The Endocannabinoid System 101

Let’s start with a few easy definitions
Cannabinoid
Any of a group of closely related compounds which include Cannabidiol, THC and the active constituents of cannabis.
Cannabidiol
It is 1 of 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants and accounts for up to 40% of the plant's extract.
Endocannabinoid
The cannabinoids that your body makes naturally.
Endocannabinoid System
Includes endocannabinoids, the enzymes that help make them and break them down, and the receptors that (endo)cannabinoids bind to.

The neurotransmitter system is involved in numerous integral functions such as:

  • Sleep
  • Metabolism
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Memory

The cannabinoid receptors that release proteins have four primary functions:

  • Stress recovery
  • Immune balance
  • Optimum energy balance
  • Neuroprotective functions
Image

Endocannabinoid System

CBD oil supports your body to help heal itself and regulate all the different systems in your body to achieve homeostasis. The endocannabinoid system the central regulatory system that affects a wide range of biological processes and is believed to be one of the most important and widespread receptor systems involved in establishing and maintaining human health.

This system consists of a group of molecules known as cannabinoids, as well as the cannabinoid receptors to which they bind; in essence, our bodies have a network of lock-and-key chemical receptors that respond to the signals of cannabinoids.

 

 

Layer
Layer

Key Endocannabinoid Function

 

Endocannabinoids and other cannabinoids can make changes to cellular function by binding to several types of receptors, including cannabinoid receptors (like cannabinoid receptor 1, or CB1, and CB2), certain G protein-coupled receptors (like GPR55 and GPR119), as well as some typically sensory-type receptors (like TRPV1).

The response caused by binding to the receptors will depend on the area in the body (receptors exist in specific places, and only on certain types of cells), and also on what else is going on in that cellular environment at that time. There’s a lot of moving parts to the endocannabinoid system (like other systems), and it can get very complicated.

Homeostasis is the key element of all living things. We look for our bodies to be in balance with itself which necessary for our very survival. Thus, our endocannabinoid system is vital to our survival and regulate many important physiologic pathways in the human body, including gastrointestinal activity, cardiovascular activity, pain perception, maintenance of bone mass, protection of neurons, hormonal regulation, metabolism control, immune function, inflammatory reactions, and inhibition of tumors cells.

2 Different Types of Receptors

  • CB1 predominantly found in the particularly abundant in areas of the brain, including those concerned with movement, coordination, pain and sensory perception, emotion, memory, cognition, autonomic and endocrine functions.
  • CB2 is abundant in peripheral tissues and more recent studies show CB2 may be responsible for the function of certain therapeutic effects.

What Binds to The Receptors?

The discovery of the cannabinoid receptors CB! and CB2 led to the discovery of the body’s natural cannabinoids (endocannabinoids).

These naturally occurring endogenous ligands or cannabinoids bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The first such endogenous compound called AEA functions as a CB1 receptor partial agonist. Many other endocannabinoids that can activate CB receptors, such 2-AG, have since been discovered.

Research has shown that the endocannabinoid ligands are synthesized on demand rather than stored; the endocannabinoid system is transiently activated under certain stressful conditions to restore homeostasis.

 

 

Layer
Layer

Different Types of Cannabinoids

CBD has anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsant, anti-psychotic, anti-oxidant, neuroprotective and immunomodulatory effects.

As an annual, cannabis plants follow a solar cycle consisting of two basic stages often referred to as vegetative, and bloom. Cannabinoids are created in the bloom phase.

3 types of endocannabinoids

  • Endocannabinoids which are produced by the body
  • Synthetic Cannabinoids which are synthetically produced
  • Phytocannabinoids which are produced by the cannabis plant

Lock and Key System

Cannabinoids interact with the receptors, much like a lock and key.

The receptor is the lock and the cannabinoid molecule is the key – when the cannabinoid “key” attaches to the receptor “lock”, which is on the cell wall, a reaction is triggered resulting in an effect on the brain and body.

Summary

  • Your body has it’s own endocannabinoid system
  • This system does not rely on the presence of Cannabis
  • Your body makes it’s own endocannabinoids, which bind to cannabinoid receptors