CBD and Your Endocannabinoid System

Endocannabinoid System

How does CBD effect your endocannabinoid system (ECS)?

Your ECS is the collection of cell receptors and corresponding molecules located throughout the body – in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. Its goal is homeostasis, or optimal balance, within the body.

Because of its ability to maintain homeostasis within the body, the ECS is perhaps the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health.

As you encounter stress throughout the day, your ECS is responsible for keeping all of your other bodily systems in balance with one another.

When your body encounters a threat, stress chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol are released to help you stay focused, alert, and protect yourself.  You breathe harder and faster to pump oxygen through your body, muscles tense up to defend yourself, and your heart rate rises. Once the threat has been handled, your body has to rebalance itself.  

How does the Endocannabinoid System work?

Your ECS regulates how quickly neurotransmitters are being released, slowing them down or speeding them up as necessary in order to return to and maintain internal homeostasis after you’ve handled a threat.

The ECS is made up of receptors embedded all over your body. When these receptors are stimulated by cannabinoids, our bodies can communicate more effectively with themselves.

What is an endocannabinoid?

Endocannabinoids are the chemical keys that fit with the CB1 and CB2 receptors to tell your body when to get these processes started and when it’s time to stop. When this system is disrupted, you may experience dysfunction in some or all of the bodily processes listed above.

Because cannabinoid receptors are found in so many places in the body, they are crucial for optimal health. In fact, they play a significant role in regulating many bodily functions like:

  • Sleep
  • Appetite, digestion, hunger
  • Mood
  • Motor control
  • Immune function
  • Reproduction and fertility
  • Pleasure and reward
  • Pain
  • Memory
  • Temperature regulation

Your body naturally produces its own endocannabinoids (endo meaning inside) to support this system.  We get most of them from food, especially omega 3 fatty acids. But just like with any other nutrient, we can sometimes become deficient and need extra support. This is where cannabis comes in. The cannabis plant produces phytocannabinoids (phyto meaning plant) that also interact with your endocannabinoid system.

CBD is a phytocannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant. CBD’s role within the body is just as unique. Unlike other cannabinoids, CBD does not bind to receptors in the endocannabinoid system. Instead, it stops the breakdown of our own endocannabinoids, allowing our bodies to use more of what it’s already naturally producing.

How to Safely Use CBD

Just like with any other medication or supplement, it is always best to seek a healthcare professional’s advice before incorporating CBD into your wellness regimen.

That said, many are finding that CBD can present a viable alternative to other pharmaceuticals. In a recent survey of scientific literature, CBD was found to have a better side effect profile than other drugs when treating psychotic disorders and epilepsy, with only minimally reported side effects like tiredness, diarrhea, and changes to weight and appetite. However, CBD can interact with other medications you are already taking. These interactions are not necessarily harmful, but CBD might alter the effects of these other medications and it is important to be aware of what is happening inside your body.

Anything else I should know?

Yes! Not only does the endocannabinoid system help cells communicate each other and with tissues, organs, and larger systems within the body, there is evidence to support the ECS as a bridge between body and mind.

In addition to regulating our internal and cellular homeostasis, cannabinoids can influence a person’s relationship with the external environment. Socially, the administration of cannabinoids can alter human behavior, often promoting sharing, humor, and creativity. By mediating neurogenesis (the growth of new brain cells), neuronal plasticity (forming new connections between brain cells), and learning, cannabinoids may directly influence a person’s open-mindedness and ability to move beyond limiting patterns of thought and behavior from past situations. Reformatting these old patterns is an essential part of health in our quickly changing environment.

Not only does the endocannabinoid system help regulate systems within the body, it helps us regulate our patterns externally as well, including how we consciously interact with our community and environment.

“We believe that the mind body and spirit work together as a system of energy. Balancing oneself and maintaining optimal health within your Endocannabinoid System is key to reaching your full potential. RESTART CBD aims to formulate products that create synergy within the Endocannabinoid System to achieve self healing, happiness and longevity.”

Needless to say, the endocannabinoid system is full of possibility from a health and vitality perspective, and worth paying attention to!