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CBD Oil (Cannabidiol)

Latest on Understanding CBD Oil and Its Effects on the Body’s Endocannabinoid System

Megan Preston‚ M.S.

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cb2 endocannabinoid system

Cannabidiol, also referred to as CBD oil, is a commonly-used oil extract that is consumed to provide therapeutic uses for the body. CBD is a cannabinoid, which is found in the cannabis plant. This should not be confused with THC, which is what creates a feeling of being “high.” CBD is a different extract from THC and is found in cannabis and hemp plants.

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

CBD can be consumed by the body in oil form, which then uses the cannabidiol to feed the endocannabinoid system (or ECS). The endocannabinoid system is a molecular biological system that helps us maintain homeostasis or the body's ideal regulation of its own systems.

The body's ECS is extremely important in maintaining homeostasis, which is the process of maintaining the ideal temperature, blood sugar, and other aspects of our system.

The key components of the body's endocannabinoid system include the following:

Cannabinoid receptors.

These transmitters read and send information about the conditions of the body and kick-start the right response to achieve homeostasis. CB1 and CB2 are the major receptors. CB1 is one of the most abundant, found mainly in the nervous system, and is the receptor that interacts with THC. CB2 is more abundant outside the nervous system, such as the immune system.

Endocannabinoids.

They are small molecules that activate the cannabinoid receptors in the body, similar to the way THC binds and activates endocannabinoids. Synthesized on-demand, these molecules (the major ones called anandamide and 2-AG) are created and used by the body when they are required (as opposed to being stored in the body).

Metabolic enzymes.

They are used to break down the endocannabinoids after they are used. FAAH breaks down anandamide and MAGL breaks down 2-AG.

How CBD Oil Can Help

The three components of the body's ECS can be found in most major systems of the body. CBD oil helps to unlock the ECS and may help your body maintain its ideal condition (homeostasis). It does this in two ways: neuron firing and inflammatory response.

Brain cells (neurons) may get overworked, creating havoc in the body's nervous system. If they are overloaded with signals, the ECS comes in to save the day. Neuron overload can lead to feelings of anxiety and stress. The neuron creates endocannabinoids, where it attaches to an overactive neuron. This binds to the CB1 receptors and transmits the signal to ‘calm down' the neuron. CBD oil helps to unlock the ECS in order to achieve this calming effect and quiet down some of the overactivity.

The body creates inflammation to protect itself after detecting physical damage or infection. The purpose is to create inflammation (which is simply fluid and immune cells) to remove damaged tissue or germs. Auto-immune diseases and chronic inflammation are common among many, and CBD oil can assist endocannabinoids in suppressing the immune system's inflammatory signals.

Positive Effects

CBD oil positively affects how your body's natural systems help each other in order to achieve balance. From neurons to the immune system, CBD works hand-in-hand to boost the levels of endocannabinoids and inhibit enzymes that have been shown to be useful in easing the discomfort of anxiety disorders.

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