What is the Endocannabinoid System? What Role Does Is Play.
When it comes to understanding CBD. Its purpose for maintaining a full, healthy lifestyle. It is vital to have an overview and understanding of the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). Here we try to breakdown how CBD interacts with the body. How it is claimed to help with so many different elements of wellness. Daily management and recovery. We know that cannabis and its active compounds, called cannabinoids, can influence our bodies.
How Does ECS Work?
Here we look at the endocannabinoid system and all it can do. To make it clear we want to give you quick understanding homeostasis (don’t worry it will become clear why) There is also many many wonderful articles out there that go into the ECS in great detail. We welcome you to do your research, be curious and find out more.
Quick Read –
- Understanding CBD Oil:
over 100 active compounds derived from Hemp that can influence our bodies in several ways.
- Homeostasis, what is it and what role does it play:
The body maintaining a state of equilibrium to stay healthy and function properly
- What is the Endocannabinoid System:
endocannabinoids & cannabinoid receptors that exist throughout our bodies. Two primary cannabinoid receptors. They are called the CB1 and CB2 receptors. They regulate appetite, immune system functions and pain management
- How CANNABINOIDS interact with the ECS:
100 cannabinoids naturally occurring in the cannabis plant, each one can interact with our ECS differently. Cannabidiol binds directly with our cannabinoid receptors which lead to a better functioning of the ECS and a healthier body.
- The Role of Receptors and Enzymes:
when you take CBD oil or another CBD product, you are absorbing CBD into your bloodstream and allowing it to interact with the ECS. If your endocannabinoid system is struggling to keep up with homeostasis, CBD can maybe give it that much-needed boost
- Final Thoughts on The Endocannabinoid System:
The endocannabinoid system is a major system in the human body. Not only is it crucial to our survival. It is also fundamental in understanding what impact taking CBD could have on our bodies.
Endocannabinoid System, CBD & Homeostasis
This dynamic state of equilibrium is the condition of optimal functioning for the organism. It includes many variables. These include body temperature and fluid balance, being kept within certain pre-set limits (homeostatic range). To enable our bodies to function correctly, we need to remain within a specific framework that stops us all from getting sick and help us to to be who we are.
The goldilocks effect:
Everything in our body needs to be not too hot, not too cold, but just right.
Everything in our bodies is monitored so that, when something changes, the body adapts and changes it. And this is where our endocannabinoid system comes in.
What The Endocannabinoid System?
The endocannabinoid system is a network of receptors that exist throughout our bodies. It is thought to exist in pretty much all animal life on earth. The ECS is imperative to our very continuance.
The cannabinoid receptors subsist on the surface of the cells & listen to what’s going on your body. They relate this information about our bodies status & ever-changing conditions to the inside of the cell, supporting the appropriate measures to be taken. In other words, they will enable us to maintain homeostasis by monitoring what is going on in our bodies.
CB1 & CB2
Scientists have identified two primary cannabinoid receptors, called the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Although both types of receptors can be found all throughout the body, CB1 receptors are more highly concentrated in the brain and central nervous system, whereas CB2 receptors can be found more abundantly in the immune system, organs, and tissues. CBD. 2-AG and CBD are involved in the regulation of appetite, immune system functions and pain management
Cannabinoids, Found In All Living Life
You may have heard of cannabinoids found in plants, called phytocannabinoids. But, the body also produces its own. Referred to as endocannabinoids. These molecules are created whenever we need them, usually in response to some change in the body. They can bind directly with the cannabinoid receptors – you can think of them as slotting into one another like a jigsaw puzzle or a lock and key.
To date, scientists have identified two significant endocannabinoids, Anandamideand 2-AG. Endocannabinoids are made from fat-like molecules within cell membranes.
Once the endocannabinoids have fulfilled their usage, metabolic enzymes can break them down again. FAAH breaks down Anandamide, while MAGL breaks down 2-AG. This process is what separates endocannabinoids from other molecular signals like hormones or neurotransmitters, which can be stored in the body.
The Endocannabinoid System Discovered
The ECS is not often talked about in medical schools. Everyone has heard of the respiratory system and the cardiovascular system, but the endocannabinoid system is not as famous. This is because it was only discovered recently. And, that is why it remains relatively understudied.
1964 Cannabinoids Found
In 1964, an Israeli scientist named Dr Raphael Mechoulam was able to identify and isolate THC for the first time. After the cannabinoids were isolated, it paved the way for research into why cannabis has the impact it does on the human body.
