The Endocannabinoid System:
We all have one. But why does it matter?
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS), is a network of receptors all throughout your body. And these receptors check on what’s happening around them to help your body adjust. In fact, the ECS helps us maintain homeostasis, regulating different systems like sleep, inflammation, pain, memory, mood and appetite.
But back to the receptors in the Endocannabinoid System – there's two major types. And these receptors bind to cannabinoids – compounds naturally found in our brains and bodies...and in the cannabis plant.
2 Major Types of Receptors in the ECS:
CB1: These receptors are located throughout the brain and central nervous system.And they interact with and activate THC, the part of the cannabis plant that gives us psychoactive effects. Psychoactive might seem like a scary word, but it literally means “acting on the mind.” So, caffeine = also a psychoactive.
CB2: These receptors are usually located in our organs and tissues associated with the immune system. Examples include tonsils, thymus, lymph nodes, spleen, and white-blood-cell-making bone marrow.
So how do cannabinoids help us?
While the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our ECS listen to what’s going on in our bodies, the cannabinoids talk, giving our ECS information that gets the body get back to balance (homeostasis) and well-being (immune-system regulation.)
THC and CBD are two of the most well-known cannabinoids found in cannabis. They’ve helped patients suffering from pain, nausea, insomnia, anxiety, inflammation, epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease, cancer and more.
The Most Common Cannabinoids
Psychoactive: (compounds that “act on the mind,” like caffeine, for example.)