Scientists were conducting deeper research into THC in the early 90s, they discovered a crucial biological system active in all humans known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Believed to have evolved almost 600 million years ago in animals, experts believe it could hold the key to treating several health conditions, but there is still a lot we don’t know about it.
So what exactly do we know about the ECS?
The ECS is a complex cell-signaling system made up of three core components that are responsible for regulating a variety of functions in our bodies including sleep, appetite, memory, pain sensation and reproduction. The three core components are:
● Endocannabinoids - small molecules that activate cannabinoid receptors
● Receptors - found on the surface of cells
● Enzymes - responsible for breaking down the endocannabinoids after they are used
Let’s take a look at the word “endocannabinoid” and understand it’s root meaning. “Endo” is short for “endogenous”, meaning of natural internal origin, and “cannabinoid”, which means the chemicals found in marijuana. So put together, the word “endocannabinoid” means cannabis-like substances that occur naturally in our internal system.
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To understand the ECS better, it’s important to understand how it works with our bodies.
Despite changes in the outside world, all living organisms from plants to humans must regulate their internal environment in order to survive. This ability to resist change and self regulate things like body temperature and blood sugar levels is commonly known as homeostasis. In healthy bodies, regulating these processes are automatic and unfold constantly. Scientists believe that maintaining homeostasis is the primary role of the ECS.
The ECS does this by activating the cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, which are in the central nervous system, the digestive system, the peripheral nervous system and specialised cells in the immune system.
Through those 2 important receptors, the ECS helps regulate critical bodily functions such as:
● Bone growth
● Cardiovascular system
● Chronic pain
● Liver function
● Motor control
● Muscle formation
● Reproductive system
These functions all contribute to homeostasis and our optimal state. Our bodies activate the ECS with such precision that it affects only what it needs to. For example, if our stress hormones are out of whack, the ECS will work to regulate them without altering our digestive or reproductive system.
Once the endocannabinoids have done their job bringing things into balance, certain types of enzymes come along to break them down and prevent them from going too far and upsetting the balance in the wrong direction.
How does CBD interact with the ECS?
While the details of how CBD interacts with the ECS are still under debate, experts believe CBD prevents the endocannabinoids from being broken down. CBD doesn’t bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the same way THC does and this allows them to have more of a positive effect on our bodies. CBD is already in use for helping with things like pain, nausea and inflammation amongst others.
How can I support a healthy ECS?
Our modern lifestyles can easily take a toll on maintaining a healthy ECS. It’s crucial to keep our stress levels low and our sleep levels up, while also taking time to exercise and eat nutritionally.
Because cannabis products can stimulate activity of the ECS, it’s an obvious target for rebalancing the system. Our CB receptors affect so many different aspects of our central and nervous systems so if you try to rebalance it with something like CBD, it’s important to experiment with different dosages and find the one that works for you.
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The bottom line?
Homeostasis is essential for our health and our survival, so when the ECS isn't working properly, it can cause a lot of problems for our bodies. As experts develop a better understanding of our biological systems, it could eventually hold the key to treating several conditions like alzheimer’s, chronic pain, autoimmune diseases and more. Heal and nourish yourself with the highest and strongest quality of CBD oil in the UK, visit our products page and find the CBD oil that is right for your body.
Disclaimer: This post is intended for informational purposes only and not intended to serve as professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor and listen to your body on what works for you.