Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non-intoxicating portion of the cannabis plant. It has generated an interest among scientists and physicians in the recent years due to its therapeutic properties. Despite the interest, the exact way that CBD exerts its therapeutic impact on a molecular level is still being hypothesized and tested. CBD is a pleiotropic (influences two or more seemingly unrelated phenotypic traits with one gene) due to how it produces numerous effects through multiple molecular pathways. It has been shown through scientific literature that there are more than 65 molecular targets for CBD, for example.
There are many ways that CBD has therapeutic effects, one example being serotonin receptors. In a study currently being conducted by Jose Alexandre Crippa and colleagues at the University of San Paulo and in Brazil’s College in London, they research into CBD and the neural connections of anxiety. Within this study they have found that CBD, at high concentrations, activates the hydroxytryptamine serotonin receptor, which is how it has a anti-anxiety effect. Though, it doesn’t just apply to anxiety. It also includes helpful effects, but is not limited to, anxiety, addiction, sleep, appetite, vomiting, and pain perception.
Another example is how CBD directly interacts with various ion channels. It binds itself to receptors that function as ion channels, which aim to mediate pain perception, inflammation, and body temperature. These receptors are known as TRPV1 receptors, which is an abbreviation for transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V. It is one of several dozen TRP receptor variants. By being able to interact with this ion, CBD can help induce these therapeutic effects on the body.
Scientists are still studying to find out all the interactions of CBD with different chemicals. With more than 65 molecular targets already found, it’s evident that CBD could be a helpful use for numerous diseases in the near future.