The human body has incredible functions, and some of them are part of the endocannabinoid system, which is very important for our health. This system regulates functions like mood, hunger, pain, sleep, immune system, metabolism, memory, inflammation, reproduction, digestion, and even helps protect and develop neurons. This system is composed of cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors.
The Endocannabinoid System
To talk about the endocannabinoid system, first we need to know about the homeostasis process, which helps stabilize our body’s needs such as temperature, blood glucose levels, and cholesterol levels. Thus, all conditions of the body are regulated, and the cells can work correctly. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for keeping the homeostasis working.
This system is composed of receptors, which are in various parts of the human body, and when the endocannabinoids enter our body and are synthesized, they fit these receptors and regulate the functions presented above.
Cannabinoid receptors are found on the surface of cells and receive information from outside their walls. The receptors are CB1 and CB2. CB1 is found throughout our entire body, but mostly in the brain and spinal cord. These receptors are concentrated there because they exert influence over amygdala, which affects our memory, our emotional process, and the hypothalamus, which is responsible for appetite. Beyond that, they are also found at the tips of nerves, where they act to block pain receptors. CB2 is found in the surroundings of the nervous system and in immune cells. When activated, they reduce inflammation. These are not the only receptors that exist, but were the first to be discovered and remain the main ones to be studied.
Besides receptors, there are other parts in the endocannabinoid system. See below some of them:
- Endocannabinoids are the molecules that activate the cannabinoid receptors, and our body naturally produces them. The two main endocannabinoids are anandamide and 2-AG. They are made from molecules which are similar to fatty cells, and they are synthesized by command. It means they are produced and used at the exact moment they are needed, rather than being wrapped and stored for later, as other biological molecules;
- Metabolic enzymes break the endocannabinoids after they are used. These enzymes are FAAH, which decomposes anandamide, and MAGL, which decomposes 2-AG. Both of them control the use of the endocannabinoid so that they are not used for longer than necessary.
The Endocannabinoid System And Inflammation
CBD helps reduce inflammation, and the main responsible for this benefit is the endocannabinoid system. However, before learning more about it, let us understand how inflammation occurs.
Inflammation is a body’s natural response to protect it against infections and physical damage. Its purpose is to get rid of germs or injured tissues. The inflammation process happens due to fluid and immune cells, which move to repair the damaged area.
These inflammations should be limited to the affected areas and may not persist for longer than necessary. Otherwise, they may cause severe damage. Chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases are examples of the immune system functioning in the wrong way.
When the infection process or physical damage occurs, the endocannabinoid system comes into action, and the CB2 receptors are ready to receive the endocannabinoid molecules, which begin the process of inflammation along with the immune cells.
Types Of Cannabinoids
There are more than 100 types of cannabinoids, in the table below you can check the subcategories of them:
With several studies on cannabis and the human body, the natural endocannabinoid system, which helps us in countless ways, has been discovered. With this incredible discovery, we can see the importance of seeking natural solutions to heal our body. In addition to that, cannabis and the endocannabinoid system can help with various diseases like lupus, postpartum depression, and others, which you can check here.
Thanks to these studies, the area of Medicinal Cannabis is in constant evolution, which gives us hope for a future without prejudices and full of information.
BAS’s primary goal is to bring information about cannabis to people and never stop learning about the benefits of this plant. Thus, we break down barriers and improve the lives of thousands of people.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate treatment for your medical condition.