What is the Endocannabinoid System?

Playing a Vital Role
in Your Health

The human body is comprised of several different systems, including the circulatory system, the digestive system, the respiratory system, and the skeletal system. These structures each fulfill their own specific physiological function and work collectively to keep your body up and running. But, there’s another system that may not be on your radar.

After several decades of research, scientists recently discovered a biochemical communication process called the “endocannabinoid system,” or ECS while studying the effects that cannabis had on the body. Hailed as one of the most exciting breakthroughs in modern science, their findings confirmed that the ECS plays a crucial role in regulating everything from mood, to sleep, and homeostasis.

Homeostasis is the concept that most biological systems are actively maintained to control conditions within a narrow range. Think about it—our ideal body temperature is not too hot or too cold, blood sugar levels too high or too low, and so forth. The conditions have to be calibrated just right in order for our cells to maintain optimum performance.

Backed by Science

Studies on the ECS have shown that apart from being the regulator of homeostasis, it is also responsible for regulating immune response and acting as the body’s biological defense system. Overall, this system seems to have a very protective role in our bodies.

But, how exactly does it work?

The ECS is essentially a network made up of endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors. The cannabinoid receptors reside on the surface of cells and react to various bodily processes. They communicate this information about our bodies’ condition to the interior of the cell, paving the way for the appropriate cellular response.

Cannabinoid Receptors Explained

There are two major cannabinoid receptors located on your cells—CB-1 and CB-2. CB-1 receptors are mainly located in the brain and nervous system, as well as in the liver, lungs, and kidneys. Due to their similar molecular structure, our natural endocannabinoids bind primarily with CB-1 receptors.

CB-2 receptors are involved in the regulation of appetite and immune system functions like inflammation. They are often found on cells in your immune system, with a heavy concentration in the spleen and in the gastrointestinal system. And although cannabidiol (CBD) is known to help modulate CB-1 receptors, it actually prefers CB-2 receptors. Ultimately, daily CBD use increases the effectiveness of the endocannabinoid system, helping maintain your overall health and wellness.