Dec 16, So "endocannabinoid" simply means cannabis-like substances that naturally occur inside us. The ECS itself is made up of three parts. Sep 15, The ECS was not discovered until the late s. Research done on cannabis treatments uncovered the ECS. Researchers were trying to. The psychoactive component of the cannabis resin and flowers, Elements of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) comprise the cannabinoid receptors, a family .
Cannabis ECS and
Likewise, the ECS has similarly profound impacts on the brain, nervous system, and our general psychological and emotional well-being. More clearly put, the ECS and its network of chemical pathways is believed to be able to directly manipulate and reverse the neurological actions that lead to mental disorders like anxiety, depression, and even psychosis. And this is precisely why marijuana — or cannabis in general — is believed to be able to provide relief from a seemingly endless range of medical conditions.
Also, on a bit of a side note this is why the popularity of CBD has taken off like a bottle rocket in recent years. CBD on the other hand which remember is the second-most abundant cannabinoid in marijuana , does not produce any intoxicating effects. It essentially provides all of the health and therapeutic benefits of cannabis, just without the high. Well, hopefully your questions or at least a portion of them on what the endocannabinoid system is have finally been answered.
Leave a Reply Cancel reply. Your email address will not be published. Remember me Lost your password? Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. What Does Weed Do to You? How cannabis affects your body and mind. Connect to Local Doctors. That classic fairy tale illustrated the idea that the best outcome often lies somewhere in the middle, between two extremes.
Homeostasis is the concept that most biological systems are actively regulated to maintain conditions within a narrow range. Conditions need to be just right for our cells to maintain optimum performance, and exquisite mechanisms have evolved to draw them back to the Goldilocks zone if they move out.
Because of its crucial role in homeostasis, the ECS is widespread throughout the animal kingdom. Its key pieces evolved a long time ago, and the ECS can be found in all vertebrate species. They transmit information about changing conditions to the inside of the cell, kick-starting the appropriate cellular response. There are two major cannabinoid receptors: CB1 receptors are one of the most abundant receptor types in the brain. These are the receptors that interact with THC to get people high.
CB2 receptors are more abundant outside of the nervous system, in places like the immune system. However, both receptors can be found throughout the body Figure 1.
Endocannabinoids are molecules that, like the plant cannabinoid THC, bind to and activate cannabinoid receptors. There are two major endocannabinoids: These endocannabinoids are made from fat-like molecules within cell membranes, and are synthesized on-demand.
The third piece of the endocannabinoid triad includes the metabolic enzymes that quickly destroy endocannabinoids once they are used. This distinguishes endocannabinoids from many other molecular signals in the body, such as hormones or classical neurotransmitters, which can persist for many seconds or minutes, or get packaged and stored for later use. The three key components of the ECS can be found within almost every major system of the body. When something brings a cell out of its Goldilocks zone, these three pillars of the ECS are often called upon to bring things back, thus maintaining homeostasis.
When such deviations are non-physiological, the temporarily activated ECS attempts, in a space- and time-selective manner, to restore the previous physiological situation homeostasis. Below we will consider examples of how the ECS helps maintain homeostasis in two areas: Brain cells neurons communicate by sending electrochemical signals to each another. Each neuron must listen to its partners to decide whether it will fire off its own signal at any given moment.
If they get overloaded by signals, it can be toxic. Consider a simplified scenario with one neuron listening to two others. This brings things back to the Goldilocks zone, maintaining homeostasis Figure 4. Every other system of the body, from the digestive to the immune system, needs to carefully regulate how its cells are functioning.
Proper regulation is crucial for ensuring survival. Inflammation is a natural protective reaction the immune system has in response to infection or physical damage. The purpose of inflammation is to remove pathogens germs or damaged tissue. The inflamed area is produced by fluid and immune cells moving into the area to do the dirty work and return things to their Goldilocks zone.
Chronic inflammation and auto-immune diseases are examples of the immune system getting activated inappropriately. When that happens, the inflammatory response lasts too long which results in chronic inflammation or gets directed toward healthy cells which is known as auto-immunity. Thus, interventions that manipulate the metabolism or production of endocannabinoids may serve as a novel treatment modality against a wide range of inflammatory disease.
Consider a normal immune response triggered by a bacterial infection. First, immune cells detect the presence of bacteria and release pro-inflammatory molecules that tell other immune cells to come and join the fight.
By tightly regulating inflammation, the immune system can destroy germs or remove damaged tissue, and then stop.
This prevents excessive inflammation, allowing cells, and thus the body, to return to the Goldilocks zone. The reason that plant cannabinoids have psychoactive and medicinal effects within the body is, in large part, because we have an endocannabinoid system ECS that they can interact with. Endocannabinoids like anandamide also activate CB1. A couple big reasons. The plant-based cannabinoid CBD illustrates this nicely, as it interacts with numerous receptor types in the brain.
So, while plant cannabinoids may activate the same cannabinoid receptors as endocannabinoids, they will likely interact with several other receptors and therefore have distinct effects. The endocannabinoid system ECS , comprised of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoid molecules, and their metabolic enzymes, is a crucial molecular system that the body uses to help maintain homeostasis.
Like any other complex biological system, the ECS can go awry. By understanding the biological Goldilocks principle homeostasis , and how the ECS illustrates this at the cellular level, we can more deeply appreciate why we have an ECS to begin with, and how a variety of cannabis-based therapies might actually work.
The presence and critical function of the ECS across many systems of the body, including the nervous and immune systems, explains why such a wide variety of ailments and disease states are responsive to cannabis-based interventions.
What Is the Endocannabinoid System and What Is Its Role?
The reasons that cannabis benefits so many different ailments boils down to the fact that a class of chemicals produced in the cannabis plant – known as. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system composed of endocannabinoids, .. These results suggest that intake of exogenous cannabinoids (e.g. cannabis) can decrease the likelihood for pregnancy for women with high. Jun 28, The future of medical cannabis. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is one of the body's largest neurotransmitter networks but was only.