CBD IN THE BODY
To better understand CBD’s effects, it’s easier to separate the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) from the six other human body systems. ECS is comprised of and refers to a collection of cell receptors and corresponding molecules.
The ECS serves as a system of communication throughout the body and the brain and affects many important functions and can impact how one feels, moves, and reacts.
The ECS produces its own cannabinoids (called endocannabinoids) and is receptive to natural versions found in our non-THC hemp, or phytocannabinoids.
The ECS works like the nervous system …. but in reverse. In the nervous system, a “message” (in the form of a type of chemical called a neurotransmitter) is released from the neurons in the brain and attach to specific receptors on a nearby neuron.
The second neuron then kicks into gear and passes the message along. It’s then that these neurotransmitter chemicals are responsible for many activities (mental and physical).
In the Endocannabinoid System, that process is reversed.
Instead of originating in the brain and traveling down through the body, cannabinoids operate in the reverse direction.
Our non-THC cannabinoids move up to the neurons to inform cannabinoid receptors. There the cannabinoids are able to influence what happens when neurons activate by influencing the amount of different neurotransmitters that a neuron can send, causing non-intoxicating changes in the body and mind.
You can think of cell receptors like little locks on the surface of your cells. The keys to these locks are chemical molecules called agonists. Each time an agonist binds to a cell it relays a message, giving your cell specific direction.
The endocannabinoid system is the name for a series of cell receptors that respond to certain kinds of agonists.
The keys for these receptors are called endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are like the body’s natural CBD. Two primary cell receptors make up the ECS, Cannabinoid Receptor 1 (CB1) and Cannabinoid Receptor 2 (CB2).
CB1 receptors are abundant in the central nervous system.
CB2 receptors are more often found on immune cells, in the gastrointestinal tract, and in the peripheral nervous system.
The diversity of receptor locations shows just how important endocannabinoids are for day-to-day bodily function.
Endocannabinoids are the chemical messengers that tell your body to get these processes moving and when to stop. They help maintain optimal balance or equilibrium in the body, also known as homeostasis.
When the ECS is disrupted, any one of these things can fall out of balance. Dysregulation in the ECS is thought to contribute to a wide variety of conditions.