The human body is fundamentally predisposed to benefit from CBD. We are made up of a biological system composed of endocannabinoids (ECS) that holds a vital role in our body’s overall health and well-being by regulating key aspects of our biology. A molecular system that interacts with active chemical compounds like CBD, it is comprised of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoid molecules, and their metabolic enzymes. This crucial molecular system is what the body uses to maintain Homeostasis.
Homeostasis is the ability to maintain a state of internal balance and physical well-being in spite of changes or outside factors. Here are critical examples:
1. Internal Body Temperature — When you are healthy, it stays within two degrees of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius) whether you are laying in the hot sun or playing in the cold snow. When we sweat and shiver that is our body attempting to maintain homeostasis.
2. Glucose Levels — Glucose is the human body’s only type of usable sugar and it must maintain a proper level to stay healthy. When our levels get too high, the pancreas releases the hormone, insulin, and when it is too low our liver converts glycogen in the blood to glucose again, raising the levels.
3. Lymphatic System — It kicks in when bacteria and viruses enter our body, working to fight the infection BEFORE it makes us sick. That is homeostasis.
4. Blood Pressure — Our heart can sense changes in blood pressure and sends signals to the brain. The brain then sends instructions back to the heart; if your blood pressure is too high it tells it to slow down, if it is too low, it tells it to speed up.
5. Water — More than half of our body weight percentage is water. Maintaining the correct balance of water is homeostasis. Cells with too much water will bloat and could blow up. Cells with too little water will shrink. Our bodies maintain a proper water balance to avoid this breakdown in our system.
6. Nervous System — Our breathing patterns are mostly involuntary, therefore the nervous system ensures our bodies are getting oxygen by breathing the appropriate amount.
7. Calcium — Our blood needs to maintain proper levels of calcium. When levels decrease the parathyroid releases hormones, If calcium levels are too high, the thyroid fixes the valium in the bones by lowering the blood calcium levels. The body regulating this is Homeostasis.
8. Digestion — Basic human activity like breathing, eating and drinking can bring dangerous substances into our bodies. Our urinary and digestive systems maintain Homeostasis by eliminating these toxins from our blood.
KEY ELEMENTS OF THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
- Surface cells contain cannabinoid receptors
- Endocannabinoids, which are small molecules, activate cannabinoid receptors
- Endocannabinoids are broken down after they are used by metabolic enzymes
The surface of our cells house cannabinoid receptors that receive and transmit information to the inside of the cell creating the appropriate cellular response. CB1 and CB2 are the most widely studied by scientists. While CB1 and CB2 can be found throughout the body, CB1 receptors are one of the most prevalent receptors in the brain. When people get high, this is the part of your brain interacting with the THC. CB2 receptors can mostly be found outside of the nervous system in places like the immune system.
The CB1 and CB2 receptors are critical to the endocannabinoid system (ECS). CB1 receptors are more abundant in the central nervous system, including brain neurons. CB2 receptors are more prevalent outside including immune system cells.
Molecules that bind to and activate cannabinoid receptors.
Endocannabinoids are produced naturally by cells in the human body, unlike THC.
The three major endocannabinoids are Anandamide, 2AG and metabolic enzymes. The first two are comprised of fat-like molecules contained in cell membranes. They are created by the body when needed but are not stored. The third destroys the endocannabinoids after it is used ensuring they don’t linger longer than necessary.
FAAH AND MAGL, are enzymes that break down anandamide and 2AG. This is what distinguishes endocannabinoids from other molecular signals in the body like hormones and neurotransmitters which store data.
Almost every major system of the body contains these three critical components of the ECS. It is the cornerstone of HOMEOSTASIS.
The endocannabinoid system is a complex cell signaling system that plays a role in regulating a range of functions and processes including sleep, mood, appetite, memory, reproduction, and fertility.
Endocannabinoids and Regulation of InflammationThe immune system’s natural protective response to infection or physical trauma is inflammation. The inflammation’s job is to remove germs and damaged tissue. Fluid and immune cells surround the areas to clean them out and return them to normal levels. When inflammation lingers longer than needed, we are prone to autoimmune issues and chronic inflammation.
Endocannabinoids act as anti-inflammatory agents, limiting and suppressing the immune system’s inflammatory signals.
CBD’s interaction with the Endocannabinoid System
CBD interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system by affecting the overall endocannabinoid levels in the brain. This is referred to as the Endocannabinoid Tone. By inhibiting the FAAH enzyme, which breaks down Anandamide, CBD can increase anandamide. At high concentrations, CBD directly activates the 5 HT1A(hydroxytryptamine) serotonin receptor, thereby creating an anti-anxiety effect. This G-coupled protein receptor is implicated in a range of biological and neurological processes, including (but not limited to) anxiety, addiction, appetite, sleep, pain perception, nausea, and vomiting.
Cannabidiol produces many effects through multiple molecular pathways. Scientific literature has identified more than 65 molecular targets of CBD.