CBD is the latest natural supplement to sweep the nation. As the list of associated benefits grows, it becomes ever more difficult to not have at least heard this new buzz-word. So you know what this three letter acronym stands for, but how does CBD work? There is a lot going on once CBD enters your system, but the key to it all is the endocannabinoid system.
What is the Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system is the second largest system of the body behind only the nervous system. Each system of the body plays a critical role and the endocannabinoid system is no different. The endocannabinoid system, or ECS for short, is responsible for maintaining homeostasis throughout the body. The ECS is found both in people and in other animals as well (which is why CBD is good for your pets too!) The ECS has two types of receptors which receive cannabinoids both produced by the body and ingested from an outside source. The two receptors are called the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are most prominent in the brain and nervous system while CB2 receptors tend to be found in the immune and gastrointestinal system. Homeostasis is an optimized stable equilibrium that keeps all aspects of the body in balance. Homeostasis sums up an assortment of complex processes which coordinate everything from immune responses when you get sick to how you feel on a day to day basis. When the body is out of balance, or not being properly regulated by homeostasis, wacky things happen. Stress becomes chronic anxiety, sickness becomes a disease, temporary pains become years of suffering, all of these afflictions become serious issues when the body is out of balance. The endocannabinoid system regulates this balance and helps the body fight off diseases, detoxify, relieve stress, and if properly nourished can help prevent all of these things from happening at all. The endocannabinoids interact with receptors throughout the endocannabinoid system working to boost a healthy response to inflammation, stress, disease, and a host of other ailments.
How Does CBD Work?
Unlike most cannabinoids, when you ingest CBD, the cannabinoid doesn,t actually bind directly with either the CB1 or CB2 receptors. Instead, CBD signals to the body to release more of its naturally occurring cannabinoids – endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids that occur naturally within the body. There are over 80 different cannabinoids, each with varying effects on the body. Once CBD triggers the release of endocannabinoids, these compounds go to work linking up with their corresponding receptors found throughout the ECS. Cannabinoids such as anandamide are released and go on to modulate serotonin production and reuptake.
What does it mean?
Neurotransmitters affect everything from our mood to our health and everything in between. From the love you feel for a family member to the hunger nagging at you before lunch – neurotransmitters run it all. The endocannabinoid system is another complex system of the body that regulates a large number of neurotransmitters all with their own responsibilities. CBD encourages the bodies naturally occurring cannabinoids to communicate with the ECS and optimally regulate health and function. Specifically, CBD is linked to the release of various endocannabinoids which influence neurotransmitters such as 5HT1A to regulate serotonin production and reuptake more effectively. As a result, one might experience and enhanced mood and better sleep. This is just a specific example to help make all this science lingo a little more clear. If you want to learn more about the endocannabinoid system check out our blog post with a full break down of the ECS. You also might be curious about the whole 5HT1-A thing and how it affects mood – make sure you check out our anxiety series to learn more about neurotransmitters. Hopefully, we’ve cleared things up and made how CBD works more straightforward and easier to understand. If still are struggling to grasp how exactly CBD works don’t hesitate to contact us. Either via the contact us tab or through social media reach out and let us help you better understand how CBD works.