CBD 101: Cannabinoids and the Endocannabinoid System
Cannabinoids are a group of valuable compounds naturally occurring in the resin glands (trichomes) of the cannabis plant. There are over 100 different phytocannabinoids found in Cannabis sativa L. While some, such as CBD and THC, are found in higher concentrations in the plant, other minor cannabinoids are also present, including CBG, CBN, CBC, THCV, and CBDV.
Today, hemp is selectively bred to contain higher cannabidiol (CBD) and low levels of THC. Marijuana has higher THC content and varying degrees of CBD content. The CBD: THC ratio of a cannabis strain, extract, or retail product is one indicator of its effects. A ratio with a higher level of CBD will provide a more clear-headed, relaxing effect, while higher THC levels will produce more of an intoxicating psychotropic effect.
The endocannabinoid system is one of the main players in the interaction between cannabinoid compounds and our bodies, which results in different effects, such as a sense of calm and pain/inflammation relief.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been present in all members of the animal kingdom for approximately 600 million years. Hence, humans have always had an active endocannabinoid system, which regulates bodily processes to maintain homeostasis or balance between the other systems within the body. Endocannabinoids are cannabis-like substances that are naturally produced within the body.
When our endocannabinoid system identifies an imbalance in our body, it activates its receptors, primarily CB1 and CB2, synthesizes endocannabinoids, and thus activates the healing process. While our bodies produce their own endocannabinoids in this way, taking supplemental phytocannabinoids, such as CBD, helps stimulate the ECS. CBD activates the same receptors in the ECS, thus helping you achieve greater homeostasis and health.