Our body creates endogenous cannabinoids that stimulate receptors found throughout the body in the endocannabinoid system. In each tissue, the endocannabinoid system performs different tasks, but the goal is always the same: homeostasis or the maintenance of a stable and healthy internal environment. Cannabinoids promote homeostasis at every level of biological life. Scientists have learned that the system will also recognize and respond to cannabinoids from external sources, including CBD.
The endocannabinoid system includes two primary types of receptors that bind to cannabinoids: CB1, found in the brain, central nervous system, connective tissue, gonads, glands, and related organs and CB2, found in the immune system, related organs and in less abundance in the brain. Unlike its psychoactive cousin THC, which fits directly into the CB1 receptor, CBD does not fit into either type of receptor perfectly. Instead, it stimulates activity in both receptors without actually binding to them. This results in changes within all cells that contain either receptor. Because CB1 and CB2 receptors are present throughout the body, the effects of CBD are systemic.