If you’ve read some articles about CBD, you must have noticed how many benefits it is reported to have on your health.
Ever wondered why exactly it is working so effectively?
Well, your endocannabinoid system and CBD interact closely to bring all those positive effects.
What is the endocannabinoid system, you might ask?
Every mammal has it. It’s responsible for many various functions in our system and is a vital part of our body.
How does the endocannabinoid system work?
Truly, it is very important for us to look at how does it work and better understand why CBD is reported to be so effective.
The new ‘CBD hype’ and all those CBD brands competing for 'the best’ title are not coming out of the blue.
Hemp has been legalized in all of the U.S. just a couple of years ago but the beneficial qualities of cannabis have been known for ages.
So, what makes it so special?
Read along and find out the answers to all of those questions.
Table of Contents
Endocannabinoid System and CBD
To understand how do the endocannabinoid system and CBD interact, we must first know what they are.
What Is the Endocannabinoid System?
A vast and complex biological system of neurotransmitters, receptors, and enzymes that regulate many of our physiological and psychological functions. Its receptors are located in our brains, spinal cord, entire nervous system, and organs, too.
The endocannabinoid system function is to regulate a wide array of bodily functions. Those include:
As you can see, it does have quite a few functions to take care of and cannabis chemical compounds can help to do that job more efficiently and long-lastingly.
The name 'endocannabinoid' itself refers to an internal system (‘endo’ means ‘within the body’) where cannabinoids are responsible for ‘delivering the message’, receptors - ‘receiving it’ and enzymes for ‘controlling and breaking down the endocannabinoids’.
Interestingly, our body also produces its own cannabinoids, so we don’t need to count on cannabis use to have all those functions working properly. However, sometimes those functions can become imbalanced and then CBD oil can give us a hand.
Not only can cannabis products help us in times of need - but they are also wonderful performance boosters. Whenever we need to enhance the endocannabinoid system functions, Full-spectrum CBD oil can work as a supplement for that.
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What Is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a predominant chemical compound in cannabis. Together with psychoactive THC, these two phytocannabinoids (‘phyto’ means ‘plant’) make up the bigger part of cannabis chemical composition. There are more than a hundred other trace phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, too.
Because these chemical compounds also belong to the cannabinoid group, they directly interact with our endocannabinoid system. Since CBD is one of the major cannabinoids, the topic ‘Endocannabinoid system and CBD’ is widely talked about and relevant for all CBD producers and users.
CBD is reported to have many varied positive effects on our health just because our endocannabinoid system and CBD are closely related to each other. Cannabidiol does not directly interact with the endocannabinoid receptors, however, it has other significant features that have a huge influence on their work.
For example, CBD stops those receptors from binding with THC (the psychoactive cannabinoid) and thus prevents the user from getting high when consuming Full-spectrum CBD oil. Additionally, it inhibits the enzymes from breaking down other endocannabinoids, thus prolonging their effects on the system.
Overall, CBD is considered to be a powerful phytocannabinoid with many benefits to our health.
Now, let's analyze the key parts of our endocannabinoid system.
There are two key endocannabinoids that our body produces naturally: anandamide and 2-AG. Much like hormones (dopamine or serotonin, for example) are chemical messengers for our nervous system, those two endocannabinoids are messengers in the endocannabinoid system.
Our endocannabinoid system and CBD interact closely and as a consequence enhance the effect anandamide and 2-AG have on it.
Anandamide is a fatty acid, discovered in the ’90s, and derives its name from a Sanskrit word “Ananda” meaning “bliss”. The name is chosen not without a reason - it is responsible for the euphoric feeling you get after a good workout or run. Further than that, it is also involved in regulating appetite, pregnancy, mood, to name a few.
2-AG (2-arachidonoylglycerol, for science sake) similarly to anandamide, is a fat-based neurotransmitter that has an important role in maintaining our cardiovascular health, has been linked to protection from seizures and is involved with our emotional states and feelings.
There are also two main receptors in our endocannabinoid system: CB1 and CB2. They are placed on the surface of different kinds of cells throughout our bodies. The type of cell decides which type of receptor it has. Furthermore, the type of receptor decides which type of cannabinoid will bind to it.
CB1 receptors are mainly placed in our brains and spinal cord. Therefore, depending on the area of the brain they are located, those functions will be affected. For example, our mood, memory, motor function, perception of pain, etc.
These receptors are also responsible for the intoxicating feeling when we smoke marijuana. They bind to phytocannabinoid THC and cause a psychoactive reaction.
CB1 receptors are found in our nervous system but they are also located in other parts/organs of our body and play a role in regulating our hormone production, cardiovascular health, digestion, etc.
CB2 receptors are mostly located on the cells of our immune system as well as the peripheral nervous system. They are responsible for regulating inflammation and immune response to pathogens.
What is the role of phytocannabinoids in the endocannabinoid system and CBD product interaction?
