The Endocannabinoid System

Why you need to know about the Endocannabinoid system. In school you are taught about eleven major organ systems in the human body. They are the circulatory, respiratory, urinary, reproductive, integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, lymphatic, and digestive systems. There is, however, a system that is often overlooked, despite being…

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Why you need to know about the Endocannabinoid system.

In school you are taught about eleven major organ systems in the human body. They are the circulatory, respiratory, urinary, reproductive, integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, lymphatic, and digestive systems. There is, however, a system that is often overlooked, despite being more present and connected throughout the body than any of these other vital systems. New research suggests that the Endocannabinoid system may be vital in regulating some of your bodies key processes such as, inflammatory response, hunger, pain receptors, emotional and cognitive neurosignalling and the hormonal system. If each organ system is an instrument, think of your ECS as the conductor of the orchestra – it is a regulator and modulator for many other systems.

The Endocannabinoid system is made up of two receptors in the body, CB1 and CB2.

The CB1 receptor was discovered in 1992 by scientists who were trying to work out how THC interacted with the body. What they found was a widely distributed network of cannabinoid receptors present in the nervous system. It wasn’t long after that they uncovered CB2 receptors, an even more extensive network that reached into the body’s immune systems and major organs. These discoveries prompted a hunt for the bodies naturally occurring chemicals that must interact with these receptors (the key to the lock). Thus, the first cannabinoid was discovered, anandamide, or the bliss molecule. Anandamide is released naturally when we exercise for a long period of time and can be associated with a “runners high”. Since 1992, we have known about the crucial functioning of our endocannabinoid system, but only recently have we learned how to optimise it.

What does the endocannabinoid system do?

The ECS is integral to regulating the efficiency of all of our physiological functions. Homeostasis is a state of balance in which our body can perform all of its tasks with the greatest efficiency. The ECS helps our body to achieve homeostasis. Homeostasis effects how we sleep, our appetite, our pain response, inflammation, memory, mood and much more.

The Endocannabinoid system is natural and ancient.

Even your dog has an endocannabinoid system. It is as natural as has having an eyeball, or hair. In fact, the most primitive animal that has been found to have cannabinoid receptors is the sea squirt. The sea squirt is over 600 million years old! This suggests the ECS must be pretty fundamental to your health.

It’s everywhere!

There are more receptors for the cannabinoid Anandamide than any other receptor in the brain. The ECS is also crucial for regulating your central nervous system. In fact, there are more endocannabinoid receptors in the body than any other neuro modulatory receptors combined.

It may be important in curing many chronic issues

In modern cities, people are suffering from slow creeping illnesses normally caused by inflammation. Diseases such as Eczema, diabetes and rheumatory arthritis barely existed 100 years ago and now they are more prevalent than ever. Over 50% of GP appointments in the UK are for inflammatory related illnesses. Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency could be at the root of many of these issues.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18404144

CBD may enhance the signalling of the ECS

A large number of people using cannabis for medical purposes have been legitimised in recent years as research suggests that Cannabis’ interaction with the ECS can enhance its signalling. Cutting edge research shows CBD might act as a stimulant to our most central and wide ranging healing system.

Exercise and diet also work.

It has long been known that being fit and eating well are extremely good for us. It seems that the ECS may be part of the reason. Prolonged exercise is followed by a spike in anandamide, a relaxing endocannabinoid. Fatty acids also help support endocannabinoid brain signalling. By improving the performance of your endocannabinoid system, you improve the functioning of all other systems.