What is the Endocannabinoid System?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been called one of the single most important scientific discoveries of modern time. So why is it so significant? It does so much more than allow our bodies to interact with THC and feel the mind-altering effects of cannabis. As one of the 12 major systems in our body, it is highly involved in maintaining the homeostasis, or balance within the body’s systems as well as physiological functions such as modulating pain and inflammation.
Why Is Homeostasis Important?
Homeostasis refers to the body’s process of maintaining balanced conditions for the cells in our bodies to live and function. This is critical for the proper functioning of our bodies as a whole to keep conditions stable enough for all of our cells to thrive and do their jobs. To better understand the importance of homeostasis, think of it as needing our body systems to stay in the Goldilocks zone. For example, our blood sugar shouldn’t be too low or too high, but just right. The same thing applies to many other conditions within our body such as temperature, blood pressure, and more. The endocannabinoid system does just that!
How Do CBD and the Endocannabinoid System Work Together?
Plant cannabinoids are able to affect the body medicinally because of our endocannabinoid system and the interactions that happen there. Like some other neurotransmitters, cannabinoids such as CBD, interact with many different receptor types. This means that while the CBD is activating certain cannabinoid receptors, it may be interacting with other receptors as well.
CBD has the ability to affect the overall levels of endocannabinoids in the body. This is referred to as endocannabinoid tone. CBD can increase the levels of anandamide by preventing the FAAH enzyme from breaking it down. Inhibiting the FAAH enzyme in this way has been shown to improve anxiety disorders.
When the body does not produce enough endocannabinoids or is unable to regulate them properly, it becomes more susceptible to health issues that can manifest as anxiety, inflammatory diseases, or skin disorders. However, research has shown that CBD can directly activate serotonin receptors that may decrease anxiety.
Every mammal has an endocannabinoid system. This system is affected by internal and external factors, as it relates to inflammation, injuries, and balancing homeostasis. It also protects against cancers, diseases, and nerve damage. The ECS also balances and protects our Central Nervous System and Immune System responses. In return, when this system is activated properly it initiates pain control and calms inflammation. The ECS is critical to the life cycle of skin, fighting against skin cancers, eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, and internal/external inflammation.
Psychologically, the ECS allows us to experience new perspectives. Evidence suggests that the ECS helps with subtle yet therapeutic shifts in the brain in the way we perceive the world. This allows us to relate to our internal bodily landscape, the way we think and feel about ourselves, and the way we interact with the people around us.
CBD is a non-psychoactive part of the hemp plant. CB2 receptors communicate with our bodies when CBD is inhaled, ingested, or applied topically. This allows the CBD to work through healing pathways in our body.
Note: Not suitable if you are pregnant or nursing
Source: Color Up
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