How CBD Compounds Work Inside Your Body

CBD is a compound found in the cannabis plant, mainly the marijuana and hemp varieties. After THC, CBD is the second most widely available compound in cannabis. CBD is a phytocannabinoids and is not psychoactive — meaning it doesn’t cause a high. Most CBD products in the market are produced from hemp and have very low concentrations of THC (<0.3%). Therefore, they don’t cause hallucinations, etc. CBD produced from marijuana has very high levels of THC and is psychoactive. Many people use CBD oil for relaxation and medication and several other medical benefits. The popularity of CBD has recently surged, and it is important to know how it impacts the human body.

To understand how long it takes for CBD to work, and the science behind its functioning, you need to follow the nuances of the endocannabinoid system and CBD receptors in the human body. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you out.

CBD And The Endocannabinoid System

The Endocannabinoid system is one of the most critical systems responsible for maintaining and establishing human health. Its constituent molecules, endocannabinoids, perform a vast array of functions. Moreover, they aren’t exclusive to the human body. They’re abundantly found in reptiles, birds, mammals, and fish.

The human body has endogenous cannabinoids such as anandamide and n-arachidonoyl dopamine (NADA). These endocannabinoids are different from similar compounds such as dopamine and serotonin. For starters, they aren’t synthesized and stored. Instead, these are only produced when the body demands them. They also have localized action, meaning they can’t travel far from their place of birth.

Once produced, endocannabinoids attach to cannabinoid receptors. Endocannabinoid receptors were originally thought to be only present in the brain, but recent findings have cleared this misconception. Now, it is widely accepted that they are ubiquitous in the human body.

At its core, the endocannabinoid system is a connecting web of cannabinoid receptors spread throughout the body. It releases endocannabinoids that interact with these receptors and produces important physiological effects. Exogenously, foods rich in phytocannabinoids can bolster the cannabinoid levels in your body. This self-service may boost the operations of your endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system’s primary function is to harmonize the tissues surrounding the endocrine, digestive, immune, nervous, reproductive, and cardiovascular systems. Basically, the endocannabinoid system exists to ensure that various parts of your body are well-balanced. 

CBD & Cannabinoid Receptors

Cannabinoid receptors form an extensive system in the human body. They’re embedded in cell membranes and regulate a variety of important functions such as appetite, memory, pain, and mood. Their activation is a consequence of the cannabinoids that the human body produces naturally. They are also activated by external phytocannabinoids.

Until now, two cannabinoid receptors — CBD 1 and CB2 — are known to exist.

  • CB1 receptors: These are mainly present in the central nervous system (including the brain). They deal with emotion, movement, appetite, memories, thinking, and pain.
  • CB2 receptors: They’re mostly found in the peripheral organs, mainly in cells closely linked to the human immune system. CB2 receptors regulate pain, inflammation, and other similar processes.

CBD doesn’t bind to these receptors directly and impacts the endocannabinoid system indirectly.

CBD’s Effect On The Endocannabinoid System

Upon taking CBD, the compound flushes into your body and enters the endocannabinoid system. Since it has no binding action, it creates its therapeutic effects by indirect action. Here’s how:

  • Firstly, CBD stops fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) that reduces anandamide levels. Lower FAAH results in the preservation of anandamide, a compound that cheers you up and produces the emotions of reward and pleasure. 
  • Secondly, CBD interacts with fatty acid-binding protein (FABP). FABP binds with anandamide and takes it to a place where it is disintegrated. CBD slows down this movement leading to more anandamide in the body for generating motivation and satisfaction.
  • Lastly, CBD links with two receptors (TRPV-1 and TRVP-2) that promote sound body temperature, relieve pain, and reduce inflation. Through its synergistic action, CBD plays a huge part in amplifying these therapeutic effects.


The human body is a complex labyrinth, so it’s only fair that CBD compounds also undergo a complicated process to produce their desired effects. From binding to cannabinoid receptors to inhibiting the release of anandamide disintegrating proteins, the science behind CBD’s functioning in the body is wondrous and multifaceted. Remember, several studies have unraveled the reasons behind the health benefits of CBD. While the main impact of CBD is on the endocannabinoid system, several other mechanisms of CBD action are waiting to be discovered. The information above will surely help you make more sense of the power of CBD.