Learn how CBD works and about the most important physiological system in the body, the endocannabinoid system.
Wondering how CBD works? This article covers the endocannabinoid system and teaches you about cannabinoids, and how CBD works.
We’ll learn what it is and why it is important, plus what happens when the endocannabinoid system doesn’t function properly.
Be sure to read the article until the end to understand how CBD affects the endocannabinoid system and more. Let’s get started!
Cannabinoid Receptors & Endocannabinoids
The endocannabinoid system is like a master control system for many of the most important biological functions.
It’s comprised of receptors located on the exterior of tissue cell walls, called cannabinoid receptors (CB1, CB2) and compounds produced within the body, called endocannabinoids.
cannabinoid receptor verified was CB1, which is primarily concentrated in the
brain and central nervous
system, but can be found in lower densities in other regions of the body.
CB2, the second receptor discovered, is primarily concentrated throughout the peripheral nervous system, near organ centers, and on immunological cells.
Endocannabinoids are synthesized within the body’s tissues on-demand and bind with endocannabinoid receptors.
These include compounds such as anandamide, or the bliss molecule, and 2-AG. Think of endocannabinoids like “short- order” neurotransmitters used to give instructions that modify the body’s other systems, such as the –
- Respiratory system
- Cardiovascular system
- Digestive system
- Neurological systems
- Immunological systems
- And more
The body uses endocannabinoids to moderate or balance many important aspects intimately related to overall health and wellness including –
- Sleep and wake cycles
- Skin health
- Cellular health
- Heart health
- And much more
To maintain balance within the endocannabinoid system’s signaling, the body also synthesizes specific enzymes, FAAH and MAGL, which decompose endocannabinoids, and reduces active signaling.
Any dysfunction or deficiency in either cannabinoids or receptors in the endocannabinoid system can disrupt the delicate balance between health and illness.
CBD and The Endocannabinoid System
CBD is just one of over 120+ naturally occurring compounds in Hemp including –
- Secondary cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN, and THC
- Aromatic terpenes
All of the compounds in Hemp’s naturally occurring profile play a unique role in manifesting CBD oil’s beneficial properties.
The study of Hemp compounds including CBD initially led to the discovery and confirmation of what is now known as the endocannabinoid system.
studying Hemp compounds found that phyto- cannabinoids, including CBD from
Hemp, were molecularly
similar to compounds they were investigating in the body, which were aptly named endocannabinoids.
The main target of CBD is thought to endocannabinoid system receptors. The compound both directly and indirectly activates endocannabinoid receptor activity in a variety of ways.
For example, CBD modifies the behavior of CB2 receptors to trigger what’s known as retrograde signaling of the immune system. This process, in turn, suppresses the production of inflammatory cytokine compounds, which may reduce inflammation.
CBD is also known to block certain enzymes from degrading endocannabinoids in the bloodstream, boosting endocannabinoid tone and function, which can have many beneficial effects on health.
Cannabidiol studies have also shown that CBD binds with 5- HT1A receptors, or the serotonin receptor, which may have benefits to mood, pain, pleasure, and much more.
The compound’s effects on the endocannabinoid system have also been shown to lower blood pressure, and relax muscles and nerves.
Due to a long history of Hemp prohibition, however, most of what we know about the beneficial properties of CBD comes from in vitro and animal studies.
Some studies on
CBD in humans have been conducted, although further large-scale experiments are
needed. We have tested CBD in healthy humans to see if the substance might
have any negative effects and found that CBD is a highly safe substance.
Considering it’s potentially beneficial properties, this is a big reason why clinical scientists are so interested in investigating CBD, as many modern treatments for chronic diseases come with serious risks and side effects.
Common Risks of CBD
The most common side effects of CBD reported are lowered blood pressure and feeling overly relaxed or tired.
Some people also report a change to mood and digestive issues, but generally most people tolerate CBD without any significant side effects.
One issue with CBD oil though is that it can alter the way certain types of pharmaceuticals are processed by the liver that can lead to a health risk.
This is similar to the way grapefruit acts. If you take medication with a grapefruit warning, always be sure to consult with your doctor before trying CBD.
The biggest risk of taking CBD is buying from inferior brands and retailers. Read our in-depth article on how to spot high quality CBD and CBD brands linked here.
Learn More About CBD
studies on CBD’s benefits on certain health conditions are promising, a further
scientific investigation is needed to confirm any of its beneficial effects.
However, from what researchers have gained, there is tremendous therapeutic potential in targeting the endocannabinoid system with CBD.
The mounting scientific evidence continues to support the fast- growing number of anecdotal reports by CBD users who say it has significantly improved their overall health and wellness.
Thanks for reading! Now that you’ve learned more about the endocannabinoid system and CBD are you ready to join the millions of others already finding relief?
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