CBD Won't Make You High, but it Could Make You Happy
September 19, 2018 at 00:42 by Barlean's
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Whether you’ve seen it in your health food store or read about it in the news, the buzz about CBD just keeps getting louder. In fact, just this week it was reported that Coca-Cola is looking into making beverages containing CBD. Talk about going mainstream! Remember the old slogan, “Have a Coke and Smile”? Well, if CBD becomes part of the mix, that could very well come true.
CBD Hemp Oil 101: A Quick Refresher
CBD stands for Cannabidiol, which is a compound extracted from the hemp plant. It is one of more than 100 unique compounds found in hemp, known as cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are known to promote health and to keep people resilient to changes in their environment by binding to cell receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Discovered in 1992, the ECS exists to keep the body in homeostasis (balance) by regulating basic body functions such as appetite, memory, mood, pain and sleep. It’s like your body’s “master control.”1
CBD and the Bliss Molecule
CBD appears to work in two ways. In addition to binding to certain cell receptors to help your body stay in balance, it also prevents the breakdown of a key compound called anandamide2, allowing it to build up to higher, more effective levels.3
Anandamide is a neurotransmitter produced in the body that is derived from arachidonic acid. Its name comes from the Sanskrit word ananda, which means “happiness, pleasure, joy, and delight.” (That’s how it earned its “bliss molecule” moniker.)
How does CBD unlock the bliss molecule? It works like this: we all have an enzyme known as fatty acid amide hydrolase, or FAAH. Once anandamide enters a cell, FAAH starts to break it down. In other words, FAAH is a big killjoy. The good news is that CBD interferes with FAAH’s ability to break down anandamide, giving our own naturally-produced bliss a longer lifespan.
A study published in Translational Psychiatry found that preventing the breakdown of anandamide in the body improved mood and reversed stress-induced anxiety in rodents. In the study, low levels of anandamide were negatively correlated with stress, anxiety and fear response.4