How does CBD oil affect the endocannabinoid system, and how does it benefit your health?
You’ve no doubt been hearing about the benefits of CBD and its effect on stress, inflammation, pain, and mood. But, the question is why and how does CBD affect such vast and complex systems in the body.
Recent science has found that the endocannabinoid system in your body responds to external cannabinoids like the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol, or CBD. By stimulating the endocannabinoid system, CBD can help reduce pain sensation and decrease inflammation.
Introducing CBD can help reduce symptoms in a number of ailments including:
- Pain and chronic inflammation
- Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency
- Sleep and anxiety
What is The Endocannabinoid System?
The outline of the endocannabinoid system emerged decades ago from researching the effects of cannabis on humans. The role of the endocannabinoid system is to maintain homeostasis in the body. This means that the system is crucial for keeping your body stable and ensuring that conditions are optimum for survival.
The endocannabinoid system can be found throughout the body and brain and is made of up of three major components: cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and metabolic enzymes. These receptors, CB1 and CB2, are embedded in your cells, waiting to send a signal to the rest of your body if something isn’t right. Cannabinoid receptors produce different reactions when stimulated by cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids come from two very different places: either the body which produces naturally occurring endocannabinoids, or the cannabis plant which produces phytocannabinoids. The role of the cannabinoid receptors is to act as a messaging system when your internal environment isn’t on track. Then your body produces endocannabinoids which are destroyed by metabolic enzymes when they are no longer needed.
The importance of the endocannabinoid system was only discovered in the nineties meaning one of the most crucial systems within the body has no more than 30 years of research. Making it one of the less studied systems in the body.
How Does CBD Oil Affect The Endocannabinoid System?
CBD oil is fast-emerging as a promising natural treatment. Cannabidiol or CBD is one of the chemical compounds, known as a cannabinoid, found in the cannabis or marijuana plant. Unlike the main cannabinoid found in cannabis, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not contain psychoactive properties.
CBD oil is made from extracting CBD from the cannabis plant and then diluting it with a carrier oil like hemp seed or coconut oil. It has a number of uses and benefits from easing anxiety and depression to alleviating cancer-related symptoms.
So, how does CBD oil react with the endocannabinoid system and what does the research say? The compound CBD is classed as a phytocannabinoid. Phytocannabinoids affect the endocannabinoid system in two ways. They can interact with the cannabinoid receptors, triggering metabolic effects as well as decrease the breakdown of the cannabinoids. This makes the cannabinoids in your body available for longer, increasing the effect they have on you.
Research has found that manipulating the endocannabinoid system by introducing external cannabinoids such as CBD could be useful in treating a number of conditions like:
CBD and Cannabinoid Receptors
CBD doesn’t exactly fit with either CB1 or CB2 receptors; however, it does stimulate and cause a reaction with both receptors. It does this without binding with the receptors directly but still creates changes within the cells. Unlike THC, which binds strongly to your cannabinoid receptors, many of the benefits of CBD are created through indirect actions. One of these actions includes activating the protein-receptor TRPV-1, which is responsible for pain, inflammation, and body temperature.
CBD also helps to inhibit Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) which helps create higher levels of endocannabinoids like anandamide. Anandamide is also known as the bliss molecule and plays a role in pleasure, motivation, and the regulation of feeding behaviors. Anandamide has been found to decrease the growth of breast cancer cells and have anti-anxiety effects.
What Are The Effects of CBD Oil?
Reduces Pain and Chronic Inflammation
The endocannabinoid system is responsible for a variety of functions, and one of them is pain. Studies have found that CBD may help reduce chronic pain. It does this by impacting the endocannabinoid receptor activity, interacting with neurotransmitters and reducing inflammation.
In a study of patients with multiple sclerosis, those treated with Sativex reported significant improvements in muscle spasms and pain. Sativex is a combination of THC and CBD that is used in some countries outside of the U.S to treat spasticity due to multiple sclerosis.
Helps to Combat Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency
Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD) is a condition where your body produces a lower amount of cannabinoids than considered essential to promote good health. Scientists believe that CECD could be involved in a number of conditions including fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and autism.
As CECD is considered a factor in so many conditions, research is being carried out on the effects of CBD oil on CEDC to see if substances like CBD oil could have a positive impact and provide relief from some of these conditions. More investigation needs to be done on this, but evidence suggests it may be useful in treating a multitude of medical conditions.
Reduces Anxiety and Helps You Sleep Restfully
A recent large case series study looking at whether CBD helps improve sleep and/or reduce anxiety showed promising results. Within the first month of the study, almost 80% of patients reported decreased anxiety and just over 65% found their sleep had improved. This shows that CBD may be beneficial for sleep and anxiety sufferers, but more clinical research still needs to be carried out.
CBD oil looks to be a promising natural treatment for countless health concerns. Research into the uses of CBD and the impact it has on the body is a popular area of study that is only set to grow, meaning the list of potential benefits could no doubt increase. The endocannabinoid system is a huge part of the human body, and research is just beginning to scratch the surface and the effects CBD oil has on it.
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