CBD and other cannabinoids found in CBD oil interact with the endocannabinoid system in the human body. This system consists of three basic components:
1. Specialized lipids produced naturally in a healthy human body which are similar to the cannabinoids found in CBD oil
2. Specialized receptors within the cell membranes of brain cells, immune system cells, and various internal organ cells.
3. Specialized enzymes that produce cannabinoids and or degrade them.
When you take CBD oil, CBD and cannabinoids in the oil interact with the receptors in your endocannabinoid system, just like cannabinoids synthesized naturally inside your body because the chemical structure is essentially the same. They may also be modulated in their action by the specialized enzymes that can break them down (degrade them). It is this interaction with your endocannabinoid system that allows the cannabinoids in CBD oil to perform their magic.
It turns out that omega 3 plays a very critical role in maintaining proper functioning of your endocannabinoid system. This cannot be overemphasized enough so pay very close attention to this message: if you do not get enough omega 3 in your diet or through supplementation, you will not receive as great a benefit from taking CBD oil!
Here are just a few of the ways omega 3 helps maintain your endocannabinoid system:
- Keeps the receptors healthy and functioning properly.
- Helps you grow more receptors when you need them.
- Helps repair receptors.
- Helps synthesize cannabinoids within the body. You need this even if you are supplementing with CBD oil!
- Helps keep your omega 6 to omega 3 ratio low. You need this to maintain healthy membranes that can support the receptors.
- Helps create one type of cannabinoid out of another type as needed.
- Helps create the enzymes needed to produce or degrade cannabinoids as needed to regulate the whole system.
An important experiment looking at the effects of too little omega 3 on the functioning of the endocannabinoid system in mice was published in Nature Neuroscience in January 2011. The paper was entitled, "Nutritional omega-3 deficiency abolishes endocannabinoid-mediated neuronal functions." Here is the URL if you'd like to read about it:
It is important to note that mice have a very similar endocannabinoid system to humans and all other mammals. Also, if you read this scientific paper, and others on this subject, it can get a little confusing because omega 3 is usually referred to as n-3 PUFAs. For clarity, PUFA stands for polyunsaturated fatty acid which is a type of lipid or simply a "fat." So, just read n-3 PUFA as the code word for "omega 3." Much research in this area has been done in the last five to ten years. People who have a poorly functioning endocannabinoid system are sometimes said to have "Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome" or "Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency" and this is often brought on by poor nutrition, especially the lack of omega 3.
To get more omega 3 into your diet, eat more fish and seafood. Vegetarian sources like pumpkin seeds, walnuts, flax seeds, and dark green leafy vegetables are also sources of omega 3 but nowhere near as good as fish and seafood. On days you do not eat fish or seafood, consider taking an omega 3 supplement to improve the effectiveness of CBD oil.
The next time you hear the question, "Does CBD work?" or you see this question posted online, please point them to this article as an introduction.