In previous posts, we’ve talked about how CBD may have the ability to relieve feelings associated with anxiousness, reduce pain or inflammation, improve sleep, or improve blood flow to help with blood pressure, but this doesn’t happen by chance. The body has the ability to regulate or alter the way we feel certain things through the interaction of CBD and the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
What Is the Endocannabinoid System?
The ECS was discovered in 1992 at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem by Dr. Lumir Hanus alongside researcher Dr. William Devane. What they discovered was that the ECS regulates biological functions and helps the body maintain a state of homeostasis, or the maintenance of a constant internal environment by an organism. In simpler terms, the ECS helps regulate a number of bodily functions, including control of body temperature, blood pressure, and water balance.
In addition to finding the ECS, researchers had also previously found CB1 receptors in the brains of rats four years prior, and a year later found CB2 receptors within the body. The discovery of these receptors—with CB1 being found abundantly in the brain and CB2 being found throughout the central nervous and immune systems—helped us understand how certain cannabinoids found naturally in the body were helping to regulate bodily functions.
Naturally-Occurring Cannabinoids in the Body
Coincidentally, at the same time that the ECS was discovered, a naturally-occurring cannabinoid was also being discovered inside of the body: anandamide. This powerful fatty acid binds directly with both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, and it’s believed to regulate pain and appetite, reduce anxiety, and even produce positive feelings within the body similar to that of dopamine.
How Does CBD Interact with the Endocannabinoid System?
Anandamide produces many of the feelings associated with the believed benefits of CBD. So with the introduction of CBD into the body, we can potentially amplify the effectiveness of the natural cannabinoids that already exist in the body, notably anandamide, in three ways:
- Through the “Entourage Effect,” CBD along with other terpenes and flavonoids helps to produce an amplified feeling of natural relief.
- The second is through CBD’s ability to inhibit the activity of an enzyme called fatty acid amide hydrolase, or FAAH. FAAH breaks down anandamide, and when FAAH works too quickly, anandamide is lost, leading to negative side effects like anxiety and pain. By slowing this down, CBD helps the body retain anandamide, which, in turn, allows for the positive effects to be felt.
- Finally, CBD interacts with both the CB1 and CB2 receptors to help anandamide get distributed throughout the body. Through this interaction, which is aided by the “Entourage Effect,” the supposed benefits of CBD can be experienced throughout the body and not just in the brain or through immune and central nervous systems.
Keeping the Endocannabinoid System Balanced
The ECS on its own isn’t dependent on CBD use, as healthy levels of anandamide may have that ability. Instead, CBD can be beneficial for those who are in need of balancing their systems.
Think of the human body like an expensive machine. When something gets out of alignment or a foreign body is introduced, the overall health of the entity gets thrown off balance and things can go wrong. CBD, in some aspects, may be seen as a way to provide the body with a small tune-up, helping to balance the natural chemicals and provide a more “normal” feeling.
Hoping to take advantage of the full effects of anandamide within your endocannabinoid system? Try one of the great CBD products from Frontier Jackson today. We’re here to guide you down a new path with all-natural, high-quality alternatives.