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The Endocannabinoid System 101 – Are you curious to know why CBD may keep you healthy? We are here to clue you in. Do you remember the 11 systems in your body? Nervous, Immune & Lymphatic, Circulatory, Respiratory, Gastrointestinal, Endocrine, Excretory, Musculoskeletal, Skeletal, Integumentary, Reproductive, and #12; Endocannabinoid (ECS)
What’s that 12th system??? What is an endocannabinoid? Why does it matter? When it comes to conditioning, you need fine-tuning to be more capable to run smoothly. The endocannabinoid system, as our 12th system, actually fine tunes and manages all of the others! Body systems are interrelated and play off of each other…but the ECS turns out to be the master regulator of them all by providing the harmonizing factor we need to stay healthy.
Imagine your nervous system humming along, and all of a sudden you lose your train of thought, experience a slight tremor in your hand, or get a headache. GABA, glutamate, dopamine, and serotonin all must be in constant balance. Glitches in circuitry is what the endocannabinoid system takes care of by providing the ‘assist’ your brain needs to level out your flow of thought and conversation, lessen a tremor, and reduce headaches.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is the balancing system of your biochemistry. Homeostasis means balance internally when conditions change externally, and all physiology depends on it. ECS adjustments influence your perception of pain, appetite & GI function, mood, memory, sleep, seizure threshold, and response to stress. The other 11 systems have direct roles to play, but the ECS buffers the signals between cells and synapses to ensure proper communication. Imagine a line of sending and receiving neurons. One-way messaging usually works fine, but sometimes due to injury, infection, or trauma, the signals become excessive and the receiving neuron needs to tell the sender to adjust the flow. The ECS produces the protein messages that float backwards from the receiver to the sender to adjust levels up or down…whatever will bring the body back into balance, or homeostasis.
That’s the specialty of the endocannabinoid system, and adjustments occur in microseconds all over your body wherever communication breaks down. It’s just biology. By adjusting communication between synapses, the ECS regulates the nervous and immune systems, tumor surveillance, bone strength, blood pressure, adrenals, and our hormones.
This system was named the “endocannabinoid system” because it interacts with compounds (cannabinoids) from the cannabis plant called THC & CBD. Israeli researchers discovered the ECS by tracing THC and posed the fascinating idea that we are ‘hardwired’ for this plant. Because of cannabis prohibition in America, we still don’t learn about this system. Now that hemp CBD is legal, people can learn about the value of enhancing this system.
There are 3 components to this system and it works in a “lock & key” fashion:
1. Endocannabinoids (Keys) = the protein compounds that your own body makes are called Anandamide (AEA), & 2-AG. Just like you make endorphins to manage pain, you make cannabinoids to ‘assist’ other neurotransmitters. Endocannabinoids are created ‘on demand’ to direct traffic and restore order in response to stress. AEA & 2-AG travel backwards, or retrograde, to correct imbalances between cells and synapses.
2. Receptors (Locks) = The ECS messages (keys) need docking stations, and those receptors are named CB1 & CB2. Activating the receptors control functions and restore balance at the cellular level. CB1 & CB2 receptors are numerous in the body, which is why the ECS is so important and affects balance in so many ways. Exercise, clean diets, omega-3, hemp, and acupuncture help us strengthen these internal receptors.
3. Enzymes = (FAAH & MAGL) After they’re spent, endocannabinoids need to be broken down. Enzymes take care of the digestion and excretion of used-up messages.
So, what happens when these ‘checks and balances’ don’t work? Your moods sway, energy and sleep suffers, bones and muscles ache, appetite and digestion go awry, and you have to adjust your life just to cope. Isn’t that what happens to people who don’t take care of themselves? You’re doing all you can to prevent and slow down the aging process. Can you do more to ensure your health and preserve your vitality? Yes you can.
It turns out that the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant (THC & CBD) ‘mimic’ the ones your body makes…so if you’re in short supply of anandamide, you can boost your own fine-tuning ability by supplementing with this plant. Phytocannabinoids (cannabis plant molecules) become the ‘keys’ needed to bind with your receptors and correct imbalanced signals between your cells and nerves. It’s as if you can get access to a new set of keys to substitute the ones you lost.
THC binds with CB1 & CB2 receptors all over your body. This alters functioning like thinking, memory, appetite, mood, sleep, energy, temperature, and immune controls. CBD doesn’t bind to CB1 or CB2 but ‘assists’ other receptors throughout the body by cleaning up inflammation. CBD is a powerful antioxidant and scrubs out free radicals protecting your DNA and overall health. CBD is a neuroprotectant, preventing the nervous system from breaking down, repairing it when it is injured, and helping regenerate new nerve cells. CBD activates serotonin pathways, keeping you naturally upbeat, calm, and ready for your day.
When you’re stressed and over scheduled, not eating right, not exercising enough, and not getting enough sleep, you get endocannabinoid deficiency. Aging, genetics, trauma, infections, and viruses also cause a loss of ability to regulate the endocannabinoid system. Supplementation is a natural response for any deficiency, and CBD is no different. While THC is complicated and not well tolerated because of psychoactive properties, CBD does not cause an intoxicating high. Many people supplement with CBD as a matter of prevention, ensuring that this master regulatory system is richly supplied. People who take CBD like the way they feel – it’s like they’re running on all cylinders and functioning at optimal levels. Those that have serious deficiencies may see issues resolved that they never imagined could improve.
The cannabis plant has been a supplement to humans for thousands of years. Until cannabis prohibition in 1937, agriculture fed animals with it supporting health in the food chain. Americans had access to extracts for migraines, pain, sleep, and inflammation. When hemp was banned, agriculture no longer grazed cows on it, and some say by 1939 there was an uptick in neurological and autoimmune issues. California was the first state to bring access back to cannabis medicine in 1996, and now 38 states have legal medical use of cannabis. Industrial Hemp based CBD products may be sold as a dietary supplement in all 50 states. Provisions by the federal government allow access to grow and process industrial hemp CBD through the 2018 Farm Bill.
BloomHemp.com is on a mission to educate our consumers! Upcoming articles will focus on CBD VS THC, Is CBD a Supplement or a Medication?, Routes of Administration and Product Use, and Drug Screening & CBD. This article woke up your receptors to the endocannabinoid system, giving you a better idea of how cannabis works to better balance your body.
Cheers to you for learning how to reinforce your health with great CBD!
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