What You Need to Know about Your Endocannabinoid System and CBD Products
By Jason Test, General Manager at KindUrth
I read an article recently about the rapid pace of innovation in the automotive industry which inspired a thought… The finest, most luxurious automobile resembles a Tinker Toy when compared to the human body. The human body is unmatched in complexity, containing interactive structures and components that must all work together to maintain health within what is effectively an incredibly advanced biological machine. One internal system that plays a very important role throughout the human body is the endogenous (or endo) cannabinoid system, the ECS.
What is the ECS?
In short, the ECS is a system in our body that is responsible for maintaining homeostasis, or balance. This responsibility may sound somewhat insignificant, but it is far more important than you might imagine when it comes to health and happiness. What is important to know is that our bodies function optimally when everything is in proper balance relative to our levels of inflammation, oxidation, body temperature or excitement, etc.
In the early 1990s, Israeli researchers proved that mammals possess a vast system of cell receptors, agonists (chemicals that bind to the receptors) and enzymes that respond to the phytochemicals in cannabis. They also learned that our own bodies manufacture internal cannabinoid molecules that moderate metabolic balance, or homeostasis. In a 2015 report, lead researcher Dr. Raphael Mechoulam states, “The cannabinoid receptors, the two endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) and the enzymes which synthesize and degrade them form the physiological endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is involved in a huge number of functions.”
In essence, the ECS, independent of exogenous (external) cannabinoids, communicates across your various internal systems. It directs the necessary interplay of compounds to make corrections when some aspect of your health becomes disrupted.
The two main endocannabinoids are AEA (anandamide) and 2-AG (2-arachidonoylglyerol). Additionally, cells exhibit two different types of cannabinoid (CB) receptors, referred to as CB1 and CB2, which respond to different endocannabinoid stimuli.
Most heavily concentrated in your brain, the CB1 receptors express throughout your central nervous system. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) binds mostly to the CB1 receptors, although cannabidiol (CBD) can indirectly activate them by triggering certain endocannabinoid agonists.
CB2 receptors are found just about everywhere else in your body, including on the cells that regulate your immune system, in your organs and digestive tract. These receptors either bind with CBD or also receive endocannabinoids from a cascade of chemical syntheses. Together, your entire ECS regulates the smooth functioning of your various organs and metabolic pathways. When all goes well, you achieve and maintain homeostasis.
How important is homeostasis?
When your body loses metabolic balance, ailments can arise. While inflammation and oxidation play vital roles in your elaborate physiology, if they become chronic, your homeostasis suffers disequilibrium. Uncontrolled inflammation underpins almost every disease. Left unresolved, oxidative stress not only generates inflammation, it also weakens your natural ability to fight off infectious microbes and sustain long-term vitality. Did you know that imbalance affects not only your physical vigor, it can also unsettle your mental and emotional energy? Conversely, negative emotional states can drag down your bodily condition. It’s a two-way street.
The younger you are and the healthier your lifestyle, the more robust your ECS can be. But what if you’ve been raised and live more like the average American with processed foods and stressful schedules? What happens when you’ve been promoted to middle age or your venerable senior years?
Isn’t your ECS alone enough to keep you healthy?
The answer is it depends. Our life journey is a ride with ups and downs and, at times, our ECS can become overburdened in its efforts to maintain homeostasis. Everyone’s body is different. Some can sustain a less than ideal lifestyle and remain balanced. Others cannot. CBD is nature’s way of providing a plant-based version of the cannabinoids that our body naturally produces and can’t do without.
The past century has witnessed amazing medical and technological advancements, and yet these have arrived hand-in-hand with a rising sea of toxicity. From food additives, pesticides/herbicides, polluted air and water to microwave radiation and single-molecule synthesized pharmaceuticals, we can no longer avoid a tainted environment. No matter where you live or how organic your food, you are exposed daily to unwholesome elements that can upset your smooth biological operation.
Also, as you age, your body naturally loses its youthful resilience. Fighting against the constant barrage of poor diet choices and poisonous chemical intrusion becomes more difficult as the years fly by. All of these things over-tax your ECS until it becomes overwhelmed. It’s a lot like somebody sneaking a cup of water into your high-octane fuel, over and over again.
How Does CBD Oil support your ECS?
CBD is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis and is essentially a plant-based version of the endocannabinoids naturally produced by our bodies. Consuming this exogenous cannabinoid stimulates your ECS system to do its job efficiently and effectively. While CBD doesn’t cure any disease or condition – because it targets your receptor cells to help them recognize and deal with the underlying imbalance – it does act as reinforcement troops to an embattled army unit. When your own endocannabinoids can’t maintain homeostasis alone, CBD can help with reinforcement.
Will any old CBD product help?
Quality matters with CBD products. You never want to use a CBD product that adds to your toxic burden. The cannabis plant (hemp in particular) is considered a bioaccumulator, meaning it really absorbs everything in the soil where it is grown – the good and the bad. So, if toxins exist in the soil, the hemp plant will absorb those toxins which can easily flow through the manufacturing process and end up on the CBD products we consume. Hemp can come from mysterious sources such as offshore farms that cultivate in contaminated soil. Furthermore, extracts from unknown facilities may contain less CBD than labeled, sometimes far less. This means you should always seek out CBD that:
- is crafted from organic hemp
- is legally grown in the US
- has Certificates of Analyses from a third-party, independent testing lab.
Clean product contains no pesticides, herbicides, GMO biology, gluten or unnatural additives of any variety, just the CBD and other minor cannabinoids within a natural carrier oil.
At KindUrth, our mantra is “do more of what you love,” and our mission is to help people live happier, healthier lives. We do this by offering wellness products that are derived from nature and of the highest quality available. We offer a full line of hemp-derived CBD products including oils, gummies, capsules and creams. We stand behind our products with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Our products are endorsed and recommended by healthcare professionals and receive great reviews and accolades from our wide-range of customers across the US. Shop for yours today!
P.S. If you would like to see an excellent video discussion of the ECS by Dr. Asher Milgrom, please click here.
De Gruyter. Cannabis – the Israeli perspective
Healthline.com. A Simple Guide to the Endocannabinoid System
Science Direct. Homeostasis, Inflammation, and Disease Susceptibility