What is the Human Endocannabinoid System?
CBD & How It Interacts With the Human Endocannabinoid System
It’s hard not to notice that CBD products are being promoted and sold just about everywhere in the UK right now, with CBD oil , CBD gummies and CBD balms proving a real hit with the British public. To see this, you need only type the letters CBD into your favourite search engine and you’ll be faced with well over 200 million web pages!
Social media is literally buzzing with countless stories about the wide-ranging benefits of CBD and anyone, of any age, can easily buy a variety of CBD products online and in most health food shops. So what exactly is it about CBD that makes it so effective at balancing the human body?
Why are our bodies so receptive to this particular chemical compound? After all, it’s derived from the previously looked down on hemp plant! Well, it’s an interesting story and one that’s very enlightening from a biological perspective. So, if you’ve got a minute, let us explain.
The discovery of the Endocannabinoid System
The answer to the question of why CBD oil and other products made from the cannabis plant are so simpatico with the human body, lies deep within our biology. It comes in the form of the recently discovered and previously unknown Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
During the early nineties, scientists discovered that humans and all other mammals have 2 special receptors in the brain, which they have called cannabinoid receptors. That’s because these receptors interact exclusively with Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) compounds, which are found in the cannabis plant and subsequently in CBD capsules and other products.
These unique receptors – which have come to be known as CB1 and CB2 receptors – are stimulated by endocannabinoids, the name of which indicates that they are produced within (endo) the body. The 2 compounds found in CBD oil are known as Phytocannabinoids, with the ‘phyto’ prefix meaning they are from or relate to plants.
It’s a Hugely Important Part of Human Anatomy
CB1 receptors have been scientifically identified as targeting areas of the brain and body responsible for thinking, eating, pain sensation, the immune system, motor activity and coordination. They are primarily found in the brain, the spinal cord and the nervous system.
CB2 receptors, on the other hand, target the internal organs such as the liver, kidneys and heart together with the pancreas, skin, eyes and the reproductive system. They are also known to interact with the respiratory tract, adipose tissue, muscles, gut and even tumours.
The ECS is evidently a very important part of our anatomy, which is still being researched by doctors and scientists, along with the efficacy of CBD capsules , oils, balms et al. This research is ongoing – albeit at a snail’s pace – and perhaps the most surprising factor in all this is that the body naturally produces it’s own endocannabinoids in tiny quantities.
Maintaining a Chemical Balance
The reason why the body creates endocannabinoids is to maintain its equilibrium or to regulate its stability. This stable condition is known as homeostasis (often referred to as the Goldilocks Zone) and it’s where the body keeps its temperature, blood sugar levels or hormones within a specific range at a cellular level.
Should any deviation be detected within the body’s cells, then endocannabinoids are produced and activated to ensure balance is maintained. Once the endocannabinoids have done their job they are broken down and absorbed by metabolic enzymes. It’s basically the body’s regulation switch and the aforementioned phytocannabinoids found in CBD oil essentially do the same job.
So, in effect, endocannabinoids are designed to keep the body in a healthy condition. However, like many of the body’s systems, as we age or become unwell, they begin to become less effective. In many respects, you should think of the body as a kind of machine, where each organ, limb and individual cell has an important part to play in keeping the body working at optimum levels.
Human Cannabinoid Receptors
As mentioned earlier, the ECS consists of 2 main cannabinoid receptors; CB1 and CB2. CB1, which is found mainly in the brain and the central nervous system, is most receptive to the Cannabinoid THC, which is the chemical compound found in Marijuana. When smoked or ingested THC is responsible for the “high” experience.
In the UK it’s currently illegal to possess or use this substance, however, CB2 is the Cannabinoid receptor, which is more generally dispersed around the body and it’s this receptor that is most receptive to the CBD (Cannabidiol) contained in the various CBD oil tinctures, pills and balms – which as we’ve covered are 100% legal in Britain.
One of the driving reasons why CBD capsules and oils are so popular in the UK is that many users report relief from pain, epilepsy symptoms, arthritis, some heart conditions, high blood pressure and nausea associated with chemotherapy, as well as a whole host of other ailments and bodily disorders. It would seem that it’s something of a natural wonder – even if we’re not allowed to shout it from the rooftops!
Assisting Human Health – The Natural Way
So, what we’re basically talking about is a chemical compound that the body produces on its own. By using CBD in either of its many forms, including CBD oil, CBD sprays and the very tasty CBD gummies , the body is effectively being topped up with a beneficial compound that has a known anti-inflammatory and calming effect.
The colossal amount of anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD is effective at helping to rebalance the body’s natural stability mechanism, especially in cases where the body is unable to produce enough of its own endocannabinoids. Unlike traditional pharmaceuticals, CBD works in perfect harmony with the body’s own systems.
The benefits of CBD may sound almost too good to be true to the extent that it appears to offer a remedy for all types of problems and disorders, with more being added to the ever-growing list all the time. For this reason, scientists are still researching the effects and trying to understand why it obviously benefits some people, while others might benefit but to a much lesser degree.
So, whilst we may have to wait a while for official recognition from mainstream medicine, CBD does seem to have many beneficial effects when used daily. That said, you don’t have to take our word for it or even those who’ve enjoyed its benefits already – try some and see for yourself and we’re sure you’ll join the growing number who love what CBD offers.