CBD & The Endocannabinoid System

This week I will go into detail about how CBD works with our Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and the effects of CBD. 

Following the discovery of CBD and THC, researchers began to study how these molecules work with our body. Soon after, they discovered a vast network of cellular receptors, and named it the endocannabinoid system (ECS).  This discovery not only established how cannabinoids work, but also revealed a sophisticated system that helps the body maintain homeostasis. As such, the main function of the ECS is to ensure other processes are running smoothly in the background. Almost all functions of the body involve the ECS. Using the body temperature as an example of homeostasis, the ECS helps regulate the temperature between 36-37 degree Celsius; if it falls below or rise above that range your body is not running optimally.  

What composes the ECS?

The ECS is made up of three key elements: 1. Endocannabinoids, 2. Cannabinoid Receptors, and 3.enzymes. 

  1. Endocannabinoids: synthesized in the body and binds to cannabinoid receptors to signal certain functions. The two primary endocannabinoids produced in the body are anandamide and 2-AG.
  2. Cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2 are the two main receptors. These are found on many cell types throughout the body and different cannabinoids bind to, block or modulate the activity of these receptors. These cannabinoids include “endo” (produced within the body), “phyto” (produced by plants) and those synthesized in the lab.
Where are CB1 receptors found?

CB1 receptors are found throughout the human body, especially in the central nervous system.   Some of its main functions are appetite regulation, emotional processing and memory. 

Where are CB2 receptors found?

CB2 receptors are found primarily in the immune system and peripheral nervous system. Some of its main functions include reduce inflammation and response to disease. 

  1. Enzymes: proteins that work to catalyze chemical reaction.

Phytocannabinoids and how they interact with the endocannabinoid system.

Endocannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoids work like a lock and key system. Once the endocannabinoid binds to the receptor, it causes the cells to change their activity and trigger a collective shift toward a state of balance.  Phytocannabninoids work similarly. 

The two main phytocannabinoids are 1. THC and 2. CBD.  

  1. THC: The molecular structure of THC is remarkably similar to anandamide – an endocannabinoid produced naturally in the human body – which enables it to bind to and stimulate both CB1 and CB2 receptors. The altered state of consciousness is triggered by THC binding to the CB1 receptor in the central nervous system, leading to a surge in dopamine levels, among other physiological changes. 
  2. CBD: has a low binding affinity to CB21 and CB2 receptors but works to stimulate the receptors by increasing serum levels of endo and phytocannabinoids. The entourage effect claim is based on this. 

The endocannabinoid system plays a fundamental role in keeping human physiology in balance.  When our body is not running optimally, the clinical diagnosis is endocannabinoid deficiency. As discussed above, there are a few ways to ensure it stays in balance. 

  1. Phytocannabinoids:
  2. Exercise: running, yoga and spinning are simple ways to boost levels of anandamide.
  3. Omega fatty acids: body requires omega-3 fatty acids to synthesize endocannabinoids. Foods high in omega-3 include hemp oil and seeds, olive oil, flaxseeds, and chia seeds.  Each dose of our signature strength CBD gives you 728-1500mg of omega-3s, it help boost the efficacy of CBD
  4. Caryophyllene: A terpene found in herbs and cannabis and also binds to CB2 receptor. Ingesting this terpene soothes thee nerves and raise the mood.  Rosemary, black pepper, hops, cloves and oregano all contain high levels of caryophyllene.  Our CBD extract naturally contains high levels of this terpene.
  5. Other dietary cannabinoids: cannabinoids are found most abundantly in cannabis but can also be found in other plants. Here are some of the most popular –

*truffle: anandamide (CB1 and CB2)

*Echinacea: alkamides (CB22)

*Maca: macamide (CB1)

*Kava: yangonin (CB1)

  1. Introduction to the Endocannabinoid Systemhttps://www.phytecs.com 
  2. Endocannabinoid System Acts as a Regulator of Immune Homeostasis in the Gut – PubMedhttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  3. Retrograde signaling at central synapses via endogenous cannabinoids | Molecular Psychiatryhttps://www.nature.com
  4. [The Role of the Endocannabinoid System in the Regulation of Endocrine Function and in the Control of Energy Balance in Humans] – PubMedhttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov 
  5. Cannabis Pharmacology: The Usual Suspects and a Few Promising Leads – ScienceDirecthttps://www.sciencedirect.com
  6. Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Reconsidered: Current Research Supports the Theory in Migraine, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel, and Other Treatment-Resistant Syndromeshttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  7. A runner’s high depends on cannabinoid receptors in micehttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov 
  8. Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation via cannabinoids — ScienceDailyhttps://www.sciencedaily.com
  9. β-Caryophyllene, a CB2 Receptor Agonist Produces Multiple Behavioral Changes Relevant to Anxiety and Depression in Mice – PubMedhttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov 
  10. Beyond Cannabis: Plants and the Endocannabinoid System – ScienceDirecthttps://www.sciencedirect.com
Disclaimer:

This content is for educational purposes only. The information provided is derived from research gathered from external sources.

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