The endocannabinoid system (ECS), upon which CBD, or cannabidiol, influences, was discovered in the early 1990’s. Since that time, we have learned that the ECS helps regulate neurotransmission, inflammatory cycling within cells, pain signaling to the brain, insulin sensitivity, bone metabolism, and limbic system functioning, just to name a few.
Consequently, CBD formulations are currently being used to manage anxiety, depression, stress, PTSD, Autism, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, IBS, Chrohn’s Disease, fibromyalgia, insomnia, glaucoma, macular degeneration, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
In the realm of dentistry, CBD is commonly and successfully used to manage anxiety, promote post-surgical healing, pain management, muscle relaxation, and for reducing inflammatory responses.
The ECS has neuroreceptors throughout the body which function via neurochemicals our body produces on demand called endocannabinoids. These receptor sites are also influenced by phytocannabinoids – plant based analogues found in unusually high concentration in hemp/cannabis.
ECS receptors (CB1, CB2, and CB3) are found throughout the body, and this is why CBD – a phytocannabinoid- positivity influences brain function including memory, mood, pain perception, cognition, emotions, motor function, and habits.
Outside the nervous system, ECS receptors are found in the intestinal tract, liver, heart, immune system, skin, and other organs. Consequently, the ECS regulates a wide range of physiological effects, with the goal of maintaining homeostasis and healing.
Additionally, endocannabinoids produced by the body, and phytocannabinoids such as CBD, positively influence other neuroreceptors in the body such as TRPV1 sites responsible for managing chronic pain, 5-HT3 sites which manage our vomiting response, and GABA sites responsible for sedation, muscle relaxation, anti-convulsant activity, and anti-anxiety effects on the body.
As you can easily see, the impact of the ECS, and therefore CBD, is broad and represents a relatively new area of research.
In my next segment we will explore how to choose CBD products, and how to use and prescribe them to potentially help yourself, your family, your friends, and your patients.
Paul A. Henny, DDS
To read parts 1 & 2 of this series, please visit CoDiscovery.com