Endocannabinoid System and CBD Work Together

How the Endocannabinoid System and CBD Work Together


To fully understand how cannabidiol (CBD) helps in reducing pain, easing stress, aiding sleep and more, you need to first understand what is the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a vital molecular system that plays a very important role in maintaining homeostasis, which is the body’s efforts to maintain stable functionality and operate optimally regardless of any changes in its environment.  For example, when we want our cells to maintain optimum performance so that our body temperature isn’t too hot or cold, our blood pressure is at a healthy level and our glucose levels aren’t too high or too low, homeostasis comes into play.


The ECS is made up of three components: endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors and enzymes. The ECS was first discovered in the late ’80s and early ’90s, although there is still much that scientists are learning about it today. [1]


Understanding ECS components

An endocannabinoid is a neurotransmitter that sends chemical messages between neurons, the cells that transmit nerve impulses. Endocannabinoids are produced naturally by cells within the body and located in the brain, organs, glands, immune cells and connective tissue to help regulate sleep, appetite, mood, immune function and pain, as well as many more functions. For example, at the site of an injury, an endocannabinoid will decrease the release of activators and sensitizers to the injured area, stabilize the nerve cells, and calm the nearby immune cells.[2]


Endocannabinoid receptors or cannabinoid receptors reside on cell surfaces and “listen” to conditions outside the cell. They transmit information about changing conditions to the inside of the cell. The two main cannabinoids receptors are CB1 receptors, which mostly are localized in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and CB2 receptors, found mostly in immune cells in peripheral organs. Cannabinoid receptors bind with endocannabinoids. When they bind to cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids trigger the release of chemicals to help maintain functional balance.


The third component of the ECS is enzymes that help to break down endocannabinoids once they have carried out their function.


The Endocannabinoid system and CBD

When the body’s endocannabinoid system is depleted, phytocannabinoids, which are plant substances, activate the body’s ECS by binding to the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors to help supplement and promote homeostasis. Both Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two of over 60 Phyto cannabinoids or naturally-occurring chemicals found in industrial hemp and marijuana, both of which are varieties of cannabis. Unlike THC, CBD is not mind-altering or habit-forming.


CBD binds to the CB1 receptors in the brain and the CB2 receptors in the immune system alleviating mental conditions such as anxiety, as well as physical ailments including muscle spasms, pain and swelling.


All CBD products contain CBD oil, which is what is added to the range of CBD offerings, from topicals to tinctures, capsules and gummies. Before any products are made, CBD oil needs to be extracted from the hemp plant. Once ingested or absorbed into the body through the skin. The subsequent interaction of CBD oil and the endocannabinoid system provides pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory and calming effects.


For relief from pain, inflammation and stress, Lab+Blends offers a range of CBD products from topicals to tinctures.  Find out more about our offerings.






[1] Jikomes, Nick, “What is the endocannabinoid system and what is its role,” Leafly, December 12, 2016. https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/what-is-the-endocannabinoid-system
[2] Sulak, Dustin, DO, “Introduction to the Endocannabinoid System,” Healer.com, NORML, accessed August 22, 2020