CBD and the Endocannabinoid System

CBD and the Endocannabinoid System

CBD has emerged as an incredible therapeutic compound because of its ability to interact with our body at the cellular level. CBD is one of the exogenous cannabinoids produced by industrial hemp or Cannabis.

It possesses incredible anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiemetic, and analgesic properties and helps the body perform essential physiological functions. If you are also wondering how CBD works in our body, here are the answers.

The endocannabinoid system

The endocannabinoid system is our body's primary cell signaling mechanism that acts as a bridge between the brain and the body. It is responsible for carrying out several essential physiological functions, including pain, inflammation, memory, cognitive function, immunity, mood, sleep, digestion, etc. The endocannabinoid system is composed of three major components that are:

Cannabinoid receptors: Two most important cannabinoid receptors of the endocannabinoid system are CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are concentrated in the brain and the central nervous system, whereas CB2 receptors are mostly found in the immune cells such as macrophages and neutrophils.

Endogenous cannabinoids: The lipid membranes of our cells produce two types of endogenous cannabinoids called anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglyerol. 2-AG binds to CB1 receptors, and anandamide binds to CB2 receptors. Their bonding produces chemical signals to the brain to regulate the above mentioned physiological functions.

Degrading enzymes: The human body also produces two common degradation enzymes called Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolyse (FAAH) for anandamide and Monoacylglycerol Lipase (MAGL) for 2-AG. These enzymes breakdown the endocannabinoids so that they do not get concentrated in the blood.

How does CBD interact with ECS?

CBD can mimic the function of the endocannabinoids and boost the functioning of ECS. Unlike THC, CBD cannot make strong bonds with the receptors, but it works by increasing the uptake of anandamide. Research has shown that CBD can inhibit the pathway of fatty acid amide hydrolase and reduce the degradation of anandamide so that it can be used up again when required.

Not only these studies show that CBD can also interact with the 5HTV1 serotonin receptors and boosts the uptake of this happy hormone to stabilize emotions and uplift mood.

Wrap up

Undoubtedly CBD can produce remarkable positive changes in the body. It is safe and does not cause any severe side effects, but avoid taking it with any over-the-counter medication with a grapefruit warning. CBD may induce liver toxicity if it is consumed with medicines that are metabolized by cytochrome p450 enzymes. It would be best to consult your physician and take CBD with his/her advice, especially if you are suffering from any chronic health issues.

References

Mechoulam, R., & Parker, L. A. (2013). The endocannabinoid system and the brain. Annual review of psychology, 64, 21-47.

Di Marzo, V., & Piscitelli, F. (2015). The endocannabinoid system and its modulation by phytocannabinoids. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 692-698.

Corroon, J., & Felice, J. F. (2019). The Endocannabinoid System and its Modulation by Cannabidiol (CBD). Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine, 25.

Di Marzo, V. (2006). Endocannabinoids: synthesis and degradation. Reviews of Physiology Biochemistry and Pharmacology, 1-24.