How CBD Works in Human Body: Its Function, Effects & More

Effects of CBD and how CBD works on human body


CBD, derived from the Cannabis plant, provides many benefits to the human body. In view of its therapeutic properties in treating anxiety, stress, depression, pain, and seizures, a wide number of people have started using it. But little do we know about how exactly CBD does all these and how CBD works in human body?


Many people seem to remain unaware of how CBD functions in the body and brings about these changes. The short answer to this is that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system and the brain. 


Most of us have no clue how CBD functions in the body and causes these changes. It’s a fact that CBD reacts to the endocannabinoid system and the brain. The CBD effects on brain, the endocannabinoid system, and other receptors cause these changes in our body. 


The following article throws light on how CBD works in the human body to achieve all these positive outcomes, so let’s learn the science behind how CBD interacts with your body and influences body functions. But before that, if you’re new to the CBD world and want to know about it from scratch this read can be very helpful for you. Read here-here

Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system regulates our body functions by sending messages throughout our body and ensuring it stays in homeostasis. Homeostasis refers to your body state that can maintain internal stability in accordance with the changing environmental condition by means of a self-regulating process. The endocannabinoid system is directly responsible for more than 15 major functions in the human body. 


The endocannabinoid system contains three parts which are, 

  • Endocannabinoids  
  • Receptors
  • Enzymes


The human body secretes two types of endocannabinoids, namely Anandamide and 2AG. Anandamide also referred to as the bliss molecule, is responsible for creating the runners’ high sensation. A lack of endocannabinoids means that you suffer from insomnia or lack the ability to calm yourself in times of stress. The secretion amount of the endocannabinoids differs from person to person. Besides, our body secretes low levels of endocannabinoids as we get older. 


The receptors act as a landing pad to receive the cannabinoids and use them as fuel to scan the body functions and send signals to regulate them. These receptors are present in almost all parts of our body in our organs and tissues. They are more heavily concentrated on the skin. This is how CBD oil works in your body and this also explains why topical use of CBD oil proves to be very effective as pain medication. 


Not all the cannabinoids secreted by the body will be used and can get accumulated. This is where enzymes come into the picture. The enzymes break down the unused cannabinoids and remove them from our system. As the unused cannabinoids are removed, the newly secreted cannabinoids can travel to the receptors without any hindrances to help maintain body homeostasis. 


Other Receptors that CBD Interacts with


Although CBD interacts with multiple receptors in the body, the exact number and type of receptors still remain unknown. This is due the to lack of any substantial research on CBD’s effects on our body. However, scientists believe that CBD interacts with three important receptors, apart from the endocannabinoid receptors. 


They are as follows, 


Dopamine Receptors

The dopamine receptors are responsible for regulating emotions which include the sensation of feeling pleasure, motivation, and satisfaction. The dopamine hormone is also referred to as the reward hormone. 


Opioid receptors

The opioid receptors present in our nervous system regulate pain management and lower pain. It blocks the pain messages that are sent from different regions of the body to the brain through the spinal cord. 


Serotonin receptors


The serotonin receptors are essentially accountable for brain functioning, especially memory, and cognition. In case a person is diagnosed with trouble in pertaining to serotonin receptors e.g. blocking can take that person to the verge of psychiatric conjugation namely confusion, agitation, and seizures. 


How Much Time Does It Take for CBD to Work?


As with any drug, the effectiveness of CBD or the time it takes to work in your body largely depends on one’s own bodily functions. And, that is why doctors always start with a lower dosage to see how your body reacts to the drug. This applies to CBD as well. Its effectiveness and the time taken to induce the effect differ from one person to another. 


There are several other factors that define the time CBD takes to interact with your body. Below are such factors: 


Strength –  The strength refers to the concentration or amount of CBD present in one ml or one mg of the product. The strength of CBD is represented in ml/mg. 


Dosage – The quantity or amount of CBD product that you take daily. 


Usage Method – There are 4 different methods to use CBD – topical, ingestion, sublingual, and inhalation. 


Sublingual refers to keeping the CBD under your tongue till it melts and is consumed. One of the main benefits of CBD oil under tongue is that it produces faster results within a time range of just 15-20 minutes. Inhalation is expected to take 30 minutes, whereas ingestion and topical usage will take 1-2 hours to start working. 


How long is CBD Detectable in Urine?


CBD doesn’t show up in any drug test. In fact, there are no drug tests for CBD. The currently available tests are only used to detect THC and not CBD. However, since, most CBD products contain small traces of THC, the drug results may come as positive. The higher the levels of THC, the higher the chance for your test results to be positive. There are two types of CBD drug tests – initial and confirmatory.  The immunoassay test is employed as the initial screening test. The confirmatory test uses gas chromatography/mass spectrometry to identify the molecular structure and detect THC. 


If more than 50 nanograms of THC is present per ml of urine, then it will show up in the immunoassay drug test. Topical use of CBD will not show up as positive in this test as the chemicals don’t enter the urine stream. How long does edible CBD stay in the system depends on the amount and frequency of CBD consumption. The CBD stays in the body for 3 days and can be detected in that time period on a single use. If CBD is used heavily, it can stay in the system for up to 30 days. 




According to a research done by Harvard reinstates the fact that CBD can prove to be helpful in many types of pain and in managing anxiety. You can know more about that research here-here

However, it’s important to understand your bodily functions and how your body reacts to CBD, as each person’s biological processes differ from one another. Some people might even have allergic reactions to it. Some preexisting health conditions can get worse. That is why it is very important to start with a lower dosage and gradually increase it based on the results/lack of results. And, remember the golden rule – consult a medical health professional before using CBD. 



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Post