Read this content to learn how the endocannabinoid system works, as it is explained in the following paragraphs. Are you aware of the fact that your body’s endocannabinoid system has a lot to do with the impact of both THC and CBD oil? Millions of people around the world use the cannabis plant for a number of different reasons. Some take it just for the psychoactive effects, and others lean more towards the many medicinal properties. Cannabis wouldn’t induce any medical benefits or a physical high if the human body didn’t first have a biological system in place that interacts with cannabinoids like CBD and THC.
The endocannabinoid system of the human body isn’t just present so that people can enjoy what their own favorite strain of marijuana does to them. In actuality, the endocannabinoid system is the human body’s biggest neurotransmitter system and is crucial to keep healthy seeing as how it maintains a state of homeostasis within the body and regulates many physical and bodily functions.
Table Of Content
- The Maintenance Of Homeostasis
- About Cannabinoid Receptors
- The Top 10 Known Cannabinoids:
- Regarding Metabolic Enzymes
- Endocannabinoids And Regulating How Brain Cells Fire
- Endocannabinoids And The Regulation Of Inflammation
- How Do CBD And THC Interact With The Human Endocannabinoid System?
- Kevin Rachett
The Maintenance Of Homeostasis
If you want to really understand the endocannabinoid system of the human body, then you have to first know about one of biology’s most crucial concepts. That is the idea of homeostasis. Maintaining homeostasis is after all the primary function of the endocannabinoid system. This happens when the biological functions of the body are all in balance with one another. The best health and wellness outcomes happen when things fall right down the middle, equidistant from the extremes. For human bodies to work their best, the various biological systems found inside get regulated to keep their many conditions in this middle range. One example is that human bodies don’t like their temperature to be too hot or too cold. Rather, the human body achieves a state of homeostasis when the internal temperature is in that middle range.
The endocannabinoid system involves itself in quite a few physiological processes, including immune functions, sleep, metabolism, pain sensation, mood, appetite, memory, and bone development. It’s something that is quite common in the animal kingdom, and every known vertebrate species has one. The endocannabinoid system can be further broken down into a trio of primary components, which are metabolic enzymes, endocannabinoids, and cannabinoid receptors.
About Cannabinoid Receptors
Cannabinoid receptors lie on cellular surfaces all throughout the human body, where they transmit necessary information about any conditions changing inside the cells. Those transmissions spark responses from the cells. The two primary cannabinoid receptors inside the human endocannabinoid system are the receptors known as CB1 and CB2. They’re not the endocannabinoid system’s only cannabinoid receptors, but they are the ones that were discovered first and the ones that have seen the most research happen.
CB1 receptors are usually seen in the human brain. THC binds to those receptors, which helps people experience the effects of being high. Alternatively, CB2 receptors are more abundant outside the nervous system, and they’re particularly concentrated inside the immune system specifically. However, both of these kinds of receptors can be found all throughout the human body.
Endocannabinoids are specifically endogenous cannabinoids that first bind to and then activate cannabinoid receptors, just like plant cannabinoids do. Such cannabinoids get produced by cells naturally inside much of the human body, where they help in the regulation of numerous biological functions.`
The Top 10 Known Cannabinoids:
The human body has two primary endocannabinoids, and they are 2-AG and anandamide. Both of these endocannabinoids are made up of fat-like molecules that are inside the membranes of cells, where they get synthesized as they are needed.
Regarding Metabolic Enzymes
Metabolic enzymes do a number of cellular functions which are necessary for homeostasis to be achieved and maintained. When they are working alongside the endocannabinoid system, it is metabolic enzymes that dispose of endocannabinoids after they’ve been used. FAAH is one enzyme able to break down anandamide, whereas MAGL is one that can break down 2-AG.
Such enzymes make sure that endocannabinoids are only used when they’re needed, but not after they’ve seen use once. This means that endocannabinoids can get distinguished from various other molecular signals throughout the human body, such as hormones or classical neurotransmitters, both of which might remain for use later on.
The three primary components that make up the endocannabinoid system are found in nearly every primary system inside the human body. If something takes a cell out of its desired middle range, then the human body needs these components to get systems working right again, restoring homeostasis.
Endocannabinoids And Regulating How Brain Cells Fire
Neurons are specific brain cells which communicate with one another be sending out electrochemical signals to each other. They actively listen to other neurons so they can decide if they’re going to fire off signals. On the other hand, neurons don’t like receiving too much signal, and they too prefer to be in the middle range much of the human body does. So, when neurons get signal overload, the results can actually be toxic. That’s when endocannabinoids step in.
For instance, if one neuron listens to a different neuron that gets overactive and is broadcasting excessive signals, then the first listening neuron is going to destabilize. If that happens, then the listening neuron is going to make endocannabinoids precisely where it has a connection to the broadcasting and overactive neuron. Those endogenous cannabinoids then bind with any of the overactive neuron’s CB1 receptors, sending out new signals telling it to stop broadcasting so much. This all works back towards homeostasis.
Endocannabinoids are able to move in reverse, which is they are sometimes called retrograde signals. Typically, the flow of information between neurons will travel only in single directions, which is from the sender releasing neurotransmitter signals to receivers that listen to such signals. Endocannabinoids let receiver neurons regulate just how much output they get, and they do this by sending retrograde signals to any overactive neurons releasing signals.
The brain isn’t the only organ in the human body always looking for homeostasis. Every other primary system in the body, be it the immune system or the digestive system, has to regulate how carefully its many cells are functioning. Proper regulation is essential for overall health.
Endocannabinoids And The Regulation Of Inflammation
If the immune system suffers any kind of damage or infection, then it responds specifically with inflammation as a natural reaction of protection. The primary purpose behind inflammation is to minimize damaged tissue and pathogens, since pathogens can cause infection. Inflammation happens when fluid and immune cells move into an impacted area so they can help it get back to homeostasis.
It’s crucial that inflammation goes down after an impacted area heals so that it won’t get dangerous. When an immune system activates improperly, it can lead to malicious conditions such as auto-immune diseases and chronic inflammation. If this happens, then the inflammatory response will be prolonged for too much time and maybe even gets transferred over to healthy cells.
How Do CBD And THC Interact With The Human Endocannabinoid System?
The primary reason why plant cannabinoids are able to offer both medicinal and psychoactive effects for the human body is simply because they will interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. For example, THC often induces a short-lived high through activating the CB1 receptors inside the human brain. THC won’t interact with most CB1 receptors exactly like natural endocannabinoids will do. Metabolic enzymes that typically break down endocannabinoids after they get used don’t work on THC, which means that THC will linger for more time.
Cannabinoids don’t typically interact with only one kind of receptor. Rather, they will interact with a lot of different receptors. CBD, which is the primary and non-psychoactive cannabinoid found inside cannabis, will interact with many different receptors in the human brain. So, while plant cannabinoids might interact the very same receptors that endogenous endocannabinoids do, they will also interact with many other receptors, and that means their impact is not the same overall.
CBD is also able to influence how many endocannabinoids there are in the brain. This is often known as ‘endocannabinoid tone.’ CBD will often inhibit the FAAH enzyme, and that’s what leads to endocannabinoid anandamide breakdown. As such, CBD is able to boost anandamide levels since it won’t let FAAH go about breaking down any more of the anandamide that is present. Research has demonstrated that if CBD is able to inhibit FAAH enzymes, then anxiety might go down in many people.