If you are considering CBD and have spent any amount of time researching how cannabidiol (CBD) interacts with our bodies, you have likely read about the endocannabinoid system and the critical role it plays in our physical and mental well-being. But how does the endocannabinoid system work and how does CBD optimize the system’s impact?
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
The human endocannabinoid system is comprised of endocannabinoids, receptors and metabolic enzymes throughout the brain and nervous system. The endocannabinoid system has the important job of balancing and regulating many of the body's systems.
How Does the Endocannabinoid System Work?
The endocannabinoid system helps the body’s neurons navigate neurotransmitters to the correct receptor. These cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body and have a wide array of functions. Two of the primary receptors of the endocannabinoid system are Cannabinoid Receptor 1 (CB1) and Cannabinoid Receptor 2 (CB2). CB1 receptors are found in the brain and spinal cord and throughout the central nervous system. CB2 are receptors are found in the gastrointestinal tract, peripheral nervous system and in the immune system.
Our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids. One such endocannabinoid is anandamine which our bodies produce when in pain. However, there are times our bodies fail to produce enough of an endocannabinoid.
When the body’s endocannabinoid system is thrown out of whack, a status known as ‘dysregulation’, regulation of our systems can fall out of balance. Dysregulation is believed to contribute to conditions to a variety of conditions.
How Does CBD Help Optimize the Endocannabinoid System?
Phytocannabinoids, cannabinoids that occur naturally in cannabis and hemp, have a similar chemical make-up to endocannabinoids. So, when a body’s natural chemistry does not produce enough of a given endocannabinoid, cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) may mimic our natural endocannabinoids to produce a desired effect. s
When you consume CBD, you introduce its cannabinoids and terpenes into your body where they are metabolized. Once metabolized, they enter the bloodstream and can bind with CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Studies have shown that deficiencies of endocannabinoids can cause ailments. It stands to reason, then, that phytocannabinoids such as cannabidiol/CBD, may boost cannabinoid levels and receptivity to assist the body in re-establishing balance.
Further research on CBD and its impact on the endocannabinoid system is warranted and underway, but early research has already produced a long list of conditions that seem to respond well to the use of CBD.
*Please note that CBD, nor any of the statements made in this blog post or any studies referenced herein, has not been evaluated by the FDA and any product(s) related to this blog post is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease. This blog post, nor any of the information contained herein, is not intended to replace the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.