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What is the Endocannabinoid System and Why Is It Important?

By May 2, 2018April 27th, 2022No Comments

If you have typed “marijuana stores near me” in the search bar and started reading articles on cannabis and its beneficial effects , you must have come across the term “endocannabinoid system”. The discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has played a crucial role in gaining a deeper understanding of marijuana, human biology and health in general.

But what exactly is the endocannabinoid system and how is it linked to cannabis? Read on to find out!

What is the endocannabinoid system?

The ECS is a signaling system in the human body that appeared early in evolution. It’s interesting that all vertebrate groups have an ECS system. In humans, it regulates an array of basic functions and it is also known as the body’s own cannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system consists of:

  • Endocannabinoids, which are small molecules that act as neurotransmitters that send chemical messages throughout the nervous system, and

  • Cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, which are G-protein coupled receptors that get activated by the endocannabinoids.

  • Enzymes also play an important role in the process. They break down leftover endocannabinoids.

This group of cannabinoid receptors that function as the neural communication network is located in the brain, throughout the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and the central nervous system (CNS).

What are the functions of the ECS?

The endocannabinoid system performs many different tasks. It acts in response to illness and it is responsible for regulating a number of bodily functions, including anxiety, memory, appetite, immune response, metabolism, mood, pain sensation, stress levels, sleep, digestion, learning, motor control, pleasure and reward, and more.

The main goal of the ECS is homeostasis. Together with cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids help maintain optimal balance in the human body. Given that the ECS is responsible for a healthy and stable internal environment, no wonder it plays a vital role in fighting disease.

When the ECS is weakened, the body becomes hypersensitive to inflammatory conditions and chronic pain. Any of the above-mentioned functions may get disrupted. In part, all medical conditions are regulated by the endocannabinoid system.

What makes marijuana medicine?

If you have googled “marijuana stores near me” in order to get treatment for your medical condition and alleviate the symptoms with medical marijuana, the good news is – that’s what cannabinoids are for! In fact, endocannabinoids got their name from chemical compounds in marijuana. Cannabinoids were discovered first!

There are more than 100 cannabinoids found in marijuana plant and the main ones are THC and CBD. By imitating the compounds that our bodies produce naturally, cannabinoids are able to tap into the ECS, bind to CB1 and CB2 and activate mechanisms responsible for relieving an array of symptoms associated with certain medical conditions.

THC mostly attaches to CB1, while CBD can attach to both the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are important for memory, sleep, appetite, mood and motor regulation, and pain sensation. CB2 receptors play a role in reducing inflammation, which in turn alleviates pain and minimizes damage to tissues.

In sum, cannabinoids can block pain signals in the nervous system, induce anti-inflammatory effects and regulate other functions modulated by the endocannabinoid system. Given that cannabinoids are designed to activate cannabinoid receptors exactly like endocannabinoids, the consummation of marijuana can help the ECS maintain its proper function and produce therapeutic effects. It is exactly the modulation of the ECS that may be essential to fighting chronic immune and neurologic conditions.

Are there marijuana stores near me?

Whether you need medical or recreational marijuana, People’s OC is your go-to dispensary in Orange County! We have the best cannabis in OC and can help you choose the product(s) that will satisfy your needs and preferences. Check out our vast online inventory of marijuana strains, concentrates, edibles, topicals, gear, and more!