For even the most well-researched students of CBD, many aren’t familiar with its metabolism within your body. While you can find information with a more technical focus, there are fewer resources that talk about CBD’s metabolism in a more conversational way. In this post, we’ll take a look at your body’s natural metabolic processes, as well as how Cannabidiol is processed specifically.
What is Metabolism?
Metabolism is the body’s conversion of chemical compounds through enzymes. Enzymes are natural proteins live within your body’s cells and catalyze chemical reactions.
For the most part, your body’s metabolism takes place in your gut wall, lungs, and blood plasma.
The major enzyme group involved in metabolism is called “cytochrome P450.”
Metabolism is separated into two phases – phase 1 and 2 metabolism. In phase 1, your body goes through a process called oxidation and lets off electrons. After phase 1, substances are said to be “oxidized.”
In phase 2, the substance becomes more water soluble, and is more able to be expelled from your body. The substance also loses much of its pharmacological activity during this phase. It seems like common sense – as a substance is further metabolized and becomes ready to leave you body, it becomes less effective.
When a substance enters your system, it makes its way to the liver, the chemical processing center of the body. At this point, both Phase 1 and 2 metabolism take place and the substance begins to lose its effect. After the completion of phase 2, a substance is water soluble enough that it an leave your body naturally.
How is CBD Metabolized?
As well as understanding how general metabolism works, it’s important to understand how CBD is metabolized – especially how it interacts with other substances for therapeutic reasons. As CBD moves through metabolic processes, it is converted into chemical compounds 7-OH-CBD and 6-OH-CBD in the liver.
At this time, not much is known about these two metabolites. While further research is needed, some promise is being shown about metabolite D2 (E) Valproate, which has anticonvulsant effects that might play a role in the antiepileptic nature of CBD.
As we touched on earlier, cytochrome p450 is a group of enzymes that is largely responsible for your liver’s metabolism function. However, while CBD is going through metabolism, it seems to have an inhibitory effect on these enzymes for other chemical compounds. Simply, the presence of CBD in your system seems to limit the metabolism of other substances. Something as small as a bag of CBD gummies could interrupt the metabolism of other substances in your system.
This inhibitory effect isn’t the same for everyone – it may vary by dosage, individual and how CBD binds to cytochrome p450 during metabolism.
Still, if you are are a person who is on other medications, it’s important to know the reductive effects of CBD and to consult your doctor on your personal health plan.
CBD is still a relatively young industry and the science is still not fully developed. For consumers and followers, it’s important to know what is and isn’t known so they can make informed decisions about CBD consumption.