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Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of 120 naturally occurring compounds (phytocannabinoids) found in the resinous flower of cannabis and hemp plants. CBD does not make a person feel “high”, as it has no psychoactive effects and interacts with the human body differently.
In order to understand how CBD works and the benefits it may provide, we must introduce the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS has one of the most important roles in the human body—it is responsible for maintaining homeostasis (body balance). It does this through the signaling processes between our cells, and CBD helps this process.
Think of the human body as an extremely complex machine with many systems working together. When any of the systems are not functioning properly it can affect the entire body and lead to health issues.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) plays a vital role in regulating the human body: from our energy levels, digestive system, mood, blood pressure, glucose metabolism, immune activity, to how we experience pain, hunger and stress, for example. It is a collection of cell receptors and molecules found throughout the human body—from head to toe.
There are two types of cannabinoid receptors in the human body: cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2). Although they have similar sounding names, these two receptors perform very different functions in the human body.
CBD interacts with the CB1 or CB2 receptors and improves those receptors’ functionality by altering or improving their capabilities. This not only helps the functionality of the particular receptor but also helps balance our cells and organs (homeostasis) within the body. This is done through neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids, which are chemical signals released by cells to tell another cell what to do, creating a biological response.
Commonly found in the brain and spinal cord and are associated with emotions, mood, appetite, coordination, and pain.
Commonly found in the peripheral nervous system and gastrointestinal tract and are especially concentrated in immune cells.