How CBD Affects The Endocannabinoid System
If research into cannabis is showing us anything, it is that we still have a lot to learn about the human body. Cannabis research is constantly finding new and exciting ways we can potentially benefit from this awesome plant, with one major focus being CBD and the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system plays a very interesting and varied role within the body. Go back a decade or so, and it was generally thought that the brain and central nervous system were the main driving force behind conditions like stress, anxiety, inflammation, and pain. Whilst this is not really in dispute, more recent research would suggest that there is also a third major player in controlling these conditions: the endocannabinoid system.
THE BASICS: WHAT IS THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM?
At its most basic, the endocannabinoid system is a network of receptors reaching throughout the body – pretty much everywhere the central nervous system does. These receptors specifically interact with cannabinoids, creating the many effects that come from using marijuana. It is not just designed by the body to get you high though, oh no. Research has found extremely positive evidence to suggest that the endocannabinoid system is instrumental in the regulation of many bodily functions. This includes things like the immune system, inflammation, pain regulation, and energy homeostasis – to name but a few. Also, rather interestingly, apart from the few natural cannabinoid equivalents that the body produces itself, there is no other known natural source of cannabinoids other than cannabis. It’s like it was meant to be!
THE ROLE OF CBD WITHIN THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
There are two main types of receptors in the endocannabinoid system. These are CB1 and CB2 receptors. Unlike THC – the main psychoactive compound of cannabis – CBD is unable to bind to either receptor perfectly. This causes stimulation in the cells where the receptors are activated, without being fully latched onto. As CBD is transported through the bloodstream, and endocannabinoid receptors can be found throughout the entire body – including the brain – interactions can take place throughout the entire body, causing widespread and varied effects. It is largely why CBD oil has become such a popular dietary supplement.
CBD OUTSIDE THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
Although the endocannabinoid system is the main point of CBD interaction, it is not the only one. So we thought it worth quickly mentioning the other ways CBD interacts with the body. This additional interaction is caused by CBD stimulating other receptors. For example, CBD is thought to activate serotonin receptors. It also stimulates G-protein receptors that affect temperature control and pain perception.
What we know for sure is that CBD is a complex cannabinoid, and the way it interacts with the body is nothing but amazing. The fact we have an internal system that appears to be specifically set up to work with CBD is astonishing. The research already conducted into CBD has found nothing but positive results – so who know what the future of CBD based research could bring.