How CBD works
CBD affects the mind and body through the endocannabinoid (EC) system. According to the National Institutes of Health, “The endocannabinoid system is a widespread neuromodulatory system that plays important roles in central nervous system (CNS) development, synaptic plasticity, and the response to endogenous and environmental insults.”
The EC system regulates homeostasis and numerous other processes, supporting our overall physical and mental well-being. The EC system is a unique communications system in the brain and body that affects many important functions, including how a person feels, moves, and reacts.
Research into how the endocannabinoid system is ongoing, but what we know at this point is that it is crucial to understanding the prevention, management, and treatment of several chronic conditions.
So how exactly does the EC system work?
- Compounds called cannabinoids occur naturally in the cannabis sativa plant, from which hemp is cultivated; these are known as phytocannabinoids. The body can also synthesize cannabinoids from essential fatty acids like salmon, walnuts, flax seeds, and herbs and spices like black pepper and cumin.
- Cannabinoid receptors known as CB1 and CB2 are found throughout the body; CB1 receptors are generally found in the brain and central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are in the peripheral nervous system, concentrated in immune cells and thought to play a strong role in controlling inflammation. Research shows that cannabinoids are able to bind to these receptors, setting off positive physiological effects throughout the mind and body. Cannabinoid receptors can help regulate everything from appetite to mood to memory to how you interpret pain signals.
Some people may be endocannabinoid deficient—largely as a result of poor health, but also because of stress or aging. Lower levels of endocannabinoids have been linked to chronic ailments and conditions such as migraines, seizure disorders, inflammation-related issues like fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal problems like irritable bowel syndrome, and even post-traumatic stress disorder.
A quality CBD product can introduce phytocannabinoids into the body to help regulate and support the EC system and improve health and well-being. Ongoing research shows that phytocannabinoids in full-spectrum hemp products like Orthogenix can create a similar interplay between the EC system and its receptors as with naturally occurring endocannabinoids to return the body to a state of homeostasis.