Every human being contains a complex system of receptors called the Endocannabinoid System or ‘ECS’. These receptors are found throughout the body and are activated by various cannabinoids such as CBD, THC & CBN, to name a few (there are many). An activated ECS system has proven to be key in maintaining general physical & mental wellness. By regulating homeostasis, the ECS ensures that all parts of the body are working in harmony with one another.
To understand how the ECS works in the body, it is important to understand the concept of homeostasis. Homeostasis refers to how the body regulates things like water content, blood sugar, and more. For our bodies to function properly, conditions need to remain in a balanced state. Our bodies have an amazing ability to create homeostasis by using a negative feedback system. That means it is continuously monitoring itself, so when something goes wrong, it can be corrected. And that is the primary job of the endocannabinoid system.
So, how does CBD play a role in maintaining a well balanced ECS system?
To understand this, we must take a look at the primary receptors that run throughout the ECS system. These are known as the CB (Cannabinoid) receptors. The two main CB receptors are known as ‘CB1’ & ‘CB2’. CB1 receptors are key in regulating brain and nervous system functions. Whereas CB2 receptors play a very important role in maintaining a healthy immune system.
Many Cannabinoids, including THC, bind directly to one or both of the CB receptors. CBD does not bind directly to either CB1 or CB2. Instead, it modifies these receptor sites and blocks the breakdown of our own endocannabinoids, allowing our bodies to utilize more of what it’s already naturally producing.
CBD also influences non-cannabinoid receptors. CBD modulates the 5-HT serotonin receptor, which is believed to improve depression and aid in overall mood enhancement. CBD can also affect the TRPV1 receptor, which is responsible for pain and inflammation.
There is still a ton of ongoing research to better understand the endocannabinoid system and what effects various cannabinoids can have on it. That said, with the information that has been presented by science to this point, it’s safe to say we should all be thinking about incorporating beneficial cannabinoids into our daily regimen to experience a more balanced, healthy life.