Cannabinoids occur naturally in the body and are important for homeostasis. Their absence from the body seriously affects our health and mood. Researchers have demonstrated the importance of CBD in maintaining normal bodily functions.
The unique endocannabinoid system runs throughout our body and has several receptors that bind to cannabinoids so that CBD can enter the bloodstream.
What is the endocannabinoid system?
The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, is responsible for regulating the balance in our body’s immune response, communication between cells, metabolism, memory, sleep, appetite, digestion, hunger, mood, motor control, immune function, reproduction and fertility, pleasure, pain and temperature regulation.
Despite the integral role this system assumes, until the mid-1990s, it remained an unknown part of the functions of the human body. The system is named after the plant that inspired its discovery.
The endocannabinoid system is important to your overall health and balance, but its importance is only recently understood by the medical community. It is through this system that the natural cannabinoids in CBD oil interact with our bodies and trigger its many beneficial effects. Because of the way it affects the way our bodies function, a healthy endocannabinoid system is critical and it is essential that we learn how to maintain it.
The endocannabinoid system is composed of several integrated mechanisms:
- Enzymes responsible for the creation and destruction of cannabinoids.
- Receptor sites on cells to receive cannabinoids.
- Endocannabinoids (cannabinoid-like compounds that occur naturally in the human body).
- These mechanisms are predominantly responsible for communication within the body to better regulate various biological responses.
One of the main questions raised in these early studies was whether or not the body produces its own natural equivalents to the previously discovered compounds called phytocannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, which are found in the herbal plant.
The answer turned out to be positive: in the form of the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-AG, which are like the two prominent analogs of THC and CBD. With the understanding that we humans create our own cannabinoids, the door was opened to deconstruct their purpose.
Endocannabinoids as a response of the body
Endocannabinoids are created in response to needs within the larger physiological system and are used for regulatory functions in the body. They act on presynaptic cells to control the volume at which communication signals are sent. This is how endocannabinoids affect the duration and intensity of the wide range of physiological processes under their control.
While the endocannabinoid system is linked to several important processes and is concentrated in the brain, nervous system and reproductive organs, it does not affect the regions of the brain that control heart and lung function. This characteristic is one of the main reasons why fatal cannabinoid overdoses do not occur.
How does the endocannabinoid system work?
Whenever there are deviations from homeostasis in body functions, the endocannabinoid system is activated and begins to respond accordingly by synthesizing endocannabinoids, which act as neurotransmitters.
How does the endocannabinoid system affect your health?
Since the discovery of the endocannabinoid system and its parts, researchers have worked to better understand how the endocannabinoid system can be used therapeutically to:
- Decrease pain.
- Fight cancer.
- Prevent neurodegenerative diseases.
- Promote overall health.
Overall, research indicates that the endocannabinoid system helps ensure that the body’s immune system and central nervous system function properly.
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