The endocannabinoid system (ECS)

Experts are still trying to fully understand the ECS. But so far we know it plays a role in regulating a range of functions and processes, including sleep, mood, appetite, memory, reproduction and fertility. Scientists are increasingly discovering that it is essential for homeostasis. That is the body’s ability to maintain a state of internal balance.
The endocannabinoid system is made up of a network of two primary receptor types. These receptors are found in almost every part of the body, including the brain.

CB1 receptors, mostly found in the central nervous system. CB1 receptors are mainly located in the brain, liver and lungs. They have a positive influence on the feeling of stress and anxiety, nausea, appetite and the immune system.

CB2 receptors, mostly found in peripheral nervous system, especially immune cells. CB2 receptors are found throughout the body and are active in fighting tissue damage and inflammation.

The endocannabinoid system is activated when problems arise in the homeostasis of functions in the body, i.e. the physiological balance is disturbed. The ECS then responds by synthesizing endocannabinoids, which act as neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters, also called transfer agents, are substances that transfer nerve impulses between nerve cells in the nervous system, from the motor nervous system to muscle cells, or from nerve receptors to sensory nerve cells. Simply put, this means that the cannabinoids go to specific places in the body, rebalancing the endocannabinoid system and restoring the physiological balance of our body. Endocannabinoids can bind to both receptors. The resulting effects depend on where the receptor is located and to which endocannabinoid it binds to.

Research has associated the ECS with the following processes:

These functions all contribute to homeostasis, which refers to the stability of your internal environment. For example, if an outside force, such as pain from an injury or a fever, disrupts your body’s homeostasis, your ECS steps in to help your body return to ideal functioning. Today, experts believe that the primary role of the ECS is to maintain homeostasis.
Cannabinoids are divided into three groups:

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