“I can’t list all the physiological systems and conditions affected by cannabinoids because there are too many.”
– Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the chemist who identified the endocannabinoid system.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
- Present in all humans
- Present in all vertebrates and many invertebrates
- Receptors exist throughout the body (brain, digestive system, lymphatic system)
- Responsible for homeostasis; regulation of breath, inflammation, immune response, mood, pain, GI motility, neuroprotection, hormonal balance, sleep/wake cycle, blood pressure, tumor surveillance, and reproduction
- Taught in only 13% of medical, nursing and pharmacy programs
- Can be activated by going for a run, i.e. “runner’s high”
- May be activated during osteopathic manipulation and acupuncture
- Consists of CB1 & CB2 receptors
Mechanisms of Action
Cannabidiol (CBD) binds to a G-coupled protein, TRPV-1, which influences inflammation, pain perception and body temperature. Multiple NIH studies show that CBD inhibits FAAH activity, which is responsible for the deterioration of N-arachidonoylethanolamine, commonly known as anandamide. CBD also inhibits anandamide reuptake. The scientists who discovered and isolated the neurotransmitter anandamide discovered that it contributes to elevated mood. Additionally, there is scientific evidence of anandamide’s role in pain, sleep, memory and even in inhibiting cancer cell proliferation. Unfortunately, endogenous anandamide levels are very low, and the half-life is rapid. CBD plays an important role by inhibiting anandamide degradation and enhancing endogenous levels. CBG and CBC, other cannabinoids present in Ananda Hemp, also increase anandamide levels.
The other cannabinoid compounds in Ananda Hemp are valuable on their own, but they also help to realize CBD’s anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and mood elevating potential by working synergistically, a phenomenon that scientific experts call the “entourage effect.”
Unlike THC, CBD and other cannabinoids are not psychoactive. Early studies show that even at extremely high doses, CBD remained psycho-tropically inactive. The immunomodulation of cannabinoids has been investigated in human studies to evaluate safety in immunocompromised patients. Evidence supports safety, though there is evidence that CB1 agonists, such as THC, may be maladaptive in liver fibrosis.
Ananda Hemp products contain less than .03% THC. There are no published reports of CBD induced serotonin syndrome, but patients on SSRIs should be cautioned. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends pregnant and breastfeeding women not use marijuana, as animal studies revealed potential threats of THC. In vitro and animal studies on CBD and CBN were not associated with negative outcomes. ACOG has not made a recommendation on hemp during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as there is no evidence to support recommending or eliminating it.