Good evening from Poplar Creek. I wanted to spend a little time this evening discussing the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), and explain how CBD functions in the human body. A very interesting article from www.sciencedirect.com entitled “Clinicians Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils” by Harrison J. VanDolah, BA, Brent A. Bauer MD, and Karen F. Mauck, MD, explains how the ECS works in the body, and why CBD is bioactive. From the article, “It is now known that the ECS is globally involved in maintaining homeostasis in the body, connecting all of the body’s organs and systems. The ECS has been implicated in a variety of disease states and important regulatory functions, from chronic inflammatory conditions and regulation of immune homeostasis in the gut to anxiety and migraines.”
The ECS is typically driven and regulated by endogenous cannabinoids – those which are created by the human body through natural processes. But research has shown that the compounds that make up the cannabinoids in plants, phytocannabinoids, also act on the ECS. Also from the source article, “Although the body contains its extensive ECS that works through endogenous cannabinoids, many plant-derived cannabinoids have been discovered that act on the ECS as well. The first ones were discovered in the context of C sativa research, with more than 80 phytocannabinoid compounds being discovered in the marijuana plant alone.”
Most people have heard of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the chemical that causes the “high” associated with smoking marijuana. Cannabidiol (CBD) is rapidly becoming the next-best known cannabinoid. But there are many other compounds in the cannabis plant, to varying levels of concentration. Full-spectrum CBD products, such as raw hemp flower, CBD teas, and many hemp-extracted oils, contain the entire range of cannabinoids that can be found in the cannabis plant. Of course, each variety has different concentrations of cannabinoids, which is why each has a different, unique effect.
By taking full-spectrum products, you are ensuring that it isn’t just one compound that is interacting with your ECS. There are numerous studies underway trying to determine the complex interactions of the various compounds included in cannabis, including which ones amplify the effects of CBD. It is for this reason that some experts do not recommend using “CBD isolate” products because it removes all cannabinoids except CBD, taking away any entourage effects from the other compounds. Please note, full-spectrum products do contain some levels of THC, and can cause a positive test result on a drug test.
Please check out Figure 1 from the article below. It is a pretty good diagram of the ECS. We highly recommend taking some time to read the source article as well. The link can be found below.
Figure 1. Modulation of the endocannabinoid system by phytocannabinoids.19, 20, 31 Figure depicts the basic actions of the endogenous cannabinoids anandamide (AN) and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG) on the G protein–coupled cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) in presynaptic neurons in both the central and peripheral nervous system. The green-shaded compounds are common phytocannabinoids and other herbal inclusions in hemp oils that have been found to affect the normal endocannabinoid in some way, either through modulation of the CB receptors (eg, tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] agonism of CB1 receptors) or by other routes not depicted, such as inhibition of enzymatic breakdown of endocannabinoids or other receptor modulation. BCP = β-caryophyllene; GABA = γ-aminobutyric acid; TRPV = transient receptor potential vanilloid.