<tc>CBD and the endocannabinoid system: what you need to know </tc>

Until recently, scientists could not tell us how exactly CBD works, but it was clear that it stimulated many biochemical processes. However, the rapidly growing interest of people around the world has forced scientists to roll up their sleeves and answer this important question. And voila! The basic principle of how CBD works has been discovered, and the short answer is through our endocannabinoid system!

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    Note: This and other articles on Hempo's blog are for informational purposes only. According to the directive of the European Commission, cannabidiol is classified as a 'novel food', therefore CBD products should not be used as a food supplement in Lithuania.


    Have you ever heard of the endocannabinoid system? It turns out that every person has it. In fact, even animals have it!

    The endocannabinoid system plays an important role in regulating our mood, physiological functions and well-being. It’s a complex network of neurons that helps balance the various body functions and is the main reason why you finally relax with CBD products.

    My endocanabi - what? Why haven't I heard of this?

    You are probably thinking: ‘Well, if it’s so important, why isn’t it taught in school and why is it so little talked about?’

    The answer is simple - the endocannabinoid system was only discovered in the 1990s.

    So, everyone should ask these questions, and teaching it should be mandatory. Especially now that scientists have conducted multiple studies, finding the significant role the ECS plays in regulating your body functions! This is definitely an important missing part of what we learn about our nervous system when we are young.

    What is the Endocannabinoid System?

    Although extensive scientific research is still lacking to fully understand how the endocannabinoid system (ECS) functions, current findings suggest that it helps regulate various vital bodily functions. It interacts with other bodily systems and helps modulate their functions, including how a person feels, moves, and reacts to the environment. Simply put, the endocannabinoid system acts like a chief executive officer, responsible for the performance and quality of work of the body's various systems.

    The endocannabinoid system is a biological system comprising cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoids. This system operates throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems.

    This means that endocannabinoids and their cannabinoid receptors are present throughout your body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells.

    The endocannabinoid system performs different tasks in each tissue type, but its ultimate goal is always the same: homeostasis - maintaining stable internal functions despite external environmental fluctuations.

    It's very important!

    This is why the endocannabinoid system has been found to benefit many people and animals. It restores balance to your body and promotes good physical and psychological well-being. According to scientists, a disturbed or damaged endocannabinoid system is directly related to the increased sensitivity of your body to various external factors.

    What Are the Components of the Endocannabinoid System?

    When studying the components of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), it's equally important to understand the complex relationship between CBD and the ECS. The endocannabinoid system is a complex network within the human body that plays a crucial role in regulating various physiological and cognitive processes. The primary components of the endocannabinoid system are cannabinoid receptors, with the most significant being CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are distributed throughout the human body. CBD and the endocannabinoid system work together to influence these receptors, affecting various bodily functions - from mood regulation to immune response reactions.

    CB1 receptors are located in the brain and nervous system, while CB2 receptors are more prevalent in peripheral organs, particularly in cells associated with the immune system. This distinction is vital for understanding the relationship between CBD and the endocannabinoid system since different cannabinoids can have varying effects depending on the receptor type they interact with. Furthermore, the synthesis of endocannabinoids, which are endogenous cannabinoids that activate these receptors, is a crucial aspect of the endocannabinoid system's functionality. These cannabinoids are synthesized in the body as needed, meaning they are produced precisely when required.

    Understanding the relationship between CBD and the endocannabinoid system involves recognizing the delicate balance the ECS maintains in the body, often referred to as homeostasis. The interaction between CBD, cannabinoid receptors, and the synthesis processes of endocannabinoids reveals a complex yet fascinating mechanism that is essential for maintaining internal stability in the body.

    What Are Endocannabinoids?

    Endocannabinoids are a fundamental component of our biological system. In other words, they are natural compounds very similar to the active components found in the hemp plant (phytocannabinoids). These compounds significantly impact the endocannabinoid system (ECS). To answer the question of what endocannabinoids are, it's important to understand how they interact with cannabinoid receptors influenced by CBD and the endocannabinoid system. This interaction underpins physiological processes related to mood, sleep, digestion, the immune system, circulation, pain perception, and memory.

    The two primary endocannabinoids are anandamide and 2-AG, produced by our bodies as needed and playing a crucial role in the ECS's functioning. They are not stored in cells but act as neurotransmitters, highlighting their importance in neuronal communication and their overall impact on our well-being. CBD and the endocannabinoid system work together - CBD positively influences endocannabinoid activity, emphasizing the unique nature of cannabinoids.

    Additionally, understanding cannabinoid synthesis is vital for comprehending how CBD strengthens the endocannabinoid system. This process involves the transformation of fatty acids in our body into these endocannabinoids. Therefore, the topic of CBD and the endocannabinoid system encompasses not only the effects of external substances like CBD on this system but also the complex internal synthesis within the human body that maintains our physiological balance.

    How does CBD interact with the endocannabinoid system?

    An article about the endocannabinoid system would not be complete without discussing the interactions with CBD and the benefits it provides. The endocannabinoid system answers the question of why the natural cannabinoids found in hemp and other plants have a therapeutic effect.

