When ingested, CBD interacts with the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors, to balance the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. CBD primarily affects the human brain by binding to proteins or receptors on the surface of the cells to elicit physiological responses. The endocannabinoid system, with its complex actions in our immune system, nervous system, and all of the body’s organs, is a bridge between the body and mind. Naturally CBD interacts with several receptors that are known to regulate fear and anxiety responses in the brain, such as the cannabinoid receptor CB 1, the serotonin 5-HT 1A receptor, and the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 receptor TRPV1. The natural chemicals produced by the body that interact within the EC system are called cannabinoids, and like THC, they interact with receptors to regulate these important body functions.        

Activating the CB2 receptors with CBD has increased brain cell activity and helped reduce brain cell damage commonly associated with vascular dementia. The receptor is found in neurons within the brain, where it acts as a postsynaptic receptor that promotes control of anxiety and moderates the brain’s response to stress and panic. Since CBD acts on the CB2 receptor inside the brain, it can block the inflammation response signal and help you to manage pain better. 

CBD reduces anxiety by changing the shape of the GABA-A receptor in a way that amplifies the natural calming effect of GABA. I have reviewed additional studies that demonstrate how CBD has a positive effect on anxiety by interacting with the brain’s GABA receptors. The actions of CBD at the 5-HT receptor surface can promote its neuroprotective, anti-depression, and anxiolytic advantages, although exactly how CBD reduces anxiety is not yet clear. The exact mechanisms by which CBD interacts with these receptors and helps to improve the symptoms of anxiety is called an “anxiolytic” effect.  Strains high in CBD target the same receptors in the brain that pharmaceuticals can to treat anxiety and stress, and no side effects.

The dementia related conditions that can be helped by CBD include: Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular Dementia, Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Parkinson’s disease, Frontotemporal dementia and Huntington’s disease. From a user’s perspective, CBD may reduce stress and anxiety in the individual with dementia as well as reduce the decline of memory and other brain functions. A 2011 study by Australian researchers Tim Karl and Carl Group found that CBD promotes the growth and development of brain cells, reducing the decline of memory and other brain functions.         

Similarly, when injected into healthy mice, the CBD – nanocapsules targeted about 2.5 times more of the fluorescent molecule to the animal’s brains. Instead of loading the nanocapsules with a medication, the researchers packaged them with a fluorescent molecule so they could track the particles. To do so, the researchers attached CBD, which resembles endocannabinoids made by both mice and humans, to the outside surfaces of lipid nanocapsules. In experiments with human brain cells that mimic the BBB, the researchers showed that the CBD displaying nanocarriers caused more of the fluorescent molecules to pass through the cells than nanocarriers of equal size that lacked CBD.