CBD and the endocannabinoid system


Everyone produces cannabinoids, like it or not. It doesn’t matter if you have taken CBD, THC, CBN or other active substances from a cannabis plant before. The body’s endocannabinoid system (SEC) is responsible for this. But what is it ? And what is it for?

What is the endocannabinoid system?

The endocannabinoid system (SEC) is a very complex regulatory system in the body . The system is made up of different receptors, endogenous ligands and enzymes. This still relatively unknown system is said to be involved in many different processes. For example: appetite, pain sensation, stress, sleep-wake rhythm and much more.

This network of receptors is found in different parts of the body. For example, it can be found in the central nervous system or in the immune system . Because of this link, some researchers speculate that the endocannabinoid system may play an important role in physiological and pathological processes . It is also involved in cell-to-cell communication and cell death.

As the name suggests, the endocannabinoid system interacts with endogenous cannabinoids like anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol . It can also interact with the exogenous cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant, such as CBD, THC, CBN or CBG .

Due to its particular mode of operation and its effects on different body processes, researchers increasingly believe that the endocannabinoid system could (also in relation to CBD, for example) open up new therapeutic avenues. There is especially hope for autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Does everyone have an endocannabinoid system?

Every human has an endocannabinoid system, so every human could benefit from the benefits cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) can provide. But it is not only the human organism that has such a system. It is also widespread in the animal world, so it n ‘ there is in fact no vertebrate without SEC .By the way: studies on cannabidiol and other cannabinoids from the hemp plant will be tested on animals before being tested on humans.

Tip: CBD can have a positive effect on your pet too!

How does the endocannabinoid system work?

Only two SEC receivers are known to date:

  1. The CB1 receptor , which is mainly located in the brain (hippocampus, cerebellum) and also in the intestine.
  2. CB2 receptors are found primarily in the immune system, osteoblasts, and osteoclasts.

Although only two receptors of the system are known to date, the existence of other receptors is suspected .

These receptors interact with cannabinoids (endogenous and exogenous). Receptors such as docking stations or locks are examples, while phytocannabinoids such as CBD or THC are the respective keys . Through this cooperation, signals are sent which eventually trigger certain effects in the body.

It has already been established that the correct activation of CB1 receptors can promote an antidepressant effect . Likewise, study results show the influence of CB1 receptors on erasing negative memories , with which the endocannabinoid system can play an important role in anxiety disorders.

With the help of these receptors, the SEC can co-regulate the following:

  • appetite
  • digestion
  • immune function
  • insistence
  • inflammations
  • sleep-wake rhythm
  • reproduction / fertility
  • stiffness
  • reminiscences
  • tuning
  • anxiety states / panic attacks

However, it is also important that the system of the different receptors remains in balance . Because a surplus, like a deficiency, can lead to disturbances and in the worst case to disease. If you consume THC , which especially interacts with CB1 receptors, in the worst case it can even lead to psychosis . CBD, on the other hand, does not lead to health problems, according to a WHO report.

How does CBD work in the endocannabinoid system?

CBD is considered a phytocannabinoid, which means it is a cannabinoid derived from a plant (cannabis / hemp). The interaction between CBD and the endocannabinoid system is considered to be proven . It acts in particular on a very large number of targets.

Unlike THC, CBD is not a “key” to a receptor. Instead, cannabidiol just adheres to receptors which it serves as an inhibitor of the FAAH (Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase) enzyme. This allows thus for example to slow or prevent the deterioration of ‘ anandamide , an endogenous cannabinoid or endocannabinoid that acts in the brain and other body parts. This should prevent depression and anxiety and increase satisfaction and motivation.

In addition, cannabidiol is said to produce an effect at a physiological level which can be used to combat serious diseases such as tumors or epilepsy for example . Some studies also showed improved sleep in patients with Parkinson’s disease have taken the CBD.

While CBD does not necessarily have a direct influence on the system, its therapeutic benefits manifest through indirect actions that ultimately influence the ECS.

What happens if the endocannabinoid system is deficient?

It is important that an appropriate balance of cannabinoids exists in the body’s system. For example, excessive inhibition of CB1 receptors could lead to an increased risk of depression or psychosis.

It is also suspected that a disorder of the endocannabinoid system, for example in the form of a deficiency, could be the cause of a wide variety of clinical cases.


  • headache
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • fibromyalgia
  • multiple sclerosis
  • travel sickness

The patients with multiple sclerosis had a significant deficiency of anandamide and 2-AG (which is an endogenous cannabinoid). This could suggest a link between the endocannabinoid system and disease . Animal experiments have also shown that SEC may play a role in multiple sclerosis.

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