CB2 receptors, which is where most of discussion seems to be focused and centralized, really deals a lot with the body’s immune capability, how the body is able to monitor and control inflammatory responses appropriately. Even lots of discussion and information showing and defining how the endocannabinoid system is very influential in helping to control different levels and forms of discomfort that we might experience. All of this factors together to mean that that system must hold some real value for us. And so of course there’s a lot of enthusiasm that seems to be present.
Direct Receptor Stimulation
Indirect Receptor Stimulation
CBD, another compound found in high quantities in marijuana, CBD oil, and hemp oil, does in fact interact directly with CB1 and CB2, but the interaction is so weak as to be negligible. 2 CBD actually exerts its effects on the EC system by a different mechanism than most cannabinoids.
The endocannabinoid (EC) system helps the body manage anxiety, inflammation, and other physiological responses to different forms of stress. During strenuous exercise, stress, and other related stimuli, the body produces compounds called endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids (ECs) are signaling molecules that trigger the activation of the EC system when they are detected by cannabinoid receptors.
Research shows that CBD acts on the enzyme FAAH, which breaks down anandamide. CBD actually slows down the enzyme’s activity, which leads to increased levels of anandamide in the body. 1 The reason why this is significant is because anandamide interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors. Higher levels of anandamide would result in increased feelings of euphoria due to increased activation of CB1 receptors, as well as soothing of the tissues due to activation of CB2.
Soothing the tissues without triggering any sort of psychoactive response can be accomplished by using a compound with selective interaction with the CB2 receptor. Beta-caryophyllene (BCP) is a sesquiterpene compound found in hundreds of different plant species, and it has recently been recognized for its unique ability to interact with CB2 but not CB1 receptors. 3 Thus the alleged benefits of CBD or THC can be obtained without the psychoactive effects by using a product containing BCP. doTERRA’s new Copaiba essential oil has the highest BCP content of any oil, around 55% as confirmed by GC/MS analysis of doTERRA’s own Copaiba oil.
CBD, by increasing levels of anandamide, has similar pharmacological effects as THC in that it affects the same two cannabinoid receptors, however the magnitude of the effect is much smaller compared with THC. CBD is generally considered non-hallucinogenic.
A “runner’s high” is a perfect example of the EC system at work. After a long period of strenuous exercise, the body begins to produce anandamide in order to activate CRs and turn on the EC system. The “runner’s high” has two components: slight euphoria, and soothing of the discomfort in the muscles and joints. These two outcomes are linked with two distinct structures: the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are mainly found in the brain and central nervous system, and are linked with pleasure and reward pathways. CB1 receptor activation leads to feelings of euphoria. CB2 receptors are found in the rest of the body, like the muscles, skin, and vital organs. They are mainly found on the surface of white blood cells, and their activation affects the regulation of inflammation chemicals called cytokines.