The Endocannabinoid System-Part One

Hey blogees! You know I love talking terpenes! To understand them better, it’s good to know about the endocannabinoid system.  I like abbreviations, so let’s call it the ECS, and if it wasn’t for cannabis the system may still be undiscovered. So what is it? The body’s system of cannabinoid receptors, that’s what! But I suck at scientific terms, so let’s dive in!

Every single plant has its own unique set of chemicals and cannabinoids are the chemicals unique to cannabis. With over 100 different of these chemicals found in the cannabis plant, narrowing the combinations unique to each strain is part of the crucial research performed on the endocannabinoid system.

Our bodies have different systems, like the digestive system or circulatory system. What your elementary schoolbooks may have missed was the ECS.  Probably because it took up until 1964 for the system to be discovered (I think my school books were published before that. Damned public school system). Dr. Raphael Mechoulam and Dr. Yechiel Gaoni discovered the molecular structure of THC, which is the primary and only psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis.

The ECS is a biological system composed of endocannabinoids, which are endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors, and cannabinoid receptor proteins that are expressed throughout the mammalian central nervous system (including the brain) and peripheral nervous system.” Uh, thanks Wikipedia. Long story short, our bodies have two main cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. The ECS  participates in the regulation of:

  • appetite
  • pain-sensation/touch
  • pre and postnatal development
  • memory
  • mood
  • stress

Additionally, the ECS affects how we react to physical movement, specifically exercise, in terms of the mood boosts humans usually feel after a good workout (yes, there’s a such thing called “runner’s high”). This system also mediates how high you get from cannabis, and the level of satisfaction you feel from the high. I’ve even read that the system specifically keeps you from getting too high, but that’s a bit objective, given that everyone experiences different levels of effects from every type of cannabis.

endocannabinoid-system
Source: Hightimes.com

Next time we will revisit the endocannabinoid system, but we are going to break it on down to how both receptors (CB1 and CB2) react to cannabinoids in the cannabis we consume.  For a preview, meet my boo Cannabis Man below. He’s the perfect boyfriend, always showing me exactly where and how the chemical compounds benefit the body, so romantic!

Marys-Cannabis-Man-JPEG
Source: MarysMedicinals.com

 

Catch ya next time blogees!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s