How CBD Affects the Endocannabinoid System

December 13, 2019

How CBD Affects the Endocannabinoid System

When it comes to understanding CBD oil and its purpose, it is important to have some knowledge of the human endocannabinoid system (ECS).

What’s unique about CBD, unlike it’s counterpart THC, is how it interacts with the Endocannabinoid system. Unlike traditional marijuana (THC), consuming CBD is non-psychoactive and does not get you high.


What are the benefits of CBD?

Given the amount of research around CBD, from trials and general testing, there are many discovered benefits. The most common effects that have been reported with CBD is the calming effects it can have, which results in reduced anxiety. Reports have also indicated the positive changes in sleeping patterns, appetite, pain relief, and having anti-tumorous properties.

The use of CBD has been knows worldwide, with many professionals endorsing CBD for its ability to help reduce inflammation which occurs during recovery. 


What is the Endocannabinoids system?

The endocannabinoid system is a network of endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors that exist throughout our bodies. The endocannabinoid system is widely spread throughout the body. There are different parts that affect our body’s responses in different ways. These different main parts include cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes that are meant to break down the endocannabinoids.

There are two main types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are mostly found in the brain, while CB2 receptors are primarily spread throughout the body.

In the brain, these CBD receptors exist with the highest concentration in the limbic system. The limbic system is not a separate part of the brain but is a collection of the hippocampus, hypothalamus, piriform cortex, amygdala, and more.

This crucial brain region is mostly responsible for emotion, mood, behaviour   and memory. This can explain why when someone suffers with an underachieve endocannabinoid system can cause of sorts of negative effects such as an increase in anxiety, fear and depression, while reducing joy in which we receive from food and sex.

Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD)

Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency is a condition where an individual has a lower amount of endogenous cannabinoids than experts consider necessary to promote health and well-being.

Scientists now believe CECD may play a role in the following conditions:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Migraines
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Neuropathy
  • Huntington’s
  • Parkinson’s
  • Motion Sickness
  • Autism

The conditions mentioned are often controlled with medications which can cause all sorts of potential side effects.


The good news

As CEDC is considered a factor in so many illnesses, researchers across the globe are currently conducting studies to see if using a substance like CBD oil to elevate the cannabinoids in the body can have a positive impact on some of these conditions, providing relief without so many dangerous side effects associated with pharmaceutical medications.


So why CBD?

CBD is an effective way to combat CECD.  Although not certain, medical experts currently believe that CBD inhibits the enzyme Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH), the primary molecule responsible for breaking down and recycling endocannabinoids.

Thanks to the endocannabinoid system, the cannabinoids that are found naturally in cannabis, notably CBD and THC, can bind to cannabinoid receptors and modulate physiological functions in the same way as endocannabinoids. These two cannabinoids, however, have very different ways of interacting:

  • Just like the endocannabinoid anandamide, THC binds to CB1 receptors in the brain, with the difference that while anandamide has a calming effect on the brain, THC is psychoactive. FAAH enzymes have the ability to degrade anandamide but are not as effective against THC, which is why the "high" lasts longer.
  • CBD, in turn, binds both to CB1 receptors in the brain and to CB2 receptors throughout the body, as a result of which it can benefit the whole body, alleviating mental conditions such as anxiety, as well as physical ailments including muscle spasms, pain and swelling.

As Endocannabinoids exist in all mammals, CBD can also be very useful in animals. So if you notice your pet suffering with joint pain, anxiety and other conditions, CBD can help.  Examples of pet CBD products include oils, treats, topicals and more.


Please keep in mind that If you are suffering from symptoms, you should consult your physician.

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