The human body is a complex organism – and it is by and large controlled by the brain. Your brain is not in direct contact with each and every part of your body – so it requires a way to communicate with the outlying areas – and this is the responsibility of the endocannabinoid system which is the transmission highway for signals that originate in the brain.
The endocannabinoid system is a complex system of receptors that extends throughout the body – it serves to monitor the activity of the body in order to keep it in balance.
When the body is not in balance it leads to the production of molecules known as endo cannabinoids which then bond to receptors and influence their effects.
The endocannabinoid system hosts several different types of receptors – and each will only bond to a specific type of molecule – and that will receptor will then carry out a specific function. It is now known that cannabinoids derived from hemp will also bind to these receptors and influence the actions of the endocannabinoid system.
The International Journal of Molecular Sciences conducted a study in 2018 which examined how cannabinoids and CB receptors interact. The study also examined the effect of this bonding on the body.
CB1 receptors have been the focus of much attention over the past few years – in part due to their influence on the psychoactive effects of THC. Extensive research has shown that CB1 receptors are extremely versatile, but they do have their limitations. They are now known to be a perfect target for drugs used to treat various diseases – but they are also responsible for some unpleasant symptoms.
Taking note of this challenge researchers have turned their attention to the often neglected CB2R which is found in both the human body and cannabis. This has led to scientists becoming even more focused on the way in which CBD interacts with the body’s regulatory systems.
The article is quick to point out that studies over the last 10 years have revealed the complexity of the endocannabinoid system. It is becoming apparent that any studies on this system need to take into account factors such as regions and conditions – and the effects of other naturally occurring neurotransmitters.
Research in the Journal of Clinical Medicine evaluated several studies that have taken place over the past decade. These studies included both orally administered CBD and included a control group that only received placebos.
These studies overwhelmingly indicated that CBD is safe. In addition, there was evidence of CBDs’ anxiolytic effects. Evidence also came to light regarding the fact that CBD may help to reduce psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia patients.
However, these studies also mention that there is some disparity in results due to factors such as population factors and different dosages and that further study is required.
An article in ‘Frontiers in Psychiatry’ examined the role of the endocannabinoid system as regards other functions in the human body such as ‘reward signaling’ as well as the role of the system in substance abuse cases. The article outlines the theory that CBD may very well have a role to play in encouraging abstinence in those struggling with addiction.