The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
The endocannabinoid system has been recently recognized as an important modulatory system in the function of brain, endocrine and immune tissues. It also appears to play an important regulatory role in the secretion of hormones related to reproductive functions and response to stress. ECS is a molecular system that regulates and balances many processes in the body including communication between cells, appetite and metabolism, memory, immune response, and more. This system is comprised of cannabinoid receptor sites which are located all throughout the body, from the brain to the connective tissue. Cannabinoids bind to these sites naturally in order to promote homeostasis.
Two primary cannabinoid receptors, cannabinoid-receptor type 1(CB1), and cannabinoid-receptor type 2(CB2), play an important role in keeping the body balanced.
- CB1 Receptors are found primarily in the central nervous system, although some are also found in the peripheral tissues such as the endocrine glands, spleen, heart and other locations. CB1 receptors are G protein-coupled receptors that respond to endogenous cannabinoids, such as anandamide, as well as external cannabinoids like CBD.
- CB2 Receptors are only found in peripheral tissues and is not typically found in the central nervous system. CB2 is also a G protein-coupled receptor that responds to endogenous cannabinoids, as well as CBD
What Does All of This Mean?
As part of the endocannabinoid system, these receptors are responsible for regulating the balance of many everyday functions in the human body. These receptors, however, are also activated when cannabinoids are introduced to the body from external sources, such as cannabidiol. According to Project CBD, an online resource, “It stands to reason that this system can be modulated to alleviate certain symptoms. This method may be capable of treating a variety of conditions including, skeletal, (and/or) nerve pain, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, seizure disorders, glaucoma, hypertension, movement disorders, myocardial infarction, anxiety disorders, obesity, and many more.”
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