What is the Endocannabinoid System?

The Endocannabinoid System

Have you ever wondered how the human body keeps itself in balance? What makes us feel hungry, or energized, or lethargic? The answer has to do with how the brain communicates with individual cells throughout the human body. Because the brain and central nervous system cannot connect with every single cell in the human body, it uses a system of signaling molecules (aka neurotransmitters)

This intricate and fascinating system is known is Endocannabinoid System (sometimes referred to as the ECS) and it communicates with cells throughout our body with receptors known as endocannabinoids.

Although much has been learned about the ECS in the past few decades, the workings of this system are still not yet fully understood. In fact, the ECS was only recently discovered in the early 90s(!) even though cannabinoids (think CBD, CBN, CBC, and over a hundred more) were identified more than half a century ago.

So, what exactly is the ECS doing within our bodies you might be wondering… The ECS regulates a wide array of functions in the human body including appetite, wakefulness, mood, immune response, pain response, and much, much more. This ability of the body to regulate itself and to maintain a balanced state of health is known as homeostasis.

Within our Endocannabinoid System there are  two types of cannabinoid receptors in the body:

Our CB1 receptors are found in the brain and central nervous system, while the CB2 receptors are found throughout the body, especially in the major organs. 

Scientists were astounded when they discovered that the human body utilizes both types of cannabinoids as this implies that the human race coevolved with cannabis to take advantage of these compounds. 

Care For Our Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

Since hemp was banned by state and federal governments almost 100 years ago, the human diet has been deprived of these phytocannabinoids which are necessary for maintaining health. This condition is known as phytocannabinoid deficiency

Today, many medical researchers believe that phytocannabinoid deficiency is responsible for a host of ailments ranging from eating disorders to sleep disorders, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, conditions such as fibromyalgia, and much more. 

Thankfully, the U.S. government recently legalized the production of hemp with the 2018 Farm Bill. This removed CBD from its list of controlled substances allowing Americans to reintroduce CBD and other cannabinoids into our diets - necessary compounds necessary for good health. 

More on how the ECS Work.

The function of the ECS, as we mentioned earlier is to relay information from cells to the brain and instructions from the brain to individual cells. For example, when we are in danger, our brain produces signaling molecules that quickly disseminate throughout the body and central nervous system that makes us feel edgy, increase our heart rate, and prepare us to fight or flee. And when danger passes, the brain produces another set of chemicals that calm us down and instill us with feelings of safety and calm. When we’re low on nutrients it makes us feel hungry. When we’re in need of rest, it makes us feel sleepy, and so on.

With CBD oil now legal on a federal level and clinical research providing increasingly positive results, more and more Americans are discovering the benefits of incorporating it into their diets — and their ECS — with cannabinoid-rich hemp extracts.