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  • by Nicola Boulton September 29, 2022 4 min read

    The Endocannabinoid System and Cannabidiol

    This article explains how the endocannabinoid system works, its functions in the body, and how CBD interacts with the system.

    CBD is a substance got from Cannabis sativa plants. It is among many chemicals found in the cannabis plant. It does not contain THC; this indicates that it cannot make individuals feel high. The body has a complicated cell-signaling program called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The system interacts with multiple drugs to maintain a healthy body balance. Cannabis contains substances called cannabinoids which are compatible with the ECS receptors.

    The Individuals body's endocannabinoid system participates in several physiological processes. Two main receptors, CB-1 and CB-2, spread throughout the body. The endocannabinoid system's activity may control the functioning of multiple brain circuits. This system's intricate activities have led to the development of numerous new pharmacotherapies targets. Recently, the interaction of CBD with these receptors has been a subject of multiple studies. Even though cannabinoids offer medicinal promise, their use in clinical settings is constrained by their psychotropic effects.

    How the Endocannabinoid System and Cannabidiol works

    According to Di Marzo & Piscitelli (2015), receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids make up the three main parts of the Endocannabinoid system.


    The human body produces compounds known as endogenous cannabinoids or endocannabinoids. They are comparable to cannabinoids, but the body makes them instead. Up to this point, scientists have discovered two important endocannabinoids:2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA). These support the seamless operation of internal processes. Because the body creates them as required, it is challenging to determine the normal amounts for each. Learn more about is co2 extraction safe?

    Endocannabinoid Receptors

    Endocannabinoid receptors are spread all over the body. According to Alger (2013), endocannabinoids are attachés to the system to communicate with the ECS. The two principal endocannabinoid receptors are:

    • CB2 receptors; are primarily present in immune cells and the peripheral nervous system.
    • CB1 receptors, primarily in the central nervous system.

    Endocannabinoids can tether both receptors. The location of the receptor and the endocannabinoid it attaches to determine the outcomes. Endocannabinoids, for instance, may activate the Endocannabinoid system inside a spinal nerve root to alleviate pain. Some may attach to a CB2 receptor in the immune cells to alert individuals to inflammation in the body, a typical symptom of inflammatory illnesses.


    Piomelli (2003) observed that enzymes break down endocannabinoids once they have served their purpose. Usually, monoacylglycerol acid lipase breaks down 2-AG while Fatty acid amide hydrolyses and degrades AEA. Learn more about is cbd a drug?


    Several data suggest that CBD has a relaxing influence because it interacts with central nervous system receptors. Additionally, it might act as an anti-inflammatory and have distress properties that aid pain control. As an option for prescription medications, many use CBD to treat their ailments. 

    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors lead to negative impacts, which may aggravate depression or anxiety. The cannabis derivative presents an alternative to addictive narcotics used for depression and anxiety.

    Functions of the Endocannabinoid System and Cannabidiol

    The Endocannabinoid System

    The endocannabinoid system and cannabidiol are intricate; specialists don't fully understand its operation or all of its available opportunities. The ECS is connected to several processes, including stress, reproductive system function, nerve and skin function, liver function, growth and bone remodeling, formation of muscles, motor control, regulation of mood, and cardiovascular system function, among others (Corroon & Felice, 2019). The system maintains homeostasis (body balance) that relates to the consistency of internal functions. Individuals' endocannabinoid system, for instance, assists the body in regaining homeostasis if an external stimulus, like discomfort from pain or fever, disturbs it.


    CBD can lessen pain by affecting the activation of endocannabinoid receptors, decreasing inflammation, and interacting with pain-related chemicals.

     The peripheral and central nerve systems both include cannabinoid receptors that are part of the endocannabinoid system. It supports regulating several body processes, including immunological response, sleep, mood, and pain perception.

    Serotonin receptors: CBD affects serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that aids in mood regulation. CBD raises the brain's serotonin levels. This makes it effective for stress or despair treatment. Therapy for neurodevelopment disorders like epilepsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's may benefit from CBD's impact on the brain.

    How THC Interacts with Endocannabinoid System and Cannabidiol

    One of the many primary cannabinoids contained in cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol. The substance makes the users feel "high." THC binds to the ECS receptors to alter certain brain functions. Its ability to connect to CB2 and CB1 receptors contributes to its potency. This enables a variety of effects—some more pleasant than others—on your mind and body. For instance, THC may aid in reducing discomfort and increasing hunger. However, certain instances can also lead to worry and paranoia.


    Cannabidiol is an important cannabinoid present in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive effects and does not get you high. CBD's interaction with the ECS is still unclear to experts. However, it does not attach to ECS receptors in the same manner. Instead, many people think it functions by stopping the breakdown of endocannabinoids. The bottom line is that the cannabis derivative reinforces the ECS to provide the desired balance in the body.


    Alger, B. E. (2013, November). Getting high on the endocannabinoid system.         In Cerebrum: the Dana forum on brain science (Vol. 2013). Dana Foundation.

    Corroon, J., & Felice, J. F. (2019). The Endocannabinoid System and its Modulation by             Cannabidiol (CBD). Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine, 25.

    Di Marzo, V., &Piscitelli, F. (2015). The endocannabinoid system and its modulation by             phytocannabinoids. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 692-698.

    Piomelli, D. (2003). The molecular logic of endocannabinoid signalling. Nature Reviews             Neuroscience, 4(11), 873-884.


    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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