Endocannabinoid system (ECS)- it’s like a suit of specialized cells that help your body maintain homeostasis (see below) Comprised of 3 parts: endocannabinoids, Cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes that help make and break them.
Homeostasis- internal balance; stability within your body
Phytocannabinoids- phyto means “plant,” compounds produced in a cannabis plant
Endocannabinoids (eCBS)- endo means “within” and cannabinoid is like your body’s natural THC; body’s “messengers;”- see below for 2 known endocannabinoids
Anandamide- Sanskrit for “bliss;” known as the bliss molecule; bodies create this on demand; source of “runner’s high;” involved with appetite, memory, pregnancy… to name a couple; binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors (more on this below)
2-AG- sister molecule to Anandamide; linked to emotions, heart health, and seizure protection; binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors; post-sexy time euphoria? That’s 2-AG.
Cannabinoid receptors- sits on outside of cell; body’s “guards” on post, waiting for “messengers;” effects immunity, sensation, mood and consciousness;
CB1- the most common receptor; in brain, central nervous system, lungs, liver, and kidneys; moderators of memory, mood, motor function, and pain perception; “hangs out” with neurons… like allll the time!
CB2- most often found on cells of immune system; help reduce inflammation; only “hangs out” neurons in brain stem and hippocampus- sometimes in microglia in response to inflammation and injury…. Like she only wants to hang out if we only go out to these 2 clubs, but she’ll show up if you’re in a wreck.
Enzymes- builds and tears down eCBS; see Regina George from movie, Mean Girls
FAAH- enzyme that degrades anandamide
MAGL-enzyme that breaks down 2-AG
Now that we have learned some big words….
SO…. WHAT IS CBD?
According to the US National Library of Medicine, CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound from the hemp plant that stimulates the endocannabinoid system, promotes homeostasis in the body, reduces pain and anxiety, and lower inflammation.
CBD is THC’S sober cousin, who elevates your level of chill and calms your anxiety without the “high,” or the midnight munchies. CBD is the yin to THC’s yang. Both have zen-like qualities, but only one is legal.
IS CBD IS EVEN LEGAL?
CBD extracted from industrial hemp (meaning the plant contains less than 0.3% of THC) is not illegal. But not all CBD is created equal! The best way to avoid this issue is to shop from an approved provider (such as The Georgia Hemp Company and Cage Free Boutique) that can guarantee that its products have been sourced from legal, industrial hemp.
HOW DOES CBD WORK WITH THE BODY?
Without going into an extensive biology lesson, imagine this: Your foot is the body system, and the endocannabiniods are a sock. The stressors are a gravel driveway you must walk down. The walk down is only slightly cushioned by the sock, but it’s still a pretty rough trip. Then imagine a shoe is CBD. With your sock and shoe, you are able to maintain balance and walk smoothly down the road and through life.
For our visual, football fans, click on the link for a better understanding.
SO WHAT ARE PEOPLE USING CBD FOR?
CBD has been proven to help several different ailments (such as but not limited to):
For Your Mind
- Panic Disorder
For Your Body
- Pain relief and inflammation
- Helps fight cancer
- Relieves nausea
- Promotes heart health
- Lowers risk of diabetes
- Treats seizures
- Reduces acne
Even though the cannabis plant has been around for… forever, research into the ECS and CBD is still in it’s infancy. With so many CBD products becoming mainstream, it can be overwhelming and confusing at times. So come with me as I do the research for you, and we discover the world of CBD together. I encourage you to do your own research as well (you don’t have to take my word for it). But one thing remains true: people are incorporating CBD into their daily regimens and seeing positive results. So let us raise awareness about CBD and what it can do for people!