Understanding the Endocannabinoid System

CBD oil has gained popularity in the past few years. You will find a lot of information online on the effects of CBD on the endocannabinoid system and on how it can benefit you. This article presents this information in a way that is easy to understand. It also offers you with a natural alternative to CBD.

What is the endocannabinoid system?

Our bodies are able to function as a result of the action of various transmitter systems. The sympathetic nervous system for example is a transmitter system that results in flight or fright response. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a transmitter system consisting of a vast network of cellular receptors (CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors) and chemical signals. The network runs throughout our bodies. In fact, CB1 receptors outnumber many other types of receptors in the brain.

The ECS plays a vital role in regulating and controlling many of the critical functions within the body. The CB1 receptors in the brain for example are vital for controlling the activity and levels of most neurotransmitters. Functions such as body temperature, levels of alertness and temperature react to the stimulation of these receptors. CB2 receptors mostly occur in the peripheral nervous system and play a critical role in regulating the immune system.

Experts still do not fully understand the ECS. However, it has been shown to play a critical role in regulating functions and processes such as sleep, memory, appetite, reproduction, fertility, mood, pain and inflammation.

The benefits of CBD

Endocannabinoids are molecules produced by the body to stimulate the ECS. Endocannabinoids such as anandamide (AEA) bind to the ECS receptors to signal the ECS to take action. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Unlike Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not make you get ‘high’.

There are many theories about how CBD works. However, it is widely believed that it does not bind to the receptors of the ECS directly to stimulate the ECS. It instead works by preventing the endocannabinoids that bind to the receptors from being broken down. This enables the endocannabinoids to have more effect on the body.

CBD has found many applications. People use CBD for pain relief, to reduce anxiety and depression, CBD for skin to reduce acne, to improve heart health, to manage psychotic symptoms for mental disorders such as schizophrenia and for recovery after a workout.

CBD’s benefits can also be seen in animals. Many people invest in CBD tincture for cats or CBD tincture for dogs to help relieve anxiety, treat seizures, relieve pain, improve appetite, reduce nausea and even fight cancer.

What is Beta Caryophyllene?

While CBD is currently the most popular naturally occurring cannabinoid, it is not the only naturally occurring compound that can stimulate the ECS for improved health. Beta caryophyllene is emerging as a great alternative to CBD. Beta-caryophyllene is a terpene produced by the cannabis plant and many other herbs and spices. It has a sweet taste and can be used as an ingredient in food or in cosmetics. It is for this reason that it is often referred to as a dietary cannabinoid and used in a CBD diet.

Unlike CBD, beta-caryophyllene binds selectively to CB2 receptors. This results in the inhibition of release of cytokines. This has an anti-inflammatory effect. Studies show beta-caryophyllene to be effective at reducing swelling and edema, anxiety, cholesterol levels, seizures, and relieving pain.

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