It’s said to relieve stress and anxiety, alleviate the symptoms of everything from epilepsy to post-traumatic stress disorder, and even to cure insomnia. Many of us already swear by it as part of our self-care rituals. So just why does CBD have all these seemingly miraculous effects on your body?
Delving into the biology of it is pretty interesting, and at the heart of it all is the fact that cannabis compounds - known as cannabinoids - aren’t just found in the cannabis plant. They’re also found in your body, and they’re thought to be there to keep many of your body’s other systems running smoothly. That’s the raison d’etre of the endocannabinoid system, which has been a topic of extensive scientific research since the 60s and 70s.
The endocannabinoid system: a brief biology lesson
The endocannabinoid system is made up of naturally occurring substances called endocannabinoids, along with enzymes that break them down, and two different kinds of receptors known as ‘CB1’ and ‘CB2’. CB1 receptors are mostly found in your spinal column and brain, around the bits that control essential things like your memory, coordination and emotions. CB2 receptors are more widely distributed around your central nervous, digestive and immune systems, and these help with things like inflammation and immune response.
Understanding CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system
These receptors are what allow endocannabinoids to do their job, helping to keep many systems in your body in check, from your temperature to your appetite. But it’s also the interaction between the compounds found in cannabis and these receptors that produces the psychoactive effects of THC (the mind-altering component of cannabis) - as well as all those amazing effects of CBD. It’s worth remembering here that the reason why THC gets you high and CBD doesn’t is because it bonds itself directly to your CB1 receptors, while CBD doesn’t.
Our understanding is growing all the time thanks to new studies - this one about Cannabinoid Receptors, this one about the Endocannabinoid System and this one on CBD and Neuroinflammatory Diseases for example - as well as research into the effects of CBD on the treatment of all manner of conditions. With the endocannabinoid system still at the cutting edge of scientific research, we’re excited to be here to discover, test and share all the latest CBD wellness developments with you. Join us on this exciting journey...
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