CBD... perhaps you've heard of it. We are constantly seeing more and more studies done on CBD demonstrating its effectiveness in many areas that have proven longevity associations. CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of several cannabinoids that can be extracted from hemp, and has now been proven to:
CBD promotes an anti-flammatory response throughout the body, but particularly in the brain.* The way it does this is by acting on cannabinoid recptors in the body. These receptors are part of a lipid-based system in the body called the endocannabinoid system. In addition to cannabinoids that can be obtained from hemp and a few others, including cocao and echinacea, the body also creates its own cannabinoids.
When a cannabinoid such as CBD interacts with a receptor, it will cause a response in the body. What type of response depends on the cannabinoid. THC, for instance, is another very well known cannabinoid that can induce a "high." CBD will not get you high, because it works in a completely different way.
There are cannabinoid receptors both in the brain as well as other parts of the body. Some cannabinoids only act on receptors in one or the other. Based on our current knowledge, the number of cannabinoid receptors in the brain far outnumber any other type of neurotransmitter receptor.
The brain cannabinoid receptors are found in:
Out of all these locations, CBD especially targets the hippocampus, new studies are showing. This study from 2013 also gave additional support to the observation that CBD induces the formation of new neurons (brain cells), which is a process in the body known as neurogenesis. This is especially important to anyone who is interested in longevity, because the formation of new brain cells is one of the body's critical processes that is observed to decline with age, and is directly associated with longer lifespans.
What is the endocannabinoid system?
The endocannabinoid system in the human body was named from the cannabis plant, and it was the cannabis plant that led to its discovery. Some are saying it is the body's most important system when it comes to maintaining the overall the health of the body. It a lipid-based system that regulates the immune system, brain cell formation, the reproductive system, hormones, connective/joint tissue, and perhaps even more we have yet to discover.
The endocannabinoid system is based on a network of receptors throughout the body. Healthy fats are crucial to keep these receptors in good working order, so CBD oil works better in a body that is ingesting and absorbing lots of healthy fat.
The body naturally creates its own endo-cannabinoids, and there are many different ones. Some cannabinoids the body creates and others can be found in various plants to varying degrees. Different cannabinoids induce different effects on the body. They can be thought of as messengers, each one telling the body to do something in particular. The reason for such a system is the need for homeostasis; the body has an unending need to keep making adjustments to compensate for changing conditions. But for some reason it uses as "messengers" components which are also found in some plants. The result is that we have some degree of control over our body's regulation if we know how to supplement the right herbs.
The cannabis plant is unique in the plant kingdom for its cannabinoids. No other plant like it has ever been found, but a few others do have some cannabinoids. Several different cannabinoids have been discovered (CBC, CBN, CBG, and others), but CBD is by far the most interesting cannabinoid known to date. Many believe the function of most cannabinoids including CBD is still not fully understood, and it appears to even have a detoxifying and rejuvenating effect on the body.*
 See 2013 study on mice published by Cambridge University PressNext article