    The system consists of cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoid receptors are like a lock. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that stimulate cannabinoid receptors. These are the chemical keys to the cannabinoid receptors – they tell your body when to start various processes and when to stop them.

    CBD and the endocannabinoid system

    CBD and the Endocannabinoid System: What Do Scientific Studies Say

    Scientific studies conducted in 2023 have delved deeply into the interaction between CBD and the endocannabinoid system (ECS), revealing CBD's therapeutic potential. Unlike another cannabinoid, THC, CBD does not directly bind to ECS receptors but instead affects them indirectly. This modulation is crucial for understanding the health benefits that CBD can provide.

    In one of the 2023 studies, it was found that CBD and the endocannabinoid system are closely linked to chronic pain management. By enhancing ECS activity, CBD can slow down inflammatory processes in the body. Another important area of research is to determine how CBD and the ECS interact to regulate mood disorders. A recent study published in the "American Journal of Psychiatry" showed that CBD's anxiolytic effects, mediated through the ECS, offer promise for treating depression and anxiety.

    The neuroprotective properties of CBD related to the ECS were also revealed. One recent study indicated that CBD and the ECS play a significant role in neurological health and could offer new treatment methods for diseases such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, the latest clinical trials have confirmed CBD's effects on the ECS concerning sleep regulation and immune response, emphasizing the multifaceted therapeutic potential of this compound.

    CBD is a cannabinoid!

    Some endocannabinoids are produced by your body, but most of them come from food and supplements.

    There are many different cannabinoids, CBD being just one of them.

    In simple terms, CBD binds to the ECS receptors in your body, strengthening your endocannabinoid system. Don’t forget it – it’s very important. The goal is always the same – homoeostasis, maintaining the stable functioning of internal functions despite fluctuations in the external environment.

    While there are many cannabinoids, CBD is a favourite among them because it is extremely effective in restoring a weakened endocannabinoid system and because it does not have a psychoactive effect. It doesn’t make you feel intoxicated, on the contrary, it helps you to relax and calm your mind not "go out of your mind".

    Scientists are still figuring out the relationship between the endocannabinoid system and CBD, but one thing we know for sure is that CBD is a powerful plant compound with immense potential to bring balance to your body, mind and soul.

    CBD and the Endocannabinoid System: Concluding Thoughts

    This article discusses the role of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the human body and the interaction of CBD (cannabidiol) with this system. Until recently, the mechanisms of CBD's action were not entirely clear, but the growing global interest in this natural compound has spurred significant scientific research. It is now known that CBD works through the ECS - a complex network of neurons that is crucial for regulating mood, physiological functions, and overall well-being. By interacting with the endocannabinoid system, CBD binds to its receptors, strengthening the ECS and helping restore balance to a weakened system. It is evident that CBD is a compound capable of positively affecting both our body and mind.

    Dažnai užduodami klausimai

    Kas yra endokanabinoidinė sistema (EKS)?

    Mokslininkai endokanabinoidinę sistemą atrado tik 1990 m. Endokanabinoidinė sistema yra sudėtingas žmogaus ir gyvūnų organizmo neuronų tinklas, reguliuojantis įvairias gyvybiškai svarbias funkcijas, pavyzdžiui, nuotaiką, miegą, skausmą, uždegimą ir imuninę sistemą. Ji susideda iš kanabinoidų receptorių, endokanabinoidų ir fermentų.

    Kas yra CBD?

    CBD (kanabidiolis) yra natūralus kanapių augale randamas junginys, žinomas dėl savo potencialo teigiamai veikti žmogaus sveikatą. CBD yra priskiriamas kanabinoidams - tai junginiai, veikiantys panašiai kaip ir neuromediatoriai, esantys mūsų smegenyse. Skirtingai nuo THC, CBD nesukelia psichoaktyvaus poveikio. Kanabinoidai yra natūraliai randami organizme, tačiau kai jis juos gamina, jie vadinami endokanabinoidais.

    Kaip CBD veikia endokanabinoidinę sistemą?

    CBD sąveikauja su endokanabinoidine sistema tiesiogiai neprisijungdamas prie kanabinoidų receptorių (tokiu principu veikia THC), tačiau jis moduliuoja ir stiprina endokanabinoidinės sistemos veiklą, pvz., slopina endokanabinoidų skaidymo procesus bei aktyvuoja kitus receptorius.

    Kokie yra svarbiausi endokanabinoidinės sistemos komponentai?

    Pagrindiniai EKS komponentai yra dviejų tipų kanabinoidų receptoriai – CB1 ir CB2, išsidėstę visame žmogaus organizme, pavyzdžiui, anandamidas ir 2-AG, bei fermentai, atsakingi už jų sintezę ir skaidymą. CB1 receptoriai yra išsidėstę smegenyse ir nervų sistemoje, o CB2 receptoriai labiau paplitę periferiniuose organuose - ypač ląstelėse, susijusiose su imunine sistema.

    Kokia yra endokanabinoidų funkcija organizme?

    Endokanabinoidai veikia kaip signalinės molekulės, reguliuodamos ir palaikydamos organizmo homeostazę. Jie dalyvauja įvairių fiziologinių procesų, tokių kaip skausmo pojūtis, uždegimas, miegas, apetitas ir nuotaika, reguliavime.