Our bodily environments are constantly changing, which means we need something to help regulate ourselves internally. This is what we have the endocannabinoid system for. This fascinating system communicates with our nervous systems and was just barely discovered within the last 100 years. If you haven’t heard of it, you probably don’t know how essential it is! Let’s look at the endocannabinoid system (ECS for short) and see how it really affects our bodies.
What is the ECS?
The ECS is our endocannabinoid system and is in charge of maintaining homeostasis in our bodies. Endocannabinoids can be found throughout our bodies, including in places such as our brain, liver, heart, skin, and gastrointestinal tract. Essentially, the ECS is responsible for carrying messages through the central nervous system (CNS). So, when you have a cannabinoid deficiency, a lot of problems can arise, as your body isn’t able to properly regulate its functions.
Some of the endocannabinoids we see in the ECS are things you may have heard of already, such as anandamide and 2-archidonyl glycerol. Some studies suggest The most common illnesses caused by an improperly functioning ECS are depression, Alzheimers, IBS, fibromyalgia, and even migraines. When our body can’t communicate properly with the CNS through the ECS, we start to malfunction. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that you are supporting it as needed.
While an imbalance could possibly cause some serious illnesses, it can just throw off the regularity of our bodies altogether. Because the job of the ECS is to maintain balance and a regular internal environment, it controls functions such as appetite, motor control, ability to sleep, memory, temperature regulation, mood, etc. So, if you find yourself imbalanced in any of these or similar areas, it’s possible that your ECS is having a hard time properly functioning. Not a lot of studies have been done on ECS deficiencies, but it helps to know how exactly the system works.
How Does the ECS Work?
As we mentioned above, the ECS is responsible for communicating with our CNS. But, how does it work? First, we need to look more into the endocannabinoids of the ECS. These are known as anandamide and 2ag. They are the ones responsible for maintaining balance in our bodies. When something isn’t in balance, these neurotransmitters send messages through the ECS and give directions to your body to make the changes necessary.
The messages come through receptors called CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found in the brain, while CB2 receptors are found throughout your immune system, liver, spleen, GI tract, and peripheral nervous system. From there, your body responds and starts to help regulate your internal functions.
Another important part of the ECS is the enzymes that come through later and break down the endocannabinoids once they’ve done their job. This is to prevent your body from overcompensating when trying to achieve balance. So, once you cool down, enzymes will come through and get rid of the endocannabinoids that are causing you to sweat. That way you don’t keep sweating and get dehydrated!
History of the ECS
In 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act banned the use and sale of marijuana and was later replaced by the Controlled Substances Act in 1970. This greatly slowed our progress in terms of discovering the ECS and how it affects our bodies. Years later, in 1988, it was discovered through a government-approved experiment that we as mammals have receptor sites in our brain that respond to the various compounds found in cannabis. These receptor sites were found to be the most abundant type of neurotransmitter receptors in our brain and were later named cannabinoid receptors.
A few years later in the nineties, the two cannabinoid receptors were discovered and named, CB1 and CB2. The differences in these two cannabinoid receptors were researched and showed that CB1 stayed in the brain, while CB2 remained in the peripheral nervous system. It was also found that THC, the psychedelic part of marijuana, only worked if there were cannabinoid receptors present in the brain.
From there, scientists discovered the previously unknown system that sent signals at the molecular level—the endocannabinoid system. It was discovered that this system performed many tasks, but was ultimately in charge of ensuring homeostasis was maintained within our bodies. On the other hand, this meant that there could be conditions caused by the lack of a properly functioning ECS, whether that was caused by a lack of endocannabinoids, enzymes to break them down, or outside sources decreasing the signals the ECS were sending out. It was then discovered that stimulating and supporting your ECS can help relieve a multitude of conditions and illnesses caused by a malfunctioning ECS.
CBD Oil and the ECS
The great news is that there are ways to support your ECS. As we discussed earlier, THC was discovered to modify our cannabinoid receptors. It binds to both receptors, but doesn’t do much to balance your system. It can also have some negative side effects. THC may reduce pain and activate your appetite, but it can also cause paranoia and anxiety.
CBD is a great way to support your ECS, as it doesn’t get you high. Unfortunately, it isn’t exactly known how CBD reacts with your ECS. Some believe that it prevents endocannabinoids that already exist from being broken down, but it’s also possible that CBD binds to another kind of receptor that hasn’t been discovered yet.
Studies have shown that CBD may help reduce things like nausea and pain, but there’s still a lot of mystery in the world of CBD. More studies are being done every day, which means we’re getting closer and closer to knowing how exactly CBD can affect our ECS.
If you want to learn more about the ECS and CBD, stay tuned to our blog. For more information on Nature’s Ultra, click here. More information is discovered each day on both of these topics, and we are committed to providing you with accurate and up-to-date information.