Humans have been using cannabis medicinally and recreationally for thousands of years. But what is it about this plant that can potentially help heal our body and positively alter our mental state?
In this blog, we will discuss the endocannabinoid system and its cannabinoid receptors.
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
Firstly, the endocannabinoid system was discovered in the 1990s by researchers who were studying THC and its effects on the body. It got its name from the word ‘endogenous,’ which means produced or synthesized within the system, and cannabinoids, the compounds that affect this system.
Fact: the endocannabinoid system exists in everyone, whether or not they use cannabis.
Endocannabinoids (cannabinoids produced by the body) and their receptors can be found in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells, which is why the use of cannabis can potentially be beneficial for so many bodily issues!
What does the Endocannabinoid System do?
Furthermore, researchers are continuing to discover the role that the endocannabinoid system plays in the body. According to a study published in 2018, the endocannabinoid system’s effect on the central nervous system impacts the following processes:
- 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
All of these processes contribute to homeostasis, which is the body’s ability to maintain equilibrium. According to Healthline, experts believe that the main purpose of the endocannabinoid system is to maintain homeostasis.
This means it is believed that the endocannabinoid system regulates our entire body and its functions!
Endocannabinoids have been found to be vital to our health and well-being. In fact, endocannabinoid deficiency has been linked to migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and other disorders that are otherwise treatment-resistant.
About Cannabinoid Receptors CB1 & CB2
Cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system by binding to cannabinoid receptors. There are two types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 is predominantly located in the nervous system while CB2 is primarily located in the immune system. However, many tissues contain both CB1 and CB2 receptors as they both serve different functions.
Our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids to bind to these receptors. Once these molecules bind to the cannabinoid receptors and perform their job, specialized enzymes break down the endocannabinoid to allow for new endocannabinoids to bind.
Cannabinoids that are produced from cannabis plants are able to bind to cannabinoid receptors. The most commonly studied cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The reason THC is especially effective is because it can bind to both CB1 and CB2 receptors.
By binding to both receptors, THC is able to create multiple effects throughout the body. On the other hand. CBD does not bind to the receptors the same way that THC does, and it is believed that CBD prevents enzymes from breaking down endocannabinoids.
PUR CannaBliss Dispensary: Supporting & Guiding Your Proactive Wellness Through Cannabis
Lastly, while there is still much to be discovered about the endocannabinoid system, we’re grateful for the information we do have. We hope that in the coming years we’ll learn more as opportunity for research expands.
At PUR CannaBliss, we aim to provide a healing experience through the conscious and responsible implementation of recreational and medicinal cannabis.
If you still have questions, or want to learn more, give us a call or send us a message on our website. Our canna-consultants are here to help you make the most educated decision for your personal wellness.
*Always consult a physician before making any changes to your health or fitness regimen.*