Although a lot of people swear by CBD, its not a miracle drug or cure. Its different for everyone. CBD’s use and applications, although widespread can be very nuanced and highly dependent on your genetic and biochemical make-up.
The reason you may have heard that your colleagues, your friends, or even your mum is using CBD is because it works in a plethora of potentially useful ways.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
Many organisms, including humans have evolved equipped with their very own cannabinoid system. Your (Endo)cannabinoid system is that interacts with other systems of the body:
- Nervous system
- Immune System
- Metabolic system
- Cardiovascular system
- Respiratory system
- Musculoskeletal system
Fundamentally, the ECS seeks to maintain equilibrium throughout many of these functional systems. This is known as homeostasis – the harmonic regulation of the bodies internal environment despite changes in the external environment.
Loads of things challenge the ECS ability to maintain this balance, such as stress, sleep deprivation, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle – stuff we all know isn’t good for us.
CBD, Cannabinoids & Endocannabinoids
Cannabinoids are found in cannabis and hemp plants, whereas endocannabinoids are made on demand in the body.
CBD and a lot of other cannabinoids are very similar to your bodies own endocannabinoids.
Endocannabinoids are messenger molecules that the ECS uses to communicate and maintain balance within the body. Cannabinoids, when eaten, smoked, vaporised or applied to skin also act as messengers within the ECS. Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids do this by acting like keys that fit specific locks (receptors) throughout the body.
Locks (receptors) are found on the surface of many different cells. They control many aspects of human biology, in response to activation or deactivation by specific keys.
Whilst THC, 2-AG and AEA activate cannabinoid receptors (CB1&2), CBD is less attracted to them, and under certain conditions blocks (deactivates) them.
CBD & Biochemical Individuality
Your genetic and biochemical makeup is unique, much like your fingerprints. This includes the way your own Endocannabinoid system works, which is known as your ‘endocannabinoid tone’ which is unique to you. This is partly how some drugs, herbs and CBD will have variable effects between you, me and the next person.
Whether an Endocannabinoid system is over or under active, CBD works in a way which is specific to individuals. Herbs that do this are commonly known as adaptogens – they adapt to the requirements of your own bodies biochemistry to restore balance.
Because we all have a different ECS, different strains of cannabis derived CBD oil, doses and ways of taking CBD produce variable effects for everyone.