Relatively new in the scientific field, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is one of the lesser-known systems of the body that help to ensure the body’s overall health and well-being. The ECS employs CB-1 and CB-2 receptors to achieve homeostasis which yields healthy functioning appetite, pain, sleep, inflammation, and more.
How many major systems are there in the body? Do you remember this from school?
You can probably rattle off several, but —spoiler alert— for the sake of time, there are 11.
The major body systems include: digestive, muscular, circulatory, endocrine, respiratory, reproductive, nervous, lymphatic, urinary, skeletal, and urinary.
The Discovery of the Endocannabinoid System
In addition to these major systems, there are also other systems that are complex and varied, and they all work interdependently to ensure your overall health and well-being.
One of the lesser-known systems is the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is relatively new in the scientific field.
Dr. L.A. Matsuda is credited with its discovery in the 1990s. He also originally discovered CB-1 endocannabinoid receptors.
Just how do CB-1 receptors work with THC?
THC mimics the body’s natural cannabinoids and binds with receptors to help regulate the body’s functions. It is also these CB-1 receptors and psychoactive properties of THC that produce the “high” feeling one experiences from cannabis.
CB-2 is another receptor in the ECS. CB-2 receptors and the immune system partner together to attempt to attain homeostasis, which is the point at which the body is functioning in balance and with a sense of normalcy, as it should, but additional CB-2 receptors are also located in the digestive system and other major body organs.
Studies continue to better understand the endocannabinoid system, but the past few decades have demonstrated that endocannabinoids modulate neurotransmitters and support the body’s vital physiological functions.
Achieving homeostasis yields healthy functioning of appetite, pain, sleep, inflammation, and more. There is also a connection between endocannabinoid and memory and learning.
When Things Go Wrong
It is hypothesized that dysfunction of the ECS may be a root cause of certain illnesses, such as epilepsy, arthritis, depression, pain, migraines, nausea, diabetes, cardiovascular issues and more.
It is further believed that there are therapeutic properties of cannabinol and that supplementing the body with this naturally occurring, plant-based cannabinoid may correct deficiencies by mirroring the body’s natural process and promoting the healthy production of the body’s own cannabinoids thereby restoring health and returning the body to homeostasis.
The discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a fairly recent development. Studies are producing promising results and research continues. It is understood that the receptors discovered in the ECS system bind to plant-based cannabinoids and mirror the body’s natural process. This can result in relief from symptoms from a number of illnesses such as arthritis, depression, and pain, and it may help the body support the healthy functioning of the regulatory system and a return to homeostasis.