Endocannabinoid System and CBD, Explained
In the beginning of the 1990s, researchers were exploring THC, which was a well-known cannabinoid. When they were doing this research, they discovered a multifaceted system that signals cells. They named this the endocannabinoid system (ECS) after cannabinoids which are compounds found in cannabis And we all have one in our body! So, what does this mean for the endocannabinoid system and CBD?
What is known so far about ECS is that it has a vital role in the regulation of many processes and functions.
- fertility and reproduction
You don’t have to use cannabis or cannabidiol in order for the ECS to be active in your body.
How the ECS Works
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 break down 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.
Endocannabinoid System and CBD
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.
We can thank our ECS for keeping our internal processes steady. However, still a lot to learn. As specialists move forward to better understand the ECS, it’s possible to be the key to treating so many different conditions and diseases.