1998 CB receptors Found
In 1988, Allyn Howlett and William Devane discovered the first cannabinoid receptor in the brain of a rat. They began to map the CB receptors in the brain and found that there were more of these receptors than any other neurotransmitter receptor. This is the endocannabinoid system.
That’s why it has its name – named after the cannabis plant, which helped to lead to its discovery.
ENDOCANNABINOID Systems Role in The Body
As we have talked about, the ECS plays a vital role in maintaining homeostasis. But what exactly does this mean? Well, the ECS really does have a massive role in keeping us healthy, so much so that we wouldn’t be able to cover everything in just one article.
Having a deficiency of endocannabinoids could cause a vast range of complications in the body. If we don’t have enough endocannabinoids, we can’t fix specific problems that arise. This relates to both mental and physical difficulties.
Anything you can think of that homeostasis helps to regulate, the ECS will be involved in. This makes it an incredibly critical system.
Functions of the Endocannabinoid System
- Induction of synaptic depression
- hippocampal neurogenesis
- Energy balance and metabolism
- Stress response
- Social behaviour, and anxiety
- Immune function
- Multiple sclerosis
- Physical exercise
How Do Cannabinoids (CBD) Interact with the ECS?
With all this information on the endocannabinoid system, it’s logical to jump straight to wondering how a plant cannabinoid interacts with our ECS. Of course, with over 100 cannabinoids naturally occurring in the cannabis plant. Each one can interact with our ECS in different ways. THC and CBD are the most well-known and most well-studied.
THC (CBDs more infamous cousin)
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the most infamous active compound in cannabis. It can interact directly with our endocannabinoid system. THC binds with our cannabinoid receptors. Its the same way as our endocannabinoids react. THC seems to have a preference for our CB1 receptors (found in the brain) which is why THC can cause psychoactive, intoxicating effects and produce the famous ‘high’.
But what about CBD? Cannabidiol is slightly different; instead of binding directly with our cannabinoid receptors, it has an indirect influence on the ECS. It can help us to produce more endocannabinoids naturally, which in turn leads to a better functioning of the ECS and a healthier body.
CBD Receptors and Enzymes.
When someone smokes weed, a cannabinoid from the plant matter fastens to the CB1 receptor within the brain and creates a high feeling. THC is the name of this cannabinoid, and this is short for Tetrahydrocannabinol. One of your very own endocannabinoids attaches to the same receptor. Called the Anandamide.
While both THC & Anandamide are very similar, Anandamide will not get you high or stoned as THC can. Anandamide can have a calming effect on the mind and body. Anandamide gets its name from Ananda, Taken from the Sanskrit word Ananda. It means “joy, bliss, delight”.
Why Anandamide doesn’t get you high, and THC does is to do with the FAAH enzyme. The FAAH’s job is to break down the endocannabinoids & Anandamide. It works promptly on the ones your body naturally create. But, it can not break down the THC. This means THC sticks around for a lot longer and therefore has a much more significant impact.
Firing Your Neurotransmitters
Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids work as neurotransmitters in the brain. (chemical messengers delivering information from cell to cell) Neurotransmitters all communicate with different receptors and therefore have several different outcomes.
The plant-based cannabinoid getting the attention of researchers around the globe is the cannabidiol. CBD. It has absolutely no psychoactive properties. This means all its benefits come without the burden of being high as with THC. One function of CBD inside the brain is stopping the FAAH enzyme breaking down Anandamide. This means the Anandamide can have much more of an impact
CBD interacts naturally with the ECS
When you take a CBD product, you are absorbing CBD into your bloodstream. The CBD then interacts with the ECS. If your endocannabinoid system is struggling to keep up with homeostasis. CBD can maybe give it that much-needed boost.
The endocannabinoid system is essential in the human body. It is not only crucial to our survival. It is also fundamental in understanding what impact taking CBD could have on our bodies.
As you can see, the existence of the ECS is very encouraging for the CBD industry, as it shows why CBD can have such a positive impact on people.
If you have ever heard of the endocannabinoid system and felt a little lost, we hope that this article has explained everything you need to know about the ECS and its functions.
Hope That Helps
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of how CBD interacts with the body. Be it wellness, management and recovery. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to DM or email us we will always be happy to help.
Let’s Be The Best We Can Be
Disclaimer: This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to provide medical advice. It is not to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers are advised to consult their local GP. Or a fully qualified health professionals for specific health questions. This information only an informational guide. Its a good starting point of reference. It should not be considered medical advice.