By Jessica Cobb, Certified Aromatherapist:
With all the buzz about Hemp Extract (CBD), there’s one term you’ve probably heard kicked around: The endocannabinoid system.
It’s a mouthful to say. And what it is, what exactly it does and how it works might seem like a mystery. But understanding your endocannabinoid system is actually the key to understanding how CBD may be able to impact your life.
What is your endocannabinoid system?
More than just a long and hard to pronounce term that most people may never have heard of, your endocannabinoid system (or eCS for short) has always been a part of your body. But this incredibly fascinating and complex system was only recently discovered by scientists in 1988.
Potentially your largest endocrine system, the eCS regulates a huge range of bodily processes like your appetite, pain, mood, memory, the nervous system, immune activity, blood pressure, bone density, glucose metabolism, stress…and so much more it’s hard to type it all out.
Where is it in the body?
Now you have an overview of what your eCS does, but where is it?
The short answer is that your eCS occurs throughout your whole body. As an endocrine system, your eCS is part of your body’s natural function. Endocannabinoids (and their receptors) can be found in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and cells… throughout your body.
Essentially, your eCS is a key part of your body’s overall health and is found in all different parts of your body.
What does your endocannabinoid system do?
Your brain, immune system, organs, connective tissues, and glands all make use of your endocannabinoid system (eCS). A number of your bodily functions are also regulated by your eCS, including the feelings of pain, mood, appetite, memory, digestion, respiration, and many, many more.
A healthy endocannabinoid system means you sleep better, your moods are more regulated, your nervous system processes pain normally, your memory works clearly and your digestive system functions properly.
How does your eCS work?
Your eCS is very carefully balanced. Your body produces more or fewer endocannabinoids based on what’s needed to establish homeostasis while leaving the rest of the body’s systems alone.
The eCS consists of three main parts: Endocannabinoids (ones that are produced by your own body) and two different endocannabinoid receptors. The two receptors are: CB1 and CB2.
CB1 receptors are concentrated mostly in your brain and nervous system. Because they’re mostly found in the brain, CB1 receptors are responsible for regulating your moods, emotions, bodily movement, appetite, memory, and much more.
CB2 receptors are found mostly in your immune system, but also throughout your whole body. CB2 receptors are also be found in major organs like your heart, liver, kidneys, blood vessels, bones, and reproductive organs, and they are responsible for a variety of functions. When we think of pain and inflammation due to an eCS imbalance, you’re generally thinking of your CB2 receptors.
How does CBD help?
CBD tinctures help your body’s naturally created endocannabinoids to keep the receptors working at peak capacity. Similar to how we use vitamin C to kick start our immune system, CO2 Hemp Extract CBD acts almost as a kick-starter to help the functions of the body’s central regulatory system.
When your endocannabinoid system is out of balance, it becomes difficult for your body to regulate itself, and may open yourself up to developing a host of concerns, diseases, and illnesses.
An out-of-balance eCS can cause many kinds of issues, including digestive system problems, certain behavioral or mood issues including stress and anxiety, and even some motor and cognitive concerns. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples.
Pain and Inflammation: Cannabinoids have been recognized worldwide as a natural way to reduce chronic pain. Cannabinoids appear to be able to help modulate inflammation and impact neuronal transmission in pain pathways
Mental health: Cannabinoids have been shown to help regulate the body’s stress response, which may lead to a decrease in stress and anxiety and an uplift in your feeling of general well-being.
If you want to learn even more about how CBD works, you can learn more in this great blog post.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications, or under a doctor’s care, please consult with a physician or qualified professional before using this product.
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