The body is made up of so many different systems and working parts. The endocannabinoid system is one of those, and although this isn't one that many people are familiar with, it plays a role that science is just beginning to study in depth. Recent studies have found that this system is capable of responding to internal and external cannabinoids alike. This includes the increasingly popular cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD. What exactly does this system do, though, and how can CBD help support it?
The Endocannabinoid System and Its Role in the Body
The endocannabinoid system is a structure in the body that helps regulate neural activity and responses, including things like inflammation and even your pain response. The system produces its cannabinoids that affect the body in various ways. Still, there are some instances when it may not be functioning properly or may not be able to deliver the level of support that the body needs. When it comes to the actual role of this system, there is still much to be learned. However, currently, it has shown to have some role in functions like:
· Fertility and reproduction
· Pain, inflammation, and other immune responses
· Stress responses
These functions and others are responsible for what is known as homeostasis, or creating a stable internal environment for your body. If something happens to your body that throws off the stability, your ECS (Endocannabinoid System) will jump into action to help your body get back to its normal operating level. Because this system can be affected like any other in the body, it may or may not be able to provide optimal support on its own. This is where the supplementation of CBD comes into play. As we learn more about CBD and its effects on the body, it’s likely that we will also learn more about your ECS and how to keep it in its best condition at all times.
How CBD Affects the Endocannabinoid System
Technically speaking, CBD works by acting upon the body’s CDB1 and CBD2 receptors, which are located throughout the entire body. The interaction can produce several potential benefits and positive outcomes. Rather than binding, like many substances do, CBD works indirectly to help affect more areas of the body and help control things like:
· Pain perception
· Body temperature
· Motivation and pleasure/happiness
Essentially, CBD is going to promote homeostasis, and in the meanwhile, also potentially help with the issues listed above. It impacts the TRPV1 receptors, as well, and can impact the level of anandamide in the body, which is what impacts the neural generation of motivation and pleasure within the brain. The National Institute of Health (NIH) conducted a study that proved that utilizing CBD to manipulate the endocannabinoid system could assist with several medical issues and conditions. We've already touched on some of the most common, but below we will dig a little deeper into all the ways that using CBD to impact this system could be beneficial to your body.
The Benefits of Affecting the Endocannabinoid System with CBD Supplements
When you use CBD supplements to affect the production and processes of the ECS, you will get different benefits and potential health support that includes things like:
· Reduced depression and anxiety
· Lower inflammation in the intestine and other muscles of the body
· Lower blood pressure and stress response levels
· Reduced pain responses
In terms of the actual conditions that can be impacted by the use of CBD and the improvement of the endocannabinoid system, the list is still growing, and many conditions are still being studied. However, potential has been shown for helping the ECS to manage and treat several ailments and conditions:
· Chronic Pain
· Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
· Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
· Chronic Inflammation
· Parkinson’s Disease
· Mad Cow Disease
· Bacterial Infections
· Broken Bones or Torn Muscles
· Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, and Other Mood Disorders
· Rheumatoid Arthritis
· Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure
· Substance Abuse Withdrawal or Recovery
· Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Bear in mind that this is not a complete list, but it does provide some valuable insight into the potential benefits of improving the ECS function through the use of CBD supplements.
The Theory of Endocannabinoid Deficiency
Experts are currently considering a condition known as Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD), which suggests that having low levels in the body or some dysfunction in the ECS could contribute to certain conditions developing in the body. The theory also questions whether conditions like fibromyalgia, migraines, and other chronic conditions with no clear underlying cause may be the result of CECD. Research is ongoing, but this is one theory that is being considered.
The Bottom Line
This is a relatively new area of study that was only recently brought to light by the introduction of CBD supplements into the healthcare market. As researchers attempt to learn what CBD is doing within the body, they’re likely to discover new functions and unique processes that might not have been understood before. The endocannabinoid system is one that’s important to know and understand, but it’s also one that’s still being explored. As it stands, research suggests many of the benefits of supplementing with CBD happen within this system.
Of course, the list of potential benefits to this system is growing daily. As we discover more about how the endocannabinoid system works in the body and what effects cannabidiol can have on that, the entire conversation may change or expand to include a variety of other topics and conditions. For now, however, this will at least help you get a head start on understanding what’s going on in your body when you take a CBD supplement and why they offer so much potential.