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WHAT IS THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM?

/Endocannabinoid System
Endocannabinoid System2019-09-09T16:51:25+00:00
The human endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network of receptors throughout our body that regulates our most vital life functions such as our immune system, memory, appetite, sleep cycle, mood, and sensation.

Kogan, N.M. & Mechoulam, R. The chemistry of endocannabinoids. In: J. Endocrinol. Invest. 29 (Suppl. to no. 3): 3-14, 2006.

Endogenous CANNABINOIDs

Our ECS receives natural cannabinoids produced inside our bodies (endogenous cannabinoids).
Kogan, N.M. & Mechoulam, R. The chemistry of endocannabinoids. In: J. Endocrinol. Invest. 29 (Suppl. to no. 3): 3-14, 2006.

PHYTOCANNABINOIDs

Our ECS can be stimulated with plant-based phytocannabinoids (exogenous cannabinoids) to impact many of our physiological systems and move them toward homeostatis (a balanced regulatory system).

Kogan, N.M. & Mechoulam, R. The chemistry of endocannabinoids. In: J. Endocrinol. Invest. 29 (Suppl. to no. 3): 3-14, 2006.

THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM

Cannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and the body and impact the user by interacting with specific cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2 receptors). CB1 receptors are typically found in the brain and central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are typically found in the peripheral organs and cells associated with the immune system.

Kogan, N.M. & Mechoulam, R. The chemistry of endocannabinoids. In: J. Endocrinol. Invest. 29 (Suppl. to no. 3): 3-14, 2006.

CB1

CANNABINOID ReceptorS

CB1 cannanbinoid receptors are concentrated in central nervous system (CNS) and brain.

CB2

CANNABINOID ReceptorS

CB2 cannanbinoid receptors are concentrated in peripherial tissues, immune system, mucous membrane, and skin.

TRVP-1

VANILLOID Receptor 1

TRVP-1 receptor mediates: pain, inflammation, and body temperature.

LEARN THE BASICS:

1. NEURONS

Neurons communicate with each other and the rest of the body by sending chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) from one neuron (presynaptic cell) through the synaptic cleft, to a specific receptor on a nearby neuron (postsynaptic cell).

LEARN THE BASICS:

2. ENDOGENOUS CANNABINOIDS

Endogenous cannabinoids (messengers of the ECS), are naturally produced in fat cells (lipid precursors) already present in the postsynaptic neuron. Endogenous cannabinoids work by traveling back to the presynaptic neuron to attach to cannabinoid receptors. These endogenous cannabinoids then act as an inhibitor, limiting the amount of neurotransmitter being released.

ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM AND

PHYTOCANNABINOIDs

THC

THC is a plant-based phytocannabinoid (exogenous) introduced into the body by consuming cannabis. This phytocannabinoid has a very similar chemical structure to the endogenous cannabinoid: anandamide. This similar structure allows the body to recognize and interact with THC at various cannabinoid receptors.

CBD

CBD is a plant-based phytocannabinoid (exogenous) introduced into the body by intaking hemp or cannabis. This phytocannabinoid interacts with the TRPV-1 receptor and works with the body to suppress the FAAH enzyme (the FAAH enzyme breaks down the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide). With the FAAH enzyme suppressed this allows for more of the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide in the body, which leads to a greater CB1 receptor signaling.
Lee, M. A. (2011). CBD: how it works. O’Shaughnessy’s [Internet].v