What is the Endocannabinoid System?

 

One of the main topics to understand regarding CBD and its effects on us is the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Not much research had been previously conducted on it (studies began in the 60s but did not take off until the 90s), but as we can begin to better understand the benefits of hemp, research has now shown that the ECS plays a very important role in our body’s homeostasis, or the self-regulating mechanism of our bodies.

Endocannabinoids

As Nature World News describes it, some of the endocannabinoids --chemical compounds originating inside our bodies that interact with certain parts of our brains-- that have been the most researched are anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG). AEA has been shown to induce relaxation and be a mood enhancer, and it may also be responsible for the famous “runner’s high” after strenuous exercise. 2-AG has been linked to improvements in the circulatory system. Nonetheless, we haven’t been able to study them efficiently because they are broken down by the body very quickly, as opposed to external phytocannabinoids (like CBD - phyto means that they have plant-origins), which take longer to break down in our bodies.

Receptors, Enzymes & CBD

Endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids bind to receptors in our bodies, most commonly to CB1 and CB2 receptors. Nonetheless, more receptors have been found in different parts of the body, such as in our: skin, immune cells, bone, fat tissue, liver, pancreas, skeletal muscle, heart, blood vessels, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract. Phytocannabinoids don’t actually bind directly to our receptors, but they change the way our endocannabinoids are processed. CBD works by slowing the process of our body’s breakdown of AEA through inhibiting the enzyme Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH), which results in a sustained, relaxing, anxiety-relieving sensation. Studies have shown that CB2 receptors may help to moderate inflammation and combat pathogens. 

Taking it Further

Along with healthy habits like a good nutrition, exercise, and mental health practices, trusted and quality hemp products may also benefit you and your routine. If you aren’t sure where to start, you can check out our full spectrum oils or flower. Our oil is full spectrum, which means that the hemp plant’s beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes remain at 99% purity in our final products. Our flower also has different terpenes, which are compounds created by different plants and are sought out for their soothing aromas and beneficial properties. You can check these out on our product’s section, and make sure to check back soon for a blog post on how to choose hemp oil that is right for you!

Stay well,

Your friends at Appalachian Growers