Introduction

Since the first extraction of cannabidiol (CBD) took place it has caught the attention of  researchers across the globe. CBD has begun to show promising research for a variety of symptoms and conditions such as Epilepsy, Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome, ADHD or more recently on its effects on metabolism and obesity.

Role in the Endocannabinoid system

The human body produces cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids, whose biological effects are mediated by the receptors called CB1R and CB2R. Cannabinoids produced inside the human body act as neurotransmitters that bind to the cannabinoid receptors present at different sites like the central and peripheral nervous system and the immune system. Endocannabinoids do not act as the other neurotransmitters, like dopamine and serotonin, moving from the postsynaptic site to the presynaptic site. This is the opposite to how the other neurotransmitters move.

 

The endocannabinoid system is a biological system that runs on enzymes, receptors, and neurotransmitters that are called endocannabinoids or endogenous cannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system responds to not only the cannabinoids exclusively produced inside the body (endogenously) but also the ones from an external source, for example, the phytocannabinoid. 

 

CBD does not directly trigger both the receptors of the system mentioned above, rather modifies the ability of receptors to bind to cannabinoids. This leads to the production of a variety of positive effects. Over the years, researchers have studied the effect that activating the endocannabinoid system via external use of CBD may help in the potential treatment of a variety of conditions ranging from neuropsychological ailments to autoimmune and neurodegenerative conditions. A list is mentioned below:

  • Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • ADHD
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Schizophrenia

Role in obesity and metabolic complications

Currently, obesity has become an increasing health problem. It and its related comorbidities have radically diminished a person’s quality of life. CBD can help lose weight and prevent the complications of obesity from building especially in conditions like diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Science backs this by showing the mechanism via which Cannabidiol works. CB1 receptors of the endocannabinoid system have been found on fat cells that are involved in mediating the effect of CDB.

It causes weight loss by the following mechanisms:

  1. CBD reduces appetite. It does this by causing deactivation and blocking of CB1 receptors that stimulate the appetite and tend to cause overeating
  2. It stimulates the conversion of white fat or bad fat into brown fat, or good fat. White fat, causing obesity, increases the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as diabetes. Brown fat is the fat that burns to produce heat.
  3. CBD speeds up the process of fat burning by breaking down fat and eliminating it from the body. It means CBD helps in burning calories which is vital for weight loss.
  4. Research has also proven that it boosts the overall metabolism of the body causing weight loss

 

A very close link has been postulated between obesity and many metabolic disorders like diabetes mellitus type 2, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Research has proven that it is the overactivation of the CB receptors in the fat tissue that contributes to weight gain and metabolic risks. CBD indirectly blocks these receptors and lowers the risk of these conditions. 

Conclusion

The intensive research over the decades on the endocannabinoid system and the effect of cannabidiol on this system has begun to paint a bigger picture of natural as well as effective elements to be incorporated in management techniques for many disease conditions epidemic in today’s world. Over the years CBD has come under the microscope of many researchers not only for naturally holding properties for treating major diseases and symptoms but also preventing many conditions from building. 

 

References:

  1. Parray HA, Yun JW. Cannabidiol promotes browning in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Molecular and cellular biochemistry. 2016 May 1;416(1-2):131-9.
  2. Crippa JA, Derenusson GN, Ferrari TB, Wichert-Ana L, Duran FL, Martin-Santos R, Simões MV, Bhattacharyya S, Fusar-Poli P, Atakan Z, Filho AS. Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report. Journal of psychopharmacology. 2011 Jan;25(1):121-30.
  3. Krawiec S. Hemp CBD extract supports sleep, reduces appetite, and improves quality of life in study. Science. 2019 Jul 1.
  4. Jadoon KA, Tan GD, O’Sullivan SE. A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study. JCI insight. 2017 Jun 15;2(12).
  5. Wierucka-Rybak M, Wolak M, Bojanowska E. The effects of leptin in combination with a cannabinoid receptor 1 antagonist, AM 251, or cannabidiol on food intake and body weight in rats fed a high-fat or a free-choice high sugar diet. J Physiol Pharmacol. 2014 Aug 1;65(4):487-96.
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