What is the Endocannabinoid System?
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) has been called the "master system," as it has the ability to regulate the processes in our bodies, playing a large role in homeostasis. Discoverd by Allyn Howlett in the mid 1980s, the ECS has two primary receptors; CB1 and CB2. Both of these receptors (with their sites located in the image above) play a role in cell-to-cell communication; signaling roles in the central nervous system such as pain perception, inflammation, fear, body temperature, anxiety, stress response, appetite, muscle control, and more. It is comprised of molecules known as endocannabinoids, also down as cannabinoids, that are naturally produced by lipids in the body, enzymes that create and destroy cannabinoids, and cannabinoid receptor sites.
The CB1 receptor is most found in the central nervous system and can regulate the release of neurotransmitters in the brain.
The CB2 receptor is primarily found in the immune system, and cells associated with immune function. When a cannabinoid binds to the CB2 receptor, it promotes immune balance, decreases inflammation and pain perception, and reduces stress and anxiety.
WHY DO WE CARE?
So, why do we care about the Endocannabinoid System? Why be conscious of regulating it?
Simply put, the ECS helps to maintain optimal health and protect against disease progression. Both a over regulated and underregulated ECS can result in different imbalances. An overdrive of the ECS can be found in inflammation, pain, digestion, heart, metabolic, and neurodegenerative imbalances. On the other hand, low levels of endocannabinoids can cause imbalances in the gut, sleep, moods, and pain to name a few.
ECS IS DIFFERENT IN MALES AND FEMALES
It is important to note that typically, males have higher CB1 receptor density - meaning they usually require more cannabinoids than women do for similar results. Scientists believe that a difference in hormone production in males and females may cause this variation in the ECS between the two genders.
HOW TO REGULATE IT
CBD, hemp, cannabis
Beta-caryophyllene - a terpene found in hemp and cannabis as well as: black pepper, hops, cloves, oregano, cinnamon, basil
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Massage, exercise, meditation, breathing
The goal of the Endocannabinoid System is to maintain equilibrium of health and to protect about disease progression, so it is important to get in a routine of regulating it!
Reach out with any questions about how to get started with CBD. We are here to help!