CBD: What Do We Know & How Does it Work?
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CBD, what do we know and how does it work? Here’s what we know…CBD Works! If more people understood how CBD works in our bodies, more people would be less hesitant to give it a try for whatever issue they may be having.
What is the full potential of CBD? Researchers are still looking for answers to this question. But, what do they already know about the benefits of CBD? As of right now, they know it is a proven treatment for some types of epilepsy, and is displaying promising signs to many anxiety disorders.
CBD for Epilepsy
The FDA approved cannabidiol for the treatment of two types of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndrome. The approved drug was Edidiolex, which contains CBD.
It was approved for young patients as well, as young as 2 years old. It proved to be highly effective through studies when compared to a placebo to reduce the occurrence of seizures.
CBD for Anxiety
Although research is ongoing, a medical journal article from 2015 took a look at CBD’s effect on several anxiety disorders such as seasonal effective disorder, PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, and panic disorders.
The results revealed strong evidence, preclinical, to back the treatment of many anxiety disorders, using CBD.
CBD: What Do We Know & How Does it Work?
The first thing to understand is the endocannabinoid system or ECS. We all know we have an immune system, right? We also know we have a cardiovascular system, right? Our guess would be that most people do not know they even have an endocannabinoid system.
The ECS system is a complicated net of lipids, receptors and enzymes that nearly all mammals have. It is mostly responsible for producing and maintaining balance within the body.
It was discovered in the 20th century and was a game changer regarding human health. Scientists discovered that cannabis adheres to different receptors in the brain, working together with the endocannabinoid system to provide many health effects on:
- Immune response
- Inflammation and pain
Those are just a few of the important functions that the ECS is responsible for. It’s hard to find a body function that does not include the ECS.
So, what does this mean for the use of CBD? Discovering the ECS and learning how it adheres to multiple receptors means that CBD may treat a vast range of conditions. From epilepsy to cancer, the ECS has a critical role in maintaining the balance of your health.
The ECS contains three essential mechanisms: receptors, enzymes and endocannabinoids.
Endogenous cannabinoids, or otherwise known as endocannabinoids, are molecules produced by your body.
There are two crucial endocannabinoids identified:
- 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG)
- anandamide (AEA)
Those two endocannabinoids are what keeps your internal functions to run smoothly. They are produced as needed, which makes it hard to determine what the usual levels are for each one.
Receptors are found everywhere in your body. They are connected by the endocannabinoids which allows a signal to ECS that it now needs to act.
The two key receptors are:
- CB1 receptors are located in the central nervous system
- CB2 receptors are located in your boarding nervous system, particularly immune cells
They can adhere to either one of the receptors. The result will depend on which receptor it binds to and the location.
In other words, the endocannabinoids may mark CB1 receptors in a spinal nerve so it will relieve pain. Some may adhere to a CB2 receptor located in the immune cells to tell your body that it is experiencing inflammation.
An enzyme job is to break down endocannabinoids as soon as they have completed their function.
Two key enzymes that are in control of this:
- The breakdown of AEA by fatty acid amide hydrolase
- The breakdown of 2-AG by monoacylglycerol acid lipase
The functions are:
ECS is complex, and as of now experts have not figured out exactly how ECS works or all of its possible functions.
Research has related the ECS to the processes below:
- digestion and appetite
- function of the liver
- immune system responses and inflammation
- memory and learning
- chronic pain
- motor control
- nerve and skin function
- function of the reproductive system
- muscle formation
- function of the cardiovascular system
- bone growth and remodeling
All these functions back the stability of the internal environment. So, if you are experiencing pain, from a fever or injury, for example, it can disrupt your body’s internal function and ECS will kick in to help it go back to the perfect operation.
Specialists believe that preserving homeostasis is the key role of the ECS.
THC interaction with the ECS
THC is found in the cannabis plant as a main cannabinoid. This compound will give you that high feeling.
THC, once taken, intermingles with your ECS as it adheres to the receptors exactly like endocannabinoids. It is influential as it adheres to both CB1 and CB2 receptors.
That is powerful because it provides a variety of effects on your mind and body, some maybe less desirable than others. THC could reduce pain and increase your appetite; however, it may also cause you to feel anxious and paranoid.
Researchers are trying to find a way to harvest synthetic THC cannabinoids that relate with the ECS in ways that are solely beneficial.
Another main cannabinoid in the cannabis plant is CBD. CBD, unlike THC will not get you high and comes with no adverse side effects.
Specialists are not quite certain how CBD relates with the ECS, but they are certain that it does not adhere to either receptor the way THC does.
Rather, they think it works by stopping endocannabinoids from breaking down. That permits them to be more effective on your body. Some think that CBD adheres to a receptor that has not been revealed yet.
Still debating, it does suggest that CBD may help manage nausea, pain and a multitude of other issues.
Specialists think a theory called clinical endocannabinoid deficiency proposes that levels of endocannabinoid that are low or a dysfunction ECS may be the reason for certain types of ailments.
So, hats off to our endocannabinoid system for helping to keep our balance of health in check. As there is still a lot to learn moving forward, we already know that CBD works and now we know how CBD works in our body. It seems very likely at this point that CBD can help manage so many different conditions that many people suffer with every single day.
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