How Does CBD Compounds Work Inside Your Body

CBD (cannabidiol) is only one of the hundreds of compounds present in the marijuana plant. Unlike its other popular counterpart, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD isn’t psychoactive and doesn’t get you high. This fact makes CBD a well-loved choice for people who are looking for natural means of relief from many illnesses they complain from.

Much is said about the benefits of CBD products, but do you know how CBD compounds work inside your body? This article gives you a run-down.


A Brief Background On The Endocannabinoid System

In trying to decipher how CBD compounds work inside your body, it’s important to begin with a brief background of the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system is the one responsible for balancing many functions, also known as homeostasis. These functions include sleep, bowel movement, appetite, and mood. When the cannabinoid compounds of the cannabis plant interact with the endocannabinoid system, it’s able to alter these functions, too. For instance, the ability of cannabinoids to provide better sleep comes from the interactions of the receptors from the plant and the endocannabinoid system.


The Different Modes Of Absorption

CBD compounds work inside the human body according to the specific mode of absorption that it has. CBD’s modes of absorption differ because of the widespread presence of endocannabinoid receptors that can receive it, which is scattered all over the body.  These are the different modes of absorption, which also show the varied means of how CBD works inside your body:

Ingestion and Sublingual. The oral route is the common means of absorbing CBD—through ingestion and sublingual.

Once CBD enters your body through this method, it gets absorbed by the digestive system. From there, it goes through the stomach, then carried through the portal vein to the liver. It’s the liver that metabolizes the CBD’s molecules.

Inhalation.   CBD can also be inhaled in the body through vaporization. Through this means of consuming CBD, the compound is directly absorbed in the lungs’ alveoli. From here, it’s immediately taken to the bloodstream.

Through inhalation, the CBD compounds work and are absorbed faster in the body.

Topical application. This means that the CBD compound is directly applied to the skin. In this mode of application, the compounds never reach the bloodstream. Rather, the compounds are immediately absorbed in the skin’s surface to interact with the cannabinoid receptors.

This topical application works to be effective since the endocannabinoid receptors aren’t just centered on the brain. Rather, it even goes beyond to include the skin.


The Interaction Of CBD With The Endocannabinoid System

Without the positive interaction of CBD and the body’s endocannabinoid system, CBD compounds cannot effectively work.

The human body generally has enough endocannabinoids to support its function. But, like any other type of nutrient, your body can have a deficiency. Hence, the need for extra support to add to it. This is where CBD compounds come in as the cannabis plant has phytocannabinoids that interact with the endocannabinoid system.

The primary way that CBD works in the body is by blocking the breakdown of the body’s endocannabinoids. That way, the body can use more of what it’s already naturally producing.

First, it generally binds with the cannabinoid receptors, which have two types: CBD1 and CB2. The CB1 receptors are found in the central nervous system, which is responsible for mood, memory, movement, and pain. CB2 receptors are found in the peripheral nervous system, which affects inflammation.

CBD also activates the non-cannabinoid receptors. Here are some of the common examples:

  • It activates the serotonin receptor to act as an antipsychotic.
  • It directly binds with TRPV1 receptors, which includes relief from inflammation and pain, and hypothalamus control
  • It blocks receptors that push tumors to grow faster, so it can prevent cancer cells from growing and act as a natural antiseptic


The Benefits Of CBD

Through the way that CBD compounds work inside the body, it can enjoy so many health benefits, including:

It can relieve pain. CBD compounds bind with the endocannabinoid receptors in the nervous system. The direct result involves a reduction in the body’s inflammation, thereby relieving pain.

It reduces the onset of anxiety and depression. These are two mental health problems experienced by many. Unfortunately, the most common treatment is through pharmaceutical drugs that also have long-term side effects. CBD is a better alternative, as it’s natural and its compounds also have minimal side effects.

It improves the quality of sleep as the CBD compounds work as a natural relaxant.


The Length Of Time CBD Stays In Your Body

Part of understanding how CBD compounds work inside your body also necessarily includes answering the question of  how long does CBD stay in your urine. A urine test is an appropriate test to determine what substances are in your body. So, it’s one way for you to understand whether or not CBD is still in your system. With this kind of information, you can also determine whether or not your body can still feel the effects associated with CBD use.

Certain variables affect this, such as:

  • Your body. Every human being is different, and the body also reacts differently to CBD. For instance, differences in metabolism, water content, and body mass index can alter how long CBD stays in a person’s system.
  • Your ingested or applied quantity. The higher the CBD dose, the longer it stays in your system.
  • Your food intake. This refers to what and how much you eat. For instance, when you take in CBD on an empty stomach, this gets metabolized faster than it usually would on a full stomach.
  • Your usage frequency. CBD compounds can build up in the body fast when used regularly. If you’re a beginner, give CBD compounds a week of regular usage so you can see if it works for you.

The same factors enumerated also apply as regards the length of time it takes for the effects of CBD to kick in. Once absorbed in the body, the effects can last anywhere between two to six hours.



Now that you know more about how CBD interacts in the human body, you now have more insights as to how it works. If you’ve previously been on the fence regarding its effectivity, the information above should tell you that it can be absorbed by the body.

The positive benefits are direct results of how CBD compounds interact with the body. Without the positive interaction of the cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system, CBD couldn’t work that well on its own.



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Written by HealthStatus Crew
Medical Writer & Editor

HealthStatus teams with authors from organizations to share interesting ideas, products and new health information to our readers.

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