CBD produces effects with the body and brain through a number of ways. A major part of this interaction takes place within the endocannabinoid system; specifically with cannabinoid receptors. To better understand how this process works, let’s review a few key factors!
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol is the second most common cannabinoid produced by the cannabis plant. It is a non-psychoactive compound meaning it doesn’t produce a ‘high’ feeling after use. Showing a wide range of potential benefits, CBD is currently being researched and studied as therapeutic treatment for many medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and anxiety. With the legalization of regulated hemp production in the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD is being increasingly used in products like food, drinks and beauty for its potential health benefits. Here at Green Hill CBD, we currently carry gummies with CBD infused. There are over 100 known cannabinoids, each playing a role in the endocannabinoid system.
What is the endocannabinoid system?
The Endocannabinoid system (ECS) was discovered in the 90’s when scientists were researching plant like molecules, cannabinoids, produced by the human body. The ECS is a beautifully complex network of cell receptors and neurotransmitters. Endocannabinoid receptors are spread throughout the entire body, with largest concentrations in the central and peripheral nervous systems, and in the immune system. The ECS improves the communication between all those systems. The main role of ECS is to maintain bodily homeostasis. This is the biological harmony in response to environmental changes such as physical and mental stress. Another major role is balancing our bodies’ most important functions, including pain, memory, mood, appetite, stress, sleep, metabolism, immune system, and our reproductive function.
The ECS is active in your body even if you don’t use cannabis.
Whenever something goes wrong with your health, the endocannabinoid system will release its natural endocannabinoids to restore balance.
So far, experts have identified two key endocannabinoids:
- anandamide (AEA)
- 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG)
Endocannabinoids are arguably one of the most widespread and versatile molecules.
CBD and your endocannabinoid system
Your body naturally produces its own endocannabinoids to support this system, but just like with any other nutrient, we can have a deficiency. This is where cannabis & CBD comes in. The cannabis plant produces cannabinoids that also interact with your endocannabinoid system.
Unlike other cannabinoids, CBD does not bind to receptors in the endocannabinoid system. Instead, it stimulates the ECS to produce its own cannabinoids.
Enzymes are responsible for breaking down endocannabinoids once they’ve carried out their function.
There are two main enzymes responsible for this:
- fatty acid amide hydrolase, which breaks down AEA
- monoacylglycerol acid lipase, which typically breaks down 2-AG
After the enzymes break down the cannabinoids, the endocannabinoids look to bind with receptors.
The body produces two receptors:
CB1 receptors are present throughout the body, particularly in the brain. They coordinate movement, pain, emotion, mood, thinking, appetite, memories, and other functions.
CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system. They affect inflammation and pain.
Endocannabinoids can bind to either receptor. The effects that result depend on where the receptor is located and which endocannabinoid it binds to.
As an example, endocannabinoids might target CB1 receptors to relieve pain. Others might bind to a CB2 receptor in your immune cells to signal that you’re experiencing inflammation.
The most basic way CBD works with our body is by blocking the breakdown of our own endocannabinoids, allowing our bodies to use more of what it’s already naturally producing.
Currently, research has linked the ECS to the following processes:
- appetite and digestion
- chronic pain
- inflammation and other immune system responses
- learning and memory
- motor control
- cardiovascular system function
- muscle formation
- bone remodeling and growth
- liver function
- reproductive system function
- skin and nerve function
There’s still a lot we don’t know about the ECS. As more research comes in and experts develop a better understanding, CBD and the ECS could hold the key to treating several conditions.
Here at Green Hill CBD, we want everyone to stay happy & healthy. We strive to learn and share about everything CBD. We do not make medical claims about cannabis or CBD products. We strongly recommend doing further research into CBD before use.