By Keiran Pirie - February 14, 2020
Did you know the human body produces cannabinoids like CBD?
The human body does produce cannabinoids. Endogenous Cannabinoids are neurotransmitters produced within our bodies that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, immune system, and elsewhere. Examples include anandamide, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), n-arachidonoyl dopamine (NADA), and virodhamine (OAE).Endocannabinoids perform differently to the more well-known neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Dopamine, for example, is synthesized in advance, stored in the vesicle, and in response to stimuli, is released from the presynaptic cell, where it crosses the synapse, lands on the postsynaptic cell, and causes activation.
To date, experts agree there are two types of cannabinoid receptors; cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2). These neurons act as a sort of lock, with cannabinoids acting as the key. Although they have similar sounding names, these two receptors perform very different functions in the human body.
Benefits of activating the CB1 receptor
Benefits of activating the CB2 receptor
CBD acts upon CB1 and CBD2 receptors located throughout the body to produce a variety of potentially positive outcomes. CBD does not bind directly to either of these receptors but instead impacts them indirectly. These indirect actions include activating TRPV1 Receptors that work to control important functions like pain perception, body temperature, and inflammation. CBD can also increase the amount of anandamide in the body. Known as the “bliss molecule,” anandamide plays a role in the neural generation of pleasure and motivation.By stimulating the endocannabinoid system, CBD promotes homeostasis, reduces pain sensation and decreases inflammation.
CB2 receptors (first discovered in 1993) occur most commonly in the spleen, tonsils, thymus, and immune cells such as mast cells, monocytes, macrophages, B and T cells, and microglia; only a small number exist in the brain.Changes in CB2 receptor function is synonymous with virtually every type of human disease; be it cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, neurodegenerative, psychiatric, and autoimmune. It even plays a role in liver and kidney function, bone and skin health, cancer, and even pain-related illnesses. Activating the CB2 receptor induces macrophages to destroy the beta-amyloid protein which is the main component of the plaque found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Fun Fact, Hemp Seed Oil provides the exact essential fatty acids that our bodies use to create more of our own endocannabinoids!