If you’ve spent any time researching the ways cannabis interacts with our bodies, you’ve probably heard of the endocannabinoid system. But what exactly is it? How does it impact our day-to-day lives? And how can we supplement it with CBD oils and other products?
What is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?
The endocannabinoid system is a complex network of mechanisms that regulate a huge number of functions within your body. Its responsible for controlling the responses of our immune system, our appetite, the communication between our cells and many more interactions within our bodies. These various forms of communication and biological responses are managed through three different mechanisms. Receptors, enzymes and endocannabinoids produced by our bodies control this network of communication. Each plays a different, but specific role in the endocannabinoid system.
Firstly, endocannabinoids are cannabinoid-like compounds that are produced naturally by the body. These two compounds, named 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG)and anandamide (AEA) serve as analogs to THC and CBD, the phytocannabinoids we find in cannabis. Both of these cannabinoids are created and broken down by enzymes. The final part of this network are the receptors. Receptors sit on the surface of each cell and are responsible for receiving cannabinoids, whether phytocannabinoids such as THC and CBD, or the endocannabinoids our body produces naturally.
Of all of these, it was the discovery of the body’s own system of cannabinoids, 2-AG and AEA, that really allowed scientists to explore the endocannabinoid system and our bodies various responses to cannabinoids.
How does the Endocannabinoid System Work?
It is perhaps most simple to consider the endocannabinoid system as a volume control for the bodies biological communications. This is why certain strains of cannabis might increase your appetite, for example, or inhibit memory functions. It also has a role to play in the brain and nervous system, which can explain the role cannabis can play in pain management, for example, or its use in relation to conditions such as depression, stress and anxiety.
When our body deviates from a state of equilibrium the endocannabinoid system can effectively raise or lower the volume of various communication channels, with the goal of reaching a standard level once again. The body will begin synthesizing 2-AG and AEA, which transmit information to different parts of the body, eliciting an appropriate response to achieve a harmonious biological environment.
Once this is achieved, endocannabinoids are broken down by enzymes, and the body continues as normal until the next response is required. So what role do phytocannabinoids, such as the ones we consume when we take CBD oils, for example, play in the endocannabinoid system?
Each person has a standard level at which their endocannabinoid system defaults. This is a balance between the various cannabinoids, the density of the receptors and uptake rates of 2-AG and AEA. This underlying tone various from person to person.
In some, it may be heightened, and in others, the ECS may be lowered, which can be referred to as clinical endocannabinoid depression (CED). It may be useful to supplement the ECS, with CBD products and CBD oils, such as those available from CBD manufacturer Green Roads.
How Can We Manage the ECS With CBD Oils and Other CBD Products?
In the same way that the receptors on the cells of our brains, connective tissues and organs react to our naturally produced endocannabinoids, they can also respond to phytocannabinoids. CBD oils and CBD products are exploding in popularity, with many people turning their backs on over the counter medications and looking for a more natural solution to manage their symptoms.
Unlike THC, which is considered a direct agonist of the two types of receptor present in the ECS, CB1 and CB2, CBD functions by blocking other cannabinoids from binding with receptors, thereby modulating our body’s biological responses.
For example, studies conducted on the endocannabinoid system and its relationship to migraines have found CBD could be useful in pain reduction. By blocking the uptake of endocannabinoids, cannabidiol which enters the system via CBD oils and other CBD products can inhibit vessel dilation caused by AEA.
In addition, the presence of CBD in the ECS promotes the production of 2-AG, bolstering the base level of an individual’s endocannabinoid tone. Research has shown that other painful conditions, such as fibromyalgia, can be caused by this same deficiency in the endocannabinoid system.
As it was only defined in the 1990s, research concerning the relationship between CBD and the endocannabinoid system is ongoing. We already have a lengthy list of conditions that respond well to treatment with CBD, and it is one that grows with each newly conducted study on the endocannabinoid system.
Outside of its effects on the endocannabinoid system, CBD oils and CBD products can be helpful to bolster several other systems within the body. CBD binds with TRPV-1, a G-protein coupled receptor. G-protein coupled receptors also serve as intercellular communication tools which manage a number biological responses. These systems include those related to pain and inflammation, and those responsible for serotonin activation.
What About the Relationship Between THC and CBD?
While CBD is considered a partial agonist of the endocannabinoid system’s two main receptors, CB1 and CB2, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a full agonist of both. This means that THC molecules fit directly into both receptors, binding to them and producing that well known “high” feeling people feel when they consume cannabis products.
The reason many people choose CBD oils and other products is to avoid that particular feeling, despite the numerous medicinal benefits of THC. This may be because it exacerbates their conditions, such as anxiety or sleeplessness, or simply because they need to medicate during the day when they need to retain all of their faculties.
CBD works to stimulate receptors without fully binding them. This process eliminates the psychoactive elements of THC without completely nullifying the positive effects of the phytocannabinoid. CBD products, like Green Roads CBD Oil are an excellent way to reap the benefits of cannabis without succumbing to that typical THC high.
How Can You Choose The Best CBD Manufacturer and CBD Products?
CBD oils and other products are experiencing an explosion in popularity. With that, unfortunately, comes a number of companies looking to muscle their way into the space with inferior products. Without proper FDA regulation, however, consumers are often left to their own devices to sort the good from the bad.
Look for CBD oils and other CBD products that display third-party lab results and list a full complement of ingredients. We recommend CBD manufacturer Green Roads, as all of their CBD oils and other CBD products are developed by actual pharmacists, guaranteeing safe, effective cannabis extracts.
No matter where you’re located in the States, they can ship safely and legally to your location, and offer a huge selection of CBD products, from CBD oils and gummies to capsules and syringes.