The endocannabinoid system plays a vital role in our body well beyond the process it’s known for, which is interacting with cannabis, also known as marijuana. Some people consume CBD products for its mind-altering effects, while others take it for symptom relief. Cannabis wouldn’t get us high or have some of its therapeutic benefits if our bodies didn’t already contain a biological system capable of interacting with its active chemical compounds, like THC. That is the work of the endocannabinoid system, but it is not just there for us to enjoy the effects of our favorite strain. It serves a vital purpose for our health and wellbeing because it regulates critical aspects of our biology. In this review, you’ll know how it is and how CBD affects it.
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
The word ‘endocannabinoid,’ ‘cannabinoid,’ comes from ‘cannabis,’ and ‘endo’ is short for ‘endogenous,’ which means that it is produced naturally inside the body. So ‘endocannabinoid’ means cannabis-like substances that usually occur inside the body.
The Endocannabinoid system is made up of three parts:
- Enzymes that help break down the endocannabinoids and cannabinoids
- Receptors in the nervous system and around your body that endocannabinoids and cannabinoids bond with
This System is not only a natural part of our body but a crucial one for that matter. It is a vital bodily system responsible for maintaining a wealth of physiological functions.
What is it Responsible for?
The endocannabinoid system is largely comprised of endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes. They help regulate a variety of functions in humans, including sleep, mood, memory, appetite, reproduction, and pain sensation. Scientists have identified two primary receptors: CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptors are found mainly in the brain and central nervous system, while the CB2 receptors appear more in organs, tissues, and the immune system. To understand this, you need to understand what homeostasis is.
Homeostasis is the body’s effort to regulate everything in the right zone. It tries to stabilize the internal environment no matter what’s going on in the environment around you. Just like your home appliances, your body works continuously to monitor critical levels and functions in your body. Is your temperature too high, too low, or just right? Is your heart beating too fast?
Anytime something is operating outside the right range, your body activates the endocannabinoid system to help regulate it. So when you’re feeling hot or your stomach is growling, the system will remind you of what to do at that particular time. It does this via cannabinoid receptors found in select tissues.
The system is intricately connected to an extensive range of different functions, including:
- Motor control
- Mood and stress
- Liver function
- Inflammation and pain
- Learning and memory
- Sleep cycle
- Skin and nerve function
- Metabolism and appetite
What is CBD?
CBD stands for Cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). This safe, non-addictive substance is one of more than a hundred Phytocannabinoids that are unique to cannabis and endow the plant with its robust therapeutic profile. CBD is also an essential component of medical marijuana, and it is derived from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant.
CBD is an increasing food supplement. It is becoming widespread worldwide, and as more information is going round about this compound, consumers are becoming intrigued by the endocannabinoid system. It’s very essential. This network of cannabinoid receptors might just be vital to our survival. It can work with CBD for potentially beneficial effects on our health.
What’s the Relationship Between the Endocannabinoid & CBD?
Ideally, the endocannabinoid system can respond to other external cannabinoids like the Phytocannabinoid Cannabidiol. Introducing CBD to the body can help reduce the symptoms of a wide range of illnesses like diabetes, anxiety, chronic inflammation, epilepsy, and a lot more.
CBD acts upon CB1 and CB2 receptors located throughout the body to produce a variety of potentially positive outcomes. CBD does not bind directly to either of these receptors but impacts them indirectly. These indirect actions include activating TRPV1 Receptors that work to control essential functions like body temperature, inflammation, and pain perception.
CBD can also increase the amount of anandamide in the body. Otherwise known as the ‘bliss molecule,’ anandamide plays a role in the neural generation of pleasure and motivation. By stimulating the system, CBD promotes homeostasis, reduces pain sensation, and decreases inflammation.
How Does CBD Affect the Endocannabinoid System?
The purpose of the endocannabinoid system is to respond to endogenous cannabinoids produced within the human body. The endocannabinoid and CBD have an existing relationship, and this system is the only reason CBD can affect the body. During the research, scientists learned that the system would also recognize and respond to cannabinoids from external sources, including CBD.
Scientists aren’t precisely sure how CBD interacts with the cannabinoid system. When it comes to THC, it is believed that it binds directly to neither the CB1 receptor nor the CB2 receptor. CBD is thought to have a positive influence on the endocannabinoid system. Increasing the number of endocannabinoids in the body means it will support the body function of homeostasis.
In other words, taking CBD could support general health and well being.
How Useful Can the Endocannabinoid System be to CBD Consumers?
Some Researchers think that an endocannabinoid system dysfunction in which the body doesn’t produce enough endocannabinoids could play a part in causing several illnesses. Endocannabinoid deficiency could be responsible for ailments such as migraines, and more.
For now, everyone can consume CBD products as a means of supporting a healthy endocannabinoid system. Since this system is essential in keeping the body stable, it is vital to keep the endocannabinoid up and to run.
According to the National Institute of Health, manipulating the endocannabinoid system by introducing external cannabinoids like CBD could be useful in treating a variety of medical ailments, including:
- Heart disease
- Substance abuse/withdrawal
- Bacterial infections
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
The endocannabinoid system plays a significant role in keeping the body’s internal processes stable, though we still don’t know a lot about it. Scientists are trying to develop a better understanding of this system. If they finally succeed, it could probably hold the key to treating several conditions.