The Human Endocannabinoid System

The Endocannabinoid System

The Biggest Fool Thinks They Know It All

After graduating from nursing school in the early 90s, I thought medicine had the answers to most questions on how the human body works.  I mean, we all have eleven body systems working in tandem to create a living organism, right?  There are the reproductive, immune/lymphatic, endocrine, integumentary, circulatory, nervous, urinary, digestive, muscular, skeletal, and respiratory systems.  Well, out of left field comes a twelfth body system, called the endocannabinoid system, or ECS for short.  This new body system was discovered by accident when researching how cannabis works within the body.  A series of researchers pieced together the puzzle that an unknown body system exists.  This system is the master over all other systems- it works to keep each system in balance or what is known as homeostasis.  They named this system after the substance leading to its discovery, cannabis.



To date, scientists are still trying to fully understand how this system works.  The endocannabinoid system is known to have two major receptors within the body.  They are called the cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1R) and cannabinoid 2 receptor (CB2R).  CB1R are found mainly within the central nervous system, and CB2R are found mainly in the peripheral nervous system (particularly immune cells).  These receptors influence and interact in a range of functions including memory, sleep, mood, appetite, fertility and reproduction, and a host of other body processes.  Another receptor called the GPR55 receptor is thought to possibly be a third endocannabinoid receptor as well. 

How Does The Endocannabinoid System Work?

Our body naturally produces substances called endocannabinoids which interact with these receptors.  Scientists have pinpointed two endocannabinoids called anandamide (AEA) and 2-AG which interact with the endocannabinoid system.  They have also discovered two key enzymes that work to break down these endocannabinoids.  These are called FAAH and MAGL.  Certain diseases and illnesses can cause disruptions and deficiencies within this body system.  The cannabis plant contains substances called cannabinoids that can act as a natural substitute in many health conditions.  These plant-based cannabinoids are known as phytocannabinoids.  Examples of these include THC, CBD, CBG, and more.  Cannabis is thought to contain approximately 80 of these phytocannabinoids, most of which are still waiting to be researched.  We are thus able to manipulate our endocannabinoid system through replacing our deficient or malfunctioning endocannabinoids with these phytocannabinoids.

Functions of The Endocannabinoid System

We have discovered much in the few decades since the ECS discovery was made- despite the best efforts of prohibitionists.  It has been discovered and proven that cannabis is truly medicinal.  The “cat is out of the bag” and there is no going back.  This miracle of God comes at a time when human suffering from an unnatural lifestyle is consuming our society and crippling our youth.  It is a great crime against humanity that cannabis remains illegal and labeled with “no medicinal value” by authority.

Written By: Melissa Cornwell
Writer For CannaCook.com & Ark40.com

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