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The Endocannabinoid System

What Is The Endocannabinoid System?

The endocannabinoid system is  a vast network of cell receptor proteins that help maintain the body in homeostasis, or in simpler words balanced. The system interacts with a substance called endocannabinoids or a “chemical command” naturally occurring in the body that essentially allows cells and organs to communicate with each other in order to balance activity in the body.

After being discovered in the 1990’s, researchers have found that the ECS is arguably the greatest neurotransmitter system in the body. It has the potential to effect the following: 

  • sleep

  • mood

  • appetite

  • memory

  • reproduction and fertility

How does the ECS work?

The ECS consists of three core parts : endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes.

 

Endocannabinoids

 

Endocannabinoids are natural occurring compounds made by your body, that contain antioxidants and neuroprotective functions. They support your body’s healthy regulation of the central nervous system, immune system, and endocannabinoid system.

 

Endocannabinoid Receptors

 

These receptors can be found throughout the body. Endocannabinoids bind to the receptors in order to signal the ECS. The two major receptors are:

CB1 – Located in the central nervous system and comprises the brain and nerves of the spinal cord

CB2 – This lies in the extreme ends of the nervous system, specialized cells in the immune system and the digestive system. 

Who Has An Endocannabinoid System?

 

All mammals have and endocannabinoid system. Yes, that means like humans dogs, cats, and equines all have an ECS.

What is Endocannabinoid Deficiency? 

 In order for the  ECS to maintain homeostasis in the body, it needs to be working effectively and efficiently. When the ECS is either underworked or overworked, it is known as endocannabinoid deficiency. Some of the symptoms could potentially be :

  • Arthritis

  • Fatigue

  • Inflammation

  • Autoimmune disorders

  • Depression and other mood disorders

  • Chronic pain

How Does CBD Interact With The ECS?

 CBD is able to interact with the cells by way of a similar composition of the CBD molecule and the endocannabinoids in our bodies. These cannabinoids are able to bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors found throughout the body like the endocannabinoids that the body naturally produces

CBD then, is able to interact with the ECS and promote a working ECS that will aid in the balancing of the body. In fact, studies suggests CBD can help ease stress, decrease inflammation, reduce anxiety and increase overall well-being.