The Endocannabinoid System is a biological system that interacts with tetrahydrocannabinol to ensure the therapeutic benefits of cannabis are felt. To gain perspective on how beneficial cannabis can be to your health and mental state, we are always trying to highlight how cannabis can improve aspects of your life.
The EC system is one of the most essential physiologic systems that establish and maintain human health. It is named after cannabis, which led to the discovery of this system. “Endo” means within (referring to within the body) and “cannabinoid” refers to the chemical compound that fits into the cannabinoid receptors.
Cannabis contains a variety of therapeutic compounds that affect our minds and the whole body as well. Despite it being mostly illegal in the USA, countries that have embraced cannabis have used it as cures for medical conditions such as cancer, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, and insomnia.
Moreover, scientific interest and financial investment toward understanding the components of cannabis have been increasing in the search for answers such as: how safe is cannabis when used to provide both palliative and curative care? Such research led to the discovery of the Endocannabinoid System, which is a central component of the healing system of every human being and almost every animal.
The Endocannabinoid System
Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found in the brain, glands, immune cells, organs and connective tissues as well, and this gives them a variety of functions. Nonetheless, there are areas in the body where the receptors are highly concentrated.
The EC system is, therefore, the name given to the series of cell receptors and the corresponding molecules. The EC system comprises of the cannabinoid receptors which are located on the cell surface, endocannabinoids are tiny molecules that act as triggers of the cannabinoid receptors and metabolic enzymes which are significant in the breakdown of the endocannabinoids. The endocannabinoids through the receptor system help regulate functions such as motor control, sleep, pain, reproduction and fertility, appetite and digestion, memory, and temperature regulation.
In reproduction, a normal EC system assists embryonic implantation on the wall of the uterus. They act as chemical messengers that regulate these processes for them to begin and to stop. Disruption of the EC system means that some of these processes function abnormally. Irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia are some of the conditions that a person is susceptible to when there is dysregulation of the EC system. Dysregulation takes place when the body can neither produce the endocannabinoids nor regulate them in the right manner. The two primary endocannabinoids include anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), which are produced from fat-like molecules within cell membranes. They are synthesized on demand, meaning that they are produced and used when they are needed rather than being packaged for later use. The metabolic enzymes destroy endocannabinoids after they are used. Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) are enzymes that break down anandamide, while Monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) breaks down 2-AG. Enzymes ensure that endocannabinoids are used only when the various body organs need them by pulling excess andamine and 2-AG out of circulation. Moreover, cannabinoid prevents enzyme FAAH from destroying all the anandamides, making them more available for the cells. Thus cannabinoid acts as a natural mood-lifter with little or no psychoactive effects.The Endocannabinoid (EC) System and Tetrahydrocannabinol
Through research, scientists have discovered that regulated doses of cannabinoids sourced from cannabis signal the body to put up more cannabinoid receptors and manufacture more endocannabinoids. The impact of cannabis on the EC system is not felt within the first time a person uses, but it will be felt the second and third time when cannabis has built more cannabinoid receptors that are ready to respond. The more receptors one has, the higher the ability of their body’s organs to respond to cannabinoids.
When a person smokes cannabis, THC overwhelms the endocannabinoid system and the cannabinoid receptors attached to the THC throughout the brain and the body, thus interfering with the ability of natural cannabinoids to ensure proper communication among the neurons. Once THC has an impact on the EC system of the brain, it gives the “high” feeling in the short term.
Hemp oil, also referred to as CBD oil, is a concentrated form of Cannabidiol oil derived from hemp. Hemp oil is low in THC, so it does not give the person using it that high feeling, it also doesn’t contain any psychoactive impact. The cannabidiol in CBD oil helps to keep the body in balance through its homeostatic effect. CBD rich hemp plants are organically grown, and the strains are carefully selected to ensure that the CBD elements are more than those of THC. Hemp plants are then manufactured into CBD oil, CBD isolate and CBD capsules. The capsules are essential in controlling CBD intake while the CBD isolate is usually added to retail formulations.
This is one of the systems that most people are not aware of, so there should be more awareness in the public on the essence of taking care of themselves to ensure their endocannabinoid system functions properly.