CBD's Effect on Neurotransmitters

CBD's Effect on Neurotransmitters

Stories about CBD helping with depression, anxiety, seizures, and pain are a dime a dozen. But how does it actually work? At BEYOND CBD we base all our products on peer – reviewed studies, and that research extends to the scientific mechanisms, the “HOW and WHY.” Today’s blog will explore how CBD effects and interacts with neurotransmitters in the brain.


  1. Depression & Anxiety

Cannabinoid CB1 receptors are among the most common protein receptors found in the brain. CBD has a suppressive effect of cytokine-induced tryptophan degradation. You may be wondering what kind of scientific shit is this, well, let me explain. By suppressing the degradation or loss of tryptophan, your brain is able to synthesize more serotonin. Increased levels of serotonin in the brain, as you may have guessed, are a key factor in the overall homeostasis, the great game of leveling mood, and links with GABA receptors to produce anxiolytic effects, aka anti – anxiety.

Another study found that CBD was able to bind to 5-HT1 receptors as an “agonist” (defined as a substance which initiates a physiological response when combined with a receptor) which means that CBD can have an influence beyond functions mediated by cannabinoid receptors, creating new mechanisms for anxiety control beyond the standard CB1 and CB2 neurotransmitters.

  1. Seizures & Epilepsy

What the Science says: When CBD binds GABA receptor subtypes, it can support neurological anticonvulsant action. What that means: CBD helps reduce the effects of epilepsy and seizures. Another interesting fact to note – CBD doesn’t bind competitively with the benzodiazepine receptor – since it doesn’t have the same location – so it becomes more effective to those who are resistant to benzodiazepines. So when we hear the stories about how people find CBD is more effective to reduce seizures than medication? Now we know why!

  1. Pain Perception

CBD is the compound that binds CB1 and CB2 Receptors, with CB1 being the most prevalent throughout the body, these have a high concentration in areas of the central nervous system, spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system. All of these systems have “nociceptive functions” – which are the main pathways important to pain sensation and perception. CBD’s ability to function as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor also allows it to mitigate the disruption of serotonin levels in individuals with neuropathic pain.


CBD is an exciting new integrative, plant-based, sustainable option for those struggling with any of the aforementioned chronic conditions, as well as many more. By exploring the science behind CBD’s interaction with neurotransmitters we are becoming increasingly less dependent on pharmaceuticals and more enlightened about the options that come from nature.


CBD has the ability to bind a variety of neurotransmitter receptors in the brain and nervous system and has a varied array of effects. This allows for potentially new treatment methods that could be able to complement current therapies and replace options are not proving effective; or carry a laundry list of side effects.


  1. D.A. Panel Recommends Approval of Cannabis-Based Drug for Epilepsy - The New York Times (nytimes.com)
  2. Treating Depression With CBD | Hemppedia
  3. Effects of cannabidiol on brain excitation and inhibition systems; a randomised placebo-controlled single dose trial during magnetic resonance spectroscopy in adults with and without autism spectrum disorder | Neuropsychopharmacology (nature.com)
  4. Frontiers | A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans | Pharmacology (frontiersin.org)
  5. Degradation of Tryptophan Messenger: Direction of in vivo Degradation of Tryptophan Messenger RNA–A Correction | Nature

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

You may also like View all