CBD and the Endocannabinoid System interact in an amazing way. By stimulating the EC System, CBD may naturally promote multifaceted wellness. To be clear, CBD is a phytocannabinoid that develops on cannabis flowers. When ingested, CBD mimics endocannabinoids that the body produces naturally. Indeed, the interaction between CBD and the Endocannabinoid System is truly fascinating. Let’s take a look.
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
The Endocannabinoid System is an intricate network of cannabinoids, receptors, and metabolites that work together to mitigate stressors within the body. All mammals have an endocannabinoid system, which may have evolved following centuries of hemp-heavy diets.
Though cannabis is one of the oldest recorded plant-based medicines, we didn’t understand the extent of its impact until about 40 years ago when scientists first discovered cannabinoid receptors in the brain (CB1 receptors). A few years later, scientists identified secondary cannabinoid receptors throughout the rest of the body (CB2 receptors) and sought to understand why they were there in the first place.
Researchers discovered the first endogenous (internally produced) cannabinoid in 1992 and named it anandamide, which is the Sanskrit word for “bliss.” They noted that anandamide altered numerous physiological functions, including fertility, mood, appetite, and pain perception in a similar manner as did THC. Interestingly, researchers also noticed an increase in anandamide during exercise, which may explain why athletes experience a “runner’s high.”
Researchers discovered another endocannabinoid (2-AG) a few years later, which led to the discovery of an entire Endocannabinoid System. This unique system produces endocannabinoids on demand when someone experiences stress. It then deploys these neurotransmitters where they communicate backwards between synaptic gaps. This form or “retrograde signalling” helps control the speed at which other neurotransmitters function to help regulate inflammation and trauma-induced hyperactivity.
A healthy endocannabinoid system helps people manage both physical and mental stressors with minimal discomfort. Unfortunately, the system does not always function properly, which some believe can cause an endocannabinoid deficiency. When this happens, the body either produces insufficient cannabinoids or cannot metabolize them properly, leading to an EC System imbalance. Experts suggest that an endocannabinoid deficiency could be to blame for seemingly unrelated issues like IBS, fibromyalgia, and chronic migraines.
However, CBD may help regulate Endocannabinoid System functioning by stimulating anandamide production. According to this 2020 PubMed article, “CBD has recently been shown to modulate the endocannabinoid system activity by increasing anandamide (AEA) levels.” In doing, CBD can help naturally mitigate stressors and reduce oxidative stress within the body.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
CBD is a unique cannabinoid in that it does not bind with CB receptors in the same way other cannabinoids do. Though researchers don’t know exactly how CBD and the Endocannabinoid System interact, they do know that it acts as a receptor antagonist by partially blocking these receptors instead. In doing, CBD seems to slow the degradation of other cannabinoids, thus helping to distribute them more thoroughly throughout the body and for longer durations. Interestingly, some researchers believe CBD binds with receptors not yet discovered, though only time can confirm this.
Bioavailability refers to the speed and degree to which a drug or other substance becomes available to target tissues. In other words, bioavailability refers to the percentage of a dose that actually makes it to the bloodstream or target area.
When inhaled, either by smoking or vaping, CBD has a bioavailability of between 30 and 80 percent. This means that 30 to 80 percent of inhaled cannabinoids reach the bloodstream. The body expells the rest.
Edibles, or CBD products that one eats, must digest before entering the bloodstream, causing much to burn up during first-pass metabolism. Consequently, the bioavailability of edible CBD is generally somewhere between four and 20 percent and on-set time up to an hour or more.
Tinctures, which absorb through the oral mucosa in the mouth, bypass metabolism for faster on-set and higher bioavailability. Studies suggest that sublingual cannabinoid absorption has an average bioavailability between 20 and 50 percent, though some products, particularly nano CBD products, have much higher bioavailability.
CBD Sources and Legalities
CBD develops atop cannabis flowers, which include both hemp-type cannabis and marijuana-type cannabis. However, it is more prominent in hemp and far more legal. To be clear, hemp refers to cannabis with less than 0.3 percent THC based on the dry weight of the plant. Any cannabis plant with more than 0.3 percent THC is considered “marijuana” and, therefore, federally illegal. As such, sellers may only legally distribute CBD sourced from hemp-type cannabis nationally.
How to Choose the Best CBD Products
Now that CBD is federally legal, it’s easy to experience how CBD and the Endocannabinoid System work together. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to choose the best CBD products with so many options available. If CBD options are overwhelming, then consider the following when seeking the best CBD products for your needs.
- Intention: What do you hope to gain from CBD consumption? Do you want to sleep better? Minimize feelings of stress? Reduce pain and swelling? Perhaps you want to maintain your wellbeing through daily CBD consumption. Whatever your goal, seek products that target your intentions and match your ideal dosing regimen.
- Brand Reputation: The best CBD product suppliers should have a positive reputation in the industry. They should provide full product transparency, including ingredient lists, COAs, dosing instructions, lot/distributor information.
- CBD Source: As mentioned, only hemp-based CBD is federally legal. Though processors can extract pure CBD (a.k.a. “CBD Isolate”), only products sourced from compliant hemp plants are legal to obtain without a state-approved medical permit.
Final thought About CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System work very well together. In fact, researchers suggest that regular CBD consumption may stimulate the EC system to promote whole-body wellness. Those who seek targeted symptom relief can choose products with supplemental ingredients that are known to promote sleep, pain relief, stress relief, and more.
To learn more about CBD and the Endocannabinoid System, contact us or shop our selection of CBD products now. Also, follow us on Facebook for hemp industry news and product updates.
Leave a Reply