An Overview of the Endocannabinoid System
Ever wonder how cannabinoids interact with your body? The answer is through the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating balance in our body’s immune response, appetite, metabolism, memory, and more. In spite of the integral role this system takes on, until recently it remained an unknown part of the human body’s functions.
Named for the plant that inspired its discovery, the endocannabinoid system’s importance is only just becoming understood by the medical community. It is through this system that the naturally occurring cannabinoids from medical cannabis interact with our bodies and trigger their beneficial effects. With the potential to greatly affect the way our body’s work, it is essential that we recognize how to maintain a healthy endocannabinoid system.
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
The endocannabinoid system is made up of several integrated mechanisms:
enzymes responsible for creating and destroying cannabinoids
receptor sites on cells to receive cannabinoids (CB1 and CB2)
the endocannabinoids themselves (compounds that are naturally produced by the human body).
Together, these mechanisms are predominantly responsible for regulating body processes and functions. Endocannabinoids interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptor sites with the goal of helping the body achieve homeostasis, or equilibrium.
CB1 and CB2 receptors respond differently, respectively, to different cannabinoids. CB1 receptors, most prevalent in the central nervous system, are linked to modulating stress, anxiety, appetite, nausea, immune system balance, and even the inhibition of tumors. CB2 receptors, found mostly on cells in the immune system, seem to domi
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