Phytocannabinoids, on the other hand, come from a number of plants, such as echinacea, cocoa, and kava kava — but cannabis contains the most potent phytocannabinoids of all. Though there are over 100 phytocannabinoids in cannabis, the most studied are tetrahydrocannabinol , the stuff that gets you high, and the buzzy-but-non-psychoactive cannabidiol . In addition to acting as neurotransmitters do, endocannabinoids CBD oil also act as autocrine and paracrine regulators.
Because of the large amount found in the brain, many hypothesize that this receptor is responsible for the intoxicating effects of certain cannabinoids. Unlike CBD, THC binds directly with CB1 receptors, which may explain the euphoric, psychoactive high humans experience when we consume cannabis. Both stress and heavy alcohol consumption slow the growth and repair of new endocannabinoid receptors. Moderate alcohol consumption is likely harmless to endocannabinoid function, but heavy drinking and binge use can significantly impair the ability of receptors to optimally process cannabinoids.
CBD also blocks receptors and prevents other cannabinoids, such as THC, from binding to them. That’s why many people treat their health conditions using high-CBD, low-THC cannabinoid formulations — they can get all the benefits of cannabis without the intoxicating effects. Your ECS also includes two cannabinoid receptors called CB1 and CB2, which sense and respond to different types of cannabinoids in your system. CB1 receptors are mostly located in your brain and spinal cord, while CB2 receptors are mostly located in the peripheral nervous and immune system.
The endocannabinoid system is influenced and supported by fat-based molecules called cannabinoids, of which there are two types. Endocannabinoids are naturally found in our bodies—the two best-known are anandamide, taken from the Sanskrit word for bliss, and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, or 2-AG.
Dr. Mechoulam’s world-changing research discovered two main receptors, cannabinoid 1 and cannabinoid 2 , that are keyed to both the endocannabinoids that our body naturally produces and phytocannabinoids (plant-based) like THC and CBD. Our bodies actually produce the ECs similar to how our body produces narcotic-like endorphins. Synthetic cannabinoids, like the ones found in Marinol, also fit the receptor sites but don’t work as efficiently as the natural ones.
Cbd Oil And The Endocannabinoid System 101
High levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, also impede the functioning of CB1 receptors. Maybe that explains the characteristic “carefree stoner” depicted in cannabis culture? Either way, finding healthy ways to manage stress can be doubly beneficial when it comes to using cannabis. CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors are the two major receptors within the endocannabinoid system which react to the system’s messengers, the endocannabinoids themselves. The first of the two, CB1, which was discovered as recently as 1990, exist mostly in the brain and central nervous system, as well as the intestines and glands.
- As you research the effect of cannabinoids, you’ll find that cannabis has a considerable influence on the body.
- These endocannabinoids are made from fat-like molecules at the exact moment they are needed and are immediately used.
- This means the body does not need to store endocannabinoids for later use.
- The production of endocannabinoids may be affected by a person’s diet, exercise, and sleep.
- To understand how cannabinoids such as CBD interact with the body, we must look at the full picture of the endocannabinoid system.
Talk To Your Doctor Before Trying Cbd
They have specific roles pertaining to hormone production, digestion, and cardiovascular health. The fact that there is a system in our body that produces cannabinoids and is specifically designed to accept just them, should be overwhelming proof of cannabis’ efficacy as a medicine. From the pain-killing effects of THC to the anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, we have just scratched the surface of a world of possibilities. People are waking up to the benefits of these medicines as more researchers are exploring the infinite possibilities inherent in this seemingly simple plant. Future generations will look back and wonder why it took so long to figure this out.