The Endocannabinoid System
Our bodies are designed with a biological system made up of endocannabinoids called the endocannabinoid system. Endocannabinoids are internal lipid-based neurotransmitters that have the ability to combine themselves with cannabinoid receptors located throughout our body. The endocannabinoid system releases our own cannabinoid molecules that are organically made in our body, and these cannabinoids interact with different receptors to produce different results. The main function of the endocannabinoid system is to regulate and maintain bodily homeostasis, while keeping the biological harmony of our body in place in response to environmental changes. It also plays a crucial role in helping regulate an array of physiological and cognitive processes, which include supporting memory retention, balancing mood, maintaining a normal appetite, boosting our immune system and supporting overall wellbeing.
These are not the only functions that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in. The system also is involved in exercise too. Anytime an individual engages in voluntary physical exercise, the endocannabinoid system goes to work. The system helps in release of euphoria, while having a controlling element of our locomotor activity. It even has an impact on your motivational salience for rewards, which is our internal meter in our body that decides how much energy and sacrifice you are willing to put into a goal you are trying to achieve.
The interactions of the receptors within the endocannabinoid system are interesting to look deeper at in order to understand how CBD can benefit the human body.
Receptors of the Endocannabinoid System: CB1 and CB2
In the endocannabinoid system, there are two primary receptors. These receptors are called CB1 and CB2. The receptors found in CB1 are generally located throughout the brain, nervous system, peripheral organs, intestines and tissues. Since CBD and THC are both cannabinoids, they both interact with this receptor. The interaction between the two is interesting. The CBD acts as an inhibitor for the CB1 receptor by inhibiting CB1 agonists effects. In this case the CBD acts as the inhibitor to the THC agonist but does not block it. The two cannabinoids hold different positions in the receptor, so neither one cancels the other, but when ingesting CBD and THC at the same time, users will find that the effects of the THC are negated by the CBD.
The CB2 receptor has a different set of responsibilities. These receptors are found mostly in the immune system. They play an important function in the regulation of cytokine release. When CBD is introduced into the body, the interaction between the CB2 and the CBD produces a response that makes the CBD act as an inverse agonist. The interaction between the CBD and CB2 receptors helps our body to combat things such as swelling, as well as boost our immune system.
How CBD interacts with these receptors
CBD has an interesting way of interacting with our bodies. One would think that the interaction is direct, while it is an indirect interaction. It acts upon the CB1 and CB2 receptors, but does not bind with these receptors directly. Instead these indirect actions toward the receptors activate the TRPV1 receptors. These receptors are responsible for regulating body temperature, giving an individual the perception of discomfort and swelling.
CBD stimulates the endocannabinoid system, which therefore promotes homeostasis in the body, decreases swelling and helps to reduce discomforts. The interaction of CBD and the endocannabinoid system also enhances clarity and focus, decreases anxious feelings, promotes a sense of calmness, aids in recovery and assists in a better night’s rest.
The interactions of CBD with the CB1 receptors focus on balancing mood, reducing anxious feelings and combat swelling. The interactions of CBD with the CB2 receptors primarily work to promote skin health, support joint health, alleviate discomforts and aid in overall functioning.
CBD Can Change the Way You Feel
Although our body produces endocannabinoids already, the production of these can be impaired by things we do to our body on a daily basis. CBD can help aid our endocannabinoid system in maintaining normal functionality, and lead to an all-around better wellbeing.
FDA Disclaimer: The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.