Endocannabinoid System

The discovery of the endocannabinoid system

In 1988, scientists made their first discovery of a cannabinoid receptor in the brain of a rat.
In 1964, Dr. Mechoulam became the first person to isolate and identify both THC and CBD from cannabis.

These two discoveries have allowed scientists to work towards a better understanding of the endocannabinoid system in humans and the way that the phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids derived from plants) THC and CBD, impact the receptors in our bodies and brains.

Humans actually produce similar substances naturally, known as endocannabinoids and these neurotransmitters perform a dazzling array of functions in our bodies.

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What is the Endocannabinoid System?

The endocannabinoid system is a key homeostatic regulator in the body, playing a role in almost every physiological system in the body. For a long period of time, it was overlooked as a possible therapeutic target, however, with the incredible success stories reported from the use of medical cannabis and hemp products many scientists are shifting their focus onto the endocannabinoid system.

More evidence is coming to light supporting the theory of clinical endocannabinoid deficiency particularly for diseases like migraine, fibromyalgia and IBS. Studies are still taking place for a large number of diseases that have shown endocannabinoid abnormalities such as epilepsy, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases.

Apart from cannabis-derived compounds, many of the natural compounds interact with the system. CBD and CBDA(Cannabidiolic acid) are still considered the key compounds seeing that they’re the ones that have shown the most efficacy.

What are CBD and CDBA?

CBD and CBDA are both cannabinoids, unique compounds formed within hemp and cannabis plants.
CBD is largely considered the most promising among cannabinoids for medical purposes, and therefore the CBDA has remained somewhat aloof.
However, the tendency to use raw cannabis leaves has brought the CBDA to the centre of attention, leaving many people to wonder what the difference is between the two.

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Endocannabinoid System function

In our body, we have 2 different types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found in the brain and CB2 receptors are spread throughout the body.

In the brain, these CBD receptors exist with the highest concentration in the limbic system. The limbic system is composed of hippocampus, hypothalamus, piriform cortex, amygdala and more.

This part of the brain is responsible for mood, behaviour, emotions, memory and smell that’s why when the endocannabinoid system is underactive can increase fear, anxiety and depression.