endocannabionoid
system

endocannabinoid system

 

The endocannabinoid system is a biological system responsible for regulating a number of biological functions related to pain, moods, appetite, energy levels, reproduction, sleep and more. The endocannabinoid system is present throughout humans’ bodies, from the immune cells in our bloodstream to the spinal cord to cells in our brain.

 

Our endocannabinoid system is comprised of a class of chemical compounds called endocannabinoids, the cannabinoid receptors that bind to them, and the enzymes that break down the endocannabinoids. The endocannabinoid receptors in our body are also capable of interacting with the exogenous cannabinoids that are produced by the cannabis plant, which is why we experience the psychoactive and therapeutic effects when consuming cannabis.

 

The best-known endocannabinoids are:
• Anandamide, which is derived from the Sanskrit word for eternal bliss (ananda)
• 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG)

anandamide vs. 2-AG

Anandamide and 2-AG bind to the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, which are the most widely-studied cannabinoid receptors. CB1 receptors are located in the central nervous system and regulate a wide variety of brain functions such as the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate. CB2 receptors, which mostly exist on immune cells, play an important role in neuroprotection, neuroinflammation and pain reduction.

endocannabinoid makeup

 

No two individuals have the exact same endocannabinoid makeup. Anandamide and 2-AG production, as well as the number of cannabinoid receptors, can vary between individuals. This uniqueness also accounts for why we respond differently to cannabis consumption. Our bodies’ unique endocannabinoid makeup plays a defining role in the type and amount of cannabis that may bring us optimal relief and wellness. It takes education and exploration – alongside an understanding of our body and its needs – to chart our wellness journeys with cannabis.