THE SCIENCE BEHIND CANNABINOIDS LIKE CBD AND THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
As the legalization of medicinal and recreational cannabis sweeps across America, those oblivious to the plant and its benefits are standing on the outskirts looking in, trying to understand why some of the most prominent people in society (i.e., politicians, athletes, and physicians) are now endorsing the once -outlawed plant.
The benefits of cannabis have been known by the people who once controlled the outlets that released information to the masses for quite some time. Marijuana being stripped from our society was done politically as a means of survival for certain longstanding industries who saw the emergence of cannabis as a threat. It’s demonization through propaganda (i.e., Reefer Madness), was an effective strategy unleashed upon a sheltered generation, but with the internet came enlightenment. This meant that the people became equipped with the tools needed to uncover the truths for themselves; and to our amazement, we’ve realized that we’ve been looking at cannabis all wrong for way too long. It’s not some dangerous drug that people should be wary of. It’s a plant that possesses many practical and medicinal uses.
CANNABIS AND OUR BODY
What If I were to tell you that human beings evolved with an ability to process and utilize the elements of cannabis for its therapeutic purposes through our endocannabinoid system? Have you ever heard of an endocannabinoid system? Although it serves a plethora of functions outside of the interacting with exogenous (originating from outside the body) cannabinoids, it does have a uniquely intimate relationship with the plant. I’ll give you a little breakdown of the term before we get into the science of it all. The first part of the term, “Endo” derives from the Greek prefix, “Endon,” meaning within or internal. “Cannabinoid,” is a description of a diverse class of natural compounds that make up cannabis. When you combine the terms, you can interpret the meaning as, “natural cannabis compounds within.”
What is an Endocannabinoid System?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system made up of endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters known as endocannabinoids that connect to cannabinoid receptors (proteins) located throughout the central and peripheral nervous system. According to Verywell Health, the endocannabinoid system helps regulate various cognitive (mental) and physiological (physical) processes such as fertility, pregnancy, appetite, pain, memory, disposition, inflammation, sleep, motor control, digestion, pleasure/reward systems, and much more.
The ECS consist of three parts. Endocannabinoids, receptors within the nervous system that cannabinoids and endocannabinoids bond with, and enzymes that assist in the breaking down of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids.
As stated in Leaf Science, the ECS has two receptors: CB1 & CB2. Each receptor responds to different cannabinoids (although some cannabinoids can cooperate with both) and are responsible for producing different effects within the body.
- CB1– These receptors mainly exist in the brain and nervous system; but are also located in our lungs, kidneys, and liver. The cannabinoids in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive element of cannabis) and our organic endocannabinoids connect more closely to the CB1 receptors than the CB2 receptors in our body due to the similarities in their molecular structure. This unique connection is what offers relief stemming from depression, loss of appetite, pain, etcetera.
- CB2– These receptors mainly exist in the immune system, spleen, GI tract (gastrointestinal system, i.e., liver, pancreas, and gallbladder), and brain (not as concentrated in this area as CB1 receptors are). When activated, they can work to help relieve discomfort stemming from pain and inflammation.
Cannabis isn’t some foreign agent, ingested only for its psychoactive effects. It is a natural remedy, used for its medicinal properties. CBD is the primary component in cannabis, used and scientifically proven to help treat an array of ailments ranging from pain, joint inflammation, epilepsy, and nausea. If you are in need of high-quality CBD such as oils, capsules, consumables, and CBD skin care products, visit TerraVida today.
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