How Your Endocannabinoid System Responds to CBD Oil

How Your Endocannabinoid System Responds to CBD Oil

What is the Endocannabinoid System and How Does it Respond to CBD Oil?

Did you know that there is a system in our bodies comprised of receptors that interact exclusively with cannabinoids like CBD and THC? While decades of Cannabis prohibition will ferociously debate this claim, this system does indeed exist. It’s known as the Endocannabinoid System, and it is the catalyst behind the many benefits CBD. To understand how CBD works and to fully comprehend the benefits it can deliver, it’s crucial that you first understand the Endocannabinoid System.

Get ready to learn something that might just blow your mind…

What is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?

Your Endocannabinoid system is a receptor of the brain which works on our mood, anxiety, sleep, pressure, pain, pregnancy, blood pressure… in a word on our mental and physical health. A system of physiology that helps the body in maintaining homeostasis from the time that we are born. With neurological shortcomings, musculoskeletal problems, inflammatory and immune issues the endocannabinoid system can help. The human body produces its own cannabinoids, such as 2-Arachidonoyl(2-AG) and Anandamide(AEA), and when they are produced within the body they are termed endocannabinoids.

What is CBD and CBD oil?

CBD was used for medical purpose thousand years ago before the modern medical science invents. From then till now CBD is considered the element of nature which helped improve our physical and mental health. CBD is a chemical compound extracted from marijuana and hemp tree.

The cannabis plant contains more than 100 different chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, which interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Cannabidiol or CBD is the most famous among them for having hundreds of medical benefits.

Many people use CBD oil as a means to battle many of life’s discomforts.

So, Cannabidiol—CBD—is a cannabis compound that has remarkable medical and recreational benefits, but does not make people feel “High”. It can actually prevent the psychoactivity of THC. Cannabidiol is one of at least 113 active cannabinoids identified in cannabis. It is a major phytocannabinoid, accounting for up to 40% of the plants extract. The fact is, CBD-infused cannabis strains are non-psychoactive or less psychoactive than THC-dominant strains. It’s made CBD products a good option for patients looking for relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis, seizures, spasms, and other conditions without disconcerting feelings of lethargy or dysphoria. 

“THC” gets you high but not “CBD”

THC and CBD affect our brain in a different way. The receptors are of the endocannabinoid system that is most highly regarded are the CB1 and CB2 receptors. In the brain the CB1 reporter is primarily localized. The CB2 receptor is primarily localized in the peripheral aspect of the body. The major ECS receptor in the brain, CB1, is activated by THC but not CBD. In fact, CBD can get in the way of compounds like THC, preventing them from activating the CB1 receptor. So that CBD doesn’t make you high.

History of the Endocannabinoid System

In 1988, the first cannabinoid receptor was found in the brain of a rat. The team of researchers discovered that these receptors interacted exclusively with receptors found in the Cannabis compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). What was even more surprising is that the receptors were found concentrated in parts of the brain responsible for mental and physiological processes (ie. memory, high cognition, emotion, and motor coordination). Five years later, in 1993, a second cannabinoid receptor was identified. This receptor was distributed throughout the immune system and peripheral tissues of the body and exhibited the same reaction to THC as the first receptor.

It was then that researchers realized they were onto something big…Just two years later, in 1995, researchers discovered that the two receptors―now deemed the CB1 and CB2 receptors―were found not only in rats, but within thousands of other species―including humans.

As technology advanced, researchers were able to further analyze the relationship between the cannabinoid receptors within our body (referred to as “Endocannabinoids“) and the cannabinoid receptors in Cannabis compounds like CBD and THC (referred to as “Phytocannabinoids“).

What they discovered was an entirely unknown signaling system between Phytocannabinoids and Endocannbinoids. Naturally, they deemed this system the Endocannabinoid System―ECS for short.

While the researchers had not yet linked these signals to any health benefits, this was a huge breakthrough because it revealed one profound fact―our bodies were designed to interact with cannabinoids.

How CBD Interacts with Your  Endocannabinoid System

Endocannabinoid System has several functions on our mental and physical health. There has not been a single bad side effect of CBD to health. Rather, CBD benefits us in many ways.

