The endocannabinoid system is a complex cell signalling system that actively exists in the human body for regulating a number of functions and processes. It was discovered in the 1990s when the researchers set sail to research THC, a cannabinoid found in cannabis.
How does the endocannabinoid system work?
There are 3 main components of the endocannabinoid system:
These are molecules produced by the body which are similar in nature to cannabinoids. They are produced upon demand, mainly to run the internal functions smoothly.
The endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body for signalling when the endocannabinoid system needs to take action. There are two receptors: CB1 in the central nervous system and CB2 in the peripheral nervous system. Endocannabinoids themselves can bind to either receptor.
These enzymes break down endocannabinoids after they’ve performed their function.
What are the functions of an endocannabinoid system?
Appetite and digestion, bone remodelling and growth, chronic pain, inflammation and other immune system responses, learning and memory, liver function, metabolism, mood, motor control, muscle formation, reproductive system function, sleep, stress, skin and nerve function are some important functions linked to the endocannabinoid system that contribute to homeostasis, the stability of the internal environment.
Is the endocannabinoid system crucial for homeostasis?
Homeostasis is the body’s natural balanced state that’s vital for our health and survival. If the endocannabinoid system fails to function properly, it can cause health implications. Your body is likely to trigger the endocannabinoid system with great precision for it to impact only what it needs to, once the job is done and the balance is retrieved, enzymes are quick to break them down in order to prevent them from travelling into the system to upset the balance in the opposite direction.
Boosting your endocannabinoid system with cannabidiol
THC is the first most common cannabinoid found in cannabis, while CBD ranks second. CBD is non-toxic and interacts well with the endogenous endocannabinoid system as it floods bind with receptors to make the body function properly. It’s also readily being used by those seeking medical benefits from the cannabis plant. This is a relatively safe method that treats conditions caused by endocannabinoid deficiency such as fibromyalgia, IBS and, migraine. It doesn’t produce a ‘high.’
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