What Does the Endocannabinoid System Do? Learn How to Beat Stress!

Let’s face it. We all deal with some type of stress every day. In fact, the American Institute of Stress says that 55% of US adults are stressed every day, and 57% of US respondents say that their stress levels make them feel paralyzed. 

One thing that goes hand in hand with stress levels is the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which CBD just so happens to interact with and influence. Medical experts now believe there is a strong link between the ECS and stress based on the studies that have been done so far and the experiences of people who use CBD. 

If you’re considering, or already consuming CBD for stress, it’s wise to learn the science behind its mechanisms to fully understand how and why it works. To help, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the latest research on the endocannabinoid system, how the ECS affects stress, and how CBD works with your natural cannabinoid receptors to provide relief. 

What Does the Endocannabinoid System Do?

The endocannabinoid system is less widely known in comparison to other physiological systems, due to its only being discovered in the late 1980s. Since then, scientists and doctors have learned that the ECS is a key part of a wide range of everyday functions and processes. including the regulation of – 

  • Pain
  • Memory
  • Mood
  • Appetite
  • Sleep
  • Metabolism
  • Immune function
  • Stress
  • Amongst others

It does so through a network of neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids that are naturally produced by the body. These receptors send messages all over the body with one goal in mind: to keep homeostasis, or the general feeling of well-being, stable. 

Hemp plant based cannabinoids, like CBD and THC, are similar to the body’s endocannabinoids in chemical structure. This makes it possible for them to interact with, change, and bind directly to the neurotransmitters that are working inside the body to create a healthy balance. 


The ECS and Stress Responses

As for stress, it’s CBD’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system and the brain that’s most influential. Dr. Matthew Hill, an associate professor at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute who currently studies the ECS, says this could be because, “There are circuits in the brain that are involved in generating shifts in behavior states.”

Through research, scientists have discovered that it’s the amygdala region of the brain that reacts to stressors, or anxiety triggers. What they’ve also found is that the ECS is capable of stopping the region’s automatic ‘flight-or-fight’ response to better handle stress when it arises. 

While they try to prove for sure how the ECS controls stress, an enzyme called FAAH (fatty acid amide hydrolase) could be important. In a 2019 study done by Hill and colleagues, they found that inhibiting FAAH stopped the enzyme from breaking down anandamide (AEA), which is a naturally made endocannabinoid. 

It’s also important to know – anandamide is known as the “bliss” molecule and is tied to the sense of well-being or happiness. Even more, studies are proving that CBD affects anandamide signalling directly, and even shows signs of enhancing it. 

Now that you know more about the answer to, “how does CBD work in the body?” let’s review more of the latest endocannabionid system research as it relates to addressing stress and anxiety. 


Recent Endocannabinoid System Reviews and Research 

To continue our deep dive into endocannabinoid system research, here are more studies to know about the ECS, CBD and stress. 

  • A 2010 study concluded that endogenous cannabinoid signaling is essential for stress adaptation. In fact, the researchers wrote that “Understanding the mechanisms by which endocannabinoid signaling contributes to stress adaptation may assist in the determination of novel therapeutic treatments for these mental illnesses.”
  • A 2011 review published that studies of the endocannabionid system thus far, “support its importance for multiple aspects of brain function, including modulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, regulation of the stress response, anxiety, and extinction of fear learning”.
  • A 2005 animal study also returned positive results concluding that “the endocannabinoid system appears to play a pivotal role in the regulation of emotional states and may constitute a novel pharmacological target for anti-anxiety therapy.” 

Plant Wellness and CBD for Stress Relief 

With the information you’ve gained today, you now know how cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system interact—the primary function of the ECS—and can better understand just how CBD is capable of relieving stress. At Pure Power, we work hard to find ways to use Mother Earth’s medicine to the fullest. 

So, in addition to our full-spectrum CBD oil, we’ve also specially formulated CBD capsules that help with stress in even more ways. Inside our three formulas, Reboot, Recovery, and Sleep, you’ll find ingredients like Ashwagandha, Cordyceps, and Magnesium, that all have their own all-natural stress-relieving capabilities. 

No matter what CBD product you choose to help you relax, always make sure to purchase from a trusted, reputable retailer. Learn more about the Pure Power difference, and shop our collection of premium hemp CBD products to help de-stress today.