How does cannabidiol (CBD) affect the endocannabinoid system

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In our previous blog post we described the Endocannabinoid system and how it works - it's a compound physiologic network within our bodies, involving cannabinoid receptors. The endogenous cannabinoids and their respective enzymes are in control of maintaining balance in system by regulating the synthesis and breakdown of the active endocannabinoid compounds.

At first, the scientists thought it only responds to endogenous cannabinoids produced by the human body. However, the latest research has found that the system will also recognize and respond to cannabinoids from external sources, including CBD, which is found in Hemp. 

CBD and Cannabinoid Receptors

The endocannabinoid system includes two primary types of receptors that bind to cannabinoids: CB1 and CB2. Unlike THC, which fits directly into the CB1 receptor, cannabidiol does not fit into either type of receptor perfectly. Instead, it stimulates activity in both receptors without actually binding to them. This results in changes within any cells that contain either receptor. Because CB1 and CB2 receptors are present throughout the body, the effects of CBD are systemic.

CBD's effects on the Endocannabinoid system

When cannabidiol enters the ECS it causes an increased release of 2-AG (one if the endogenius cannabinoids). Like CBD, 2-AG stimulates both CB1 and CB2 receptors which boosts the general effect on the body. Studies published by the National Institutes of Health have shown that cannabidiol also restrains the activity of fatty acid amide hydroxylase, or FAAH (an enzyme responsible for breaking anandamide - another important endogenous cannabinoid found naturally within the body).

CBD also binds directly to a G-protein coupled receptor known as TRPV-1, which is responsible for mediating body temperature, perceptions of pain and inflammation. CBD also activates serotonin receptors. Furthermore, studies conducted by the California Pacific Medical Center have shown that cannabidiol has the power to inhibit the ID-1 gene, which is known to cause several aggressive cancers, including certain cancers of the breast, brain, lungs, ovaries and pancreas.

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  • John Yoda