The Endocannabinoid System And The Magnificent You
The Endocannabinoid System and You
You may be wondering to yourself: “What in the world is the Endocannabinoid System?” Well, I would not blame you if that question crossed your mind. The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) has been a well-kept secret in the medical field since its discovery in the 1990’s when researchers were studying the effects of cannabis on the human mind and body. The ECS’s association with the cannabis plant has left this essential regulatory system blacklisted by many conventional medical experts for decades. Unfortunately, the negative stigma that lingers over cannabis has deterred many from discussing the plant openly until recently.
On behalf of Root To Vitality, I am excited to inform you on the functions of this crucial regulatory system and how various CBD remedies can help strengthen the ECS, so your body can achieve and maintain homeostasis!
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
The Endocannabinoid System has been named “the most important physiological system involved in establishing and maintaining human health”. The ECS performs multiple tasks, however the main goal is to always maintain a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment. For example, if you are exercising outside on a hot summer day, your ECS helps regulate the process that makes your body sweat to cool back down. To put it simply, the ECS is responsible for regulating many physical and cognitive tasks in the body including motor control, pain modulation, immune function, sleep, mentally subduing traumatic experiences, and more. The ECS keeps track of all these processes to ensure everything is kept in balance, so your body can maintain homeostasis.
Functions the Endocannabinoid System Regulates:• Chronic Pain
• Immune Function
• Skin and Nerve Function
• Liver Function
• Appetite and Digestion
• Pain and Pleasure
The ECS is made up of three key components: endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes.
Endocannabinoids are molecules produced by the body that make sure the internal functions of the ECS run efficiently and effectively. There are two main types of endocannabinoids: anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG). The main purpose of these two endocannabinoids are to inform the ECS of imbalances within the body so appropriate action can be taken. AEA is known as the “bliss molecule”, as this endocannabinoid helps promote the release of endorphins, which helps us feel pleasure.
There are two main cannabinoid receptors that are a part of the ECS: the CB1 receptor and the CB2 receptor. CB1 receptors help control the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord nerves), which oversees functions such as cognition, emotions, appetite, and motor skills. On the other hand, CB2 receptors control the peripheral nervous system (nerves that reside throughout the rest of your body) and allow your brain to communicate with these nerves, as well as the immune system and gut. Since these receptors are so vastly located throughout the body, the ECS can locate the root cause of imbalance more easily and make corrections as needed without disrupting other systems.
Enzymes are what control the endocannabinoid levels in your body’s ECS. Once the endocannabinoids have bonded to the cannabinoid receptors, enzymes work to break them down to prevent overcorrecting imbalance. There are two major types of enzymes: Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH), which breaks down anandamide, and Monoacylglycerol Lipase (MAGL), which breaks down 2-AG.
How does CBD support the Endocannabinoid System?
Although there is still a lot to discover about the relationship between CBD and the ECS, research so far has shown that CBD is very supportive of the ECS’s functions. CBD is especially beneficial to the ECS when the body is not able to produce enough endocannabinoids to effectively correct imbalance and heal itself. However, using CBD-rich plant remedies from hemp fill in the gaps within the ECS via phytocannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids are hemp’s version of the body’s endocannabinoids. They are designed to mimic the functions of endocannabinoids to compensate for the body’s lack of endocannabinoid production, which is what creates imbalance.
CBD is just one of over 100 different phytocannabinoids found in hemp, but, along with THC, is the most research and well known. Full Spectrum CBD utilizes all the phytocannabinoids in hemp to promote the entourage effect for maximum health benefits. Full Spectrum CBD is available in a multitude of different forms including sublingual drops, gummies, capsules, and topical salves so you (and your furry friends) can have healthy, clear, and balanced days ahead of you.
Stay tuned on Root To Vitality’s blog for more tips and information about CBD and other wellness topics!
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YouTube, uploaded by TEDx Talks, 9 Oct. 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJbOQ9P2NYQ