Top Five Things to Know about the Endocannabinoid System
Spend even a few minutes researching CBD, and you’re bound to see the words “endocannabinoid system,” or ECS, scattered across the Internet. Building upon hundreds of years of modern medicine, scientists in the 1990s uncovered the ECS, one of the body’s most essential biological systems.
With so much uncertainty still lingering about the ECS, including what it does, how it works and why it matters, we’ve put together a quick compilation to help readers better understand the ECS and its relationship with CBD. Here are the top five things you should know about the ECS.
1) The ECS is a network of chemical signals and cellular receptors
The ECS is a complex cell-signaling system that only first came to light when researchers were studying THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. What researchers found was that the ECS comprises three main parts: endocannabinoids, receptors and enzymes. These components are found throughout the body, and our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids as necessary, even without the use of cannabis.
2) The ECS aims to keep our bodies even and steady
One must find balance to achieve stability. Similarly, the state of homeostasis is what ECS helps regulate to keep our bodies even and steady. Examples of homeostasis include regulating our temperature, blood sugar and appetite. As we all know, moving outside of a normal range for any of those can have dire consequences. The ECS can sense when that is taking place and helps restore the body back to an optimal range.
3) The ECS influences most aspects of daily living
The list of functions that the ECS regulates within the body is astounding. Medical research indicates the involvement of the ECS in our appetite, sleep, pain levels, immune response, mood, metabolism, stress and more.1 And because research on the ECS is still in its infancy, it’s possible that future research could uncover additional ways that the ECS stimulates bodily functions.
4) The ECS gets a boost from CBD
The two receptors within the ECS are known as CB1 and CB2. In general, CB1 receptors are more likely to be found in the brain and central nervous system, while CB2 receptors tend to be found on the cells of the body’s immune system. Unlike its cannabinoid cousin, THC, CBD doesn’t necessarily bind directly to these receptors. Instead, it activates other receptors like TRPV12 and anandamide, a neurotransmitter also known as the “bliss molecule”, resulting in positive outcomes like pain reduction or mood improvement.
5) The ECS treats CBD and THC differently
Born from the same cannabis plant, CBD and THC are intrinsically linked. Despite their differences—the biggest being that CBD does not get you high—the two cannabinoids are often confused for each. But THC actually binds to receptors in the brain, which causes those psychoactive properties. Interestingly enough, when the two cannabinoids are present together, CBD has been shown to reduce some of the unwanted psychoactive side effects of THC—like paranoia and anxiety.3
The results of pairing multiple cannabinoids together to boost the most desirable benefits of each is called the Entourage Effect. That’s why all of Woven Earth’s products feature full-spectrum hemp extract, including CBD and trace amounts of THC, to provide users with as much potency as possible.
The ECS is a network of chemical signals and cellular receptors.
The ECS works to keep our bodies even and steady, regulating functions like our temperature, blood sugar and appetite.
Medical research indicates the involvement of the ECS in our appetite, sleep, pain levels, immune response, mood, metabolism, stress and more.
CBD activates receptors like TRPV12 and anandamide, a neurotransmitter also known as the bliss molecule, resulting in positive outcomes like reducing pain or improving mood.
When present together, CBD has been shown to reduce some of the unwanted psychoactive side effects of THC—like paranoia and anxiety.
Hoping to find the right product for you? Check out the Woven Earth shop to learn more about our oil, capsules and cream.
1 Zou, Shenglong, and Ujendra Kumar. “Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System.” International journal of molecular sciences vol. 19,3 833. 13 Mar. 2018, doi:10.3390/ijms19030833
2 Costa, Barbara et al. “Vanilloid TRPV1 receptor mediates the antihyperalgesic effect of the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, cannabidiol, in a rat model of acute inflammation.” British journal of pharmacology vol. 143,2 (2004): 247-50. doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0705920
3 Hudson, Roger, Renard, Justine, Norris, Christopher, Rushlow, Walter J., & Laviolette, Steven R. (2019). Cannabidiol Counteracts the Psychotropic Side-Effects of Δ-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol in the Ventral Hippocampus through Bidirectional Control of ERK1–2 Phosphorylation. The Journal of Neuroscience, 39(44), 8762. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0708-19.2019