What is the Endocannabinoid System(ECS)?
When it comes to understanding something as often misinterpreted as cannabis, knowing where to start can be tough work. One thing that we recommend that you do before you make your mind up on what you think about cannabis is to look at the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is broadly defined as a complex system that was brought together by research departments back in the 1990s.
As the world slowly moved on from its conservative views of cannabis usage, the ECS was vital in helping them to better understand cannabis as a whole. The main thing they worked on, though, was THC. It helped them to better understand cannabis far more – but they also found out that the ECS is present within your body even if you have never used cannabis before.
That was a major discovery, and so too was just how wide the impact of ECS is on the body. We fund that it plays a major role in how we regulate everything from appetite to energy, memory to fertility. In short, ECS plays a massive role in our lives – even if you have only just found out about the fact that it exists today!
How does ECS work with cannabis itself?
So, ECS is made up of a trio of different components. They are Enzymes, Receptors and Endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are the most important part of ECS, as they are molecules already found within the human body. They are produced naturally by our bodies, and normally is split up into two forms; Anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglyerol. Yes, the second is a real tongue twister!
Our bodies produce these as we need them, and then they bind to the right receptors that our bodies need so that ECS can take the action required. This normally means that you are dealing with CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 is in the central nervous system, while CB2 is fond in the peripheral nervous system – like the immune cells that your body is producing!
The other section, Enzymes, are a big part of the way that our bodies break down endocannabinoids once they have been utilised for a certain function. This often means they are broken down into fatty acid amide hydrolase or monoacylglycerol acid lipase. The former breaks down into Anandamide, the latter into 2-arachidonoylglyerol.
Why does this matter in relation to my CBD usage?
The main reason why this matters is that ECS is such a crucial part of how we can understanding cannabis. We don’t even fully know what it does or the potential functions of every part. What we do know, though, is that it could be linked to anything from our appetite to our metabolism.
It’s also got links to everything from how we learn, how we retain information, how we sleep, how we feel in terms of our mood, and even how hungry we feel. It’s also got a major role to play in both cardiovascular function and muscle development.
All of these functions, and more, build to develop homeostasis; which is how stable your body is in relation to outside influence. Indeed, it’s believed that ECS could see its primary function come from maintaining consistent homeostasis.
Make no mistake, though; whether or not you use CBD or not, your body already utilises the ECS. This is not a by-product of the ‘drug’; it’s a part of life as we know it. If you wish to understand the body and mind in full, you need to be able to grasp ECS.