CBD and the endocannabinoid system

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

The endocannabinoid system in a few lines

  • The endocannabinoid system (SEC) plays an important role in many body processes (e.g. appetite, stress).

  • The system works with the body's cannabinoids, but also with exogenous substances such as CBD, THC, etc.

  • CBD clings to SEC receptors where it inhibits certain enzymes or induces certain modes of action.

What is the endocannabinoid system?

The endocannabinoid system (SEC) is a very complex regulatory system in the body. The system consists of different receptors, endogenous ligands, and enzymes. This still relatively unknown system is believed to be involved in many different processes. For example, appetite, feeling of pain, 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 assume that the endocannabinoid system can 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 such as anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol. It can also interact with the exogenous cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, such as CBD, THC, CBN, or CBG.

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

Does everyone have an endocannabinoid system?

Each human being has an endocannabinoid system, so each human being could benefit from the benefits that cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) can bring. But it is not only the human organism which 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 also have a positive effect on your pet!

How does the endocannabinoid system work?

Only two SEC receivers are known to date:

The CB1 receptor, which is located mainly in the brain (hippocampus, cerebellum) and also in the intestine.

CB2 receptors are mainly found in the immune system, osteoblasts, and osteoclasts.

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

These receptors interact with cannabinoids (endogenous and exogenous). Receivers such as docking stations or locks are examples, while phytocannabinoids such as CBD or THC are the respective keys . Thanks to 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. Similarly, the results of studies show the influence of CB1 receptors on the erasure of negative memories, with which the endocannabinoid system can play an important role in anxiety disorders.

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

  • Appetite

  • Digestion

  • Immune function

  • Insistence

  • Inflammations

  • Sleep-wake rhythm

  • Reproduction / fertility

  • Body aches

  • Reminiscences

  • Tuning

  • Anxiety states/panic attacks

However, it is also important that the system of different receptors remains in balance . Because an excess, such as a deficiency, can lead to disruptions and in the worst cases to diseases. If you consume THC , which in particular interacts with CB1 receptors, in the worst case, it can even lead to psychosis . CBD, on the other hand, does not cause health problems, according to a WHO report.

How does CBD work in the endocannabinoid system?

CBD is considered a phytocannabinoid, which means that 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 large number of targets.

Unlike THC, CBD is not a "key" to a receptor. Instead, cannabidiol just adheres to the receptors for which it acts as an inhibitor of the enzyme FAAH (Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase). 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, it is said that cannabidiol produces a physiological effect that can be used to fight serious diseases such as tumors or epilepsy for example. Some studies also showed improved sleep in patients with Parkinson's disease has taken the CBD.

Although CBD does not necessarily have a direct influence on the system, its therapeutic benefits are manifested in indirect actions that ultimately influence the SEC.

What happens if the endocannabinoid system is deficient?

It is important that an appropriate balance of cannabinoids exists in the body 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

Patients with multiple sclerosis had a significant deficiency in anandamide and 2-AG (which is an endogenous cannabinoid). This could suggest a link between the endocannabinoid system and the disease. Animal testing has also shown that SEC can play a role in multiple sclerosis.

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