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Inside the Endocannabinoid System
Chances are you’ve never heard of the endocannabinoid system until recently. With the rise in CBD (cannabidiol) products and the recent studies touting their effectiveness for treating a variety of conditions such as epilepsy and pain, the endocannabinoid system is finally being talked about. Since it isn’t a major system full of organs we all know such as the circulatory system or the digestive system, the endocannabinoid system was content to do its job without recognition. But what is it? And why is it important? Herbal Pharm Rx, a supplier of CBD oil products, will discuss this important and often overlooked system in this blog post.
WHAT IS THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM (ECS)?
To put the complicated system of endocannabinoids in layman’s terms, it essentially is responsible for regulating a variety of physiological and cognitive processes, including fertility, pregnancy, pre- and postnatal development, appetite, pain-sensation, mood, memory, and it’s an important part of mediating the pharmacological effects of cannabis and aiding the health benefits of CBD.
A part of the nervous system, the ECS is also involved in mediating some of the physiological and cognitive effects of exercise in humans and other animals, which doctors think contribute to the euphoric state, commonly known as runner’s high, after physical exertion because endocannabinoid levels elevate after exercise and endocannabinoids penetrate the blood-brain barrier, which is in part why CBD is so effective in treating medical ailments and conditions.
The ECS was only discovered about 25 years ago, perhaps explaining why you never studied it in school. It was discovered in the 1990s by Dr. Matsuda who — interestingly enough — was studying the effects of marijuana on users. What he discovered was a complex network of cannabinoid receptors (CBr) found primarily in the cells of both the central and peripheral nervous system. With further research other cannabinoid receptors were discovered, including cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB-2), which is found in the immune system, digestive system (gastrointestinal-tract), and many of the body’s major organs.
However, the discovery of these receptors was only the beginning. If the body had receptors, then where were the chemicals that would bind with these receptors? CB-1 and CB-2 are put into the body only when someone consumes a product from the hemp plant. What are the naturally-occurring cannabinoids in the body?
Finally, an answer: Anandamide. Anandamide acts on both the CB-1 and CB-2 receptors, and it contributes to both the central or peripheral nervous system, respectively. In addition, Anandamide also helps with the immune system.
WHAT DOES OUR ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM DO?
As one of the newest discoveries in the human body, doctors do not yet know all that the ECS does. What we do know is that the ECS helps with most of our vital physiological functions by keeping them regulated and promoting a homeostasis level. Sleep, appetite, pain, inflammation, memory, mood, and reproduction are all controlled in some way by the endocannabinoid system. In conclusion, the endocannabinoid system helps to promote homeostasis across all major body systems, ensuring that all systems work in concert with one another.
Animals all have — more or less — the same systems that all work together to make our bodies the incredible machines that they are. Similarly, all vertebrates and invertebrates are known to have an ECS, including the sea-squirts, an animal that has been around for an estimated 600 million years ago.
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE ABOUT THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM?
As we’ve seen, the endocannabinoid system affects many important bodily functions we need to survive such as sleep, appetite, and memory. However, the most important function the endocannabinoid system does is help bring balance to the body. When there is something wrong with our body such as neurodegenerative disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer, changes occur in the endocannabinoid levels. Thus, by effectively targeting the endocannabinoid receptors, helping to restore them to normal function when affected by a disorder, our bodies will respond by restoring balance and, in effect, moving back to good health.
HOW DOES CBD PLAY A ROLE IN HELPING OUR ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM?
CBD acts on the all important receptors of our ECS to restore balance. By interacting with the CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoid receptors primarily in our brains, CBD can help treat coordination and movement, emotions, mood, thinking, appetite, memories, inflammation, and pain. Since so many functions can be influenced by the ECS, many conditions that cause inflammation and pain can be treated such as epilepsy, depression, and sleep disorders. Scientists are working diligently to study the effects of CBD oils on the body and to effectively produce medications to alleviate the symptoms, the cause, or both.
Herbal Pharm Rx believes passionately in helping those with medical conditions treatable by CBD and CBD oils get the products they need. We use only the highest quality products to provide this all-natural, non-psychoactive pain relief to you. Our mission is to improve the daily lives of people around the country by helping them experience optimal wellness and pain-free living.
Contact us today for your CBD product of choice!