There are over eighty different cannabinoid chemical compounds found in cannabis trichomes (tiny hairs). All of these cannabinoids have specific effects on the body when they bind to certain receptors. These receptors are in control of the activation of our own personal Endo-Cannabinoid System.
To talk about the Endo-Cannabinoid System(ECS) we are first going to have to bring it back 35 years ago to when the science first began to really come out. The discovery of the ECS has been arguably the most important finding of the twentieth century, everyone human and animal have one even if they have never consumed cannabis. This system is made up of three core components they endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes. The responsibility of the ECS in the body is maintaining and controlling homeostasis, this means the ECS helps balance the regulation of every system in the body! Research has shows that this is done through two receptors found all throughout the body called CB1 & CB2.
The Receptors Of The Endo-Cannabinoid System
CB1 is found majorly in the brain and throughout the central nervous system, but can also be seen throughout the body. These receptors in the brain address coordination, pain, mood, emotions, movement, thinking, appetite and memories, among other things. THC tends to be the best fitting key for activation of this receptor.
CB2 receptors are often found throughout the immune system, the receptors can be located on immune cells and primarily affect pain and inflammation. These cells will send signals that your body’s experiencing inflammation, a common sign of autoimmune disorders. In conjunction, the CB2 will then help the immune cells figure out how to fix the problem and begin to heal.
In the past, CBD was thought to target CB2 receptors directly, but now it is believed that CBD does not combine directly to any of the receptors. Instead, CBD influences the body to use its cannabinoids more and indirectly affects these receptors. It's important to remember that CBD works as an immunosuppressant and an immunomodulator. Immunosuppressants are agents that can break down or prevent the immune response. They can treat autoimmune conditions such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Crohn's disease. Some cancer treatments work like immunosuppressants. In short, immunomodulators are agents that are used to help a regulate and normalized immune function.
CBD can be used to suppress the production of chemokines. A chemokine is a class of cytokines that act as chemoattractants, a chemical agent that induces the migration of an organism or cell into it. Chemokines can transport immune cells to an infected area so that the white blood cells can attack and destroy the microbes that invade the infected area. CBD can inhibit T-cell function and production, which helps inhibit the immune system's ability to remember external invaders.
While the body does produce it’s own endocannabinoids, anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), many doctors found that most people suffer from deficiencies in cannabinoids throughout their body. This is important to all because without a sufficient amount of cannabinoids we end up with a decline in our overall health. The ECS can be found in all living beings, besides insects, this is why supplementing with phytocannabinoids like CBD is growing and benefiting more people everyday.
It is already known that CBD can reduce inflammation in the body and with majority of autoimmune diseases being known to cause inflammation. When our bodies are undergoing incorrect autoimmune responses, cannabinoids can come in handy. They posses the possibility to treat and prevent a variety of autoimmune problems, including problems such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. While minor research has been done on this topic, future research may help determine the role of CBD supplementation in these molecular pathways.