How Does Your Endocannabinoid System Interact With CBD?
Last time, we learned about the origins of the endocannabinoid system and the various cannabinoid-like hormones that your body creates of its own accord. In this piece, we’ll start to uncover just what it is that makes the CBD oil you pull off the shelf interact with your body via your endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system conducts a complex and interesting relationship with CBD as a whole and on a molecular level. We think it’s more important than ever before to put an emphasis on the scientific effects of how CBD interacts with your body than ever before. You shouldn’t have to work on guess-work while the FDA tries to get its act together. Instead, rely on what we already know about CBD, which is actually quite a lot.
As we covered last time, cannabinoids are defined as the substance that interacts with our endocannabinoid system. The receptors of the endocannabinoid system come in two types: CB1 and CB2, and they’re stationed all over the body, with certain types being more populous in some areas than others. Obviously, the places where there are a large number of these receptors are the places in the body where cannabinoids produce the most noticeable effect.
Understanding The Receptors
When you’re thinking of the receptors, the best analogy we can use to describe them is as something like a lock. Each receptor is designed to be opened, or activated, by a certain key, or compound. There’s a variety of different keys that’ll open these locks, the main and most common ones are the endocannabinoids that your body already creates, which we discussed last time. They’re known by the names AG-2 and anandamide, and they create feelings like the runner’s high and the sleepy, content feelings after an orgasm. The cannabinoids your system synthesizes can certainly activate these receptors, but so can outside sourced cannabinoids, like CBD.
You can witness a similar interaction (with outside stimulants recreating or creating a bigger response than the internal chemical can) in examples like coffee, alcohol, and opiates. These substances, in a similar manner, imitate a chemical already present in your body and create a more noticeable response from these same receptors than your body can create on its own. That’s because most of these outside substances actually interact more perfectly with the receptors that pick up on them than they do with the chemicals already present in the body that would usually activate them. This is why opiates and alcohol can be so different, because your body actually thinks it’s a better match than what it can create on its own. It’s also one of the reasons that CBD is so effective at producing a sense of calm and serenity in a way that the natural endocannabinoid can only do for a short period of time.
Activating The Receptors
When a compound is interacting with a receptor anywhere in your body, not just your endocannabinoid system there’s a few simple steps that create an effective activation of said receptor. First, the compound that’s activating the receptor will bind to that receptor “ synapse,” or the joint between two nerve cells. This helps the receptor transmit the signal throughout the body because it stimulates that receptor. The compound that can do that to a receptor is called an “agonist.” This compound is creating the most simplistic interaction between receptor and substance. These agonists are often paired with an antagonist, like the ying and the yang. Obviously, the antagonist produces an opposite effect and serves to muffle or block the receptor’s reaction. These compounds act by binding to the receptors in the same manner an agonist does, but instead of causing a reaction, they cause the receptor to become numb in a sense. What’s strange is that for most substances, the difference between being an agonist or an antagonist merely falls in the dosage of that substance. If you have too much in your system, it might start to lean the other way on the scale, and too little might cause a similar reaction.
There’s one last interaction type with your receptors that you’ll need to understand to fully appreciate how cannabinoids of all kinds work in your body. The third type of interaction goes by the name “allosteric modulation,” and that name represents the process of when a substance can start to modify the way in which a receptor interacts with and works in the body. This interaction does not see a compound interacting and stimulating the receptor directly, but simply altering its state. For example, a positive modulation process would leave the receptor responding more vigorously to stimuli. It’ll start to transfer signals more eagerly and be more active, in general. The inverse, obviously, is a negative modulation that would result in slowing a receptor down and making it less responsive to stimuli. This functions by the compounds binding to the receptors in unusual ports of access. In the case of the two standard receptor interactions with agonists and antagonists, compounds go to the regular port of access, as it were, to the receptor in question.
So, how does this all factor-in to how CBD interacts with your body? Don’t worry. We’re getting there. Check in next time to catch the second part of our endocannabinoid piece to find out more about how your body works. We’re passionate about keeping you educated about the inner workings of your body and how substances interact with you biologically. After all, you won’t want to buy CBD if you don’t really believe it’ll have an effect on your day-to-day life. But don’t worry, we’ll keep you as up-to-date as possible on the science surrounding CBD and what’s being done to find out more about how this new compound interacts with the mammal body.
Looking to try CBD on your own? Check out our selection of high-quality CBD products now. And if you’re hoping to start making your own CBD products, we’ve got you covered there too. Learn more now.