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“My Heart Feels Calmer” & 4 Other Common Experiences With CBD

CB1 receptors are found in the central nervous system (located in the brain and spinal cord), which controls the body’s ability to move, feel sensations, have awareness, speak, etc. CB2 receptors oversee the peripheral nervous system, aka all the nerves outside the central nervous system (think organs, limbs, and skin).

That’s the high-level distribution of these receptors, but in reality it’s more nuanced: CB1 and CB2 receptors are much more broadly located in the body (not surprising, given the widespread role of the endocannabinoid system in overall health and wellness).

As mbg’s director of scientific affairs Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN, explains, “While CB1 is concentrated heavily in the brain, you’ll also find this receptor in the peripheral nervous system, GI tract, liver, reproductive organs, heart, and muscles. Similarly, while the CB2 is famous for its presence in the peripheral nervous system, it’s also expressed in the spleen, immune cells, testes, and even the brain. So, not as black and white as originally thought.”

Perlman explains that the ECS utilizes receptors (CB1 and CB2 and others) throughout the body “to regulate signals from and to our brains.”

So where does the hemp phytocannabinoid CBD come in? According to Sheetal DeCaria, M.D., a double board-certified integrative pain physician with Revitalized Med Center, there are three subtypes of hemp CBD options out there–full-spectrum hemp, broad-spectrum hemp, and CBD isolate–and the main difference between them is the presence (or absence) of other naturally occurring plant compounds within the extract.

“If a CBD product contains several other naturally occurring cannabis plant extracts, such as other cannabinoids, it is full-spectrum CBD,” DeCaria explains. Full-spectrum CBD may also include up to 0.3% THC, while broad-spectrum CBD is usually entirely free of THC. CBD isolate is just that, CBD, the singular phytocannabinoid from hemp, meaning it contains no other cannabis plant compounds.

Ferira adds, “If you want a CBD product closest to the native hemp plant–the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, etc.–look for a full-spectrum oil or extract.”

While our bodies generate their own endogenous cannabinoids, plant cannabinoids (aka phytocannabinoids), such as CBD, “can also work on our own ECS,” resulting in a variety of beneficial effects that support balance and homeostasis in our body.*

These hemp cannabinoids have been shown to improve stress, uplift mood, and promote sleep quality, DeCaria tells mbg, adding research suggests that “CBD’s health benefits may be greater when multiple compounds from the cannabis plant–like those found in full-spectrum formulas–are used together. However, large-scale studies are still limited.”*

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