The Key Players Of The Endocannabinoid System
Many people have at least heard of CBD and the health benefits that come with regular consumption of it. But what most people have little to no understanding of is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), the complex system that interacts with CBD and is responsible for the pain, anxiety, and inflammation relief many people experience.
The ECS has only recently been discovered and came from researching the effects of cannabis on the human body. However, the ECS is found throughout the animal kingdom and is believed to have evolved almost 600 million years ago.
Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids that originate within the human body, hence the word "endo." The cannabis plant produces phytocannabinoids, which have shown to be of great benefit to our natural ECS.
There are three key players in the Endocannabinoid System: Endocannabinoids (eCBs), Cannabinoid receptors (CB receptors), and enzymes that break down and synthesize eCBs.
Endocannabinoids - Many people are familiar with the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine; these are messengers of the nervous system, much like eCB's are the messengers for the ECS and are readily produced throughout the body.
There are two primary eCBs that are in circulation within the human body, anandamide, and 2-arachidonoylglycerol. Anandamide is the molecule that is involved with appetite, memory, and pregnancy, amongst many more. It is also responsible for the high feeling that athletes experience after vigorous exercise.
2-arachidonoylglycerol, while being a mouthful to pronounce, is just as important as anandamide. As 2-arachidonoylglycerol is linked to our emotional states, helps maintain cardiovascular health, and is the culprit for the good feeling one has after experiencing an orgasm.
Cannabinoid Receptors - The function of the CB receptors is to sit on the surface of a cell, waiting for neurotransmitters to bind them. Various effects in the body pertaining to immunity, mood, sensations, and even consciousness occur depending on which type of cell the receptors sit.
The CB1 and CB2 receptors are the main contributors to the endocannabinoid system. CB1 is the more common of the two, regulating many bodily functions such as memory, mood, motor function, and pain perception. Other health functions of CB1 include playing a role in pregnancy, production of hormones, and heart and stomach health.
CB2 plays a pivotal role in the cell health of our immune system. Greatly helping to moderate inflammation and the response our immune system has towards pathogens. Conversely, an overactive immune system can lead to arthritis, asthma, allergies, autoimmune disorders, and digestive issues. Those that use cannabis-related products to aid with such issues owe a debt of gratitude to their CB2 receptors!
Enzymes - So there are the messengers (eCBs) and the message-receivers (CB receptors), but what creates the messengers, to begin with? The human body has an entire suite of molecules dedicated to the production and distribution of eCBs.
Endocannabinoids are lipid-based neurotransmitters, meaning they get synthesized from fats. There are numerous enzymes within the body whose function is to transform fatty substances into eCBs. An essential scientific finding when researching the ECS is that increasing dietary intake of omega-3s and other essential fatty acids helps boost the production of eCBs.
Research on the ECS has exploded in recent decades, as it interacts with so many other complex bodily systems. However, the true potential of this system is not yet understood. Unfortunately, there is a significant lesson learned about how the ECS works, and that is it is easily disturbed and unbalanced. Poor diet, high-stress levels, lack of exercise, or other physical activity all disrupt the natural healthy function of our body's endocannabinoid systems.
CBD supplements are one way of helping to keep the flow and production of cannabinoids in your system. The effect CBD has is very widespread and has many benefits reported by those who regularly consume it.
For many people, the most straightforward way to consume CBD products is by eating them. Not everyone is into vaping or balms, but everyone eats, and most people like candy. At our Best Buds CBD Store, our full spectrum CBD gummies are extremely popular. They are tasty and easy to consume at night, helping people get healthier sleep and ensuring their ECS functions optimally.