Endocannabinoid System

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a network of chemical molecules and receptors found throughout the body.  It's a very complex system, controlling a variety of activities in the brain, tissues, organs, glands and immune cells. If there’s a breakdown in the ESC, such as a disease, commands are given to each cell to perform different tasks to help our body stay healthy and balanced. This is known as homeostasis. Scientists discovered this by accident in the early 90’s, while studying how THC (the psychiatric compound) effects the human brain.

Let’s start with “Homeostasis”.

In order for our bodies to remain healthy, it starts with homeostasis. This refers to the ability of the body or a cell to maintain constant stability in spite of any changes in the external environment.

Example, for the body to remain healthy it must maintain proper levels of glucose. This is a type of sugar found in the bloodstream. When the levels are too high, the pancreas releases hormones called insulin to help reduce the glucose level.  If blood glucose levels drop too low, the liver will change the glycogen in the blood to glucose again, raising the levels. You will begin to notice a change in your body if these levels are not corrected in time.


What are Cannabinoids?

It's a chemical molecule that binds to tiny receptors found in the ESC. Cannabinoids bind to the neurotransmitters receptors like a “key” fits into a lock. Unlocking the receptor causes a chemical reaction to the brain and body. 

Types of cannabinoids are:


Phytocannabinoids   can be found in cannabis and many other types of plants.

Endocannabinoids   are produced naturally in humans and animals.

Synthetic Cannabinoid  are pharmaceuticals made in a lab.



Scientist discovered how the cannabis plant will use its own cannabinoids along with terpenes and flavonoids to fight against diseases causing organism. Cannabinoids are full of antioxidants. Antioxidants, is a natural ingredient, found in all types of plants. It can also protect humans from harmful free radicals that cause aging, cancer and other ailments in the body.

There are over 113 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) have been studied the most. THC is the well known compound that will get you “high”.  While CBD is non psychoactive, it has been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever.   Other common compounds found include CBG, CBL, CBN and CBT just name a few.  Each cannabinoid will bind and act as a “key”  unlocking the receptors. This causes a chemical reaction, sending messages through the ESC.  Cells will respond to the message by starting therapeutic treatment our body needs to stay balanced.


“Endo” stands for endogenous, which means produced naturally within the body.  Similar in structure compared to the physical traits of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.  They help promote balance or homeostasis  within our body.  

Scientist have discovered many different endocannabinoids manufactured in the human body.  But the two most studied and understood cannabinoids are called anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG).

Other cannabinoids identified:

N-Arachidonoyl dopamine (NADA)

2-Arachidonyl glyceryl ether (noladin ether)

Virodhamine (OAE)

Lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI)


How do cannabinoids work on the body?

Researchers have discovered two main types of receptors called CB1 and CB2.

CB1 receptors are heavily populated in the brain.  Studies have shown THC, the cannabinoid found in marijuana, seeks out and only binds to CB1 receptors.  Acting as a key to unlock the receptor causing a euphoric or psychoactive effect. THC has many other effects on the body,  not just giving you a “high”.  A few of its most well-known benefits are it’s ability to minimize certain pain disorders, nausea and vomiting.  It can also increase your appetite which could explain why some people get the “munchies” after consuming THC.

Scientist believe anandamide (AEA), our own cannabinoid, is similar to THC.  It too binds to CB1 receptors promoting homeostasis. Regulating appetite, sleep, pain, mood, memory, and much more. CB1 receptors are located on the spine and central nervous system.

CB2 receptors are found in the immune system, organs, GI tract and other parts of the body. CBD (cannabidiol) the other phytocannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, binds to both receptors.  Research has shown CBD can weaken the connections between THC and CB1 receptors causing a decrease in the psychiatric effects. CBD can offer many other benefits to the body without feeling the high people get when compared to THC.  CBD binds itself to unlock the CB2 receptors.


Many of these receptors can be present in tissue throughout our body, each tied for a different command.  CB2 receptors will help regulate and keep harmony within the immune system, gastrointestinal tract and the peripheral nervous system.

2 -AG is the molecule that helps bind and triggers a chemical response from both neurotransmitter receptors but primarily binds to the CB2 receptor.   Studies suggest that this endocannabinoid, anandamide (AEA) and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol, are taking part in the following:

Immune System


Bone Health




Reproduction system


Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency

ECS is a network of messengers that tell your body to get assistance when it needs something or to stop if your body has too much. Maintaining equilibrium to cells in the body, at all times, is known as homeostasis. The ESC cannot regulate properly when a cell is off balance or the body can't produce enough cannabinoids to fight off an illness or psychiatric disorder.   This is referred by some medical professionals as CEDC (Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency).


Research has shown CBD Oil can help elevate endocannabinoid 2-AG as well as anandamide. This could help explain why it may help with promoting homeostasis. Taking small amounts of CBD may be able to help you regulate your endocannabinoid system if it is not working properly.  If you wish to consume CBD, you should talk to your doctor or a healthcare professional.  Even though CBD just elevates the chemicals that are naturally created in our body, it still can affect the way your body metabolizes certain medications and has shown in some cases to cause adverse effects.


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