The Endocannabinoid System. It sure is a mouthful, and it is not necessarily as well-known as many other body systems. However, even though many people are unfamiliar with this system, it is essential to life and plays a vital role in the human body.
Have we piqued your interest? Learn all about the Endocannabinoid System (also known as the ECS), the role it plays in your body, and how CBD can enhance particular functions it performs.
What is the ECS?
The endocannabinoid system is a biological system found in all mammals and almost all other families of animals. It links to both the nervous and immune systems and plays a variety of roles within the body. One of its most important roles is to regulate homeostasis in the body.
What components make up the ECS?
There are three components to the endocannabinoid system: receptors, enzymes, and cannabinoids. Each component plays its own role, and interacts with the other components to contribute to the overall functioning of the ECS.
First, we have the cannabinoids. There are two different types of cannabinoids: endocannabinoids (endo – meaning created within your body) and phytocannabinoids (phyto – coming from plants) that interact with other components of the ECS. Receptors bond or interact both with endocannabinoids in the body and phytocannabinoids like CBD or THC that enter the body. Enzymes interact with the endocannabinoids, breaking them down when they are no longer needed.
When it comes to receptors, there are 2 types: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are highly concentrated in the central nervous system (brain/spinal cord) and CB2 receptors are more highly concentrated in your peripheral nervous and immune systems.
What roles does the ECS play in your body?
As mentioned above, the endocannabinoid system plays an important part in maintaining and regulating homeostasis within the human body. It also contributes to many other important bodily functions in the cardiovascular, nervous, and immune systems. In fact, studies have suggested that endocannabinoids could aid in recovery from immune-mediated injuries, and could become a new form of treatment for inflammatory disorders.
In addition to the above, the ECS also seems to play a role in exercise and pain management. A 2018 review found evidence to suggest that the level of endocannabinoids circulating in the ECS increases after exercise, and has a pain relieving (analgesic) effect. It seems that there is a strong tie between fitness and the endocannabinoid system.
Additionally, the ECS also plays a part in regulating all of the following:
- Temperature Regulation
What does CBD have to do with the ECS?
While the biology lesson above may be interesting on its own, its relevance for Elevated Gains comes from the ways the ECS and CBD interact. CBD and other cannabinoids have their effect in the body by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, specifically with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Any CBD that you ingest is received by and interacts with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system to modulate the production and break down of endocannabinoids.
When CBD is ingested and interacts with the endocannabinoid system, there is evidence to suggest that it may have a number of beneficial impacts on the body. For instance, some research has looked at the well-known connection between the endocannabinoid system and pain management, and whether CBD’s interaction with the ECS can have any impact here. A 2018 review of 18 studies supported the idea that cannabinoids like CBD can help reduce pain in patients. Through bonding to endocannabinoid receptors, these cannabinoids seemed to help with pain management in a variety of different populations.
Another 2019 study found a positive link between CBD use and improved sleep and lower anxiety levels. The findings suggested a calming effect of CBD on the central nervous system through its interactions with the ECS.
As mentioned above, there seems to be a strong connection between the endocannabinoid system and physical activity. The CBD in our protein bars may enhance this connection, and strengthen the positive relationship between exercise and the ECS.
To really understand CBD, it is important to have a grasp on the functioning of the endocannabinoid system first. This biological system is vitally important to maintaining homeostasis and helping our bodies function properly. By interacting with the immune, nervous, and cardiovascular systems, the ECS does more for our bodies than most people realize. And CBD, through interactions with the ECS, seems to offer plenty of additional potential benefits, like anti-inflammation and pain relief, as well.