The Endocannabinoid System
The term “endocannabinoid system” maybe something you have heard, but if you are like many people, you may not be familiar with it or how it works. The term “cannabinoid” has been around for decades and refers to the cannabis plant species, of which there are many varieties. The discovery of how cannabinoids interact within the body came much later. We all have an endocannabinoid system regulating our bodies. Various nerve cell systems within our bodies play various important roles in our health and wellness. The endocannabinoid system was first discovered in the early 1990s, making it a relatively new discovery in terms of our body’s physiology which is why we are still learning new things regularly.
Homeostasis – How the Endocannabinoid System Impacts the Body
Ideally, our bodies exist in a state of ‘homeostasis’ or internal balance and stability. The endocannabinoid system influences our homeostasis and helps regulate many important things like mood and emotional stability, cognitive stability, sleep, memory, appetite, immune function, digestion, reproduction, pain response, pleasure, inflammation, and much more.
The Science Behind the Endocannabinoid System
Some forms of cannabis contain THC, which is the psychoactive component in marijuana that gets you ‘high.’ Other forms of the cannabis species contain only CBD or cannabidiol derived from the hemp plant, which does not have THC (or has only tiny amounts) and therefore does not have any psychoactive impact. Verywell Health helps further explain how the science behind how CBD influences our endocannabinoid system, “When someone smokes marijuana, a cannabinoid from the plant attaches to the CB1 receptor in the brain and creates a high. This cannabinoid is called THC, which is short for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. One of your own endocannabinoids that attaches to the same receptor is called anandamide…In the brain, cannabinoids, and endocannabinoids work as neurotransmitters (chemical messengers that deliver information from one cell to the next.) Neurotransmitters all interact with a lot of different receptors and thus have a lot of different effects. A plant-based cannabinoid that’s gotten much attention from researchers is cannabidiol, or CBD derived from the hemp plant. It doesn’t have any psychoactive properties, so its benefits come without the high of THC.”
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
CBD is a phytocannabinoid and works similarly to the body’s endocannabinoid system. When consumed or topically applied, it binds to both the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system and interacts with the body to produce various therapeutic (rather than psychoactive) effects. The type and intensity of therapeutic benefits depend on factors such as the type of CBD you are using and optimizing bioavailability to achieve maximum effects.
Though many CBD products are commercially available today, it is important to note that consumers should research their quality and bioavailability. Many products do not contain the type of CBD that is beneficial to the endocannabinoid system, are not produced with high standards for quality, or may have a low bioavailability which means it is unlikely you will experience the benefits you seek. Bioavailability refers to the amount of CBD in a product that is actually absorbed through whatever consumption/application method you use. Bioavailability can vary significantly depending on the manufacturer and application. You must choose a manufacturer and product, such as Nature’s Therapy CBD, that produces products with complete transparency and documentation and prioritizes bioavailability to help ensure you are getting a CBD product that positively interacts with your endocannabinoid system and beneficially.