A Simple Beginners Guide to the Endocannabinoid System and CBD

****Before we get started please understand that this is the A Clean Choice blog and we are a for-profit business. That being said we are really trying to inform you here. So while we are not making claims and we do not pretend to be experts on every CBD subject, we will do our best to only report truths. What I can promise is that I will share all my sources here. Please feel free to do your own research on any of the subjects that we cover on this blog and if you find anything that is straight out wrong feel free to leave us a comment below. Now on to our beginner’s guide.

The systems of the human body:

Before we get to our beginner’s guide to CBD we need to talk about the systems of the human body.

Many of us have heard of most, if not all, of the 11 most common systems of the human body. Systems like the muscle, vascular and respiratory systems are relatively familiar to us.

Now what if I told you that there was another system, barely talked about, that is basically the “center” of our other systems. Its sole purpose is to create Homostasious internally regardless of external influences. Basically, it helps provides our body’s balance.

Of course, I am talking about the Endocannabinoid System.

Beginners Guide to CBD and the Endocannabinoid System: How does it work?

I need to be honest before we started selling CBD I knew very little about the human endocannabinoid system. Actually, I knew nothing. But with just a few clicks on google it was apparent that, for better or worse, there is a TON of information out there about it. Unfortunately, most of it was pretty complicated and there was certainly no beginners guide available to guide me.

After sorting through a bunch of that available information I think that this quote is probably one of the best ones I have seen that sums up what the human endocannabinoid system really is. ⇓


beginners guide endocannabinoid system balance


Beginners Guide to CB1 and CB2 Receptors

There are two types of receptors in the Endocannabinoid system. CB1 and CB2. CB receptors are located in pretty much every system of the human body but CB1 and CB2 receptor are often found in different locations.

This chart will give you an idea of those locations:

endocannabinoid system chart

Everything we have talked about so far is regarding the Endocannabinoid system, which is a naturally occurring part of our physical make-up. Now on to the guide to CBD.

How do CBD and the Endocannabinoid system interact?

To help explain, the how, when I say the word receptors what you should envision is a keyhole that has a very specific shape and size. These keyholes will only accept a certain key. Once the key is in the keyhole the receptors start activating and doing the jobs that they were designed to do.  Which completely depends on where in the body the receptor that is being filled is located.

Here is where CBDs come in. CBDs, which are cannabinoids, fit snuggly in those CB receptors and activate individual receptors to do different things depending on where in the body the receptor is located.

*****For a more in-depth review then we can get into with this beginners guide, of exactly what our Endocannabinoid system does and how it affects our health check out this blog done by Dr. Dustin Sulak. He is a representative of an advocacy group that creates informational products regarding CBD and Cannabis.

Introduction to the Endocannabinoid System

Beginners Guide to CBD: The Science/Evidence

CBD products are all the rave right now. With many people claiming that CBD is virtually the ultimate health supplement and the FDA saying to hold up because nothing has been proven. We find ourselves in a similar situation as we are in with electronic cigarettes. Lots of good word of mouth, tons of testimonies and real-life implications all up against a wall waiting on the research to be good enough.

I am not sure how it will work out for the CBD industry but I can tell you from experience it has not been an easy fight for the electronic cigarette and vapor industries. In the meantime not having “enough” research is not the same as having no research so here are a few examples of what research is out there.

And I know I sound like a broken record but I really need to be clear on this: We here at A Clean Choice are not claiming anything. We are simply gathering sources and sharing the information.

Alright, let’s get to it. We wanted to be fair so here is a list of sources from all over. Some pro-CBD some anti-CBD.

Beginners Guide to CBD Research Sources  

US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health:

Endocannabinoid Binding to the Cannabinoid Receptors: What Is Known and What Remains Unknown

This is a fairly hard to read but very complete study regarding how the CB receptors bind with cannabinoids. Worth the read if you don’t mind reading medical/science speak.


The Mayo Clinic:

What are the benefits of CBD — and is it safe to use?

The Mayo Clinic is a very trusted source so I wanted to include this as a source for you.  It’s a short read and not 100% CBD friendly but it’s not Anti-CBD either. Here is a quote to give you an idea of where they stand:

“Currently, the only CBD product approved by the Food and Drug Administration is a prescription oil called Epidiolex. It’s approved to treat two types of epilepsy. Aside from Epidiolex, state laws on the use of CBD vary. While CBD is being studied as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and anxiety, research supporting the drug’s benefits is still limited.”

World Health Organization: (WHO)

Systematic reviews on therapeutic efficacy and safety of Cannabis (including extracts and tinctures) for patients with multiple sclerosis, chronic neuropathic pain, dementia, and Tourette syndrome, HIV/AIDS, and cancer receiving chemotherapy

This is a huge systematic review that covers a lot of CBD ground.  Their mission according to this paper was: “To provide evidence for benefits and harms of cannabis (including extracts and tinctures) treatment for adults in the following indications: multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, HIV/AIDS, Dementia or Tourette syndrome, and adults with cancer receiving chemotherapy.” 

If you have a couple of hours this review is a good bit of research all compiled in one way.

Harvard Medical:

Cannabidiol (CBD) — what we know and what we don’t

Much like the Mayo Clinic, Harvard is known for being a spectacular source of information. While it’s no “Beginners guide to CBD” lol this short article on CBD is a good read. Here is a quote from it that kind of sums up what they say:

” We need more research but CBD may prove to be an option for managing anxiety, insomnia, andchronic pain. Without sufficient high-quality evidence in human studies, we can’t pinpoint effective doses, and because CBD is currently is mostly available as an unregulated supplement, it’s difficult to know exactly what you are getting. If you decide to try CBD, talk with your doctor — if for no other reason than to make sure it won’t affect other medications you are taking.”


National Institute of Health (NIH)

An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies

This study is pretty much exactly like the studies we see in the electronic cigarette industry. It has a bunch of good stuff all summed up to a single statement about not having enough proof that the good they found was good enough. I am including it because it comes out of NIH but it’s not my favorite piece of work.

A ton of additional information:

This link will bring you to a spectacular source of information regarding CB1 and CB2 Receptors. There are a ton of research papers from a variety of sources. If after all of this you still want more knowledge this is the link to visit.

Cannabinoid Receptor Type 1

Cannabinoid Receptor Type 2


I hope this guide to CBD and the Endocannabinoid System is helpful. I know there is a lot more information out there on this subject but I wanted to keep this as simple as it could be. If there are specific questions about this topic that you would like to see answers for please post a comment below.

Thank you again for stopping by. Please like and share this information as much as you can. Keeping folks informed is the best tool we have.



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