Phytocannabinoids, such as THC binds to those receptors and creates a psychoactive effect. However, CBD does not directly bind to them, instead, it prevents enzymes from breaking down other cannabinoids. This leads to an increased effect and number of those endocannabinoids.
Also, CBD prevents receptors from binding with THC. That’s why Full-spectrum CBD products are not intoxicating, even though they include THC.
These are the molecules responsible for controlling endocannabinoid production, their function and destruction. Perhaps the most well-known enzyme is called FAAH (fatty acid amide hydrolase) which degrades anandamide.
Here the endocannabinoid system and CBD are deeply related because CBD inhibits this enzyme and prevents it from degrading endocannabinoid anandamide. Naturally, the levels of the “blissful” anandamide increases in the system and as a consequence, its effects are prolonged.
However, the endocannabinoid system, though discovered a few decades ago, is still a mystery (in the bigger part) to the modern science world. Its true potential and relationships between various chemical elements are yet to be fully understood.
What we do know for now is that it is responsible for a lot of functions in our bodies, and is easy to be thrown out of balance - through increased levels of stress, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, etc.
Also, we know that the endocannabinoid system and CBD products are relating in many ways. The full extent of those interactions is yet to be researched but the one is clear - phytocannabinoids are affecting it positively and that is the reason why CBD products are becoming more and more popular.
Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome
We have looked at how does the endocannabinoid system work, now let’s have a glimpse of what happens when it is out of balance.
There are various endocannabinoid system functions that are regulated by an intricate work of different receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes. When there are not enough cannabinoids produced by this system, we get Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome (CECD).
This deficiency has a significant role in many medical conditions, like:
Having said that, the endocannabinoid system and CBD extract interaction is reportedly showing promising signs of treatment for all those conditions. CBD’s ability to stimulate the effects and reduce the degradation of endocannabinoids could potentially be used as a treatment for CECD.
Full-spectrum CBD Oil
The whole range of cannabinoids positively affects our endocannabinoid system thus potentially treating the disorders related to endocannabinoid system functions.
Since nowadays many people suffer from anxiety, sleep disorders, inflammation, chronic pain, etc, Full-spectrum CBD oil is rising in its popularity with its promise to treat them all. And honestly, the majority of users and even scientific data are supporting those claims.
However, since the nationwide legalization of hemp in the U.S. in 2018, producers have bombarded the market with all kinds of hemp products and as a consequence, distorted it with false claims and labeling.
It is important to research the brand before purchasing their CBD products because not all of them play the fair game. We also recommend understanding the CBD itself, and why it is important to have the CBD oil tested by a third-party lab.
In order to save your valuable time, our job is to do the research for you - review and highlight the most trust-worthy and user-loved CBD companies and advise you on whether they are worth your consideration.
Currently, our research suggests these Full-spectrum CBD oil brands to be leading the market:
- Charlotte’s Web. A natural-minded, potent and locally-sourced Full-spectrum CBD oil producer with a high-esteemed reputation and a humanitarian mission to help those in need. Their CBD oil might be a bit pricy but the customer reviews confirm its high-quality.
- NuLeaf Naturals. An old-school, strong and natural Full-spectrum CBD oil producer that only focuses on this product and perfects it to their utmost abilities. They only offer Full-spectrum CBD oil in various potencies and original flavor, so if you’re looking for something fancy, go to the producer below.
- CBDistillery. A user-loved CBD company that has a huge variety of different CBD products. It cares for its customers and products, therefore it has all its products third-party tested and quality-checked. The prices seem to be well-balanced, too.
Nonetheless, despite the different kinds of CBD products being sold, in our opinion, the endocannabinoid system and CBD Full-spectrum oil have the most beneficial interaction.
This article briefly introduces you to what is the endocannabinoid system, how does the endocannabinoid system work, and how CBD products interact with it.
Our endocannabinoid system is a complex and still not yet fully-understood biological system that has a role in many different functions of our body.
Today, the science is already aware of the endocannabinoid system functions that are responsible for our mood, metabolism, muscle control, pain perception, cardiovascular health, memory, immune function and many more.
The intricate interactions between the endocannabinoid system and CBD products give hope for future treatments of many different physical and psychological disorders.
Based on many positive user reports, Full-spectrum CBD oil indeed has a lot of benefits to our overall health. However, it is important to buy only high-quality and third-party lab-tested products from trusted brands.
Contributed by Diana Rangaves, PharmD
1. Vincenzo Di Marzo & Fabiana Piscitelli: 'The Endocannabinoid System and its Modulation by Phytocannabinoids'
2. Ozge Gunduz-Cinar, Matthew N. Hill, Bruce S. McEwen et al.: 'Amygdala FAAH and anandamide: mediating protection and recovery from stress'
3. Ruth Gallily, Zhannah Yekhtin, Lumír Ondřej Hanuš: 'Overcoming the Bell-Shaped Dose-Response of Cannabidiol by Using Cannabis Extract Enriched in Cannabidiol'