What is the Endocannabinoid System?

You may already know that CBD works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), but what does this system really do?  

The discovery of the ECS and its roles within the body are still relatively recent. In fact, new research is being continuously conducted to fully understand how it works and what it’s capable of doing.

Scientists have found that the ECS contains unique receptors (CB1 and CB2) that interact specifically with cannabinoids like THC and CBD. The ECS affects the central and peripheral nervous systems in mammals and plays a role in the body’s homeostasis.  

Beyond this, the ECS has been found to have broader implications on our health. In a recent study by Drs. Pacher, Batkai and Kunos, it was reported that “…modulating the activity of the endocannabinoid system turned out to hold therapeutic promise in a wide range of disparate diseases and pathological conditions, ranging from mood and anxiety disorders, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, to cancer, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, hypertension, glaucoma, obesity/metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis, to name just a few.”

We still don’t have a complete picture of the ECS’s capabilities, and we cannot guarantee its effects, but recent findings suggest it plays a major role in our physical health. 

The ECS can also impact our mental health. Anandamide is another cannabinoid that acts on the ECS and is commonly referred to as the “bliss molecule”. Anandamide is produced and broken down naturally by the body – some people’s anandamide levels are higher than others, and stimulating it has been shown to improve mood and even reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.  

There is still a lot to learn about the ECS and how to harness its power to improve health and wellbeing. Regardless, it’s an exciting frontier for scientists and wellness-seekers alike.