The Human Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, is a network of receptors located throughout the body that are specially suited to accept the attachment of cannabinoids (whether those cannabinoids are made internally or ingested in the form of phytocannabinoids). The cannabinoid receptors that make up the endocannabinoid system are located throughout our central nervous system, peripheral nervous system and immune system.
Our brain contains the heaviest concentrations of cannabinoid receptors, but that doesn’t mean there is a shortage of receptors throughout or organs, glands and tissues. It is this diverse system of receptors located throughout the body that allows CBD to be so useful and effective.
CBD, THC and other cannabinoids activate one of two cannabinoid receptors: the CB1 receptor and the CB2 receptor. CB1 receptors are located primarily in the brain and nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found predominantly throughout the rest of the body.
Cannabinoids are organic molecules that occur naturally not only in plants (phytocannabinoids), but they are also made internally by the human body (endocannabinoids) to perform many important functions throughout the body. Marijuana and hemp plants are comprised of over 500 natural compounds, over 85 of which are cannabinoids. In some cases combining cannabinoids has been shown to increase efficacy by way of the entourage effect.
First discovered in the 1940’s, CBD is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found within the flower, stalk and trichomes of the hemp and cannabis plants. Many users have touted the benefits of using CBD to help promote healthy sleep, relieving aches and pains, relieving nausea and promoting relaxation while relieving stress and frustration.
CBD has shown to be non-toxic and is considered safe, even at very high doses. Because CBD is an organic alternative, many consider it a safer than other synthetic options.
Is CBD from hemp as good as CBD from cannabis?
Cannabidiol, whether extracted from marijuana or hemp, is the exact same compound. Most marijuana plants have a very low CBD profile, so in many cases it actually makes more sense to extract CBD from hemp strains since it tends to have CBD present in higher amounts. There are a few marijuana strains that are being grown that contain measurable amounts of both THC and CBD. These strains have typically been crossed with a hemp cultivar in order to cause it to express a higher CBD profile.
Is CBD oil safe?
Cannabidiol, THC and the hundreds of other compounds present in hemp and cannabis plants are considered to be generally safe. In fact, in the thousands of years of recorded use of the cannabis plant there has never been a single recorded fatality attributed to its use.
Is hemp seed oil the same thing as CBD oil?
Absolutely not. Hemp oil, which can be found on the shelves of most grocery stores, is much different than any of the CBD infused products that we carry. Hemp oil is produced by cold-pressing the seeds, whereas high quality CBD oil is made by extracting the cannabinoids from the plant and infusing them into a carrier oil. Hemp seed oil typically contains only trace amounts of CBD.