CBD and our Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
We didn’t even know it existed 25 years ago. Now it’s one of the most widely studied aspects of our physiology because of its regulating effect on a wide range of processes including pain modulation, memory, appetite, inflammation, and our immune system. Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells (refer to the drawing above) and are believed to be more numerous than any other receptor system.
Our ECS performs various tasks, but the goal is always the same: homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite intrusions from an often hostile external environment. When cannabinoid receptors are stimulated, a variety of physiological processes are initiated. Researchers have identified two primary cannabinoid receptors: CB1, predominantly in our nervous system, connective tissues, glands, and organs, and CB2, predominantly found in our gastrological and immune systems.
CBD’s role in all this is an interesting one. It influences dozens of important regulatory processes, and yet, it doesn’t effect either the CB1 or CB 2 receptors directly. It effects them indirectly, by blocking access to them or initiating processes that help or hinder the ability of other compounds to effect those receptors. CBD is like a defensive halfback on a football team, blocking plays, intercepting passes, and clearing the way for important processes to occur. Its tireless effort to keep us healthy combined with its mild-mannered way of going about its business (absent of serious side-effects) puts CBD in a very special category. You’ve got to love that about it.