What is The Endocannabinoid System?
Of late, wellbeing has become an obsession. A society faced with unique pressures, like social media and sedentarism, turns to new solutions at an increasing rate. On occasion, these outlets verge on the outlandish. You need only watch a few minutes of “Goat Yoga” to correctly pursue alternatives.
Since 2018, cannabis-infused products have found a mainstream place in society. This encompasses a full range of users, people for very serious reasons through to others looking for a daily wellness boost. To people familiar with the zeal of converted CBD users, its purpose may remain unclear. Much of this relates to communication restrictions on brands, who are unable to provide medical advice to customers.
Unfortunately, this regulation blurs reliable information on medicinal cannabis. While many are convinced already by CBD – and perhaps rightly so – the science behind cannabis is misunderstood.
For example, the endocannabinoid system might sound more akin to the pseudoscientific lifeforce of orgones than a verified bodily function. In fact, it underpins the reaction that CBD has with the human body. As such, it is a suitable starting point to explain the science behind CBD Oil.
What is CBD?
Sometimes called Cannabidiol, CBD is a natural compound found within the cannabis plant. Just one of over 100 chemicals, known as phytocannabinoids, CBD is one of the most abundant. Importantly, it is non-psychotropic, which means it does not cause the “high” effect often associated with smoking cannabis. Read more about CBD here.
What is the Endocannabinoid system?
As its prefix indicates – the Greek word for “within” – the endocannabinoid system is internal. The ECS is composed of endocannabinoids, receptors and enzymes, and it plays a role in homeostasis. For years, many scientists hypothesised that cannabis had a non-specific interaction throughout the body. Later, it emerged that particular proteins on the surface of cells recognise and bind to cannabinoids. This is largely responsible for the effects of cannabis.
The first Endocannabinoid System receptor discovered was CB1 (Cannabinoid Receptor 1). THC activates it and, in doing so, can stimulate euphoria, hunger and memory impairment. CB1 is located all over the body but has a particular focus in the brain.
CB2 was discovered some years later and like its precursor, is expressed throughout the body. Cannabinoid Receptor 2 is predominantly found in cells and tissues of the immune system.
Does the body naturally produce endocannabinoids?
Once scientists discovered cannabinoid receptors in the body, investigations began to determine whether endocannabinoids are produced by humans. This led to the discovery of several chemicals similar to THC, such as AEA. AEA activates both CB1 and CB2.
Now, we know around seven of these chemicals exist within the body. As noted, the endocannabinoid system plays an important role in homeostasis and it is involved in almost every biological function. In fact, the dysregulation of the ECS underpins some illnesses and pathologies.
How does CBD interact with the human body?
CBD does not interact with the endocannabinoid system in the same manner as THC. Firstly, it does not activate either the CB1 or CB2 receptors. One of the characteristics that makes CBD so unique is that it interacts with different protein receptors and enzymes in the body. This causes its polypharmacological effects, as demonstrated by the licensed CBD medicines Sativex and Epidiolex, which affect spasticity and epilepsy respectively.
What do medical organisations say about CBD?
The World Health Organisation conducted one of the most important global studies into CBD. Its 2018 report stated that “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.”
Furthermore, CBD exhibits no effects that would indicate abuse or dependence potential. WHO also recognises preliminary evidence of its potential as a medicine in “other medical conditions.”
Where can I buy CBD?
CBD is available throughout the UK in pharmacies, supermarkets and online stores. Typically found in an oil form, this form of CBD is classed as a food supplement and over 1.3m Britons take it regularly.
Award winning Dragonfly CBD makes CBD products, differently. Controlling the entire process from seed to shelf, Dragonfly combines organically grown Cannabis Sativa with cutting edge extraction techniques to create some of the best CBD in the UK.
You can find Dragonfly CBD in a range of retailers such as Tesco Pharmacy, Boots and Sainsburys, or online. Why not try it now?