The ECS comprises of 3 key components:
• Cannabinoid receptors – found on the surface of cells
• Endocannabinoids – small molecules that activate cannabinoid receptors
• Metabolic enzymes – that break down endocannabinoids after they are used
are located on the surface of all cells in your body and they “listen” to conditions outside the cell. They transmit information about altered conditions to the inside of the cell and initiate the relevant cellular response.
There are two main cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. These are not the only cannabinoid receptors, but the first to be discovered and remain the best studied.
CB1 receptors are one of the most abounding types of receptors in the brain. These are the receptors that interact with THC to get people high.
CB2 receptors are more abundant outside the nervous system, places like the immune system. However, both receptors can be found throughout your body.
CB1 and CB2 receptors are key players in the ECS. They are located on the surface of all cells throughout your body, but CB1 receptors are more prevalent in the central nervous system, including neurons in the brain. In contrast, CB2 receptors are more abundant outside the nervous system, including cells of the immune system.
are the two primary binding molecules ANA and 2-AG, that systematically regulate all signals between your different body systems.
Both molecules are controlling your ECS and you sense these at the experience of euphoria, fear and anxiety. In everyday situations, these two molecules are the reason behind “runners high”, the feeling of euphoria after extensive exercise, as well as being the reason behind why babies are so calm and happy when they are breastfed.
includes the metabolic enzymes that destroy all endocannabinoids in ECS once used. The two main enzymes are FAAH which degrades ANA and MAGL which degrades 2-AG.
These enzymes ensure that endocannabinoids are used when needed, but no longer than necessary. This process separates endocannabinoids from many other molecular signals in your body, such as hormones or classic neurotransmitters, which can persist for many seconds or minutes, or be packed and stored for later use.
The ECS is the “control unit” of all interactions in our body; such as energy supply, brain activity, cell division and immunity to maintain our bodies’ structural and functional integrity.
If the ECS fails to work properly the interactions and communication between the different organs and body activities will be interrupted which will cause diseases, such as
The ECS maintains balance or homeostasis in our body, but it is also a system evolved from nature working like a biochemical feedback system.
The cannabis plant contains complements of cannabinoids that are equally, if not more, powerful to regulate our body’s most crucial biochemical systems, the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This offers some great opportunities in therapeutics treatment as plant cannabinoids can be used to enhance and optimize our endocannabinoid system, and thus anticipate, prevent or even fight diseases.
The acting and effectiveness of the body’s cannabinoids – is similar to Phytocannabinoids, produced by the cannabis plant. This means that when you have a problem within the internal workings of your body’s ECS and the natural endocannabinoids it produces, you can adjust the ECS system by introducing phytocannabinoids found in cannabis.
By manipulating the ECS with plant-derived cannabinoids, research has shown you can use these phytocannabinoids to treat a number of health conditions.