Your body’s job is to seek balance. When you become too hot, your body produces sweat to cool you down. When your blood sugar becomes elevated after a meal, your body secretes insulin to lower it. And when you become dehydrated, your body sends your brain thirst signals so you drink water STAT. These are all examples of homeostasis.
No doubt you’ve heard of this bodily drive towards stability, but have you ever wondered how it works?
Introducing the Endocannabinoid System
Discovered in 1992, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) exists to keep the body in homeostasis by regulating basic body functions such as appetite, memory, mood, pain and sleep. It’s like your body’s “master control.” The ECS utilizes compounds the body produces called endocannabinoids, which fit into receptors in cell membranes throughout the body. CB1 receptors are found mainly in the brain and spinal cord, while CB2 receptors are concentrated in immune cells in the peripheral nervous system.1
Nature's Cannabinoids: The Promise of CBD Oil
In addition to the endocannabinoids your body makes (“endo” meaning “within”), there are other, plant-based cannabinoids that also interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors, producing similar effects in the body. They are found in the cannabis plant and include one particularly beneficial compound called cannabidiol (CBD).
What is Cannabidiol
CBD appears to work in two ways. It weakly binds with the same receptors of the ECS as endocannabinoids. Perhaps more importantly, it prevents the breakdown of a key endocannabinoid called anandamide2, allowing it to build up to higher, more effective levels.3
Hemp vs. Marijuana: What's the Difference?
CBD oil is extracted from hemp. Hemp is in the same family as marijuana (the cannabis family), but the chemical makeup of the two plants is quite different. Hemp has considerably more CBD than marijuana and only negligible traces of THC, the chemical that gives marijuana its psychoactive effects. Just look at the numbers below.
That means CBD oil can’t make you feel “high.” But it can unlock your body’s natural ability to stay in balance, so you can get high on life.
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