Have you ever heard of the endocannabinoid system? If you are like most people, chances are that you haven’t, and that’s alright? Growing up, many people learn that the human body is only made up of 11 important organ systems which include the respiratory system, the skeletal system, the reproductive system, and the digestive system.

Many people weren’t taught that the body is made of the endocannabinoid system and unless one does a lot of work with medical cannabis or does work as a research scientist, there’s very little chance that he/she is going to know about this system. The ironic thing is that although knowledge about this system isn’t as widespread, it has been touted as “the most important physiological system involved in establishing and maintaining human health.” So why haven’t many people heard about this system?

Well, this system was discovered not long ago – about 25 years ago – by Dr. L.A. Matsuda. Now, at the time, scientists were pretty much curious about the way THC – that compound in marijuana that causes the “high” feeling in users – affected the body. During that research they were able to discover that in the body was an intricate system of cannabinoid receptors that expressed themselves in the cells of the central and peripheral nervous system. Dr. Matsuda was able to give vivid descriptions about the structure and functions of the cannabinoid receptor, CB1. Later on, another receptor type – those mostly found in the immune system – was discovered, CB2.

What the ECS does
It is thought that the ECS plays a very key role in regulating homeostatis across all the major systems of the body. When we talk about homeostatis, we are talking about the body’s way of maintaining equilibrium and stability of all conditions in the body. If body conditions aren’t well regulated, certain processes wouldn’t function like they should.

  1. The ECS can be found in all animals
    Yes, we are human beings and this makes us of course, more special than any other species. However, the ECS though quite a special system is not exclusive to man. In fact, it can be found in all vertebrates and invertebrates.
  2. The ECS plays a key role when it comes to many disease conditions
    The role of the ECS is to ensure balance within the body. It there comes as no surprise, per reports from scientists that anytime the body is struck by a disease or an infection, say rheumatoid arthritis, the body begins to experience changes in ECS levels as well as a greater expression by its receptors. This does imply that the ECS could be targeted to help restore balance to the body anytime it is struck down by an ailment.
  3. The reason why natural cannabinoids in cannabis/hemp have therapeutic effects is because of the ECS. Many years ago, long before the authorities waged war against cannabis, people were tapping into hemp and marijuana to provide relief for a couple of ailments including arthritis, headaches, depression, etc. Of course, these folk had no idea how and why the substances were working well on the body and they didn’t care as long as they worked. However, these ‘miracles’ did well to provide the basis for more scientific enquiry which revealed the exact reason why these substances could interact so well to the body to have such amazing therapeutic benefits the way they did. It has been found that small doses of natural cannabinoids present in the hemp plant/marijuana can actually provide support to ECS by binding themselves to its receptors.

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