Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 100 cannabinoids produced in the cannabis plant. CBD is the one that is taking over the center place in the hemp and natural medicine worlds. The calming and healing benefits of CBD is something that a lot of people already experienced. Many of them are unaware about how the CBD makes this happen.
The progress of this in your body is actually very magical and interesting. After reading this post, you will understand how CBD will relief that pain in your leg or reduce your stress levels.
Your body has an Endocannabinoid system
Your body makes it’s own cannabinoids, did you know that? The actual name of these substances are endocannabinoids. These are responsible for keeping an eye on something called homeostasis.
Homeostasis = when your body maintains a stable internal environment (i.e. body temperature, pH balance, glucose levels, etc.) despite any changes that may be happening in our external environment (i.e. air quality, toxins, sun exposure, food we eat, etc.).
Okay, the next question might be; how do your endocannabinoids keep homeostasis within your body? That happens through our own endocannabinoids system (ECS). There are two types of cannabinoid receptors:
- CB1 Receptor - highly concentrated within the brain and nervous system but also in some organs, connective tissue and gonads. CB1 receptors are responsible for regulating your mood, emotions, movement, appetite, memories and more.
- CB2 Receptor - found in immune system (spread throughout the body), in major organs and in your blood. CB2 receptors are responsible for regulating a lot of things, but pain and inflammation are two of the biggest.
How does the ECS work?
Now that we know something about the two different receptors in your Endocannabinoids system, we’re going to give you a quick summary about how this system really works.
- Your ECS works to create and maintain homeostasis in the body, it will active when something is not working like it should be (either too much or too little).
- Enzymes will create the necessary endocannabinoids.
- The endocannabinoids attach to the right receptors (CB1 or CB2) to stimulate responses. For example, if your body needs food, your ECS will create endocannabinoids and they will attach to the CB1 receptors in the hypothalamus, which controls your appetite. This is how your body gets stimulated to give normal reactions to indicate that you need food.
- If the endocannabinoids did their job and there is balance (aka homeostasis), the specific enzymes will break down the endocannabinoids to prevent them from sending signals (this would cause things to get out of balance again).
So, your ECS will only regulate certain systems that are out of balance, while leaving alone those that are working how they should be. Pretty magical and interesting right?
CBD and your body
Because CBD is something that looks much like endocannabinoids and is produced in your own body, it has the ability to stimulate and influence your ECS just like endocannabinoids.
CBD does not bind directly to your ECS receptors, because this will cause and over stimulation (unless, of course, it is your own body’s endocannabinoids that are attaching). Remember that CBD and endocannabinoids look very much a like, but CBD will be added as ‘extra’.
By influencing your ECS receptors indirectly, CBD can stimulate your receptors enough to restore homeostasis without any over stimulation.
But it doesn’t stop there. CBD can also stimulate several other receptors within the brain to achieve homeostasis. For example, CBD can stimulate your serotonin receptors, particular in the 5-HT1A receptor, to help ease nausea, addiction, sleep disorders, pain and anxiety. It can also stimulate receptors in the brain to create the same effects as antidepressants.
Is CBD necessary if our bodies make cannabinoids?
Well, that is a good question. Because, why would you take CBD if your own body makes cannabinoids. CBD would almost be irrelevant.
But, you see, there are a lot of things that can influence or disrupt your ECS and make it so that your body does not produce enough endocannabinoids to create a fully homeostasis state.
In fact, having a lack of endocannabinoids or having and ECS that doesn’t function optimally is a condition called endocannabinoids deficiency. When this is the case, it becomes difficult for your body to regulate everything properly and it will be easier to develop diseases, illnesses or systemic issues such as migraines, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
That is when CBD comes in. Supplementing your body’s natural endocannabinoids with phytocannabinoids (taken from plants, like CBD), you can help stimulate your ECS to work properly and provide your body with enough cannabinoids to achieve homeostasis. That is not the only thing that CBD does. CBD also prevents enzymes from breaking down your body’s natural endocannabinoids. As a result, your body can retain more endocannabinoids and thus be able to function properly on its own.
Concluded, CBD is the perfect supplement to help your body’s endocannabinoid system function properly when it needs help. Why? Because CBD works with your body. It is similar to your body’s own endocannabinoids. The ability of CBD to influence receptors indirectly instead of attaching to them makes CBD a safe, natural and effective way to help your body achieve and maintain balance in every way. That is what we all want.
Note: please inform or contact your doctor before using CBD. Especially when you’re taking medications.