Cannabidiol (CBD) and the endocannabinoid system
The Endocannabinoid System is a collective group of enzymes, receptors, and compounds that interact with each other in various tissues to modulate certain processes throughout the body. The name “Endocannabinoid” comes from the fact that this system also interacts with external cannabinoids derived from the cannabis sativa plant.
Some of the well-known cannabinoids that interact with the endocannabinoid system include THC and CBD. On the other hand, endocannabinoids are compounds produced within the body that also interact with the endocannabinoid enzymes or receptors. These endocannabinoids are thought to be increased or decreased in response to certain stressors as a way to maintain homeostasis.
However, there is much more you need to know about the endocannabinoid system and how using cannabinoid infused products may potentially improve your health.
The following sections will further review some of the basic science around the endocannabinoid, as well as the health implications regarding the use of CBD infused products.
The world of endocannabinoid receptors
Endocannabinoid receptors are the main way in which cannabinoid and endocannabinoid compounds exert their activity. There are two main receptors found within the endocannabinoid system: CB1 and CB2.
So what is the difference between these two and why are they so important to our health?
The difference between the CB1 and CB2 receptors lies on their distribution throughout different tissues as well as the specific endocannabinoids or cannabinoids they interact with.
CB2 receptors are thought to be found mainly on cells in the peripheral nervous system, immune cells around the body and also epithelial cells lining the gastrointestinal tract. CBD is the major cannabinoid that indirectly interacts with CB2 receptors and has been thought to modulate a series of mechanisms leading to inflammation including the migration of neutrophils or other immune cells to damaged tissue; and the release of inflammatory cytokines in response to this damage.
Some human and animal studies have suggested that the interaction between CBD and CB2 receptors may be important in the management of diseases such as IBS (inflammatory bowel syndrome) and the prevention of certain cancers if used as a daily supplement. Nonetheless, more human randomized control trials must be conducted to explore whether CBD infused products can actually confer their proclaimed therapeutic effects.
Another reason why this interaction between CBD and CB2 receptors seems to be so promising is that modulation of CB2 receptors by cannabinoids does not cause psychoactive effects. To be more clear, the use of CBD in therapy does not cause the high efficiency that is widely known by cannabis recreational users. That is, CBD infused products will not make you feel “high”. As a potential CBD user, it is your responsibility to make sure that the CBD infused products you are purchasing do not contain traces of other unwanted psychoactive cannabinoids, such as THC.
Now, you may be asking yourself, what about CB1 receptors? What are they good for?
Well, CB1 receptors are generally found in the central and peripheral nervous system. These receptors are said to have a preference for interacting with THC, the main psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis. Therefore, the interaction between THC and CB1 is thought to be the main mechanism by which THC exerts its psychoactive effects.
Although the modulation of CB1 and CB2 receptors has been thought to confer many of the same therapeutic properties, it has been pointed out that the activation of these receptors tends to have opposing effects.
For example, CBD has also been extensively studied for its role in appetite suppression, which could potentially be used for weight loss and the management of obesity. In contrast, THC is almost universally known for increasing appetite, leading to the feeling of extreme hunger known as “the munchies”, described by many marijuana recreational users.
However, to answer your question…
Yes, CB1 receptors have also been looked at for their use in various conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, seizures or even ALS. Unfortunately, health care providers and policymakers continue to refrain from prescribing CB1 receptor ligands such as THC, mainly because of their psychoactive effects.
Endocannabinoid system dysfunction and how it may affect your health
The dysfunction of the endocannabinoid system has been shown in various studies to increase the likelihood of developing certain conditions. More importantly, the use of CBD has been pointed out in many of these studies as a way to improve dysfunction and bring the body back to homeostasis.
Hence, the relationship between CBD and endocannabinoid dysfunction continues to be a hot topic of research, specifically for those conditions affected by immune and inflammatory dysfunction. These include obesity, IBS, and neurodegenerative disorders, amongst others.
Despite the fact that research has not yet established the “right” CBD dosage for endocannabinoid system dysfunction, many CBD edibles and CBD infused products are out on the market to help everyone improve their health. Some of these products include CBD oils, gummies and even CBD cookies.
If you would like to know more about these products and whether they are legal in your state, make sure to continue browsing throughout our website and get the latest information regarding CBD infused products!