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What is the endocannabinoid system?
The Endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a major role in balancing our bodies’ most important functions from sleep, to mood, to appetite, to bowel movements, and more.
The ECS was discovered in the 1990’s when scientists were researching plant like molecules, cannabinoids, produced by the human body. The ECS’s main role is to maintain bodily homeostasis – biological harmony in response to environmental changes such as physical and mental stress.₁ Science has since found the ECS present in anything with a vertebra such as mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.
Initially, research showed endocannabinoid receptors were only present in the brain and nerves, but have since been found throughout the entire body including our skin (which is the largest organ on the body). Today we know that the endocannabinoid system is involved in a number of processes including pain, memory, mood, appetite, stress, sleep, metabolism, immune system, and our reproductive function. Endocannabinoids are arguably one of the most widespread and versatile molecules.
The Endocannabinoid System is not a simple system, it is beautifully complex and when in balance, offers health and happiness.
CBD and your endocannabinoid system:
Your body naturally produces its own endocannabinoids to support this system, but just like with any other nutrient, we can have a deficiency and may need extra support. This is where cannabis comes in. The cannabis plant produces phytocannabinoids that also interact with your endocannabinoid system.
CBD is a phytocannabinoid derived from the cannabis and hemp plant. CBD derived from hemp is currently the only cannabinoid readily accessible across the entire U.S. Unlike other cannabinoids, CBD does not bind to receptors in the endocannabinoid system.
The most basic way CBD works with our body is by blocking the breakdown of our own endocannabinoids, allowing our bodies to use more of what it’s already naturally producing.