The latest developments in the legal status of cannabis in various parts of the world show a promising year for the plant. Cannabis-based products are beginning to flood the markets, and these products haven’t failed to catch the eye of enthusiastic and curious users who would love to experience the many ways they can utilize this incredible plant. From pain relief and alleviating the risk of diabetes and cancer, to insomnia and PTSD, cannabis seems to have a powerful effect on users for treating various ailments. The question that’s often asked is what’s this special connection between our body and the plant that makes achieving these benefits so easy and effective? Well, let’s us explore.
Understanding The Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) forms one of the critical biological systems of our body. The system controls several functions including regulating mood, appetite, sleep, pain, inflammation, temperature, memory, and metabolism. Apart from these, the ECS also plays a vital role in reproduction and fertility.
The importance and functions of the endocannabinoid system came to light in the mid-1990s. Research led to the discovery that the system has gone through over 600 years of evolution. The presence of the endocannabinoid system in almost every being of the animal kingdom, including reptiles, birds, fish, and certain invertebrates, along with mammals, indicates the importance of it in ensuring health and wellbeing.
Given the system became a part of the animal kingdom so early in the evolution, the years of the increasing complexity of beings led to the system playing a crucial role in various psychological and neural functioning.
Three major components serve as the backbone of the endocannabinoid system. They are the endocannabinoids,cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes. Each of these parts plays a vital role in initiating, controlling, and regulating several bodily functions such as sleep, appetite and mood.
The endocannabinoids of the ECS are the messenger molecules that control functioning. They are fat-soluble chemicals that travel throughout the body to bind at receptor sites. Among the many endocannabinoids are two key players 2-AG and Anandamide. While 2-AG is responsible for controlling seizures, cardiovascular health, and emotional wellbeing, Anandamide works around functions such as memory and appetite. Anandamide is responsible for delivering a content feeling such as during runner high, while 2-AG handles the ethereal feeling when you orgasm.
The CB receptors of the ECS are the executing body that initiates the downstream effect on contact with any endocannabinoid. On receiving the command from the endocannabinoid, these receptors impact functions such as immunity, consciousness and mood. Each receptor is sensitive to multiple endocannabinoids and vice versa. Given these receptors exist around the body, the kind of effect depends on the target cell or organ. The CB1 and CB2 receptors are the two major receptors of the ECS. The former remains concentrated in the brain and nervous system region, whereas the latter prevails mostly in the peripheral nervous system.
Finally, we have enzymes that help in creating, transporting, and eliminating the endocannabinoids. Various enzymes work in unison to create endocannabinoids when necessary and escort them to the receptor sites of interest. They also regulate and control the levels of endocannabinoids and are responsible for destroying them when they get old or excessive. A chain of reactions involving these components is responsible for the orderly functioning of the ECS.
The Curious Case of Cannabinoids
Understanding the endocannabinoid system gives us a glimpse of how our body controls various functions such as sleep, mood, appetite and pain. It can help us understand why cannabis can influence these aspects. The cannabis plant is made up of 113 active chemicals popularly referred to as cannabinoids. These chemicals enable the plant to interact with the endocannabinoid system to regulate several functions.
There are two major categories of phytocannabinoids, which are THC and CBD. Although there is a large profile of cannabinoids present in the plant, these two dominate in terms of concentration and effects. They influence the effects and benefits possible from the cannabinoid plant to a user.
Whenever we discuss varieties or strains in a Cannabis Store, we refer to a certain ratio of these dominant components. THC is the chemical responsible for the high associated with cannabis usage. This incredible component is present in abundance in medical marijuana that propagates several benefits. CBD is the recent rage in the cannabis circle. The compound is non-psychoactive and comes with minimal side effects. But its efficiency in treating several ailments, including mental health conditions, increases curiosity towards understanding what makes the interaction of CBD with our body special.
The Bond between CBD and ECS
Unlike THC and several other cannabinoids, CBD does not have an affinity towards the CB receptors. Most of the therapeutic benefits of the compound is a result of its indirect interaction or influence with various receptors in the body, such as serotonin and vanilloid.
CBD derived from weed seeds triggers the body to naturally create more endocannabinoids that enable it to bring balance. The compound alleviates the efficacy of the FAAH enzyme that is responsible for regulating and removing endocannabinoids. It also enters the cells with the help of transporting proteins called FABH and inhibits the activity of endocannabinoids such as anandamide. These activities lead to a build-up of cannabinoids in the body that helps initiate several benefits such as improving mood, regulating hormones, sleep, and boosting appetite.
The Power of CBD
Research suggests that CBD can be a powerful treatment for anxiety. In high concentrations, CBD activates the serotonin receptors that help create a variety of relaxing and calming effects in users. It initiates a feeling of bliss that makes users feel euphoric. Another interesting area of application of CBD is for its neuroprotective and anti-cancer properties. CBD helps activate the activity of PPAR-Gamma receptors that trigger the anti-proliferation effect on cancer cells. It also degrades the amyloid-beta plaque molecule that helps reduce the risk of early-onset Alzheimer’s.
CBD helps boost adenosine levels in the brain that is responsible for regulating receptor activities. This step helps regulate cardiovascular functions, coronary blood flow, myocardial oxygen consumption, and hence influence heart health. It also helps reflect the anti-inflammatory and anxiety effects in users. CBD interacts with Vanilloid receptors to regulate pain perception, inflammation, and body temperature. It enables us to reduce the rate of bone reabsorption and prevent conditions such as osteoporosis. The interaction of CBD with our body thus helps initiate versatile health benefits.You can view here and discover in detail the effects of CBD for overall symptom management.
Given CBD interacts with the positive receptors in the body, it is understandable that the benefits possible from the ingredient are exceptional. Today the market floods with cannabis-infused products, especially CBD-based, as these products can benefit users without initiating a psychoactive effect. CBD derived from hemp sources has become legal in many states. Hence it is time for cannabis enthusiasts to stock up their carts. Fill with the finest and most innovative CBD products launched by reputed brands.
You can also approach local dispensaries to get your hands on high-quality CBD rich strains of cannabis. It can enable you to enjoy the many benefits of cannabis enriched with vibrant flavor.