With the endlessly growing interest in cannabis therapeutics, people have more and more questions surrounding why, and how, cannabis works. Understanding the endocannabinoid system is the first step in understanding how CBD oil works with your body.
What Is The Endocannabinoid System?
A previously unknown biochemical communication system in the body, the endocannabinoid system plays a major role in regulating physiology and mood. It differs from other systems in the body in that it isn’t anatomically isolated, but rather it is fully integrated throughout the entire body. It is the method cells use to communicate with neighboring cells and helps to keep the body functioning in an integrated manner.
The human brain contains two kinds of receptors that respond exclusively to cannabinoids. They are known as CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found concentrated in parts of the brain used for both mental and physiological processes, while CB2 receptors are found throughout the immune system and peripheral nerves.
Our bodies produce their own type of cannabinoids – called endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids interact with these receptors, as well as with other cells, organs, and systems throughout the body.
The endocannabinoid system uses the cannabinoid receptors in the brain and the endocannabinoids within the body to help with signaling various systems, including your hormone system, nervous system, and immune system. These signaling molecules act like THC in that they help facilitate the interaction between different components within your body’s systems.
So, in simple terms, the endocannabinoid system is comprised of:
- signaling molecules
- receptors that signaling molecules act on
- the ways the signaling molecules and receptors are created, broken down, and metabolized by the body
What Do Endocannabinoids Do?
Endocannabinoids are found throughout the various functions of the body. This leads researchers to suggest that these molecules help maintain the numerous functions, and therefore maintain the health level of the body.
When our body’s age or become ill, the endocannabinoids are unable to increase the health level to where it was originally. Their job is maintenance – remember? So if the body’s health begins decreasing more and more over time, you run into a bit of trouble.
How Does CBD Interact With The Endocannabinoid System?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid – a cannabinoid that the body does not produce naturally. When it binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors, it changes and sometimes improves the receptor’s abilities and therefore its functionality. CBD can also replace any lost endocannabinoids – since studies have suggested that cannabinoids are a finite resource.
CBD helps restore balance within your body, and help you continue to maintain essential bodily functions.
CBD And Its Benefits
The natural balance of the body has everything in proportional amounts. When those levels get altered, the body can become unhealthy because it is unbalanced. CBD helps to restore balance and wellness by shifting the following imbalances:
Stress and Anxiety
Any situation that gets your heart racing with nerves comes with an imbalance of hormones. In most cases, stress causes a buildup of cortisol. CBD helps your brain regulate its stress response and brings your cortisol level back to where it usually sits.
Inflammation is often painful and uncomfortable and can range in severity. CBD helps reduce inflammatory response and pathways and stimulates the production of regulatory cells.
This is of particular interest when looking at neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, because the majority of these involve neural inflammation.
Seizures are caused by random electrical activity within the brain and cause the body to shake uncontrollably. CBD helps to slow the activity of excitatory nerves, which lessens the brain’s response to the signals it’s receiving – the signals that usually result in brain overload and bodily seizures.
Cancer – Potentially
A preclinical study done on breast cancer cells and how CBD affects them showed that CBD actually regulated a gene called ID-1 – a gene involved in many types of aggressive cancer. While still in the developmental stage, using CBD to help treat cancer could be the way to avoid painful side effects that come with current cancer-treating methods.
The endocannabinoid system is truly fascinating, and its interactions with CBD as a potential treatment for multiple conditions make one hopeful about the future of medical cannabis, and the possibilities of pain-free healing. If you want to try CBD oil as a way to help stress, sleeplessness, inflammation, or pain, make sure to buy the CBD oil from a reputable source.