The way CBD impacts the endocannabinoid system is complex and in no way obvious. CBD affects the endocannabinoid system also in two other ways by modifying the activity of this system’s enzymes and transport proteins, and the concentration of anandamide the “default” endocannabinoid. There is a key enzyme in the ECS called Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) which breaks down or “metabolizes” a bodily chemical called anandamide. CBD interferes with and slows down the FAAH enzyme, allowing the body’s anandamide to be used by the ECS to naturally regulate bodily function.
“The body produces some of its own endocannabinoids, but we get most of them from food, especially omega 3 fatty acids. In fact, a 2011 study linked a deficiency of Omega 3’s with mood changes caused by poor endocannabinoid regulation. A diet rich in Omega 3’s can also give your metabolism a boost and prevent obesity related diseases like diabetes.” Scientists have found a number of pathways in which the endocannabinoid system is used by CBD to have a therapeutic impact. One such study has been conducted by Dr. Sean McAllister and his colleagues at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. They seek to understand how through the ECS, CBD destroys cells by down-regulating a gene called ID-1, which is implicated in several types of aggressive cancer. Silencing the ID-1 gene is a viable potential strategy for cancer treatment. “Cannabidiol offers hope of a non-toxic therapy that could treat aggressive forms of cancer without any of the painful side effects of chemotherapy,” says McAllister.
While are understanding of the endocannabinoid system is in its infancy, there is no doubt about the many vital roles it plays to our overall health and well-being. Someday soon we will completely comprehend how the ECS, influenced by CBD regulates how quickly neurotransmitters are being released and slowing them down or speeding them up as necessary in order to return to and maintain the body’s internal balance.