The Endocannabinoid System – A Simple Guide To How It Works
The endocannabinoid system has been shrouded in mystery since its discovery in 1992. Most cannabinoid consumers are unlikely to have a fundamental understanding of what this system is and how it works to play a crucial role in regulating various aspects of human physiology. There’s a lot to unpack here and we are going to deliver the essential information to you in this simple guide.
At Purity Hemp Company™ we are committed to dispelling the myths surrounding the endocannabinoid system. In recent years, our industry has been plagued with misinformation that confuses and dilutes the important therapeutic benefits of the products that we deliver to consumers globally. The endocannabinoid system is a vital component in explaining the science behind our products. We are deeply passionate about the benefits of our products and the positive benefits they have been delivering to our customers since 2010.
In this series of clinical articles, we are going to introduce you to the endocannabinoid system, explaining how it works and why it matters. The human body is truly incredible and after reading this article, it is likely that you will be astounded by why you have never heard of it and actually learn how cannabinoids can work with the body to promote homeostasis and keep you focused and alert.
What Is The Endocannabinoid System?
The endocannabinoid system, otherwise known as ECS, is a signalling network that promotes homeostasis and exists across the entire human body. When our external environments alter, this system keeps our internal processes stable. When the pressures and stress of modern life rise to the surface, the endocannabinoid system can help to maintain neuroplasticity, ultimately helping to reduce the risk of anxiety and depression.
In the same way that it has the ability to reduce the potential risk of anxiety and depression, the ECS can help to balance processes that aim to resolve inflammation and regulate immune responses. There is often an assumption that all inflammation is bad, but this isn’t the case. The human body needs a certain level of inflammation to prevent injury and infection. It’s all about keeping a perfect balance and this is achieved through homeostasis.
How Does The Endocannabinoid System Work?
The endocannabinoid system is a highly-sophisticated network of receptors and signalling molecules. The two types of receptors are called CB1 and CB2. As imminent threats to your biological balance arise, signalling molecules called endocannabinoids, or eCBs, bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors triggering cascades of homeostasis throughout your body.
The human body has a natural ability to produce endocannabinoids. Although, this can be inhibited by unfavourable lifestyle choices, such poor diet and a lack of exercise. These lifestyle choices can ultimately lead to a biological imbalance, resulting in a string of symptoms like chronic inflammation, weak immune response, depression, and anxiety.
The Endocannabinoid System & The Immune System
CB2 receptors can be found on cells throughout the immune system and are involved in regulating inflammation. As we said earlier, your immune system often triggers inflammation as a natural response to infection and injury. To combat this inflammation, the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, releases two endocannabinoids called anandamide and 2-AG. When anandamide and 2-AG bind to CB2 receptors in the immune system, this can help to initiate the resolution or relief stage of inflammation.
A highly-effective endocannabinoid system is like a partner to your immune system, creating a healthy balance of inflammation and resolution. As we mentioned earlier, poor diet, lack of exercise and other factors can disrupt your body’s natural ability to produce anandamide and 2-AG, breaking the partnership and contributing to unresolved chronic inflammation.
The Endocannabinoid System & Stress
The endocannabinoid system is very intelligent. One of the examples that we can use is stress. In response to stress, our bodies produce endocannabinoids and they result in a reduction in stress. When you have to deal with a stressful situation, such as public speaking or taking an exam, you get an increase in the stress hormone cortisol in the bloodstream, along with an increase in endocannabinoids in response to this.
The system has the unique ability to be able to learn from stresses. For instance, if you have to take part in public speaking for a second or third time, the endocannabinoid levels will gradually start to increase further. The endocannabinoids learn from stressful situations and are able to counteract the levels of cortisol that are being produced, keeping you feeling calm.
The Endocannabinoid System & Memory
Another example of the endocannabinoid system’s brilliance is memory formation. As we go through the many events of life, we form memories and endocannabinoids play a significant role in this. In your brain, endocannabinoids are released to aid memory formation. They help the formation of memories, particularly your working memory. This includes remembering lists, ideas, and dates. Endocannabinoids can also help to prevent the consolidation of aversive memories. These usually involve some level of scaring trauma or sadness.
There are a variety of different ways in which you can boost the production of endocannabinoids in your body – and our products can certainly help to support this. In somewhat bizarre findings, it was recently found that singing can help to increase plasma levels of anandamide by 42%, which is near twice as much as cycling. Activities that boost endocannabinoid production have been linked to an average improvement in mood levels.
We hope that you enjoyed reading about the endocannabinoid system. This article contained all of the essential information that you needed to know. In our future articles, we will be diving deeper into the inner workings of the endocannabinoid system to keep you up to speed with all of the latest scientific developments. It’s important to remember that the endocannabinoid system was only discovered in 1992. There’s still much to learn about this fascinating subject.