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CBD and your Endocannabinoid System

CBD and your Endocannabinoid System

At Mender, we know that education is queen when it comes to CBD (cannabidiol). So the lion's share of what we do is not just keeping up with research to formulate effective CBD products but also find effective ways to communicate what we've uncovered. At every opportunity, we pass on what we've learned to our customers to empower them to thoughtfully consider and consciously choose products that support their unique well-being.

We get asked a lot about CBD, and it usually starts with, "I've heard it works, but what exactly is it?" And more importantly, "How does CBD work?" Read on to find out what current research says about CBD, the system that makes it all happen, and how CBD topicals can help balance one of our most important biological systems. Since I am not a research scientist, please enjoy reading through the resources cited for this article below.

1. Your endocannabinoid system (ECS) is the key to your health

All animals, from humans to 500-million-year-old sea squirts, have an ECS. Yet, scientists have just recently discovered what the ECS does. A system that runs throughout our bodies, the ECS is responsible for maintaining homeostasis—the balance necessary to obtain optimum health, including fertility, sleep, mood, memory, appetite, inflammation, and immunity, to name a few.

2. Two keys unlock the door to your ECS

Scientists have found two primary receptors throughout our bodies that work as doorways to the ECS: CB₁ and CB₂. While CB₁ receptors primarily live in our central nervous system, CB₂ receptors live in our immune system cells. Both play a role in supporting homeostasis—CB₁ in regulating stress and CB₂ in reducing inflammation, generally.

Treatments that activate CB₂ receptors may reduce pain because some natural compounds, like terpenes within the cannabis Sativa plant (hemp), may cause an analgesic effect. This process may explain why CBD works to reduce pain—CBD interacts with CB₂ receptors to reduce inflammation.

3. Your skin is built for cannabis

Our skin and sweat glands contain both CB₁ and CB₂ receptors, making topicals an efficient way to deliver and synthesize CBD. In addition to reducing inflammation, cannabinoids like CBD are potent antioxidants; topicals can potentially improve and repair your skin's texture and appearance. 

4. The pathway to the mind-body connection

Some scientists believe that by acting on receptors throughout our bodies, cannabinoids, such as CBD and others found in nature and within the body itself, can unlock the communication system between the body the mind. The discovery of this connection could potentially allow for mapping the impact of our mental health on our physical health. 

We are so excited to see where this incredible plant takes us as we learn more!


Hampson AJ, Grimaldi M, Lolic M, et al. “Neuroprotective antioxidants from marijuana,” Acad Sci. 2000;899:274-82.

Pandey R, Mousawy K, Nagarkatti M, et al. “Endocannabinoids and immune regulation,” Pharmacol Res. 2009 Aug;60(2):85-92.

Ständer S, Schmelz M, Metze D, Luger T, et al. “Distribution of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and 2 (CB2) on sensory nerve fibers and adnexal structures in human skin,” Dermatol Sci. 2005 Jun;38(3):177-88.

Turcotte C, Blanchet M, Laviolette M, Flamand N. “The CB2 receptor and its role as a regulator of inflammation,” Cell Mol Life Sci. 2016;73(23):4449–4470.

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