors themselves. CBD leaves our bodies fairly quickly; about 24 hours after a dose, half of the CBD is broken down and excreted. Most importantly, CBD is not a neurotoxin. That means it won’t get you high, and it’s extremely unlikely that CBD could damage your nervous system.
CBD can be taken in many ways. Most people take CBD orally, either as a tincture, gummy candy, or drink. But when we use a tincture sublingually (under the tongue), our bodies will absorb the CBD more quickly because our mouths have a high concentration of blood vessels. Those blood vessels absorb the CBD more quickly than the digestive system. Other people prefer to take CBD as a topical cream or ointment. Most of our cannabinoid receptors are located in our brains, but some can be found in the skin too. By applying CBD to the area that hurts, the CBD can go to work right where you need it most.
The best way to learn about the endocannabinoid system is to try CBD for yourself. Everyone’s experience of CBD is different, and it’s important to note that CBD is not a treatment or cure for any disease or condition. But consumers often choose CBD for issues related to anxiety, insomnia, epilepsy, and pain.
8 - Niesink, J. et al. Does Cannabidiol Protect Against Adverse Psychological Effects of THC? 2013.