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The Endocannabinoid System

Rachael Rapinoe

October 15, 2020 2 min read

Get Started Science

The Endocannabinoid System

AN E.C.S. INTRO

Having just been discovered in 1992, The endocannabinoid (ECS) plays a critical role in our understanding of how our bodies stay in balance.

 

TIP OF THE ICEBERG

If you haven’t heard of this critical system in your body, don’t worry, it was only recently discovered in 1992 and we are at the tip of the iceberg in terms of understanding the system and the critical role it plays. The discovery of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) has rapidly advanced our understanding of both disease and health in the past 30 years and is the biological key to why cannabinoids like CBD and THC have a long medicinal history, dating back to ancient therapeutic use.

The science makes one thing clear, this system’s core responsibility is to keep the body at homeostasis. A poorly functioning ECS, not being properly fueled, is certain to lead to disease and imbalances. When an outside force such as injury or pain disturbs the body, knocking it out of balance, the ECS is what helps bring the body back to operating normally.

 

3 KEY COMPONENTS

Structurally, the ECS involves three components:

ENDOCANNABINOIDS

These are natural molecules made by your body as needed and act similar to cannabinoids from the cannabis plant. There are over a hundreds different cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, but for now, we’ll talk mostly about THC and CBD.

CB1 & Cb2 receptors

This complex set of receptors is located in the brain and throughout the body, especially the central and peripheral nervous systems. Cannabinoids interact and bond with these receptors to decrease disturbances and keep the body’s functions running optimally, resulting in better health and wellbeing.

ENZYMES

These take on the role of breaking down cannabinoids once they’re function is complete.

 

REGULATORS, MOUNT UP.

So what everyday physiological process does the Endocannabinoid System regulate that we may not be aware of?

Research points to our:

  • anxiety
  • energy level
  • intestinal fortitude
  • immune response
  • blood pressure
  • bone density
  • neuro pathways
  • glucose metabolism
  • experience of pain
  • stress
  • appetite

    Depending on our lifestyle and predisposition, these are all bodily processes that we spend a lot of time considering. One way to encourage our ECS to maintain balance or recalibrate to equilibrium is the use of cannabinoids like CBD and THC.

    Despite all this great information we’ve uncovered in the past few decades, there is still a lot to learn about the ECS and the many conditions that can be naturally remedied from it. Until then, we encourage you to think about cannabinoid usage as a way to keep balance in body, or help it return to homeostasis when outside forces (pain, stress, inflammation etc) might be causing a disturbance.

    If you’d like to learn more about the ECS, our research is supported by these organizations and academic leaders:

    Journal of Cannabinoid Medicine
    Project CBD



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