How does CBD interact with your body?

Updated: Mar 17, 2021

The Endo-cannabinoid System (ECS)

The human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is involved in regulating several key functions such as appetite, sleep, memory, movement, and the moderation of pain and inflammation.

The ECS is made up of endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes.

Endocannabinoids are molecules produced by our bodies, similar to cannabinoids found in cannabis. Anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG) are the main endocannabinoids identified in the ECS.

These endocannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors in our central and peripheral nervous system. There are two subtypes of cannabinoid receptors found in humans: CB1 and CB2.

The CB1 receptor is mainly expressed in the central nervous system (the brain and the spinal cord) and regulates functions such as:

  • appetite

  • emotion

  • memory

  • metabolism

  • movement

  • pain perception

The CB1 receptor has also been identified in other parts of the body such as the lung, bone marrow, heart, and tonsils.

CB2 receptor expression is focused on the immune system and mainly targets:

  • inflammation

  • pain

The CB2 receptor is present in the peripheral organs and also affects the reproductive system, liver, bone, eyes, and skin.

These two receptors are activated by the endocannabinoids found in our bodies, as well as plant-based and artificially created cannabinoids.

The enzymes in our ECS break down endocannabinoids after they have performed their particular job. The enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) breaks down AEA, while monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) destroys 2-AG.


The role of CBD in the Endocannabinoid System

CBD interacts with the ECS to restore your body. CBD stimulates the ECS receptors and allows the body to produce its own cannabinoids. CBD also slows down how the enzyme FAAH destroys AEA, one of the endocannabinoids in the ECS. This allows for lasting therapeutic effects.

CBD is one of the major reasons for the medicinal benefits of cannabis!

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