The Endocannabinoid System
The body is made up of intricate systems designed to help you function: the nervous system, the digestive system, the immune system just to name a few. But did you know the Endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating them all? The ECS works to keep your body in homeostasis, or balance, within all systems.
Turns out, our bodies have more in common with plants than we might think. Cannabinoids are not just found in cannabis; our own bodies can produce them naturally. Known as endogenous cannabinoids, they mobilize in response to triggers, like pain, and are quickly broken down by the body afterwards. Exogenous cannabinoids are those from an outside source: think CBD or THC, two of the most abundant cannabinoids present in cannabis plants. Exogenous cannabinoids have the ability to stay in the body much longer than their counterparts.
Studies show the receptors found throughout the ECS respond to both internal (endogenous) and external (exogenous) cannabinoids. Known as CB1 and CB2 receptors, they are found all over the body from head to toe.
Though these receptors only directly bind with endogenous cannabinoids, exogenous cannabinoids play a key role in unlocking the power of the ECS. When exogenous cannabinoids are introduced, they trigger the creation of endogenous cannabinoids and inhibit the body from breaking them down.
Still with us?
Just think of the ECS as one big communication hub. Exogenous cannabinoids send the message, and endogenous cannabinoids deliver that message to the ECS. They work together in perfect harmony. Having a greater knowledge of how the ECS works allows us to understand just how beneficial adding cannabis supplements to your routine can be.
It’s not as simple as “it works because it works!”
It is an entire system within our bodies designed to work synergistically with these compounds to help us remain balanced in a world full of stressors.