The Endocannabinoid System

WHAT IS THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM AND HOW DOES IT WORK EXACTLY?

The Endocannabinoid System involves three core components: endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes.

ENDOCANNABINOIDS

Endocannabinoids, are molecules made by your body. They’re similar to cannabinoids, but they’re produced naturally by your body.

Experts have identified two key endocannabinoids so far:

  • anandamide (AEA)
  • 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG)

These help keep internal functions running smoothly. Your body produces them as they are needed, making it difficult to know what typical levels are for each.

CBD RECEPTORS

These receptors are found throughout your body. Endocannabinoids bind to them in order to signal that the Endocannabinoid System needs to take action.

There are two main endocannabinoid receptors:

CB1 receptors, which are mostly found in the central nervous system
CB2 receptors, which are mostly found in your peripheral nervous system, especially immune cells

Endocannabinoids can bind to either receptor. The effects that result depend on where the receptor is located and which endocannabinoid it binds to.

For example, endocannabinoids might target CB1 receptors in a spinal nerve to relieve pain. Others might bind to a CB2 receptor in your immune cells to signal that your body’s experiencing inflammation, a common sign of autoimmune disorders.

ENZYMES

Enzymes are responsible for breaking down endocannabinoids once they’ve carried out their function.

There are two main enzymes responsible for this:

  • fatty acid amide hydrolase, which breaks down AEA,
  • monoacylglycerol acid lipase, which typically breaks down 2-AG.

WHAT IS IT'S PURPOSE?

Experts haven’t yet determined exactly how it works or all of its potential functions, due to how complicated it is.

Research has linked the Endocannabinoid System to the following processes:

  • appetite and digestion
  • metabolism
  • chronic pain
  • inflammation and other immune system responses
  • mood
  • learning and memory
  • motor control
  • sleep
  • cardiovascular system function
  • muscle formation
  • bone remodeling and growth
  • liver function
  • reproductive system function
  • stress
  • skin and nerve function

Today, experts believe that maintaining homeostasis if the primary role of the Endocannabinoid System.

HOW DOES CBD INTERACT WITH THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM?

Experts aren’t completely sure how CBD interacts with the Endocannabinoid System.

Many believe it works by preventing endocannabinoids from being broken down. This allows them to have more of an effect on your body. Others believe that CBD binds to a receptor that hasn’t been discovered yet.

It can be a minefield out there, when trying to choose the right product and method for you, let me help you cut through that confusion.

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PLEASE NOTE: CBD is neither a medicine nor a cure for any illness and by no means do I make any medical claims. CBD can help maintain your health and a healthy lifestyle.

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