Many are very familiar with the positive health benefits of CBD for their bodies, but few have an intimate understanding of how it all works. We’ve got you covered! The answer lies in the endocannabinoid system, commonly referred to as the ECS. Many people are learning about this system every day however, as it plays a vital role within the body.
The ECS may seem like a confusing physiological process but let us break it down so you can easily understand what this amazing structure is all about. Stretching from the gut to the brain, the ECS is a neuromodulatory system, meaning it helps control the central nervous system, brain function, immune function, and responses to environmental stressors. The ECS is made up of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and the enzymes responsible for the synthesis and breakdown of endocannabinoid interactions. What that means is the ECS is responsible for managing sleep quality, pain management, mood, memory, immune system response, and a host of other functions.
How does CBD interact with the endocannabinoid system?
CBD is unique in that it binds strongly with dock-like structures in the ECS called CB2 receptors. Other cannabinoids bind strongly with the CB1 receptors, to produce a variety of other effects, but our focus is the powerful healing aspects of CBD due to their strong relationship with CB2 receptors and unique relationship with CB2 receptors, as well as their weak relationship with CB1 receptors.
Due to CB2 receptors important part of the immune system (part of the ECS and central nervous system), they play a pivotal role in regulating inflammation and overall immune response. This is why more and more people are finding relief from overactive immune systems using high quality CBD designed for their personal wellness plan. This relationship leads to many finding complete or vastly improved relief from frustrating inflammation and autoimmune issues like arthritic swelling and stiffness, distressed respiratory systems in the form of asthma, allergies, many digestive issues like IBS, and a host of other immune-related issues.
Another interesting note about CBD and its place in the ECS is that the weak bonds it forms with CB1 receptors actually block other cannabinoids from “docking” on those receptors. This means that when CBD hits the body, it is able to really blanket the ECS and greater nervous system with the positive benefits it has come to be known for. It also has the ability to counteract some negative aspects of unwanted THC levels in the body by blocking those cannabinoids from the ECS.
The ECS is made up of three 3 major components that suggest CBD is beneficial to our bodies in many ways:
Endocannabinoids: Neurotransmitters that are produced naturally as a result of CBD use.
Cannabinoid Receptors: Specialized cell membrane receptors found throughout the central nervous systems of all vertebrates. Responsible for bonding with cannabinoids and endocannabinoids alike.
Enzymes: Protein molecules that maintain the cycles of the ECS. Enzymes at play in the ECS help break down the bonds that brought together the endocannabinoids and cannabinoids.
The reason why cannabis is so effective and beneficial all around the body is that we have two different types of cannabinoid receptors throughout the body:
CB1 receptors were the first cannabinoid receptor that were discovered in the nervous system. Research on these receptors was first realized in 1990 and they still being heavily researched as the scientific understanding of cannabis and the ECS expand. Interactions with these receptors affect the brain, nerves, and spinal cord. This is why CBD is beneficial for easing the mind from anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mood disorders. If you recall from above, CBD forms weak bonds with CB1 receptors, but also “blocks” the receptors from other cannabinoids to produce a unique effect.
CB2 receptors were the second cannabinoid receptor to be discovered and cloned, only 3 years after CB1s. It has been found that these are present throughout many physiological systems including the digestive and central nervous systems. These receptors are responsible for mitigating inflammation, pain, nausea, and a host of other outcomes that are still being researched.
The complexity of the ECS may seem vast, but these two “docks” are able to provide an interaction that has been celebrated by many for so many different benefits. Through those two receptors, the ECS has been seen to manage a growing list of functions including digestion, immune response, mood, sleep, memory, pleasure/reward, fertility, blood pressure, cognitive awareness, and skin health.
Due to its unique positioning within the body, the ECS has the amazing ability to provide a timely and accurate response to stressors. For example, if one is experiencing an autoimmune response in the form of inflammation, the ECS will focus on using available resources to move the body back towards a natural middle ground, or homeostasis.
As more clinical evidence is produced, it’s clear cannabinoids have a promising future for issues millions experience daily. Fortunately, the timing is spot on, with many countries introducing legislation aimed at common-sense cannabis laws and research. At Design Wellness, we’re so excited to lead you down the right path with the best CBD information and products.
We hope this article has left you a bit more informed about the endocannabinoid system, how it interacts with the body, and what that means for designing your wellness plan.
At Design Wellness, we want you to be as informed as possible about what matters most about CBD. Please feel free to leave any questions in the comment section below or reach out us at [email protected]!
Here is a wonderful video on the endocannabinoid system: