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What is the Endocannabinoid System?


Endocannabinoid refers to cannabis-like substances that occur naturally inside us. "Endo" is short for the word "endogenous."Cannabinoid" comes from "cannabis."

How does the endocannabinoid system work?

Did you know, you have a whole system in our bodies named after weed? 

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an important role in your body,  regulating a range of functions and processes. The complex cell-signaling system was identified in the early 1990s by researchers exploring cannabinoid, which are compounds found in cannabis. The ECS is active in your body, even without the use of cannabis.

The system is still being explored and researched by experts. At the moment, we know it aids sleep, memory, mood, appetite and fertility, which are all very important. There are three core components of the ECS:

  • The endocannabinoids themselves;
  • The receptors that they bind to; and
  • The enzymes that break down the endocannabinoids once they’ve served their purpose.

You’ve probably heard about the amazing medicinal properties of marijuana. While some may seem farfetched, medical science backs up most of these claims. And, the reason it is so effective is linked to the endocannabinoid system itself.

What is homeostasis?

To understand the ECS, you need to know what homeostasis is. In short, “homeostasis refers to the ability of an organism or environment to maintain stability in spite of changes”. In other words, your body tries its best to keep stable no matter what’s happening around you. Your body continuously monitors levels and functions, such as temperature, hormones, heartbeat, energy levels and more. When something is not operating correctly, your body activates ECS to fix it. For example, if you are overheating, the ECS will cause you to sweat to help you cool down. Pretty amazing, right? The ECS does this via cannabinoid receptors found in select tissues. The receptors are crucial for helping the ECS regulate functions in our bodies, including:

  • Appetite
  • Immune function
  • Inflammation
  • Digestion
  • Sleep 
  • Mood 
  • Fertility
  • Temperature regulation
  • Memory
  • Pain

Your body is absolutely incredible in the way it activates the ECS exactly where it needs to. Let’s say your immune system is low, the ECA will work to regulate it without throwing off your hormones or digestive system. Then, once endocannabinoids have done their job and your immune system is back in balance, your body will send forth enzymes to break them down and prevent them from upsetting your body’s balance.

Cannabidiol oil and endocannabinoid system 

Recent science has found the ECS responds to external cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD). Introducing CBD to your body can help your body immensely by reducing symptoms of various illnesses. CBD acts upon CB1 and CBD2 receptors, which are located throughout your body, controlling functions like pain, inflammation and body temperature. By stimulating the ECS, it promotes homeostasis. Therefore, CBD can help with the following issues (and more):

  • Information
  • Pain
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Acne
  • Parkinson’s
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Psoriasis
  • Dyskinesia
  • Bacterial infections
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • ADHD
  • Schizophrenia
  • Heart disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

CBD and Cannabinoid Receptors

Experts identify two main types of cannabinoid receptors; cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2). These two receptors perform different functions in your body. They act as a kind of lock that can be unlocked by cannabinoids. 

CB1 exists in the brain, intestines, central nervous system, connective tissues and other glands. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) mostly attaches to CB1. One of your own endocannabinoids that attaches to the same receptor is called anandamide. THC and anandamide may be very similar, however, anandamide doesn't cause you to get “high” as THC does. But, anandamide has a calming effect. Thanks to the FAAH enzyme in our body, it breaks down endocannabinoids like anandamide, but it can’t break down THC. 

CB2 exists in the immune cells, tonsils, thymus, spleen, tonsils, B & T cells, macrophages, microglia and monocytes - and a few exist in the brain, aiding organ health, cancer, pain-related illnesses and other diseases. Our naturally produced cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, attach to CB2. 

CBD is a plant-based cannabinoid that interacts with CB1 and CB2. It doesn’t have any psychoactive properties. So, you can get the same benefits of THC without the high.

ECS is crucial for your health. Therefore, if it isn’t working properly for you, you will develop issues. Cannabis products, such as Naturally Unflavoured Hemp CBD Oil, can help the ECS in your body function more effectively.

Further research:


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