The Endocannabinoid System
This is a system that is comprised of CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are found throughout the whole body. Your body releases endocannabinoids (the body’s own molecules which are similar to those found in plant-medicine) called anandamide and 2-AG which bind to these receptors to encourage homeostasis (balance) within the body.
The receptors (the lock) need one of these molecules (the keys) to activate and to product an effect (to unlock).
THC is very similar to your body’s own molecules and thus can also activate the receptors.
CBD also works on the receptors but in a more indirect way.
THC and CBD tend to work best together as they both activate the receptors in different ways – this is called the entourage effect.
Often in people with a chronic condition, the body is in a heightened state and thus nerves are signaling a lot to produce certain effects in the body ie pain/anxiety symptoms.
When the receptors are activated by either the body’s natural molecules or the molecules in plant-medicine, they then decrease the nerve signaling (which can lead to an improvement in pain / sleep / anxiety etc) and decrease the heightened state that the body is in to maintain homeostasis.
Experts believe that some people may be deficient in endocannabinoids in their body, meaning that their bodies can not produce enough of these naturally to help maintain balance in their body without help.