Neurotransmitters, The Endocannabinoid System, And CBD
Neurotransmitters are special chemicals that facilitate communication between nerve cells in the brain. They relay signals across the synapses, or gaps, between cells. There are many different neurotransmitters in the body, and each one has a specific role. Some neurotransmitters are responsible for mood, behavior, sleep, and appetite. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid derived from hemp that interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body. CBD influences neurotransmission by interacting with receptors on neurons.
What Are Neurotransmitters?
Neurotransmitters are molecules that transmit signals between nerve cells across a synapse. They are released from the presynaptic neuron into the synaptic cleft, where they bind to receptors on the postsynaptic neuron. This binding process triggers a change in the postsynaptic neuron and does one of two things: excite or inhibit.
Neurotransmitters can also be released from nonsynaptic neurons and still influence other cells. The endocannabinoid system is a system of neurotransmitters and their receptors that help to regulate a variety of physiological processes, including pain, appetite, mood, memory, and inflammation. The endocannabinoid system can be affected by two main types of neurotransmitters: endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids.
Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters produced within our bodies, while phytocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that plants produce. Both neurotransmitters bind to cannabinoid receptors and play a crucial role in the endocannabinoid system.
How Do Neuroreceptors Work?
Cannabinoid receptors can be found throughout the entire body, but they are most concentrated in the brain and nervous system. There are two main categories of cannabinoid receptors: CB₁ and CB₂.
CB₁ receptors are primarily found in the brain and central nervous system, while CB₂ receptors are located in the immune system as well as many other regions of the body. CBD binds to both types of receptors, but it has a different effect on each one.
Related Article: The Neuroprotective Qualities Of CBD
How CBD Influences Neurotransmitters In Your Body
When CBD binds to CB₁ receptors, it inhibits neurotransmission. This means that it decreases the activity of the neurotransmitters that bind to these receptors. Conversely, when CBD binds to CB₂ receptors, it activates them. This means that it increases the activity of the neurotransmitters that bind to these receptors.
CBD may decrease anxiety when it binds to CB₁ receptors, as this can reduce the activity of neurotransmitters that are associated with stress. CBD may also decrease joint pain when it binds to CB₂ receptors.
Cannabidiol has a variety of effects on the body and its systems, all of which are mediated by its interactions with the endocannabinoid system. This makes CBD a versatile compound with a wide range of potential applications.
The Bottom Line
Neurotransmitters are chemical compounds that allow communication between nerve cells in the brain and body. They relay signals across the synapses, or gaps, between cells. There are many different varieties of neurotransmitters, and each one has a specific role. Some neurotransmitters are responsible for mood, behavior, sleep, and appetite.
Cannabidiol (CBD) interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body. CBD influences neurotransmission by interacting with receptors on neurons. Learn additional information about CBD by reading more in our blog series here!