The Endocannabinoid System
THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM: A MOLECULAR BRIDGE BETWEEN THE BODY AND THE MIND.
The endocannabinoid system is a biological system composed of endocannabinoids, which are endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors, and cannabinoid receptor proteins that are expressed throughout the mammalian central nervous system and peripheral nervous system
CBD is one of over 100 plus chemical compounds know as cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are agonist that bind to special receptors on your cells called cannabinoid receptors.
Certain receptors are heavily concentrated in the central nervous system while others are found in almost every organ of the body. Cannabinoid receptors are even found in the skin, digestive tract and in the reproductive organs. You can think of agonists as keys and cannabinoid receptors as locks. By consuming CBD, you are taking in agonists that interact with different locks on cell in the body. Together, these cell receptors make up a larger endocannabinoid system (ECS)
The ECS is a vast network of cell receptor proteins with many functions. Some describe the ECS as the greatest neurotransmitter system in the body. It lends a hand in seemingly just about everything – including:
- Motor Control
- Immune function
- Pain perception
Four primary purposes of the ECS include neuro-protection, stress recovery, immune balance and homeostatic regulation. The last one is a fancy way of referring to a system that creates optimum energy balance in the body.
Somehow, CBD seems to tap into this balancing system to produce its therapeutic effects. CBD is able to interact with cells in our bodies because the molecule has a similar composition to similar chemicals that the human body produces naturally, called endocannabinoids.
Endo means inside and cannabinoid refers to action on cannabinoid receptors. In contrast, the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant are technically calledphytocannabinoids.
It’s not often that a plant compound can make headlines over and over again.