If you have done any research on Cannabis, CBD, Hemp or THC, you have ran across the word Endocannabinoid System. So what exactly is the Endocannabinoid System(ECS)? The Endocannabinoid System is a complex network of neurotransmitters. ECS is believed to affect and play a vital role in a multitude of physiological symptoms including memory, mood, inflammation, sleep, anxiety, stress levels, appetite, digestion, and more. Experts believe that the primary role of the ESC is to maintain homeostasis. If any external force such as pain or injury disrupts your body’s homeostasis, your ECS activates to help your body return to its ideal state. Research has linked the ECS to pathological and physiological roles including pain, energy metabolism, cardiovascular and reproductive functions, inflammation, glaucoma, cancer, liver and musculoskeletal disorders.
So how does this system work?
3 Main Characters of the ECS:
Cannabinoid receptors ( receptors)
Endocannabinoids are molecules made by you own body. They are similar to cannabinoids but Endocannabinoids are produced internally. These molecules are considered the messengers of the ECS. Your body produces them as needed. Endocannabinoids keep internal functions running smoothly.
There are 2 main Cannabinoid Receptors of the ECS: CB1 and CB2
CB1 Receptors are essential for healthy brain functioning. They are mostly found in the Central Nervous System.
CB2 Receptors are mostly found in the Peripheral Nervous System, especially immune cells.
Cannabinoid receptors sit on cell surfaces, waiting for specific Endocannabinoids(messengers) to bind to them. Depending on the type of cell the receptor is on, the effect will rapidly impact immunity, sensation, mood, and even consciousness.
Enzymes synthesize and break down Endocannabinioids.