There is a system within the human body called the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system can be credited to the psychological and physical effects of cannabis.
If you want to understand the meaning of the term “endocannabinoid system,” it is important to learn about the entomology of the term. “Endo” means endogenous, which refers to being inside the body. The word “cannabinoid” is in the phrase because cannabinoids are the compounds that activate the endocannabinoid system.
Medical researchers have zeroed in on the endocannabinoid system because of the therapeutic potential that it holds, as well as its well-known affects. Researchers have figured out the basics of the endocannabinoid system, though they have only scratched the tip of the iceberg.
Cannabinoids can be thought of as special chemical messengers in the endocannabinoid system. There are many different endocannabinoids, though endocannabinoids fall under two classifications: exogenous and endogenous.
Types of Cannabinoids
Endogenous cannabinoids, or endocannabinoids, originate inside the human body. Endocannabinoids regulate basic functions such as appetite, mood, memory, sleep and pain by interacting with special cannabinoid receptors.
Exogenous cannabinoids are cannabinoids that originate outside of the human body. When consumed, exogenous cannabinoids make contact with cannabinoid receptors, producing interesting effects. Examples of exogenous cannabinoids include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabrinol (THC), which are found in marijuana.
All About Receptors
Receptors receive chemical messages. In the endocanabinoid system, there are two receptors: CB1 and CB2. Certain endocannabinoids can interact with certain receptors while other endocannabinoids can react with both receptors.
The effects of cannabinoids can be explained by the distribution of receptors in the human body.
CB1 receptors exist everywhere in the body, though they are especially concentrated in the spinal chord and brain. For example, CB1 receptors exist in areas of the brain that control appetite regulation,emotional processing and memory processing. They are also located in nerve ending where they reduce sensations of pain.
CB2 receptors are frequently located in the peripheral nervous system. When these receptors are stimulated, they work to decrease inflammation. It is especially helpful to know this, for medical purposes, because inflammation causes many diseases.
The THC that is found in cannabis interacts with both CB1 and CB2 receptors. THC activates them in such a way as if it were an endocannabinoid. However, CBD does not directly interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Instead, it inhibits an enzyme called FAAH.
FAAH breaks down anandamide, which is considered to be the most important endocannabinoid in the human body. When FAAH is inhibited by CBD, it cannot break down anandamide as efficiently. Anandamine, as well as 2-AG, are the most prominent and important endocannabinoids in the human body.
The endocannabinoid system has many functions, including digestion, inflammation, temperature, memory, movement, cardiovascular function, mood, metabolism and appetite.
The endocannabinoid system also responds to ailments. For example, there is a rise in endocannabinoid levels in people who have a variety of disorders such as anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis and chronic pain. Tumor cells have larger numbers of endocannabinoid receptors than healthy cells.
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