The Endo-Cannabinoid System

Photo of Man Swimming by Vidar Nordli Mathisen from Unsplash
Photo by Vidar Nordli Mathisen from Unsplash

Written By Alyssa Sexton

Your body, whether you’ve introduced it to cannabis or not, has an endocannabinoid system.Why is it called that? What is it? What does it do? What can CBD do?

Let’s get into it.

Why is it called that?

If it has nothing to do with cannabis, why is it called the endocannabinoid system? A fair question. The answer can be traced back to when it was discovered.

First, you need to know that cannabinoids are not only produced by the cannabis plant. There are phytocannabinoids, like CBD and THC, that come from the cannabis plant (phyto- meaning from a plant); and there are also endocannabinoids that are made in the body (endo- meaning internal). Scientists sought out to learn about how cannabinoids interact with the body. That is when they came across an internal mechanism of the body which regulates a number of biological functions via cannabinoid and receptor interaction, and so it was named the endocannabinoid system.

What is it?

The endocannabinoid system is a regulatory system, composed of receptors and pathways which send and receive signals to help achieve homeostasis in the body.

There are different types of receptors in the endocannabinoid system, most notably; cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2). These receptors can be found in the brain and throughout the nervous system.  The endocannabinoid system is simply a system that communicates with cannabinoids, of both the endo- and phyto- nature, to stimulate chemical responses aimed at achieving a stable state of homeostasis.

What does it do?

As you probably know, our bodies are self-healing. When you cut yourself, or fall and scrape your knee, it is only a matter of time before the body heals itself. When the endocannabinoid system falls out of equilibrium from an external force, it creates endocannabinoids to offset the external factor and to move back towards a state of balance.

The endocannabinoid system impacts things such as memory, appetite, energy storage, sleep, body temperature, and stress, and also influences the immune system, as well as the female reproductive system.

What can CBD do for my endocannabinoid system?

When the body isn’t creating enough endocannabinoids, or enough cannabinoid receptors, the phytocannabinoids in cannabis can be supplemental. This is where CBD comes in.

You’ve heard that CBD can bring relief from a number of ailments. But how so many?

The endocannabinoid system and its receptors are what make CBD effective for so many different conditions. CBD can stimulate and support your endocannabinoid system, and help bring your body back to homeostasis, bringing you relief from many common ailments. 

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