Last updated on 19 August 2021
One of the most significant physiologic systems used in enhancing human health is the endocannabinoid system. Endocannabinoids and receptors are in various body parts. Organs, immune cells, glands, connective tissues, and the brain all have endocannabinoids and receptors. The endocannabinoid system is focused on homeostasis. This means that it brings stability to the internal environment regardless of external environment fluctuations.
Components of The Endocannabinoid System
The essential components of the endocannabinoid system include metabolic enzymes. These enzymes break down endocannabinoids after they have been used. Endocannabinoids are small lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters stimulating the cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are located on the cell’s surface.
The Importance of The Endocannabinoid System
The Endocannabinoid system is used in the regulation of:
Inflammation is a natural, automatic, protective response initiated by the immune system due to physical damage or infection. The role of inflammation is to get rid of damaged tissues and pathogens. It’s important to control inflammation in the damaged area to avoid further damage. Immune diseases and inflammation are usually a result of inappropriate immune system activation.
The endocannabinoid system limits or suppresses inflammatory signals. As a result, inflammation is minimized. This results in a reduction of pain in the affected area.
Brain Cell Firing
Brain cells usually communicate by sending electrochemical signals to other neurons. Every neuron listens to its partner, then chooses on whether to fire its signal at every given time. Neurons shouldn’t get an overload of signals. If that overload occurs, it risks being toxic.
Endocannabinoids play a very vital role in regulating the brain cell firing. Overactive neurons are connected to endocannabinoids. In return, the endocannabinoids return to overactive neurons binding to CB1 receptors releasing a neuron which cools them down.
What are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are brain neurotransmitters called anandamides /endogenous cannabinoids. Cannabinoid receptors can also be found in the brain. Cannabinoids encourage homeostasis in every biological level of life.
Cannabinoid receptors are in almost every part of the body, specifically located in cell membranes. These receptors are the most common receptor system. Activated cannabinoid receptors cause various physiologic processes. CB1 receptors are in organs, glands, gonads, connective tissues, and immune systems. On the other hand, CB2s are in the immune system and related structures. A lot of tissues have CB1 and CB2 receptors, used in executing various actions. However, there might be another Cannabinoid receptor which is yet to be found.
Metabolic receptors are used in the destruction of endocannabinoids after they have been used. The two main enzymes are MAGL used in the breaking down of double AG and FAAH used in breaking down of anandamide. They make sure that endocannabinoids are used whenever needed though not exceeding their expected duration. For that reason, endocannabinoids come out dissimilar to other molecular signals such as classical neurotransmitters and hormones. These other molecular signals persist for longer durations.
How do ECS Receptors Work?
The endocannabinoid system consists of numerous cell receptors which monitor essential body processes. This system assists in regulating pain, immune system, memory, mood, and sleep.
Cannabinoid receptors work in the following ways:
Contain Enzyme helpers
Enzymes are vital in many human body processes. A process in which enzymes actively take part is the Endocannabinoid System. Enzymes monitor endocannabinoids found in the human body. Usually, they regulate endocannabinoids in operation at a particular time. They help curb the risk of excess endocannabinoids which might breed dire consequences to body processes. Cannabinoid receptors depend on active and healthy endocannabinoids. In return, they can receive and transport messages which control memory, mood, and other important biological processes.
Create Information Relay Team
Cannabinoid receptors seamlessly react to body agonists. Usually, an agonist gives a message to the receptor which in return responds by inducing a series of tasks which help in enhancing cannabinoid functioning.
The human body contains two known receptors. Cannabinoid receptor 1(CB1) concentrated in the nervous system and Cannabinoid Receptor 2(CB2) that works in the immune system related areas such as the nervous system and digestive tract.
Endocannabinoids are simply messengers that go between these receptors. However, they need to be in the right shape so that the ECS can work perfectly. The endocannabinoids are supplied by foods with high Omega-3 fatty acids.
What Problems Have Occurred Due to Deficiency of Receptors?
Deficiency in receptors can result in various medical conditions such as:
• Parkinson’s disease
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Multiple sclerosis
• Slowness in movement
• Low Dopamine levels
In the face of deficiency in receptors, it is advisable to visit a medical expert. The medical expert will carry out the necessary assessment before granting you the treatment you need. The above medical conditions are a sign that you may be experiencing a deficiency in receptors.
Studies on CBD and Endocannabinoid system
A study published in Pain, (a medical journal) investigated CBD as Osteoarthritis pain relief. It involved the treating of rats which had osteoarthritis. CBD blocks the pain which emanates from Osteoarthritis.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse & Stony Brook University researchers conducted a study and the findings confirmed the endocannabinoid system involvement in physiological processes that are essential in treating addiction and pain.
The endocannabinoid system is an essential part of the human body. It initiates physiological processes which help in controlling various body processes like mood, stress, immune system and the neurological system. A stable endocannabinoid system is essential for maintaining good health.
With close to two decades of successful stint in the Media industry, I felt I was surely missing a piece in my life puzzle. I took a break and set out to seek the purpose of my life. I travelled, lived out of a suitcase, let things flow into life without resisting, and after five challenging years, I found my rhythm. I love to write about Cannabis and Health and try my best to simplify esoteric concepts into simple ideas for life.