How CBD interacts with the ECS’s receptors
You can think of CBD as the molecular key to two primary cannabinoid receptor sites in the body: the central nervous system (CB1 receptors) and immune system (CB2 receptors). That’s all well and good, but how does CBD get inside of a human cell to bind to a receptor? From our understanding, CBD passes through the cell membrane by grabbing a ride on the backs of fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs).
Now, while CBD does not stimulate CB1 and CB2 receptors directly, it can bind to and activate them and other receptors crucial for optimal health. They can even block certain chemical messengers from binding with receptors at those sites. Here are some examples of those ‘other’ receptors that are activated by CBD:
Adenosine: CBD gives anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory effects by activating adenosine receptors. Also, adenosine receptors are involved in the release of two neurotransmitters in the body. One is dopamine, which involves cognition, motor control, motivation and reward mechanisms, and the other, glutamate — a mediator of excitatory signals involved in memory, learning, and cognition.
5-HT1A: 5-HT1A serotonin receptors are found throughout the brain and are responsible for a series of processes that control sleep, appetite, nausea, pain perception, anxiety, and addiction mechanisms. CBD has been shown to activate the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, which exerts rapid-acting antidepressant-like effects, especially in higher concentrations.