In the world of CBD and CBG, we often hear a great deal about the endocannabinoid system. What is it? What exactly does it do? The answer: a whole lot, especially in the world of CBD. It is a powerful part of the human body, and it is important we all learn a bit more about what it can really do.
Located throughout the body, the Endocannabinoid System is a relatively newly discovered system consisting of – broadly – endocannabinoids and their receptors. The parts of the body where the ECS can be found includes everything from the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands and immune cells.
So just what does the endocannabinoid system do? The answer varies greatly. Depending on the location within the body, this system controls hormonal balance to affect everything from sleep to digestion to pain management, mood, and so much more.
The entire system consists of three different ingredients: endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes. We will briefly discuss each of these.
Thus far, scientists have identified two endocannabinoids: anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG). Both of which are produced naturally by the body as needed, and can be found throughout.
Endocannabinoids use receptors to bind and signal to the body that changes need to take place. The most common receptors found are CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found in the brain and central nervous system. CB2 receptors are found in peripheral organs and the immune system.
Once the endocannabinoids and receptors do their job, it’s up to enzymes to break down those endocannabinoids. The enzymes involved in this process are fatty acid amide hydrolase, which breaks down, and AEA monoacylglycerol acid lipase, which typically breaks down 2-AG.
Here is a more thorough list of bodily functions affected
Studies at this point have found the endocannabinoid system to affect the following functions in the body:
- appetite and digestion
- chronic pain
- inflammation and other immune system responses
- learning and memory
- motor control
- cardiovascular system function
- muscle formation
- bone remodeling and growth
- liver function
- reproductive system function
- skin and nerve function