BLOG - The Endocannabinoid System


Endocannabinoids are the chemical messengers that tell your body to get these processes moving and when to stop. They help maintain optimal balance in the body, also known as homeostasis (The maintenance of a stable environment despite fluctuations in the external environment).

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) refers to a collection of cell receptors & corresponding molecules. You can think of cell receptors like little locks on the surface of your cells. The keys to these locks are chemical molecules called agonists. Each time an agonist binds to a cell it relays a message, giving your cell specific direction.

The endocannabinoid system is the name for a series of cell receptors that respond to certain kinds of agonists. Two primary cell receptors make up the ECS, Cannabinoid Receptor 1  & Cannabinoid Receptor 2   . The keys for these receptors are called endocannabinoids.

Endocannabinoids got their name from Cannabis. Plant cannabinoids were discovered first. Endo means within, & cannabinoid referring to a compound that fits into cannabinoid receptors.


Certain receptors are more concentrated in specific regions.   receptors are abundant in the central nervous system.   receptors are more often found on immune cells, in the gastrointestinal tract, & in the peripheral nervous system.
The diversity of receptor locations shows just how important endocannabinoids are for day-to-day bodily function.

They help regulate the following:

  •    Sleep

  •    Appetite, Digestion, Hunger

  •    Mood

  •    Motor control

  •    Immune function

  •    Reproduction & Fertility

  •    Pleasure & Reward

  •    Memory

  •    Temperature regulation

Endocannabinoids are the chemical messengers that tell your body to get these processes moving and when to stop. They help maintain optimal balance in the body, also known as homeostasis. When the ECS is disrupted, any one of these things can fall out of balance. Dysregulation in the ECS is thought to contribute to a wide variety of conditions, including Fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome.

Research has shown that small doses of cannabinoids from cannabis can signal the body to make more endocannabinoids and build more cannabinoid receptors. This is why many first-time cannabis users don't feel an effect, but by their second or third time using the herb they have built more cannabinoid receptors and are ready to respond. More receptors increase a person's sensitivity to cannabinoids; smaller doses have larger effects, and the individual has an enhanced baseline of endocannabinoid activity. I believe that small, regular doses of cannabis might act as a tonic to our most central physiologic healing system.

Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency CED:

The ECS theory of disease is termed “Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency“.  The idea is simple: when the body does not produce enough endocannabinoids or cannot regulate them properly, you are more susceptible to illnesses that affect one or several of the functions listed above.

CBD’s Role:

 While THC (the compound that gets you “high”) binds with cannabinoid receptors directly, CBD does not. Instead, it works it’s magic on an enzyme. The enzyme in question is called fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) & it is responsible for pulling excess anandamide out of circulation.

CBD puts a stop to this. Psychoactive THC works by mimicking the body’s own endocannabinoids. But, CBD increases the amount of endocannabinoids in your system.


CBD stops enzyme FAAH from breaking down all of the anandamide, and therefore makes more of it available for use by your cells.
    

                                                                                        The Wee Hemp Team

                                                                       Excerpts taken from www.herb.co


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