If you’ve read our article ‘CBD for beginners’, you’ll be starting to get a little more familiar with the world’s favourite cannabinoid. But you may now be curious to learn about your endocannabinoid system – one of the key routes through which CBD interacts with the body.
Your first thought may be: “why haven’t I ever heard of the endocannabinoid system? That’s a good thought to have! Despite being discovered in the early 90s (while researchers explored the psychotropic actions of THC) and being the subject of thousands of studies, which have revealed it to be one of the most important physiological systems for maintaining human health, we’re still not being taught this at schools. Not even at most medical schools.
But future generations will be.
So, in this article, we’re not only going to introduce you to one of the ways in which CBD oil interacts with your body. But about a vital part of yourself you never knew existed.
The Endocannabinoid System: What is it and how does it work?
Just like other physiological systems, (such as your digestive system, immune system, central nervous system etc), the endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a vital role in keeping you alive.
Unlike other systems, it’s not housed in one place, but can be found absolutely all over the body – in every skin cell, muscle, bone, joint, gut and brain cell. Its job is just as far-reaching: keeping all (repeat, all) bodily processes in balance. That includes the regulation of all other systems.
It’s a pretty big deal! So, keeping it working properly is kind of important.
The ECS is made up of receptors (CB1, CB2 and new to the group: CB3), which can be found just about everywhere. Right down into our mitochondrial cell walls.
These receptors are activated by neurotransmitters, called endocannabinoids, that are synthesised and released on demand when the body is out of balance in some way. For example, during intense exercise you might experience ‘a runners high’ – this is now believed to be caused by a huge release of endocannabinoids, created by your body to try and address the strain it’s being put under.
The two endocannabinoids we know the most about are called Anandamide (named for the Sanskrit word for ‘bliss’) and less romantically named, 2-AG. When released, they find their way to ECS receptors (present in nearly every cell) and relay what’s going on outside the cell, into the cell. Then, each cell can act accordingly, triggering a reaction if necessary or holding steady. Essentially, keeping everything in balance.
What is an endocannabinoid deficiency?
Contemporary lifestyles don’t much lend themselves to good health. Chronic stress and exhaustion plague millions, poor diets packed with additives and pesticides wreak havoc on our bodies, and a lack of daily exercise more common than not. As a result, most people experience all sorts of problems – many of which can be traced back to a dysfunctional endocannabinoid system and/or a lack of endocannabinoids.
When endocannabinoids aren’t produced properly or working receptors are in short supply, the ECS cannot be activated appropriately. This can potentially have a knock-on effect to all functions.
CBD and The Endocannabinoid System
There are a number of ways to support your endocannabinoid system: regular exercise, meditation, yoga, an omega 3 rich diet, and dietary supplements such as turmeric and CBD oil.
The CBD molecule doesn’t directly activate ECS receptors, (other cannabinoids, often found in full spectrum products, can) but what it does do is support the whole system. By inhibiting the enzyme released to break down endocannabinoids, CBD gives your body a chance to build up its natural endocannabinoid levels and get your ECS back online – or keep it there.
The aim of the game is balance and that’s exactly what CBD oil can help you achieve, through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system.
Try the Manuka Pharm CBD & Manuka Honey Oil 250mg as your first foray into CBD.
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