September 16, 2020

The endocannabinoid system

Turns out, alongside our respiratory, digestive, and nervous system, we have an endocannabinoid system seamlessly designed to process cannabinoids. That’s because our bodies produce cannabinoids naturally, all on their own. In fact, the word “endocannabinoid” is short for endogenous cannabinoid, indicating cannabinoid deriving from within the organism. It only has the “cannabinoid” part because it wasn’t until studying the effects of cannabinoids on the body that scientists uncovered it’s presence in the first place. Now that we know it’s there and have spent some time learning about it, we’re realising it’s pretty key.

Currently, there are two types of cannabinoid receptors receiving most of interest in research circles, CB1 and CB2. Although found throughout the body, CB1 receptors are most closely linked with the brain and central nervous system, and therefore involved learning, memory, hunger, decision-making, emotions, sensory and motor responsiveness, and maintaining balance. CB2 is mostly found outside the central nervous system and associated with immune function.

Cannabinoids fit into CB1 and CB2 receptors with impressive lock-and-key precision. In doing so, they can have either inhibitory or stimulatory-type effects. For example, pain, anxiety, and muscle spasticity can be inhibited, whereas appetite and a general sense of wellbeing can be stimulated. The bottom line is that the ECS is fundamental to remaining healthy. Each of us has an ECS; made up of receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes widespread in all types of cells scattered throughout our bodies. Remember, this system maintains balance in our body, literally keeping an eye on all the important functions that occur. When something goes wrong, ECS components instantly fix it. But, when the ECS is incapable to maintain balance, the result is often disease, a vital fact you should keep at the forefront of your mind and share whenever visiting your health care professional! 

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment with medical cannabis. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding your CBD use

Sources:

1. ‘Getting High on the Endocannabinoid System’, posted in the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3997295/

Some Questions we will be addressing in our Blog soon
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