CBD has been attracting widespread interest in the UK due to its natural therapeutic properties. In the space of only a few years, CBD products have been openly welcomed and embraced by wellness communities as a natural way for consumers to find a sense of blissful calm and overall wellbeing amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
In this article, we explore the physiological effects of CBD on the body. You shouldn’t think of CBD as being just another food supplement that supports overall wellbeing. We will be taking a look at the intense scientific research that is taking place across the globe on why CBD is important for human physiology. At Purity Hemp Company we are committed to delivering educational resources on CBD that are rooted in science and evidence-based research.
What is CBD?
CBD is one of more than 100 chemical compounds, known as cannabinoids, that can be found in the cannabis plant. These cannabinoids each have their own unique therapeutic properties which can vary dramatically in nature. CBD has been found to naturally regulate the systems in our body to support homeostasis, promoting feelings of calm and overall wellbeing. CBD shouldn’t be confused with THC, which is the main psychoactive component of cannabis. CBD cannot get you high and is legal to consume in the UK when it has a THC content below 0.2%.
How Does Human Physiology Work?
Every aspect of human physiology is based around the balance of ‘polar opposites’, resulting in homeostasis. In our physiology, if you look at the immune system, the opposites are anti-inflammation and inflammation. When there is an even balance between these two opposites, your immune system is functioning correctly. Many people believe that all inflammation is bad, but this isn’t the case. Your body needs a certain level of inflammation to protect itself from injury and infection.
As another example, if we take a look at our oxidation system, you should have an even balance of antioxidation and oxidation. There’s often an assumption that oxidation is bad for you. If you didn’t have oxidation in your body, you wouldn’t be able to survive for very long. It’s all about maintaining a very fine balance – or, in other words, homeostasis. The better your physiology’s ability to maintain homeostasis is, the healthier you will be.
If just one aspect of your physiology is out of balance, it will affect homeostasis. A single element of your physiology cannot be changed without sequentially affecting every element. When something changes, your physiology is going to go through oscillations until it settles on a new point of homeostasis, or a new point of balance. Our bodies are so intelligent that they have the ability to find a new point of balance.
Can Pharmaceutical Drugs Enhance Physiology?
When you start to present the symptoms of having an imbalance in your body, you may seek the assistance of pharmaceutical drugs to help you to regain a sense of natural balance. However, it is important to remember that these pharmaceutical drugs only work at the level of the symptoms, not the systems, which could cause immense strain on your physiology. Pharmaceutical drugs are effective at putting out fires, but they can knock other areas of your body out of balance in the process.
Where Does CBD Work?
Rather than working at the level of the symptoms, CBD works at the epicentre of balance, our homeostatic system. In our central nervous system, there are cells that are covered with cannabinoid receptors. When CBD binds to these receptors, it has the ability to communicate with the cell and send a message through it, journeying down into the nucleus of the cell to ultimately reach our chromosomes.
Chromosomes carry genetic information about everything that our body does. Genes are the codes for every protein that we make in our body, which includes all of the signalling molecules that are in charge of our physiology. From the cytokines that run our immune system to the neurotransmitters that run our nervous system. Throughout our physiology, we have receptors that are specifically designed to bind with CBD.
These cannabinoid receptors enable CBD to have a profound effect on the nucleus of our cells. In fact, CBD can modulate the transcription of over 1,100 genes that produce signalling molecules to naturally reduce inflammation in our central nervous system and immune system. As a result, CBD has the potential to promote homeostasis across a range of different systems in our body.
In a recent study, it was found that CBD can have the ability to promote anti-inflammatory biochemicals and regulate inflammatory biochemicals, creating a carefully controlled balance. It’s important to note that the way in which CBD interacts with cells in these systems to cause regulation is far more complex than we have described, but for ease of reading, we believe that this is the best way to describe the nature of what is occurring in these systems.
Our immune system alone has up to 350 different signalling elements which could potentially offer an explanation as to why there can be so many unintentional pharmaceutical drug interactions. When CBD is introduced to the overwhelmingly complex human physiology, in the context of our immune system, the effects of homeostasis can trickle down all of 350 different signalling elements.
CBD can result in a cascade of homeostasis and regulatory behaviour in the central nervous system and immune system because we have cannabinoid receptors located throughout our bodies to support these functions. We call this the endocannabinoid system. There is still much to learn about how CBD works in the body, but we already have plenty of science-based evidence to support the positive benefits of consuming this cannabis-derived chemical compound.