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Endocannabinoid System 101: What is the Endocannabinoid System?

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The advancement of technology and science does not mean that we have fully discovered everything. There are many parts of the body, along with its system, that have yet to be discovered or has not been thoroughly studied yet. The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is one of those unfamiliar systems. Here, we will discuss what the Endocannabinoid System is and its pivotal role for the body.

The Discovery of Endocannabinoid System

In 1964, a scientist named Dr. Raphael Mechoulam found and managed to isolate THC from the rest. Because of Mechoulam’s discovery, scientists began researching cannabis and its influence on the body. Later in 1988, the cannabinoid receptors were discovered in a rat by Allyn Howlett and William Devane. The discovery of the receptors helped the duo to map the rest of the receptors all over the body. Thus, the ECS was born. Unfortunately, not many people know about ECS. The lack of awareness is because of the little to no socialization is given from both schools and the government. Thankfully, scientists have become more active when it comes to ECS nowadays.  

What is Endocannabinoid System?

The Endocannabinoid System is not as complex as it sounds. It is a biological system consisting of neurotransmitters and receptors found not in a specific part of the body only, but the entire body – from head to toe. The system consists of three parts. They are:

● Endocannabinoids

Endocannabinoids are the main and active components of the system. They are produced naturally in the body. There are, however, some endocannabinoids that can be found outside such as THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol). CBD is also phytocannabinoid, meaning that it can be found on certain plants.

● Enzyme

It is the substance that works after endocannabinoids finished their duty.

● Receptors

Receptors are parts of the Endocannabinoid System that “converse” with endocannabinoids. The two receptors in the system are CB1 and CB2.

Endocannabinoid System for the Body

Endocannabinoid System exists not without reason. In fact, the homeostasis condition of our body is all because of ECS. Without ECS and its components, the body would have a hard time regulating things properly from within. Whether we like it or not, our bodies depend on ECS.

However, there is more to ECS than maintaining homeostasis mode. According to research, the ECS is almost everywhere in our body. Its territory is so vast to the point where it connects to many kinds of functions, such as:

  • Metabolism and appetite
  • Mood and stress
  • Liver function
  • Inflammation and pain
  • Learning and memory
  • Sleep cycle
  • Motor control
  • Skin and nerve function

Of course, these are only some of the functions connected to ECS. There are others that haven’t been mentioned. Such a vast amount of functions, isn’t it? Since it covers almost every part of the body, we need to make sure that our ECS is well-maintained.

The Importance of Homeostasis

Homeostasis is repeatedly mentioned because of its pivotal role for our body. Homeostasis is the stable mode of our body. Let’s use temperature as an example. Our body will freeze if it’s too cold and sweat if it’s too hot. To avoid freezing and over sweating, the body needs to be in a certain temperature between hot and cold – meaning a middle ground. That is what homeostasis mode is. It is a middle ground that keeps things balanced in our body.

This is where ECS comes into play. The three components form a solid system that helps the body in its homeostasis mode. First, receptors – CB1 and CB2 – check all around the system whether everything is stable or not. When the receptors sense something that is not in its homeostasis mode, it will send a message to produce endocannabinoids to restore everything to its homeostasis mode. After everything is right again, enzymes will break down the endocannabinoids so that they are not used excessively. Pretty neat, isn’t it?

The working process in the Endocannabinoid System is literally only in three steps, probably shorter than some of the recipes in this world. To make it even better, all of these things are done almost in every part of the body. So simple, and yet also complicated and important at the same time.

Endocannabinoids and Endocannabinoid System

Endocannabinoids and Endocannabinoid System have a unique relationship that intertwines with each other. There are several ways where endocannabinoids interact with the system. The first interaction is direct interaction. It is done by CB1 directly binding THC. It should be noted, however, that CB1 is the part of the receptors related to the brain and the main nervous system. Many suspects that the direct binding and the function of CB1 are the cause of intoxication.

CBD has an opposite effect of THC. Unlike THC, CBD does not directly bind the receptors. Instead, it indirectly goes to the ECS, resulting in the natural production of endocannabinoids and healthier ECS. Due to its potential, CBD is slowly gaining a spotlight, and experts are starting to probe into it more and more.  

Endocannabinoid Deficiency

Endocannabinoids also play a big role in reducing Endocannabinoid Deficiency. An article published in 2016 from Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research stated that endocannabinoid deficiency does exist and may contribute to some conditions such as migraines, fibromyalgia, IBS, and more.

Endocannabinoid System and Us

Once more, the body surprises us with the discovery of the Endocannabinoid System. Nobody would have thought that a system can be so vast and intertwined with the functions of the body. Moreover, its role is so great that the lack of its component, which is endocannabinoids, can result in a deficiency. Although the deficiency contributes to minor ailments, they are minor everyday ailments that can disrupt our daily activities. Besides, there is no guarantee that ECS does not affect major ailments in the future.

For this reason, it is best for us to take care of our endocannabinoid system. There are some CBD oil and CBD food supplements that can be used to support the ECS’s health. Whichever option you want to pick, make sure that it can help you keep your ECS healthy. Each of us only has one body, and we have to take care of it to remains healthy. We want to thank you for choosing Reliefly as your one stop shop for all of your CBD needs!

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