The Endocannabinoid System And CBD: What Do You Need To Know?

April 07, 2019

The Endocannabinoid System And CBD: What Do You Need To Know?

What exactly is the endocannabinoid system and what does it have to do with the benefits of CBD oil? The benefits of CBD oil are because of the action of cannabidiol (CBD) on the endocannabinoid system (ECS). So, let’s take a look and unravel the basics of the ECS and cannabinoids that explain why so many people are experiencing such powerful benefits when they start taking CBD.

What are cannabinoids?

CBD is a phytocannabinoid, which means it is a naturally occurring chemical compound (cannabinoid) that is found in the cannabis sativa and hemp plants. CBD and THC are the two primary cannabinoids, of over 113, found in these plants. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid and THC has psychoactive properties (producing a feeling of euphoria). The hemp plant is vastly more abundant in CBD and has a very small concentration of THC, usually less than .03%. 

The other type of cannabinoid is the endocannabinoid, which is produced within the human body. Endocannabinoids interact with the vast network of receptors on cells found in the brain, organs, muscles, tissues, glands and immune system. This extensive biological ‘signaling’ system is known as the endocannabinoid system. The ECS is responsible for regulating balance (homeostasis) in the body. It plays a regulatory role in basic critical functions like sleep, mood control, immune responses and more.

How does the endocannabinoid system interact with CBD?

The endocannabinoid system interacts with the endogenous cannabinoids produced by the body. However, when a plant-based cannabinoid, like CBD, is introduced into the body, the stimulation to the ECS receptors provides various beneficial responses, depending on the location of the receptors and cells.

For example, if you take CBD oil for anxiety, the receptors known as 5-HT1A, a serotonin receptor, which is the target of common prescription anti-anxiety medication (SSRIs), are activated in the same way. What that means is that CBD, like SSRIs, block the absorption of serotonin in the brain. This increases the brain’s ability to transport even more signals, which will reduce anxiety, and boost your overall mood.

In other words CBD provides a natural, non-toxic, alternative to SSRIs, which often have dangerous and unpleasant side effects. In addition, CBD can boost the signals to the serotonin receptors, increasing the transmission of 5-HT1A, therefore mood can possibly be affected faster than with SSRIs.

Can CBD improve the function of your endocannabinoid system?

The foundational goal of the endocannabinoid system is to keep the physical, mental and emotional body in homeostasis (balance). The ECS responds to all natural functions of the body, like nursing a child, as well as external assaults, like injuries.

The ECS helps us in maintaining optimal health and helps protect us from an ever-changing external environment.

Although the body produces its own endocannabinoids and receptors, supplementation of the phytocannabinoid CBD can signal the body to produce more endocannabinoids and build more receptors. Small daily doses of CBD can support your immune system and provide an improvement in your basic health and well-being.  

Have you tried CBD? If so, what has been your experience? Please share with us in the comment section below. We love hearing from you!

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