Natural Ways CBD sets itself apart from other CBD retailers simply by taking the time to talk with our customers and answer their questions.
Customer education and quality products are the foundation upon which our company is built; when customers don’t feel comfortable with their own understanding of hemp CBD products and other legally derived cannabis extracts, they probably won’t come back to shop with us.
Natural Ways believes that the more our customers learn – and the more our staff works to keep abreast of the latest developments in cannabis research and legislation – the more our company and its customers will thrive.
Today’s ‘blog post tackles what may be the most complicated aspect of the hemp CBD story and the one our staff has studied most diligently to understand and articulate to customers – the endocannabinoid system or ECS.
Stay with us! Don’t run from the science! Knowledge really is power!
The endocannabinoid system – YOUR endocannabinoid system – is the reason cannabis has such positive effects on your body and brain!
Where is the ECS? Can I see it? Can I feel it?
The endocannabinoid system is found throughout the body. It isn’t localized to any one organ or limb, and it doesn’t regulate only one or two specific functions. Think of it as an umbrella system working in the background to support all the other bodily systems including digestive, neurological, immune, vascular, and reproductive.
The ECS is a complex cell-signaling system identified in the early 1990s by researchers exploring THC, a well-known cannabinoid found in abundance in marijuana.
Note: Cannabinoids are compounds found in all cannabis, whether it’s high-THC marijuana or low-THC hemp.
Because the discovery of the ECS is relatively new – and it can take decades to fully understand a bodily system – there is still a lot we don’t understand. Preliminarily, though, scientists now know the ECS plays a role in regulating several bodily functions including sleep, mood, appetite, memory, and reproduction and fertility.
In other words, all this time the ECS may have been the missing link in efforts to understand how other aspects of the human body work!
UCLA’s Cannabis Research Initiative reports in its research that the endocannabinoid system is incredibly old, “having evolved over 500 million years ago. Moreover, it is present in all vertebrates—mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, etc., all produce endocannabinoids.”
The ECS keeps bodily systems balanced, a state known as “homeostasis.” When our bodies are balanced, we are functioning in every capacity at our best. When we are out of balance because of things like inflammation, poor diet, stress, or illness, our ECS needs support to do its job.
Cannabinoids like CBD can support the work of our naturally produced endocannabinoids.
In fact, many scientists now believe CBD’s most important function is to prevent endocannabinoids from being broken down. This allows them to have more of an effect on your body. Others believe that CBD binds to a receptor that hasn’t been discovered yet.
Ethan Russo M.D., Director of Research and Development of the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute, has theorized that something he calls “clinical endocannabinoid deficiency” or CECD could be the cause behind irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, migraine, and other treatment-resistant syndromes. He published his theory and findings in a 2016 article that includes a review of more than 10 years of research.
Since the ECS is present throughout every major bodily system, its dysfunction can theoretically cause such a variety of conditions.
Having CECD may explain why some people suffering from certain chronic conditions get relief when they use CBD or other cannabinoids.
If CECD does play any kind of role in these conditions, targeting the ECS or endocannabinoid production could be the missing key to treatment, but more research is needed.
Do all cannabinoids interact with the ECS the same way?
They do not!
The ECS includes many different receptors. The two most studied are CB1 and CB2. You can think of these receptors as locks and cannabinoids as keys. When the cannabinoids connect (or unlock) the ECS receptors, something happens.
CB1 receptors are found in abundance in the head and neck. CB2 receptors are found primarily in the trunk and limbs. These receptors help activate the immune system.
The wide range of different cannabinoids can strongly or weakly bind to these receptors, some of them as “agonists”, some as “antagonists”, thus exerting a variety of potential effects.
It’s why some cannabinoids will exert a psychoactive effect while others address inflammation, for example.
CBD, the most abundant cannabinoid in hemp, binds both to CB1 receptors in the brain and to CB2 receptors throughout the body, enabling it to support mental as well as physical health.
CBD is like the “Swiss army knife” of cannabinoids.
Additionally, CBD modifies the activity transport proteins and enzymes in the ECS. This, in turn, modifies the concentration of anandamide, the body’s naturally produced “default” endocannabinoid.
The cannabinoid CBC (cannabichromene) interacts with receptors in a way that increases the level of endocannabinoids in the body. An example of this is an increase in the production of anandamide, which is known as the bliss molecule.
The cannabinoid CBN (cannabinol) has no psychoactive properties, but it can interact with both CB1 and CB2 receptors, making this cannabinoid the subject of much research. Because CBN can interact with CB1 receptors without producing a feeling of being high, it could be helpful for addressing certain conditions. That’s because CBN could cause appetite stimulation and act as an anti-nausea agent without the overwhelming effects of THC.
These are just a few of the cannabinoids currently being studied out of the more than 120 cannabinoids identified in cannabis to date.
The Natural Ways commitment to customer education
Because studies into the myriad uses of cannabinoids from hemp are ongoing, Natural Ways is committed to keeping our customers informed as we learn more ourselves.
Look, we know there are a lot of other places you could buy your hemp CBD products, but we invite you to visit our online store or, if you’re in the Houston area, visit one of our four brick-and-mortar locations.
Once you do, you’ll see why we’re so confident we offer a better selection with far greater quality than anything else on the market.
We promise you won’t find junk, no cheaply produced stuff with labels you can’t decipher or questionable ingredients.
You will also find educational materials in our stores and on our website designed to support your own journey with hemp CBD. If you have questions or don’t understand some of the terminology you’ve seen online or heard people discussing, come see us. Our staff loves to talk with people about cannabis. It’s not just our job, it’s our passion!
Educated customers are satisfied customers, and we can’t wait to do a deep dive next week into more of the science behind cannabis and its benefits to people and pets!