The Endocannabinoid System

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What is the Endocannabinoid System?

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is responsible for regulating a multitude of functions in your body to include memory, appetite, inflammation, sleep, and emotional processing. It helps you function on a day to day basis and provides homeostasis for the body.

Our brains naturally produce molecules called endocannabinoids which are structurally similar to the molecules found in cannabis. So even without using cannabis, you have endocannabinoids working in your system to help regulate your body’s functions. The most understood molecules found in the body are anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Shockingly enough, these molecules are also found naturally in breast milk. When you consume cannabis products your endocannabinoid system is put to work and the effects start to take place.


Research has shown that a deficiency in endocannabinoids can cause negative impacts in the body and may be the reason behind some chronic conditions. The endocannabinoid system helps maintain homeostasis within our bodies and deficiencies seem to cause a multitude of symptoms, to include migraines. The ECS is a powerful tool in our body that when stimulated by cannabis can help make us feel better in many regards.


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What Are Cannabinoid Receptors?

Cannabinoid receptors are found in the central nervous system, immune cells, digestive system, and various other areas of the body, creating a large impact. There are two receptors that are found in the endocannabinoid system; CB1 and CB2.

CB1 Receptors are predominantly found in the nervous system, connective tissues, organs, and glands. CB2 Receptors are found in the immune system and its associated structures.

Many tissues contain both receptors that are each linked to a different action. These receptors control the levels and activity of most other neurotransmitters. They regulate the body by turning up or down the activity of the system that needs to be adjusted


The Science of Cannabis

Studies on the endocannabinoid system began in the early 1990’s and continue on today. Because of the drug classification of marijuana, studies are limited and research is still being conducted to understand the complexities of the ECS and how cannabis affects us. Drugs have been manufactured to mimic cannabinoids like THC and CBD, but there is nothing that can truly match the effects of the natural cannabis plant. Manufactured based medications have had some undesirable side effects to include suicidal thoughts and have been pulled from production.


Some cannabis products may cause you to feel paranoid, too high, or uncomfortable. However, these side effects will go away within 24 hours of consuming cannabis as it passes through the system. Have peace of mind that it is also not possible to overdose on marijuana, no matter how many edibles you eat or dabs you take. If you need a quick resolution to your “too high” feeling, eating fresh cracked black pepper or taking CBD products can help reduce the effects of cannabis.

Source: Introduction to the Endocannabinoid System

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