The where, what, when and how?
It would not be surprising at all if you have not heard of the ECS. Most medical schools have not taught the ECS as part of its curriculum and medical textbooks dedicate but a small paragraph to this most important physiological system.
In the early 1990’s, Dr L Malsada, “discovered” the ECS whilst researching the effect of THC on the human body. Since then, researchers of all around the world have contributed to the knowledge we have on the function of the ECS today.
In a very simplified nutshell, the ECS is composed of receptors (CB1 and CB2), ligands (Anandamide and 2-AG) and Enzymes (FAAH,PLD). It is postulated that together, these receptors, ligands and enzymes form a complex system that interacts with all the body’s other systems (reproductive, circulatory, skeletal, endocrine etc) to establish and maintain homeostasis( Balance) in our bodies.
The ECS has been found to play a role in maintaining immune function, appetite, bone development, memory, sleep cycle, reproduction and regulation of stress and emotion.
Anandamide, an endocannabinoid (i.e. produced within our bodies) binds to cannabinoid receptors in our bodies and is responsible for the feelings of happiness and “bliss”.
CBD can increase levels to anandamide by inhibiting the enzyme that breaks it down. Deficiencies or damage to any components of the ECS has been though to result in certain conditions such as IBS, migraines, fibromyalgia.
Sometimes when our bodies cannot produce enough of its own cannabinoids, exogenous cannabinoids (CBD,THC) can assist in correcting the deficiency and maintaining the “balance” necessary for healthy functioning.