An Introduction to the Endocannabinoid System (What is it?)
Because we have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) in our body to deal with it, cannabidiol (CBD) is an important health supplement. Although the primary function of the endocannabinoid system is not to interfere with cannabis, it interacts with the cannabis plant similarly to compounds that we naturally produce in the body.
A fairly recent area of research is the relationship between the endocannabinoid system and cannabis, although it has intrigued the interest of humans for millennia. Before the endocannabinoid system was identified, the effect of cannabis on the human body was un known by humans, but the biochemical mechanism behind it could not be explained. Researchers have been looking for an understanding of the cannabis plant to discover the endocannabinoid mechanism.
You can find that hemp has a tremendous impact on the body when you investigate the effect of cannabinoids. We must look at the full picture of the endocannabinoid system to understand how cannabinoids such as CBD interact with the body.
Homeostasis: A Balancing Act
The ECS preserves our well-being by controlling our body's core biological elements. Most significantly, it plays a vital role in preserving the homeostasis of our body. In the human body, considering external changes, homeostasis is the preservation of a constant internal environment. This biological condition is extremely important for the body's proper functioning.
Our cells have to operate under complex environments that often fall into a limited range in order to work at optimum efficiency. In adjusting conditions to fall within this range, the ECS plays a major role.
Homeostasis is an act of balancing. We are continuously being pulled from our point of stability, similar to a tightrope walker. The body must constantly regulate several factors and adjust as conditions change in order to maintain a stable environment.
The Intimacy of How the
Endocannabinoid System Works
The ECS consists of three components: receptors for cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and metabolic enzymes. These components, including the brain, tissues, and organs, are found throughout the body.
The ECS is a signaling network that controls processes in the body using endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids (endo meaning within) are specialized compounds which, as needed, are synthesized or produced in the body. The body produces endocannabinoids to reclaim its balance when outside of homeostasis. Endocannabinoids then send the cells information that gives a specific direction to the cells that will lead to a return to homeostasis. Let's take a further look at how it works in this process.
The body produces endocannabinoids when unbalanced, to send a specific message to the cell. Anandamide and 2-AG are the two leading endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids operate to send information through the receptor and into the cell as messengers. They bind to and activate the receptors of cannabinoids to do so.
Cannabinoid receptors monitor conditions outside the cell and send information to the cell inside. The cannabinoid receptors notify the cell if conditions outside the cell change, prompting a cellular response. When an endocannabinoid binds to the receptor, the message is relayed to the cell by the receptor. Cannabinoid receptors, sending a message across the cell membrane, act as a telephone of sorts.
CB1 and CB2 are labeled as the two major cannabinoid receptors. Both are found throughout the body, but CB1 receptors are more prominent in the brain, while outside the nervous system, CB2 receptors are found in abundance.
As soon as they have performed their task, endocannabinoids are broken down by metabolic enzymes. The two major metabolic enzymes are FAAH and MAGL. This final process makes sure that endocannabinoids are being used only for as long as they’re needed.
And CBD Interacts with each other
Cannabinoids can be produced synthetically, by plants, and by the body. The two primary cannabinoids in the cannabis plant that mimic the function of endocannabinoids are CBD and THC. The benefit of CBD, in particular, has been an interesting area of study as it does not produce a high like THC does.
How does CBD communicate with the body, then? While THC binds directly to the CB1 receptor to create a high level, CBD interacts with the ECS differently. CBD indirectly influences the signaling of the CB1 and CB2 receptors rather than binding to the cannabinoid receptors. This prevents the receptor binding of other compounds, which explains how CBD decreases the effect of THC because it inhibits the binding of THC to cannabinoid receptors. In addition, CBD inhibits the breakdown of anandamide by the FAAH enzyme, which allows for a higher prevalence of endocannabinoids in the body.
CBD interacts with a number of different receptors and has therefore been investigated for different therapeutic advantages. There are exciting possibilities for what health and wellness can mean. We understand that CBD is of benefit to maintaining well-being as of now. We encourage you to investigate the many other advantages of CBD.
Through studying the endocannabinoid system process, we are beginning to understand how CBD benefits our health. Do you have any additional CBD and ECS questions? Below, leave a comment!