How the Endocannabinoid System Works
Jen Engevik, guest contributor on Yes She May, is the co-founder of Be You CBD, our first full spectrum CBD brand made for everyday wellness. She shares with us her expansive knowledge on the CBD industry and how the Endocannabinoid system works:
Whether you’re a newbie to CBD or not, most likely you’ve heard the term Endocannabinoid System (ECS) thrown around. It’s a hot topic because the news has finally gotten out to the general public...
Each and every human being owns an Endocannabinoid System.
It wasn’t until the early 1990s that researchers discovered the ECS. They were trying to understand THC better and accidentally stumbled upon it. The big question on everyone’s mind was, how was it that the medical community never knew it existed?
Enquiring minds wanted to know -- so researchers dug deeper and realized the ECS is POWERFUL and potentially plays a key role in regulating numerous bodily functions:
- Reproduction and fertility
- Cardiovascular health
- Skin health
- Memory Motor control
- Liver function
- Stress management
- And more…
How Your Endocannabinoid System Works
There are three components to your ECS including endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes.
Beginning with endocannabinoids, they are molecules that are produced by your body and are similar in nature to cannabinoids.
Researchers have a long way to go before they fully understand the ECS, but they have identified two endocannabinoids thus far:
- 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG)
- anandamide (AEA)
They help keep bodily functions running and rhythms moving smoothly when they are plentiful. However, if the endocannabinoid system gets out of whack, some researchers have concluded that your health can take a major dip.
The second component of your ECS is Endocannabinoid Receptors. They are strategically located all over your body. They are triggered by endocannabinoids that bind to them and signal that an action needs to occur.
You have two main endocannabinoid receptors:
- CB1 receptors - found in your central nervous system.
- CB2 receptors - found within your peripheral nervous system, with a large concentration in your immune cells.
Endocannabinoids bind to either your CB1 or CB2 receptors, and this is where the magic begins.
When endocannabinoids attach to CB1 receptors, they may be prone to relieve pain, while the CB2 receptors may help guide your immune cells signal that you’re experiencing inflammation and other signs associated with a compromised immune system.
The third aspect of your ECS has to do with Enzymes that break down endocannabinoids after they’ve made an impact on your body.
Where Does CBD Fit Into the Scheme of Things?
The cannabis plant contains at least 113 cannabinoids, and CBD is one of them. CBD stands for cannabidiol. Unlike THC (the well-known cannabinoid that makes you feel a psychoactive high), CBD doesn’t make you “high” or cause any known negative effects.
Researchers are hard at work trying to find out exactly how CBD interacts with your ECS, but they do know that it binds very differently to your CB1 and CB2 receptors than THC does.
Preliminary theories are that CBD works to prevent endocannabinoids from breaking down, allowing them to have a greater effect on your mind and body. Some researchers even believe that CBD binds to a receptor that is just waiting to be discovered.
While researchers are still debating exactly how the ECS and CBD interact, their preliminary research is showing that CBD can play a role in helping the mind and body on many levels.
While we as a brand can’t claim that CBD can treat or cure any conditions, the World Health Organization recently reported the use of CBD products to be generally safe with the possibility of many therapeutic benefits for certain diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Depression.
Beyond the World Health Organization’s support for CBD, a study in the European Journal of Pain revealed that when CBD is applied to the skin it can lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Other studies have demonstrated the actual mechanism by which CBD helps inhibit inflammation and neuropathic pain. These are two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat.
How to Stimulate Your Endocannabinoid System
The use of CBD has been proven to stimulate the endocannabinoid system by enhancing the CB1 receptors of the brain and increasing the levels of endocannabinoid 2-AG by preventing it from breaking down.
You may want to consider adding CBD tinctures, CBD isolate capsules, CBD gummies, and/or topicals into your daily routine.
If you aren’t ready to give CBD a try, you can also stimulate your endocannabinoid system with a mix of extra virgin olive oil, one cup of coffee per day, foods rich in flavonoids (dark chocolate, red wine, nuts, seeds, and more), broccoli, calliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, green tea, probiotics, exposure to cold, regular massage, and stress reduction tactics.
How CBD Can Help Feed Your Endocannabinoid System?
Thanks to Be You CBD, we’re learning so much more about the ECS, CBD, and the positive effects they can have on our lives. We love that they are dedicated to organic full spectrum CBD products and pure botanically-derived essential oils.
It’s amazing how quickly they relieve pain and skin irritations. Plus, their topical formulations smell delightful. If you are in need of a powerful sublingual tincture, you can expect pure CBD oil mixed with MCT oil. The taste is quite earthy, as they tried to keep it as true and pure to nature as possible.