The Endocannabinoid System, or ECS for short, was only first identified in cannabis during the early 1990s. It was then that researchers were exploring THC, the well-known cannabinoid compound. Current science acknowledges that at least 55% of the body’s receptors are used in the Endocannabinoid System.
In simple terms, various issues can occur throughout the body if there are deficiencies within the Endocannabinoid System. This entire process is the method that our bodies use to ensure our most vital needs are met, such as appetite, fertility, and the regulation of our body temperature.
The human body receives information through different stimuli, which then process this data, and finally providing an appropriate response. The ECS then relays this information via the receptors using different neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, GABA, glutamate, histamine, and norepinephrine-serotonin.
Because this chain of communication occurs in different ways between unrelated cell types, the ECS can then modify the information if required so it is relayed and acted upon correctly and efficiently. When the CBD binds with the receptors, it imitates the naturally produced endocannabinoids compounds which ultimately helps with the promotion of homeostasis in the body.
Science has found that maintaining a healthy internal balance is the main role of the ECS. This makes it directly responsible for regulating a range of functions and processes in the body, such as memory, reproduction, mood, and sleep.
Different cannabinoids are known to create different effects, which we now know is dependent on the type of receptor the compounds bind to. THC bind to receptors in the brain, creating the stoned ‘high’ feeling and distortions of perception, whereas CBD uses receptors located throughout the body, providing various types of relief from a wide range of symptoms, from pain and inflammation to nausea and depression.
How does the ECS work?
The Endocannabinoid System comprises three core components of endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes. This is how the ECS regulates different aspects of the body such as endocrine functions, vision or hearing, motor functions, appetite regulation, and cognitive functions, among others.
The most important aspect of the ECS is the various interactions between cannabinoids and Endocannabinoid receptor. Metabolic enzymes only become part of this equation when the Endocannabinoids have done their job and requires removal from circulation.
Cannabinoids receptors are comprised of cell membrane proteins which are produced by cells in the body to provide a suitable surface for Endocannabinoids to bind to. This mechanism of interaction activates a physiological process which is known to help the body maintain a state of homeostasis.
What are Cannabinoids receptors?
So far there have been two main cannabinoid receptors identified, which are called CB1 and CB2 receptors. A third receptor known as GPR55 is an orphan receptor which is currently still being researched
First noticed in the 1990s, the CB1 receptor is known to regulate the functions of the central nervous system by creating feelings such as extreme happiness. Whereas the CB2 receptor was later identified in peripheral tissue receptors, and because they are spread throughout the body, they able to influence many different functions.
What are Endocannabinoids?
Endocannabinoids are the polyunsaturated fatty acids which are derived from arachidonic acid, and the two main ones which have been identified in the human body are 2-AG and Anandamide, otherwise known as the Bliss Molecule.
The ECS signaling system is the reverse of a normal signaling system, which means that Endocannabinoids inhibit the release of neurotransmitters such as Dopamine, GABA and Glutamate by binding to the receptors instead of the other way around.
Once they have completed their mission, Endocannabinoids do not linger in the body and areas instead broken down for removal from the system. This may explain why there is no feeling of being “high” when the Endocannabinoids that are naturally created in the body bind to CB1 receptors.
How do the ECS & CBD work together?
Scientists proved that Plant-derived cannabinoids like THC and CBD interacting with receptors found in the Endocannabinoid System in the 1990s.
THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, is one of the main cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis plants and creates the feeling of being “stoned.” THC interacts with the ECS in almost precisely the same way as endocannabinoids bind to receptors. THC is also quite potent. It has the ability to bind to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, which allows it to induce both body and mind effects. For instance, THC may help with appetite stimulation and the effects of nausea, while also causing dry eyes and feelings of anxiety. One day it may even be possible to produce a synthetic cannabinoid of THC with only positive and beneficial interactions with the Endocannabinoid System.
CBD, or Cannabidiol, is the other major cannabinoid compound found in cannabis, and one of the main difference between the two is that CBD doesn’t create “high” feelings nor any adverse side effects. While scientists aren’t entirely sure how exactly the CBD compound interacts with the Endocannabinoid System, they do know that CBD doesn’t interact with receptors the same as THC. The current theories are that CBD either binds with an undiscovered receptor or that CBD prevents break down of endocannabinoids, allowing for the creation of a more powerful effect.
Because there is no evidence to suggest it causes any feelings of being “high” or “stoned,” CBD products have been made legal as a dietary supplement throughout the USA, the UK, most of Europe, as well as many other countries around the globe. Talk to the Cannabinoids Experts at Canna Union today about how CBD products can be beneficial to your life.