The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is integral to the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis. It plays a role in every system of the body – circulatory, digestive, endocrine, integumentary/exocrine, lymphatic/immune, muscular, nervous, urinary/excretory and reproductive.
It also works to help regulate sleep, mood, inflammation, appetite and anxiety. This is the main reason why cannabis can have so many benefits.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is responsible for homeostasis in the body, which means that it maintains the body’s internal balance. This balancing of the many functions in the body is a crucial part of human health and wellness.
The ECS regulates several bodily functions such as appetite, mood, movement, pain sensitivity, stress response, and memory. It also plays an important role in the immune system by controlling various aspects of inflammatory responses and stimulating adaptive immunity.
There are two main endocannabinoids present in the body, known as Anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). These molecules interact with the body’s receptors and help stimulate a wide range of physiological processes.
When the body is in a state of optimum function, it produces a high level of Anandamide and 2-AG. However, when the body’s internal physiology is disrupted or there are deviations from a state of homeostasis, Anandamide and 2-AG are broken down by enzymes called fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL).
This process effectively shuts off molecular signals that had been stimulating certain physiological activities. The CB1 and CB2 receptors are the cellular receptors that receive these signals, and they activate a chain reaction within the body’s cells.
These endocannabinoids interact with the lipid-rich membranes of a variety of cells, including neurons, lymphocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells. They also play a role in the activation and proliferation of other types of immune cells, such as cytotoxic T lymphocytes and B cells.
Cannabis is known to have a positive effect on the endocannabinoid system by stimulating and modulating this system. The chemical compounds found in cannabis, namely phytocannabinoids and terpenes, help the endocannabinoid receptors to communicate with each other, thereby stabilizing and finetuning this system.
The endocannabinoid signaling pathway is essential for the proper functioning of various organs and tissues, including the brain, lungs, heart, and immune system. It is believed that a malfunction of this system may contribute to diseases and conditions, such as migraines, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome.
2. CB1 Receptors
The endocannabinoid system is the body’s primary tool in maintaining homeostasis, a state of equilibrium. It’s responsible for keeping the body in perfect balance across all physiological systems, and it oversees a variety of different processes, from arousal and appetite to mood, anxiety, pain, sleep, and hormone production.
There are two main types of receptors in the endocannabinoid system: CB1 and CB2. Both are G-protein-coupled receptors that are found on the membranes of cells throughout the body, including those of the nervous system. These receptors bind to an endocannabinoid compound, which triggers a specific response from the cell.
Among the most common of these receptors is the CB1 receptor, which is present at high concentrations in the brain and is found in all areas of the central nervous system (CNS). Its function is to promote sensory perception, memory, and motor activity and coordination.
Additionally, the CB1 receptor is present in many other organs and tissues, including the glands, gastrointestinal tract, lungs and kidneys. They also play a role in the immune system and are implicated in the regulation of inflammation and cell migration, as well as bone mass and density.
In addition, the CB1 receptor is also involved in memory and learning. It has been found that these receptors are present in the presynaptic compartment of the hippocampus, as well as the postsynaptic compartment of the cerebral cortex.
When these receptors are activated, they cause the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, acetylcholine, glutamate and serotonin, which in turn regulate a wide range of different processes within the central nervous system. These include arousal, hunger, thirst, pain sensation, anxiety, fatigue, and stress.
These effects are dependent on which specific receptors are being activated, and how those receptors are functioning. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to understand the role that the endocannabinoid receptors play in the body.
Ultimately, understanding the impact of cannabis on the endocannabinoid systems can help you make better choices about your health and wellness. It can also help you understand how to use cannabis for the treatment of a wide variety of health conditions, from anxiety and depression to chronic pain and neurodegenerative diseases like Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer’s Disease.
3. CB2 Receptors
The endocannabinoid system is a complex cellular system that helps maintain the body’s natural homeostasis. This means that it enables the body to keep up with changes and ensures that everything is running smoothly and effectively.
In the human body, this system is remarkably widespread, spanning many different parts of the body. It includes the brain, immune system, central nervous system (CNS), digestive system, integumentary system (the skin and horns), musculoskeletal system, urinary tract and reproductive system.
This incredibly extensive network of receptors reacts to a variety of different endocannabinoids and cannabinoids. These endocannabinoids and cannabinoids are produced naturally by your body. These endocannabinoids and the cannabinoids they interact with are known as ligands, while the receptors are called agonists.
Among the most important endocannabinoids found in the ECS are
It has also been linked to immune suppression and apoptosis (cell death), which can lead to the treatment of autoimmune diseases like arthritis, as well as cancer. Studies have also shown that cannabinoids and terpenes used together with chemotherapy for patients with malignant tumors are helpful in controlling side effects such as nausea and sleeplessness.
These compounds are responsible for a variety of health benefits, including alleviating stress, boosting immunity, and increasing energy levels. They’re also thought to reduce inflammation, and improve the quality of your sleep.
One of the ways that cannabinoids from cannabis affect your endocannabinoid system involves increasing your internal production of
Consuming cannabinoids from cannabis, especially when combined with a healthy diet and exercise routine, can help your body produce more
4. Cannabinoid Transporters
The endocannabinoid system is a vital component of our physiology that works to maintain a state of homeostasis, or optimal functioning within an organism. This is achieved by monitoring the body’s cells and keeping them healthy at all times, adapting to changes in external conditions and adjusting their function accordingly.
This cellular system comprises of two different receptors, CB1 and CB2; both of which have numerous roles throughout the body. The CB1 receptors are found on nerve cells and in organs and tissues such as the spleen, white blood cells, and endocrine glands. These receptors have been linked to memory and pain effects, as well as regulating appetite and sleep.
Moreover, the CB2 receptors are believed to be involved in many different functions in the brain and immune system. For example, these receptors have been shown to protect the brain against oxidative stress, inflammation, and traumatic insults. The presence of CB2 receptors can also regulate immune responses to disease and promote the growth of new white blood cells.
In addition to regulating immunity, the endocannabinoid system can also be used as a tool to treat autoimmune diseases. This is because the ECS can act as an inflammatory mediator and suppress certain immune responses by reducing inflammatory molecules like IL-6, TNF-
The ECS also helps the body fight off viruses and other pathogens by interacting with T cells and other immune cells. Studies show that T cells produce a higher level of cytokines (proteins that regulate the immune system) when they interact with endocannabinoids. These cytokines can be converted into IL-2, a key inflammatory mediator that triggers innate and adaptive immunity in the body.
Endocannabinoids are absorbed into the bloodstream via the endocannabinoid transporters known as adenylate cyclase receptors (ACCRs). ACCRs can be found throughout the body and are responsible for delivering endocannabinoids to the brain, immune cells, connective tissue, and glands. Once in the brain, endocannabinoids can be converted into 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide. This lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitter acts on the CB1 and CB2 receptors to activate a range of physiological and molecular responses in the body.