Our body was designed to work with the cannabinoids found in cannabis. Discovered in the last 30 years, our endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a physiological system located through our body and brain. This physiological system interacts with endocannabinoid molecules our body produces; anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are the most well-known.
The main function of our endocannabinoid system is to help our body maintain homeostasis, harmony, and balance in response to changes in the environment; and supports other systems in our body to operate at their peak performance levels.
In order to maintain optimal balance our body produces endocannabinoids on-demand and sends them to specific sites in our body that need support.
But as it turns out, our endocannabinoids, anandamide, and 2-AG have a short half-life, meaning they are made on-demand, when needed at localized sites, but are quickly broken down by the metabolic enzymes FAAH and MAGL.
And here…is when THC and CBD come into play with our endocannabinoid system.
CBD vs. THC
Phytocannabinoids (THC and CBD are only two of over a hundred) stimulate and/or interact with our endocannabinoid system receptors, exerting their effects, in part, by mimicking our endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA) and (2-AG) and impact our physiological processes affecting pain modulation, anti-inflammatory effects and other immune system responses.
Keep in mind that the endocannabinoid system is a system of “homeostasis” in our body working at a cellular level, supporting other systems to operate at their peak performance levels as well.
When any of our biological systems are off-balance, producing too much of one thing and not enough of another, there is a disease.
Research shows that by supplementing with THC and CBD, we can help support continued homeostasis in our body – the most famous example is the FDA-approved CBD drug Epidiolex used to arrest or limit the number of seizures in Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome patients.
While research is still very new and limited given cannabis’s schedule 1 status federally, there is enough promising research for the benefits of THC and CBD in many areas of disease prevention; they have some pronounced pharmacological impacts in the areas of health and well-being listed below (and many more not listed).
What is the difference between THC and CBD?
THC is widely known as the psychoactive cannabinoid.
CBD, known as the “non-psychoactive” cannabinoid (although it does cross the blood-brain barrier).
What are the benefits of THc and CBD?
THC and CBD are shown to benefit your overall health, well-being and help support homeostasis in your body.
This can show up in physically many ways in terms of diseases and the beneficial benefits of supplementing with THC and CBD. For example (just to name a few):
THC supports and enhances your appetite – this is vitally important for people going through chemotherapy, HIV, and many other diseases that inhibit appetite.
Inflammation is the source of so many diseases, from cancer to arthritis, acute injuries to chronic aches and pains. THC is a novel anti-inflammatory aid.
Many people report using cannabis to cope with anxiety, especially those with social anxiety disorder. THC appears to decrease anxiety at lower doses and increase anxiety at higher doses. CBD appears to decrease anxiety at all doses that have been tested.
As mentioned above, CBD is known for its anticonvulsant properties, but THC is also a player in seizure disorders.
Both CBD and THC support you to go to sleep, and they help you STAY asleep, especially if you are one of those people who wake up in the middle of the night.
THC and CBD help alleviate the symptoms of chronic pain.
Research shows that cannabinoids THC and CBD are powerful agents in the reduction of PTSD symptoms.
The benefits of THC and CBD listed here are but a few of the countless benefits discovered so far. Hopefully, soon, medical science will be able to prove more benefits and ways in which we can use this plant to support our overall health and well-being.