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CBD and Cannabinoids: What Are They & How Do They Work?

Pop quiz: how many targets does CBD engage in the body? Two? Three? Five?

Wrong. By recent estimates, CBD engages over 65 different molecular targets in the human body. The natural compound may be infused into everything from cheeseburgers to lotions, but there’s still a lot to learn about CBD. 

That’s why we created the Green Flower CBD Certificate—and we’d like to give you a sneak peek. In this module, learn CBD basics from Dr. Frank D’Ambrosio, a dedicated surgeon turned cannabis campaigner after 30 years of watching patients in pain. Green Flower teamed up with Dr. Frank to offer the world’s first online course taught by an experienced medical professional. 

Watch and read below.

CBD and Cannabinoids: What Are They & How Do They Work?

The best place to start is at the beginning. Cannabidiol (CBD), is a natural chemical produced by the cannabis plant. Most CBD sold in the United States comes from hemp, which is a subspecies of cannabis that does not produce intoxication. To make CBD products, manufacturers extract the oily resin from hemp plants, just like essential oils are extracted and used for aromatherapy. 

CBD is a Phytocannabinoid 

CBD belongs to a unique class of chemical compounds called cannabinoids, meaning “cannabis-like.” Thus far, scientists have discovered over 100 naturally occurring cannabinoids, all of which feature similarities in structure and function. Cannabis produces at least 113 of these chemical compounds.

But, not all cannabinoids come from the cannabis plant. Humans and other animals respond to cannabinoids from two main sources: internal sources and external sources. Internal cannabinoids are called endocannabinoids, which are produced internally by the body. 

CBD, on the other hand, is an external cannabinoid. Or, to be more specific, it’s a phytocannabinoid, which comes from plants. Cannabis is one of the only plants that produce these exact chemical compounds, and it does so in abundance. Although, scientists are searching for other natural cannabinoids in the plant kingdom. 

CBD Interacts with Cannabinoid Receptors 

So, we now know that CBD is a phytocannabinoid, but how does it work? Most famously, CBD and other cannabinoids work by engaging with specialized cell receptors. A cell receptor is a landing site that sits on the surface of cells and responds to specific chemical messages.

Just like opiates interact with opiate receptors and serotonin interacts with serotonin receptors, cannabinoids have their own receptors in the human body. Cell receptors that respond only to cannabinoids are called cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoid receptors are found in tissues throughout the body but are especially concentrated in the central nervous system and the immune systems. 

It’s important to note, however, that cannabinoid receptors make up just one family of targets for the CBD molecule. It also engages with enzymes, ion channels, and other molecular targets.

What Does CBD Do?

CBD products are flooding the market faster than researchers can study them. As mentioned above, CBD interacts with at least 65 different molecular targets in the human body. So, it’s hard to tell whether or not its therapeutic effects are due to cannabinoid receptors or other targets inside the body. 

But, while scientists are still working out the nitty-gritty on just what CBD does to the body, there are a few general trends worth mentioning. Most notably, researchers are studying CBD’s potential in: 

    • and more.  

Learn More About CBD & Cannabinoids in the Green Flower CBD Certificate

CBD may be a simple molecule, but it holds the potential to change the way that we think about health, business, and agriculture. Don’t miss your chance to learn more. Sign up for the CBD Certificate and learn how to avoid:

    • Losing money in an oversaturated market. 
    • Being passed-up by more qualified job applicants. 
    • Making mistakes with clients due to lack of understanding.

Saying “no” to education is saying “no” to opportunity. Check out the Green Flower CBD Certificate Program Page for more details. 

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Trusted by top universities, utilized by companies around the world, and endorsed by the leaders shaping the modern cannabis industry, Green Flower courses are the gold standard in cannabis education and training.

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