Endocannabinoid System Explained:
What Does the Endocannabinoid System Do?
The endocannabinoid system regulates a variety of processes in our body, thus influencing our mood, as well as, our appetite, memory, and inflammatory processes in our body. It is designed to keep our body in a healthy balance. For this purpose, cannabinoids bind to special receptors, such as CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors help us, for example, in memory processing and pain regulation, while CB2 receptors act, for example, on the immune system.
The effect of the endocannabinoids can be imitated or enhanced by plant cannabinoids, as they occur in the hemp plant.
Function of CB1 Receptors
- the processing of our memory,
- the regulation of pain sensation,
- the motor control,
- the sensation of joy and euphoria,
- the blood circulation,
- the mind
Function of CB2 Receptors
The discovery of CB2 receptors followed in 1993. While CB1 receptors are mainly located in the brain, CB2 receptors are distributed throughout the body: They are found in the immune system, i.e. in the tonsils, spleen and white blood cells and in the gastrointestinal tract. CB2 receptors can also be found in the brain, but their number there is significantly lower than that of CB1 receptors.
CB2 receptors are activated in the body by the second endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonoglycerol (2-AG). The CB2 receptors are thought to be able to reduce inflammatory processes and pain sensation. Furthermore, activation of the CB2 receptor has a calming effect on us.
How do CBD, HTC and Other Hemp Components React with the Endocannabinoid System?
According to the current state of research, the cannabinoids of the hemp plant react in different ways with our endocannabinoid system:
Vegetable cannabinoids bind to the receptors CB1 and CB2, influence the build-up and breakdown of the endogenous cannabinoids and furthermore they partly enhance or weaken each other in their effect. A rather complex effect!
The two most common herbal cannabinoids, THC and CBD, interact completely different with the components of ECS. This explains why THC has psychoactive effects on the body and why CBD does not have this effect.
In contrast to medicinal cannabis, the hemp plant contains almost no THC. You want to know more about the legal situation? Then this way: CBD legal position.
The Endocannabinoid System and CBD
In contrast to most cannabinoids, CBD has only a low binding power to the ECS receptors CB1 and CB2 and tends to weaken the effects of other cannabinoids on these receptors. However, CBD acts via various other mechanisms: For example, CBD binds to the serotonin receptor and thus has a mood-lightening effect.
CBD also inhibits the enzymes that are responsible for the degradation of our endocannbinoids. Thus CBD increases e.g. the level of ananadamide in the body for a longer time. The special thing: Anandamide is one of the most important endocannabinoids in the human organism. CBD therefore supports the natural function of our endocannabinoid system. It is supported by the other valuable ingredients of the hemp plant, the terpenes.
Up to now, the manifold effects of CBD on our body have not yet been fully elucidated. But in our blog we will keep you informed about the latest research results.
The Endocannabinoid System and THC
As said, the hemp plant contains only traces of THC, therefore we explain the effect of THC here only marginally.
THC, unlike CBD, binds to the CB1 receptor, which is mainly found in the brain. This explains its psychoactive effect. Psychoactive - that is. THC makes us "high". But since THC also has other positive effects, it is used in medicine, for example to treat severe pain.
In the case of over-the-counter products, such as food supplements, a psychoactive effect is naturally undesirable, so only hemp extracts that do not contain THC may be used for these products.