Definition of the Endocannabinoid system
The Endocannabinoid system (ECS) is the biological system composed of endocannabinoids within the animal body. This system naturally synthesizes the chemical compounds that activate the same receptors as the chemicals in the cannabis sativa plant – CBD, THC and more. The ECS is thought to be a homeostatic regulatory system, keeping things running smoothly within your body. While still under heavy research, the ECS is thought to be responsible for helping to regulate things like: immune functions, inflammation, mood, ones ability to sleep, reproduction and more. The ECS is comprised of three major parts:
- Cannabinoid receptors
- Endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) and
- Enzymes which synthesize endocannabinoids
There are two major cannabinoid receptors, the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 are in the central nervous system, the brain and spinal cord, and CB2 receptors are found in the peripheral nervous system, the nerves in your extremities, the digestive system and immune system. Many of the biological effects of ingested cannabis exist due to the interaction between the cannabinoids and the CB1 & 2 receptors.