THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM

If you have ever researched CBD then you'll see a lot of information and references to 'The Endocannabinoid System' otherwise known as the ECS. At Plant The Seed, we want to help you understand the importance of the ECS in our bodies and how CBD works with this system to restore your natural balance. 

WHAT IS THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM?

The endocannabinoid system (ECS), first discovered in the early 1990s, is described as a biological regulatory system, programmed to help keep the body in balance.

Although experts are still trying to understand this system, it's been identified that the ECS plays a pivotal role in regulating a range of functions and processes such as: Sleep, Mood, Inflammation, Appetite and much more. 

The Endocannabinoid System, or Endogenous Cannabinoid System, is considered to be the most important physiologic system in the body, responsible for establishing and maintaining human health.

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HOW DOES THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM WORK?

Now that we know what the endocannabinoid system is, we can begin to understand how it plays an important role in the day to day functions of our body.

The first thing to note, is that the ECS is made up of three key components: endocannabinoids, receptors and enzymes. Each of these components are important in unlocking 'homeostasis', something we will come onto a little bit later.

HOW DOES THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM WORK?

Now that we know what the endocannabinoid system is, we can begin to understand how it plays an important role in the day to day functions of our body.

The first thing to note, is that the ECS is made up of three key components: endocannabinoids, receptors and enzymes. Each of these components are important in unlocking 'homeostasis', something we will come onto a little bit later.

Endocannabinoids are fat-like molecules naturally produced in the body that help keep our internal functions running smoothly. There are two major endocannabinoids: Anandamide and 2-AG. 

Anandamide, or N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA), first discovered in 1992 by Raphael Mechoulam, is often referred to as 'the bliss molecule' thanks to it's mood boosting properties. Anandamide is considered to be responsible for that 'europhic high' felt after exercise, and scientists suggest it plays an important role in both mood enhancement and fear reduction.

2-AG, or 2-ArachidonoylGlycerol (2-AG), is one of the most prevalent endocannabinoids in the body, and was discovered in 1994 by Shimon Ben-Shabat. 2-AG is considered to be responsible for managing responses such as appetite, immune system and pain. 

Endocannabinoids work by binding to and activating our cannabinoid receptors. They are created and used when the body needs them, for example in response to physiological imbalances in the body.

Cannabinoid receptors are found all throughout our body, in our nervous system, hormones, immune system and brain. Our endocannabinoids bind to these receptors, which helps to send signals or kick-start responses in our bodies. There are two major and well studied cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. 

CB1, is mostly found in the nervous system, it exists in the brain and the spinal cord and works by regulating appetite, memory and pain reduction. 

CB2 receptors are commonly found in the peripheral nervous system such as the immune and digestive system. The primary role of this receptor is to reduce inflammation. 

When the ECS is functioning correctly, it will produce the endocannabinoids it needs, when it needs to. The effects that result will depend on where the receptor is located in the body and which endocannabinoid binds to it. For example, endocannabinoids might target CB1 receptors in a spinal nerve to relieve pain. 

Once the endocannabinoids have completed their task of bringing things back into balance, certain enzymes will come along to break them down, preventing them from going into other areas in our body.

There are two main enzymes: fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol acid lipase. 

FAAH, is the enzyme that typically breaks down anandamide, whilst monoacylglycerol acid lipase breaks down 2-AG endocannabinoids. 

The main role of the enzymes is to ensure that the endocannabinoids only get used when they are needed and for no longer than necessary. 

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM?

Our ECS is a wonderful, and beautifully complex system, that works with precision to only impact what it needs to. For instance, if we have an imbalance in our reproductive hormones, then our ECS will kick in to regulate them without altering other systems in our body.

Research has shown that the ECS is linked to the following processes:

  • Appetite and Digestion
  • Sleep
  • Inflammation
  • Mood Control
  • Learning and Memory
  • Reproductive System
  • Stress
  • Skin and Nerve Function
  • Liver Function
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All of these functions, contribute to 'homeostasis', which refers to the stability of our internal environment. Experts believe that the primary role of the ECS is maintaining homeostasis in the body. Essentially, the ECS works by binding endocannabinoids to endocannabinoid receptors when triggered to help keep our bodies in harmony.

THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM AND CBD

As we have discovered, our body naturally produces endocannabinoids, which plays an important role in our internal functions.

However, research suggests that, CBD a cannabinoid that is produced by the Hemp plant, has an impact on our endocannabinoid system, although studies on these effects are still in their early stages.

Many believe that CBD helps to provide therapeutic benefits, by helping our receptors' ability to bind to cannabinoids, whilst others believe it helps to prevent endocannabinoids from breaking down, allowing them to be more effective in the body.

Either way, research is suggesting that CBD assists in regulating natural physiological reactions, helping to deliver homeostasis and balance to mind and the body.

THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM AND CBD

As we have discovered, our body naturally produces endocannabinoids, which plays an important role in our internal functions.

However, research suggests that, CBD a cannabinoid that is produced by the Hemp plant, has an impact on our endocannabinoid system, although studies on these effects are still in their early stages.

Many believe that CBD helps to provide therapeutic benefits, by helping our receptors' ability to bind to cannabinoids, whilst others believe it helps to prevent endocannabinoids from breaking down, allowing them to be more effective in the body.

Either way, research is suggesting that CBD assists in regulating natural physiological reactions, helping to deliver homeostasis and balance to the mind and the body.

SUPPORTING THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM

As more research is undertaken into CBD and the ECS, we are beginning to understand how easy it can be for the endocannabinoid system to be thrown out of balance.

Our modern, fast paced lifestyles come with their downfalls, causing stress, anxiety, lack of sleep and poor diet choices. All of these can have a major impact on how our ECS performs in our bodies.

CBD Oil could be a great, alternative solution to boosting our bodies natural production of endocannabinoids, helping to restore our natural balance and maintaining homeostasis within the body.

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START YOUR CBD JOURNEY

If you are looking to begin your CBD Oil your journey, then we recommend starting off on our 500mg Full Spectrum range, and gradually increasing when you feel ready. Browse our range of 100% Organic, Vegan Full Spectrum CBD Oils for a healthier, happier you.

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