The endocannabinoid system - what does it do?
Did you know that you have an endocannabinoid system (ECS)? I didn't either until a few years ago when I started to work with hemp.
Every human and all vertebrate animals, and even some invertebrate animals, have an ECS suggesting its significance in the process of evolution. Experts believe that natural selection has conserved the endocannabinoid system in living organisms for 500 million years. We have co-evolved alongside the hemp plant and consumed it as food and medicine for thousands of years.
Experts believe the ECS's overall function is to regulate homeostasis, to keep balance and wellbeing. Homeostasis is a key element in the biology of all living things and is best described as the ability to maintain stable internal conditions that are necessary for survival. Disease is simply a result of some aspect of failure in achieving homeostasis.
The ECS affects a wide variety of biological processes (such as appetite and sleep amongst many others). We have cannabinoid receptors in many parts of our body, including the brain, organs, immune system, peripheral nervous system, cardiovascular system, reproductive system and gastrointestinal and urinary tracks. Cannabinoid receptors continue to be identified in unique parts of the body as research on the endocannabinoid system progresses. Decades of scientific research on the ECS has resulted in the discovery of two types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. These receptors are found in various parts of the body, but are most prominent in the brain and immune system. Cannabinoid receptors act as binding sites for endogenous cannabinoids as well as cannabinoids found in cannabis/hemp. When cannabinoids bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors, they act to change the way the body functions.
Although cannabis is a source of over 100 cannabinoids (including THC and CBD), the human body produces a number of cannabinoids as well. These endogenous cannabinoids include anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and are present in all human beings. Yes, that is correct. We actually produce our own endo-cannabinoids!
What has become apparent is how important hemp is in our diet, due to the essential nutrients cannabinoids provide. Many experts start talking how a chronic endocannabinoid deficiency can affect our health. Hence many of us, for whichever reason, benefit or need system support and thus taking the best quality full spectrum mix is essential for maintaining and supporting the body’s internal health and stability and helps our well being, vitality and spirit.
To find out more about the ECS, there is much information online and some informative talks on YouTube.