The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of cell receptors and corresponding molecules located in the brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems. Think of these cell receptors as little locks on the surface of your cells. The keys to these locks are chemical molecules called agonists. Each time an agonist binds to a cell it relays a message, giving your cell specific direction.These receptors consist of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors.
Known as “the body?s own cannabinoid system” the ECS is involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory, and in mediating the psychoactive effects of cannabis. The ECS is also involved in voluntary exercise ?and may be related to the evolution of the runner’s high in human beings and related aspects of motivation or reward for locomotor activity in other animals.
The role of Endocannabinoid (ECS) system has been really prominent as far as the overall health and the physiological functions are concerned. In fact, the ECS is implicated in almost every function ?both in the peripheral and central nervous system as well as the peripheral organs. – The National Institute of Health – 2006
Numerous studies have revealed that cannabinoids act as neuromodulators for a variety of processes, including motor learning, ?appetite, ?and pain sensation, among other cognitive and physical processes.?? “Clinical Cannabinoid Deficiency” has been labeled as the causal factor of numerous physiological and psychological conditions.
Below is a visual of the complex ECS system in the human body
CB1 receptors: (illustrated in red)
These are primarily located on nerve cells in the brain (cerebellum, basal ganglia, hippocampus), spinal cord. ?This is why cannabanoids influence functions such as memory processing, pain regulation, and motor control. They are also found in some peripheral organs and tissues such as the spleen, white blood cells, endocrine glands and parts of the reproductive, gastrointestinal and urinary tract.
CB2 receptors (illustrated in green)?are mainly found in white blood cells, in the tonsils and in the spleen. The immune cells also express CB1, although there are fewer of them than CB2. In the immune system, one important function of the cannabinoid receptors is the regulation of cytokine release. Studies suggest that CB2 modulate the pain sensation and could play a role in various diseases, from liver and kidney problems to neurodegenerative diseases.
CBD increases the amount of endocannabinoids in the human body
While THC binds with cannabinoid receptors directly, CBD does not. Instead, it works it?s magic on a particular enzyme called Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) that is responsible for pulling excess Anandamide?(the “bliss molecule”- yoga friends will recognize the Sanskrit root of the word) out of circulation. ?CBD oil puts a stop to this preventing imbalance and disruption.
Psychoactive THC works by mimicking the body?s own endocannabinoids. However, CBD increases the amount of endocannabinoids in your system, creating a more natural and sustainable effect!
Because CBD stops the previously mentioned enzyme (FAAH ) from breaking down all of the anandamide, and therefore makes more of it available for use by your cells. This is why CBD is a natural mood-lifter without psychoactive effects!