Have you ever wondered how hemp ended up being capable of the numerous positive medicinal effects in the body?
The Endocannabinoid system
It all began in the 70s when American researchers identified certain receptors in the brain that were able to bind with opioids such as heroin and morphine. Fast forward to 1990, and researchers had finally managed to pinpoint THC receptors in the brain. From here it was not long before more researchers were able to identify more naturally occurring receptors, namely CB1 and CB2. While CB1 receptors were mostly found in the brain, CB2 receptors were more concentrated in peripheral organs. These were receptors that were produced within the body and were capable to reacting exclusively to cannabinoids. They were referred to as “endocannabinoids”.
More research shed light on an interesting signaling system between phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids that later came to be referred to as the endocannabinoid system. It has been found to play a crucial role in regulating a number of physiological processes like mood, blood pressure, gut health, immunity and metabolism among many more.
Stress and anxiety
The effects of phytocannabinoids on stress levels have been found to be very positive. For instance, a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology in 1993 found that CBD was able to actively decrease anxiety levels of subjects when tested.
Inflammation and pain management
A study published in the Journal of experimental Medicine in 2012 interestingly found cannabinoids to be very capable in suppressing inflammatory and neuropathic pain. It is just one of many that support the effectiveness of phytocannabinoids in the management and treatment of pain and inflammation.
Even though research into the effects of cannabinoids on sleep is still fairly new, results already show a lot of promise. In 2015, a review published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy found that cannabinoids have helped improve sleep for military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorders by reducing nightmares and cases of insomnia.
This is a particularly important effect of phytocannabinoids especially for athletes who really need to bounce back to form quickly. Phytocannabinoids have already demonstrated anti- inflammatory and sleep improving qualities. It follows therefore that they are actually very good for recovery from strenuous physical activity!