In the human body there is something called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), just as there is an endocrine system and a number of other systems that work together to function. ECS is what allows CBD, THC and other cannabinoids in marijuana, cannabis and hemp plants (there are hundreds) to work on.
In 1988, researchers found the first cannabinoid receptor in the brain of a rat. They found that the receptors interacted exclusively with receptors found in the cannabis association, THC. It is the cannabinoid that everyone is most familiar with because it is the compound responsible for the intoxication feeling associated with marijuana use.
The researchers discovered that the receptors were concentrated in areas of the brain that play a role in a number of physiological and mental processes, including emotions, motor coordination, high cognition and memory.
In 1993, another cannabinoid receptor was discovered. It was found distributed throughout the immune system and peripheral body tissues. It showed the same reaction to THC as the first receptor.
In 1995, the two receptors, named CB1 and CB2, were found not only in rats but also in humans and thousands of other species
As the technology advanced, researchers investigated the relationship between cannabinoid receptors in the body, known as endocannabinoids, and the cannabinoid receptors in cannabis compounds such as CBD oil and THC – known as phytocannabinoids.
What is the purpose of Endocannabinoids?
The endocannabinoid system was discovered in the late 1990s, and researchers have since learned much about the relationship between phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids.
Since we know that endocannabinoids are found in the body in many functions, researchers believe they can help maintain these functions.
Imagine for a moment that the body is a machine, where each system works together to keep the machine moving and working. The immune system, for example, would be the filtration system. The brain would be the motherboard and the endocannabinoids help maintain the systems.
CB1 receptors are concentrated in the brain and central nervous system. Your central nervous system is responsible for maintaining all core functions such as pain perception, stress response, motor activity and memory.
CB receptors are found in many of the peripheral organs of the body, suggesting that they are core components of the cardiovascular system, immune system and muscle system.
Why Phytocannabinoids matter
Machines, whether due to natural aging, poor maintenance or damage, can work. And just like these machines, our body’s systems and parts can be broken down and still function, which can cause problems throughout the body and change a number of health conditions.
Endocannabinoids help maintain your body’s health, but if the level of endocannabinoids in the body decreases, in theory, they could only maintain the body’s current state of health. As such, it would probably not be enough to prevent it from diminishing further. Over time, the level of health declines gradually and in the process creates major health problems.
This is where phytocannabinoids, such as CBD, play a role.
How CBD works in the body
Research has taught us that when CBD binds to either the CB1 or CB2 receptors in the body, it either changes or improves the receptor’s capacity, which improves the functionality of the receptor.
If your body suffers from a cannabinoid deficiency, you can add them to your body, to even out the deficiency. Right now, studies point to the theory that cannabinoids are a finite resource. The lack of cannabinoids can cause a number of health problems, including irritability and headaches.
Essentially, we use CBD to help our ECS. Because it binds with our CB1 and CBD2 receptors, CBD helps the body maintain vital health functions and helps restore balance, also known as homeostasis, in the body. This is why it has so many health benefits.
Benefits of CBD
When you really think about it, most health problems can be traced back to imbalances somewhere in the body.
In a healthy body, everything is as it should be, and the body is balanced. In an unhealthy body, however, there is either too much or too little of something (or several things). This creates a disorder in the homeostasis and presents a variety of symptoms, which vary depending on the nature of the imbalance.
Think about the various health conditions that result from imbalance, and how CBD can help improve those conditions by restoring the balance:
These are just a few examples of studies that support CBD as an effective treatment.
There are hundreds of studies that support its use to treat a wide range of other conditions, such as addiction, acne, depression, schizophrenia, etc. That’s because of our ECS, and the fact that our bodies contain parts directly linked to the cannabis plant is pretty amazing!