In recent years, increasing numbers of people have been getting familiar with the health benefits offered by cannabidiol, abbreviated as CBD. This substance, derived from the cannabis plant, can have an analgesic effect, makes people experience a greater sense of relaxation, and improves their sleeping patterns. There are indications that suggest cancer cell growth slows down when these cells are exposed to CBD, and the substance has anti-inflammatory properties, too. So how can it be that one single substance can have so many different effects?
Communication Between Cells
Let’s go over a quick biology crash course to answer that question. The human body is made up of cells, forming a complex system that needs to stay in balance. Food enters the system through the digestive tract; our blood provides energy and oxygen throughout the body, while we sleep to rest and use our brains to think. All of these parts of our bodies are controlled by the central nervous system, which is also made up of cells in turn. In order to let all of these processes run smoothly, our cells need to communicate with each other. How else could your brain find out that your stomach is empty, and that you’re hungry?
Relation With Cannabis
To make this communication between cells work, our body uses substances called neurotransmitters, which are actually signalling agents. Each of us has many different kinds of these signal substances that control the various different processes in the body. The most important system our body uses to maintain balance between all of these different processes is called the ‘endocannabinoid system’. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2241751)
It is a part of our nervous system, and it reaches out across many different parts of the body. The name ‘endocannabinoid ‘ already hints at the fact that this system is related to cannabis. In fact, it was named after that famous plant!
CBD Brings Balance
This endocannabinoid system provides balance in our body. It is involved in metabolism, our biorhythm, clearing away any ageing or damaged cells, our experience of pain, our mental wellbeing, and our ability to remember or forget information. Yes: forgetting is a useful function too, because if we would remember everything that happened, we would go crazy.
So what does CBD have to do with all this? That’s an excellent question. You can think of CBD as a dimmer that tones bright light down to create a calm and relaxed atmosphere. CBD soothes the endocannabinoid system, causing the system to relax and do the important job for which it was created: keeping a perfect balance between our body and our mind.