When people first start research on CBD, it is natural to have doubts about how one compound could have so many benefits on health-related conditions. To understand the effect of CBD, it is important to understand the principal of the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS, discovered in the early 1990s, is found in all mammals. The ECS is a complex system made up of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes. ECS possesses multiple functions and some characterize the ECS being the most important neurotransmitter system in the body. It plays a crucial role in a number of processes such as mood, memory, motor control, immune function, pain perception, appetite, sleep, bone development, among others.
The ECS generally acts to maintain biochemical balance in the body by regulating several of the most pivotal mechanisms in our body. The ECS is primarily involved in immune balance, homeostatic regulation, stress recovery, and neuroprotection. Homeostasis is the ability to create and keep the body´s optimum energy balance.
A large number of therapeutic effects are produced when CBD enters into this balancing system. CBD plays a role in “communicating” with our cells in the body as endocannabinoids produced naturally by the body has a similar constitution to CBD. Cannabinoid means its ability to interact with cannabinoid receptors and endo indicates inside, meaning in our body. On the other hand, phytocannabinoids are referred to as cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.
Our body, as in other mammals, naturally produce cannabinoid receptors and cannabinoids. CB1 and CB2 are two cannabinoid receptors that are found through the entire body such as in the brain, every organ every cell, and even- at the sub-cellular level. These receptors can bind endocannabinoids and cause an effect depending on where the receptor is located. For instance, CB1 receptors bind endocannabinoids in a spinal nerve to relieve pain, while in inflammation, endocannabinoids bind to CB2 receptors in immune cells.
Addition of natural and plant-based cannabinoids to our diet, can improve the functions of the ECS and enhance the power our body has to heal itself.