The Endocannabinoid system and how it works
For the precise interpretation of cannabidiol (CBD) properties, you have to understand how does the Endocannabinoid system affect our brain. It's incredible that people have used cannabis for centuries as a natural medicine, but only in the past few decades have scientists truly understood how it works!
What led to this understanding was the discovery of the endocannabinoid system; a unique biological system that facilitates the effects of marijuana within the human body.
What is the Endocannabinoid system?
The endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS), named after the plant that led to its discovery, is perhaps the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health. Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells.
While cannabinoid receptors (research has shown that there are two types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2) are primarily expressed in the brain and immune system, they can also be identified in a variety of other places as well, including the peripheral nervous system, cardiovascular system, reproductive system, and gastrointestinal and urinary tracts. Cannabinoid receptors continue to be identified in unique parts of the body as research on the endocannabinoid system progresses.
What does it do?
Interestingly, the endocannabinoid system is not unique to the human species. Rather, research has shown that this system is common to all humans and vertebrate animals – and even some invertebrate animals – suggesting its significance in the process of evolution. Experts believe that natural selection has conserved the endocannabinoid system in living organisms for 500 million years.
Although the endocannabinoid system affects a wide variety of biological processes (such as appetite and sleep), experts believe that its overall function is to regulate homeostasis.
Homeostasis is a key element in the biology of all living things and is best described as the ability to maintain stable internal conditions that are necessary for survival. Disease is simply a result of some aspect of failure in achieving homeostasis, making the endocannabinoid system a unique target for medical applications.
- John Yoda