Two decades ago a team of scientists discovered endocannabinoids. This is a natural cannabis-like molecule our bodies produce to maintain homeostasis. Homeostasis relates to the stability of a cell within the body and responds to environmental changes.
According to numerous taxonomic investigations, the endocannabinoid system has been in existence since the dawn of history. This system is believed to have evolved more than 500 million years ago. Interestingly, the system is present in vertebrates-reptiles, birds, mammals, fish and amphibians. So, what exactly is the endocannabinoid system and how does it bring homeostasis to your body?
What is the endocannabinoid system?
The term “endocannabinoid” is derived from “endogenous”, a word that describes anything produced naturally in our bodies and “cannabinoid” is a compound commonly found in cannabis plants. Therefore, the endocannabinoid system is like a bridge linking natural compounds in our bodies with cannabis-based compounds. The two work together to make our bodies achieve a true sense of well-being.
Endocannabinoid system comprises of three major components:
– Endocannabinoids are produced naturally in specific compounds
– Nervous system receptors responsible for bonding with cannabinoids and endocannabinoids
– Specific enzymes used by the body to break down cannabinoids and endocannabinoids compounds to enhance their functionality
Endocannabinoid system is the full force behind the CBD and medical marijuana research. With time, the outcome may change the whole story about the consumption of these two compounds.
How does the endocannabinoid system work?
The system involves three additional core components, enzymes, receptors and endocannabinoids.
Enzymes play a critical role in breaking down all endocannabinoids after they have accomplished their mission.
Two types of enzymes responsible for this break down are:
Monoacylglycerol aclid lipase-breaks down 2-AG
Fatty acid amide-hydrolase-Typically breaks down AEA
Endocannabinoid receptors are located in every part of your body. However, endocannabinoids bind to receptors in order to signal the endocannabinoid system to take action.
Below are the two types of endocannabinoid receptors found in the body:
CB1 receptors-located in your central nervous system
CBD2 receptors-found in the peripheral nervous system
The effects of endocannabinoids depend solely on the location of the receptors in your body.
Also known as endogenous cannabinoids, endocannabinoids are molecules produced in our bodies.
Examples of these molecules are:
Anandamide or AEA
These molecules are responsible for the smooth running of the internal functions.
What are the functions of endocannabinoid system?
Experts have been unable to determine how the endocannabinoid system works. But numerous studies have linked the system to the following processes:
- Chronic pain
- Digestion and appetite
- several immune system responses
- Motor control
- Learning and memory
- Muscle formation
- Cardiovascular system function
- Liver function
- Stress management
- Nerve function
- Growth of bones
All these functions play a role in promoting homeostasis or the stability of your internal environment.
What is the connection between CBD and the endocannabinoid system?
Apart from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) the other common substance found in cannabis plants is cannabidiol (CBD). CBD does not make you “high” like THC and it doesn’t have any negative effect on the users. This explains why it does not bind to either CB1 or CB2 receptors.
Experts believe that CBD prevents the breakdown of endocannabinoids, thus allowing them to become more effective on your body. Also, studies show that cannabidiol can help with nausea, pain and other multiple conditions within a human body.
If you want to experience the effects of CBD in your body and are curious where to buy quality products, you can purchase it in the form of CBD oil from accredited wholesalers. Also, you may find it in one of its organic forms as long as you know where you can buy it.
The bottom line
The endocannabinoid system is responsible for keeping our internal processes stable and functional. Despite the little knowledge we have about this system, there is still a lot more we can learn from it.