More and more studies are being conducted to discover new applications of cannabidiol (CBD) for health and wellness. As a result, the availability of and demand for CBD products is increasing all the time. The wide variety of these products gives users a wide selection of methods to consume CBD in a way that best suits their health and lifestyle.
While we know more and more details about CBD and how it could benefit the body and mind, there is still much to be known about how this component is processed once ingested. This can be a problem because, if it is to be taken seriously for therapeutic applications, it is essential that we know exactly how it works. This includes knowing more about the metabolism of CBD in the body.
In general, there are four main ways to consume CBD: ingestion, sublingual intake, topical use, and inhalation. In this case, we are going to focus on the metabolism of CBD when consumed orally.
What is metabolism?
Before we can understand what the metabolism of CBD is when consumed orally, we need to understand how our metabolism works. The word metabolism is used in many different contexts and, as such, can be somewhat difficult to understand. It is often used when talking about gaining or losing weight and some people are said to have a fast or slow metabolism. This can be defined as basal metabolic rate, i.e. the number of calories a person needs for the body to function at rest.
Although basal metabolic rate is often referred to as metabolism, it has little to do with the metabolism of CBD and other substances. In a medical sense, metabolism refers to the rate at which CBD or any other substance is broken down in the body to form other compounds known as metabolites.
The process of metabolism is initiated when anything is introduced into the body. For example, when we eat fats are broken down into triglycerides, carbohydrates into sugar and proteins into amino acids. Metabolism, therefore, is the process that transforms food into substances that can be used by the body’s cells. It is also important to mention that it is responsible for controlling enzymes.
How does the body absorb CBD?
Studies suggest that CBD may have the ability to reduce anxiety and depression, as well as have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects, manage pain, minimize or eliminate seizures, and even fight certain types of cancer, among other medical problems.
However, in order for CBD to have an effect on our system, it needs to be absorbed by the body. When we talk about the absorption of CBD, we are referring to how it is transferred from the site of administration into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, CBD can be transported through the body to interact with cannabinoid receptors known as CB1 and CB2. It also interacts with non-cannabinoid receptors, such as the pain receptor TRPV-1 and the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor.
The absorption and metabolism of CBD depends on how it is consumed or the route of administration. Ingestion, sublingual intake, topical use or inhalation play an important role in the absorption, distribution and elimination of this cannabinoid. Therefore, the manner of consumption can affect the effectiveness of this natural treatment.
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