  1. CBD Improves Your Immune System

While CB2 cannabinoid receptors are vital to the normal function of immune cells, many of the therapeutic effects of CBD on the immune system function are mediated by separate mechanisms than the classical cannabinoid receptors. In fact, much of the therapeutic effect of cannabidiol is due to CBD’s rare ability to alter which genes get expressed by cells. In the immune system, this affects both sensitivity and signalling. CBD limits the combinations of genes that get expressed, which limits the combinations of cytokines that cells are able to produce (proinflammatory vs. anti-inflammatory) and also the combination that they are able to respond to (the cytokines for which they have receptors). CBD improves our immune system 25 times more than time alone.

  1. CBD For Osteoporosis:

Osteoporosis is an accelerated weakening of bone tissue with age. There is an incredibly complex relationship between osteoporosis and the endocannabinoid system. The study found, in concordance with existing literature, that reduced CB2 receptor expression was correlated with osteoporosis, and that signalling mediated by CB2 in osteoclasts is one of the primary regulatory pathways of bone remodelling. CBD is very helpful and effective at reducing the possibility of osteoporosis and developing the health of the endocannabinoid system within bones.

  1. CBD for Depression and Anxiety:

The endocannabinoid system is the regulator of thousands of processes in our system. In the brain, it directs memory, mood, and several other systems in terms of their baseline neurotransmission. The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, is comprised of a series of inhibitory receptors which, when activated by endocannabinoids, act to decrease the activity of the cell in which they are found. CBD for depression and anxiety has worked for thousands. This could be due to the recalibrate effect of CBD on endocannabinoid system function, and also due to CBD’s activity as a direct partial agonist of serotonin 5-HT1a receptors.

  1. CBD For Asthma:

CBD fix to CB receptors. The CB receptors are like locks to our home and CBD is the key. Molecules, or keys, that don’t look like CBD will probably not be able to open up the front door. Now, along with our airways such as CB1 and CB2 on the cells and in our lungs, we have cannabinoid receptors. And, because asthma is associated with acute inflammation, or inflammation for more than 3 months, CBD can work to fix the CB2 receptor to open up the front door.

  1. CBD for Pain:

With receptors in our brain and immune system CBD interacts. Receptors are small proteins attached to your cells that receive chemical signals from different stimuli and help our cells respond. This creates anti-inflammatory and painkilling effects that help with pain reduction. This means that CBD may benefit people with acute pain, such as acute back pain.

 Be Thankful for Your Endocannabinoid System

The examples above are just a few ways CBD works with the ECS to benefit the body, but the list goes on. There are actually hundreds of case studies supporting CBD as an effective treatment for dozens of conditions (review the full list of CBD case studies here). It’s all thanks to our body’s Endocannabinoid System, so make sure to give it a big thank you and take care of it! Cannabis compounds like CBD and THC exist for a reason, and it’s certainly no accident that we have an Endocannabinoid System. The fact that, whoever created us, designed our anatomy with parts linked directly to Cannabis, is honestly mind-blowing. I hope this article helped inspire you as much as CBD inspires me. Spread the word to someone who needs to know about the Endocannabinoid System, and be sure to take care of yours!

Thanks for reading!

References:

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Nagarkatti P, Pandey R, Rieder SA, Hegde VL, Nagarkatti M. Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future Med Chem. 2009;1(7):1333-49. [PDF]

Pertwee RG. The diverse CB1 and CB2 receptor pharmacology of three plant cannabinoids: delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol and delta9-tetrahydrocannabivarin. Br J Pharmacol. 2008;153(2):199-215. [PDF]

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Zlebnik NE, Cheer JF. Beyond the CB1 Receptor: Is Cannabidiol the Answer for Disorders of Motivation? Annu Rev Neurosci. 2016;39:1-17.

Radwan, M. M., ElSohly, M. A., Slade, D., Ahmed, S. A., Khan, I. A., & Ross, S. A. (2009). Biologically Active Cannabinoids from High-Potency Cannabis sativaJournal of Natural Products72(5), 906–911. http://doi.org/10.1021/np900067k

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