You may have never smoked or even touched cannabis before but your body still assembles its own endocannabinoids; endo meaning internal/within. Why and how come we’ve only recently discovered this?
A Trip Back To 1964
The hippie movement was at an all-time “high”. In Israel, an inquisitive scientist named Raphael Mechoulam wanted to know: ‘What component in cannabis makes you ‘high?’. Not long after came the discovery of Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.
But, this only leads to a bigger more important question, ‘how does THC and the rest of the cannabis plant interact with the brain and body?’. A question that was much harder to figure out and remained a mystery up until the late 1980s. After years of painstaking research, the first cannabinoid receptor was discovered and aptly named CB1.
CB1 is a protein produced within our body that behaves as a docking station for THC. This allows THC to ‘communicate’ to our body and brain and interacts with our Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
Since it’s discovery we now have scientific proof that the ECS is made up of 3 components:
- Receptors: These are the docking stations we mentioned earlier
- Endocannabinoids: Cannabinoids like CBD which we produce in our own bodies called 2-AG and anandamide that dock on receptor stations and exchange information
- Enzymes: There are two different types, one produces new endocannabinoids (2-AG/anandamide) and one which breaks them down after they have completed their task.
So up until the 1990s, the endocannabinoid system has been working away in the background without knowing it, we all rely on it to go about daily functions.
Where are the receptors located?
Everywhere! In our brain, nervous system, major organs, connective tissues, glands, gut, immune cells, and surprisingly bone marrow! At each of these locations, they do different jobs but overall, their main task is promoting balance throughout the whole body. Being the mastermind of a smoothly operating brain and body, in these very stressful times. You could say the ECS is the founder and OG of ‘Keep Calm And Carry On’.
Why do I need CBD is my body produces Endocannabinoids?
A very valid question, you could compare the ECS to oil in a car and CBD as the ‘check oil light’ on your dash. Some people have an ECS deficiency and don’t produce enough endocannabinoids to keep it running smoothly; a lack of oil. CBD doesn’t interact with the ECS directly but gives it a nudge to start producing more endocannabinoids; telling you to change your oil. Once your ECS back up and running your body will be functioning to the best of its ability like a well-oiled machine.