Endocannabinoid System | What We Know and What We Don’t
The Endocannabinoid system is a system inside the body that was first discovered after research on how cannabis products affect the body. We came to know about it around 50 years ago; before that, we did not know about its existence. However, there is much more that is yet to be studied in the upcoming years as we do not have much knowledge about them yet.
From what we know as of yet, the endocannabinoid system has three components: the endocannabinoids, their receptors, and enzymes.
The endocannabinoids are the cannabinoids the body makes on its own. There are many endocannabinoids found inside the body, but the most famous ones are Anandamide and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol. These were discovered in the 1990s.
The cells inside the body synthesize these chemicals for homeostasis and communication between different cells. The composition of these endocannabinoids has been found out to be of lipids from the cell membrane. These are actually a combination of fatty acids and amines. Because of the number of combinations possible, many endocannabinoids may be found in the body.
Receptors are the sites where endocannabinoids and cannabinoids are received. These are lipophilic, which means they love to combine with the endocannabinoids. There are many different types of cannabinoid receptors distributed in the body, but we know the most about two types: CB1 receptor and CB2 receptors. Although these receptors are distributed in the whole body but their numbers can vary in some locations.
The CB1 receptors are especially found in the brain and have effects on cognition, emotions, appetite, and motor coordination. Taking other cannabinoids like CBD and THC can have effects on these functions. THC is a psychoactive drug that can have the most effects out of them all.
CB2 receptors are present in the cells of the immune system, including the spleen, thymus, and blood. These are responsible for a lot of functions in the body, including inflammation if something is wrong with the body. The use of CBD can alter the normal functioning of the endocannabinoid system and reduce inflammation and other problems.
The action of enzymes is responsible for the number of endocannabinoids the body makes. Therefore, their functions are crucial in the endocannabinoid system.
The Effects of CBD
CBD has been very successful against a number of health conditions and getting a lot of attention recently. The effects of this compound on the endocannabinoid system are the main reason for the benefits the users of these products are getting.
However, the current knowledge about the endocannabinoid system and how CBD affects it are not completely known because of the legal status of hemp and marijuana previously. More research is needed to know exactly how the internal cannabinoid works and how we can make medicines to help people.
So far, CBD has received its first major success with an FDA approved medicine in the market which is Epidiolex. It is a medicine used to treat two complex types of epilepsies among kids. With further research, more cannabis-derived medicines will be entering the market in the upcoming years.