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Endocannabinoid System: What is it?

The Endocannabinoid System is an important modulatory system in the function of the brain, endocrine, and immune tissues.

In 1992, a professor named Dr. Raphael Mechoulam discovered anandamide, a naturally-occurring neurotransmitter in the brain.

This was important because, after further study, Dr. Mechoulam determined that this neurotransmitter was actually a cannabinoid which is the same healing compound found in Hemp.

This led to the discovery of thousands of cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors in our body called the endocannabinoid system.

Cannabinoids and their receptors are found in our brain, organs, glands, and throughout the entire body.

This system plays a major role in biological processes such as sleep, memory, mood and pain sensation.

This system plays a major role in biological processes such as sleep, memory, mood, and pain sensation.

The three components of the endocannabinoid system are: receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids which function regardless of whether someone uses CBD or not.

Receptors exist throughout the body and are a substance to which endocannabinoids bind.

There are 2 receptors, CB1 receptors are in the central nervous system and are responsible for coordination, movement, pain, appetite, memory, and mood while the CB2 receptors are in the peripheral nervous system, influencing pain, and inflammation.

Enzymes can appear in many forms, but only two types of enzymes break down endocannabinoids.

After the enzymes break down the cannabinoids, the endocannabinoids look to bind with receptors.

Endocannabinoids complement the body by keeping internal functions running smoothly.

Researchers believe that CBD does not directly attach itself to the receptor but influences it in some way.

Activating these receptors is what allows for many of the health benefits that people associate with CBD.

CBD doesn't interact directly with cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, but instead, it stimulates the endocannabinoid system to produce its own cannabinoids.

It also slows their breakdown by inhibiting the FAAH enzyme, so the endocannabinoids can stay in your body for longer.

Although there has been a massive increase in research around CBD as an alternative resource of relief, the FDA still hasn’t approved of statements regarding medical claims around CBD.

Consult your physician before supplementing any prescription drugs for CBD or any natural products regimen.


David A.Greenberg, in Encyclopedia of the Neurological Sciences, 2003

Pertwee RG. Cannabinoid pharmacology: the first 66 years.Br J Pharmacol.2006;147(Suppl 1):163–71. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjp.0706406.

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