UNDERSTANDING CBD AND HOW IT INTERACTS WITH OUR BODIES

UNDERSTANDING CBD AND HOW IT INTERACTS WITH OUR BODIES

UNDERSTANDING CBD AND HOW IT INTERACTS WITH OUR BODIES

With the ever-growing list of people using CBD, I’m sure you’ve heard of it somewhere down the line. But… what exactly is CBD? What does it do? Is it the same as marijuana? Will it get me high?

Cannabidiol, also known as, CBD, is a non-psychoactive compound naturally found in the hemp plant. It’s different from marijuana because it lacks THC, the cannabinoid that gives you the “high” you think of when you hear the word marijuana, or cannabis.

CBD comes from the hemp plant, which under the law issued by the FDA cannot have more than .3% of THC. And if you’re wondering if CBD is legal, the short answer is, yes. All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD under the 2018 Farm Bill. However, every state has their own restrictions regarding the use of it. Please refer to your states jurisdiction to learn more.

While we don’t know everything about CBD, there is a lot we do know. According to Harvard Health, the use of CBD has shown significant effectiveness in treating childhood epilepsy, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, which typically doesn’t respond well to anti-seizure medications.

There has been studies sponsored by the U.S. government and soaring recommendations by patients and doctors who bring light to CBD’s potential for treatment on various issues. Some of which include, but are not limited to: chronic pain, the reduction of anxiety and depression, inflammation, neurological conditions, such as, Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, stroke and more, cardiovascular dysfunction, skin diseases, such as acne, dermatitis, and psoriasis, and it can help support the regulation of sleep and appetite.

 

OUR ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM (ECS)

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a naturally occurring system in our bodies found in the late 80’s and early 90’s. It is made up of receptors and neurotransmitters that not only helps maintain homeostasis in our body, but interacts with CBD and other cannabinoids we ingest. For those unsure of what homeostasis is, it is a system in which regulates some of our normal bodily functions. ECS will address functions in our body that fall out of balance, such as: temperature, appetite and digestion, immune function, inflammation, motor control, mood, memory, sleep, reproduction and pain response.

Like humans, many animals have also been found to have an ECS. There are three main components of the ECS: cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and metabolic enzymes.

There are two major cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. These receptors sit on the outside surface of cells and monitor the conditions of the cells they’re sitting on. These receptors transmit information and call for appropriate cellular response when conditions fall out of balance. CB1 receptors are found in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord nerves). CB2 receptors are found in digestive and immune systems and the peripheral nervous system (the nerves in the rest of the body which allow the brain to communicate with different parts of your body).

Let’s take a closer look at the endocannabinoids. “Endo” is a term that means “within” and “cannabinoid” refers to the molecules capable of binding to the cannabinoid receptors. So, what are the endocannabinoids and what is their purpose in the ECS?

Endocannabinoids are molecules naturally produced by the cells in our bodies that bind to and activate the cannabinoid receptors. There are two major endocannabinoids: anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). When binding to the cannabinoid receptors they are triggering signals to maintain homeostasis. However, with lack of exercise and poor diet, this can disrupt the production of our endocannabinoids, resulting in imbalance in our bodies with conditions such as chronic inflammation, poor immune response and even depression and anxiety.

The final piece of the ECS is the metabolic enzymes. These enzymes ensure the destruction of the endocannabinoids once they are through with their mission and not a minute longer.

And if you’re wondering where and how CBD interacts with our ECS, here’s the answer—CBD averts the metabolic enzymes from breaking down the endocannabinoids, thus leaving for them longer to do their job in helping maintain homeostasis.