Hemp Cannabinoids and Endocannabinoids: How They Work Together
Hemp Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids. Those words get thrown around a lot in the world of CBD. But they haven’t gotten a ton of attention on our site.
After all, we spend a lot of time on the blog talking about how CBD makes us feel. If you’ve been following the blog for a while now, you know it helps us get through hectic days as parents of two young kids. Or feel better after working out so we can get back at it tomorrow. And we think that’s important information.
But we don’t want you to take our word for it. Instead, we want to help you understand why CBD has these effects in our body. So, we’re going to talk hemp cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and how they work together. First, though, we have to discuss the uniting factor: your endocannabinoid system. Also called the ECS for short.
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
In the most basic terms, your ECS is a system of receptors, enzymes and endocannabinoids. (More on those in a minute.) The three components work together to maintain balance (homeostasis) in your body. Specifically, the ECS affects some of your key body functions. These include your mood, sleep, hormones, memory, appetite and even fertility.
When working properly, your body produces endocannabinoids. They interact with your receptors. But sometimes, external factors can interfere with your ECS. And that’s when some people turn to external supplements to give things a boost. (They're also known as phytocannabinoids or hemp-derived cannabinoids.) We know, this sounds complicated. And it can be. But once you know more, it will all make sense. So let’s get right into explaining!
What are Endocannabinoids?
Your body produces endocannabinoids to act as messengers all through your body. The most important endocannabinoids are anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol. [i] But there are others that we may learn more about as research progresses.
Anandamide acts like serotonin—it’s supposed to be a feel-good endocannabinoid. But it does more than spark joy. Anandamide plays a role in your memory, your appetite and in pregnancy. In other words, it’s kind of a big deal.
Now, 2-ArachidonoylGlycerol—or 2-AG for short—also has a big job in the ECS. It’s connected to our cardiovascular health, emotions, and even our seizure tendency. (That's why CBD-based Epidiloex, is FDA approved for treating certain forms of epilepsy.)
Once your body makes endocannabinoids, they travel to connect with cannabinoid receptors. Scattered throughout your body, there are two main ECS receptors: CB1 and CB2. For the most part, CB1 receptors are in your brain. And CB2 receptors are in the cells of your immune system.
When endocannabinoids connect with ECS receptors, they keep your internal systems balanced. But if your body doesn’t make enough endocannabinoids, you may feel “off.” You could experience stress, anxiety or depression. Or inflammation can leave your body hurting. And you’ll need external help to get things back in working order. Which is when hemp cannabinoids can help you get back to balance.
What are Phytocannabinoids?
Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids that come from plants. All forms of cannabis plants have cannabinoids inside. In fact, scientists have identified more than 100 different types of cannabinoids. But the most famous are THC and CBD.
Now, when absorbed or ingested by your body, phytocannabinoids act like endocannabinoids. Meaning they interact with your CB1 and CB2 receptors. And that can helpful if your body isn't producing enough endocannabinoids.
Of course, when you hear the words THC, you think about getting high. That’s because THC binds to your ECS receptors, which triggers psychoactive effects. But CBD is different—it changes the way your receptors bind with other cannabinoids. Plus, it works with some enzymes boost your body’s endocannabinoid production. Restoring balance, without any psychoactive high.
Why Choose Hemp Cannabinoids?
As we said, every form of cannabis contains cannabinoids. But not everyone seeking ECS support wants to or can risk consuming THC. (After all, that can make you fail a drug test. Often weeks after your cannabis use.)
For that reason, lots of people prefer hemp-extract CBD. You see, the hemp plant is a strain of cannabis with low THC concentrations. (Legally speaking, industrial hemp can’t contain more than 0.3% THC.) As a result, when you source your cannabinoids from hemp, only trace amounts of THC are present. So you won’t get high, but you will give your ECS a nice little boost.
Still, for some people, even trace amounts of THC are risky. Because even the legal THC levels in full-spectrum CBD can make you fail your drug test. And that’s a chance some people can’t afford to take. Which is something we completely understand.
Today, we’re self-employed business owners. But we’ve both spent time in corporate America. So we know how important it is to follow your employer’s regulations. And that’s why we’re proud to offer an alternative: 12Twenty’s broad-spectrum CBD. It's a hemp-sourced, THC-free product. And it allows you to enjoy the full spectrum of cannabinoids. Every one, except the legally-questionable THC.
This option is a big deal in more ways than one. It gives you a worry-free CBD experience. And it lets all the other cannabinoids work together, giving you the entourage effect. (That’s when cannabinoids work together to boost each one’s individual effects.)
Now, that brings us back to the original point of this blog. How do cannabinoids and endocannabinoids work together? They function similarly in your body, supporting homeostasis. And, when you choose hemp cannabinoids, you can boost your ECS without worrying about THC. Which is a win for everyone, at least in our opinion!