CBD 101: Endocannabinoids, Enzymes & Receptors

cbd 101 endocannabinoids enzymes receptors

Here at Hempstead Farms, we’re proud to bring you the best, cleanest, highest-quality hemp-derived products to fit the needs of people in various walks of life. Whether you’re already familiar with CBD and hemp-based products, or you’re just finding out about the incredible potential of the hemp plant, it’s important to understand that it’s recommended to get your alternative care from trusted sources and brands.

We believe it is also very important to be educated on what you’re putting in your body, and with so much information out there from many directions – you really need to pay close attention. In our previous blog, we talked about CBD for beginners, and the proper ways to consume this beneficial cannabinoid.

Read on as we dig deeper into the science of cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, enzymes and receptors. 

What are Cannabinoids?

Before we can move further, we must first refresh our memory about cannabinoids:

  • Cannabinoids are groups of active compounds that interact with ECS receptors.
  • Exogenous cannabinoids are compounds that are found outside the body (such as CBD)

What are Endocannabinoids?

We can now talk about endocannabinoids, which are produced inside the body (unlike cannabinoids): 

  • Endocannabinoids exist throughout the body in the nervous system, glands, immune cells, organs, brain, and connective tissues.
  • The two main types of endocannabinoids found in the body are anandamide and 2-AG.
  • 2-AG is the most abundant endocannabinoid – responsible for managing appetite, pain response, & various immune system functions.
  • Anandamide (known as the ‘bliss’ molecule) is also responsible for “runner’s high”

What are Enzymes?

Now that we’ve discussed cannabinoids and endocannabinoids, it’s time to move on to another crucial part of the process, enzymes:

  • Enzymes are substances within the body that cause certain chemical reactions to happen.
  • Their role in the Endocannabinoid System is to recycle used endocannabinoids after the body is done using them.

What are Receptors?

Last but not least, let’s talk about receptors, and their role within the endocannabinoid system (ECS):

  • Receptors receive the messages transmitted by endocannabinoids.
  • There are two main types of receptors in the body: CB1 and CB2.
  • CB1 receptors: exist in the brain and spinal cord, working to regulate appetite, memory, and to reduce pain.
  • CB2 receptors: exist within the immune system and many other areas, working to reduce inflammation throughout the body.

CBD, the Endocannabinoid System & Homeostasis

So, how exactly does CBD work with the endocannabinoid system to repair functions and bring balance to the body? Simply put, CBD works with cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) in the human body, specifically with the central and peripheral nervous systems. 

As enzymes break down cannabinoids (such as cannabidiol or CBD), the endocannabinoids spring into action and attempt to bind with the receptors in order to help achieve homeostasis, or balance. Essentially, endocannabinoids act as “flow-control” mechanisms, enabling the body to interpret CBD and other beneficial cannabinoids such as CBG and CBN, to help you achieve optimal relief.

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Always consult a physician before making any changes to your health or fitness regimen.