The endocannabinoid system is known as a “master regulatory system” and works to maintain homeostasis in the body, which is a science-y way of saying it works to keep your body balanced. But to understand how it works, you have to understand the compounds that influence it.Â
Endocannabinoids are types of molecules produced by your body. These are different from cannabinoid molecules that have to be ingested through cannabinoid-containing substances such as hemp oil, CBD oil, or marijuana. There are two main endocannabinoids that have been discoveredâ€”anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG).
Throughout your body, the ECS has receptors for each of these endocannabinoids to bind to. When an endocannabinoid binds to a receptor, it signals your ECS and helps keep various body functions running optimally. The two main types of endocannabinoid receptors include CB1 receptors, located mainly in your central nervous system, and CB2 receptors, located mainly in your peripheral nervous system (specifically in your immune cells). Depending on which receptor an endocannabinoid binds to, it can produce different results. For example, if an endocannabinoid binds to CB2 receptors in your immune cells, it can help lower inflammation and ease symptoms of autoimmune conditions.
So why would you want to support your ECS in other ways when you can just pop some CBD gummies or take some hemp extract oil? The more you support your ECS, the more effective your hemp and CBD products will actually be. But more than that, taking steps to support this system will go a long way in enhancing your overall health.
In fact, more and more research is showing the connection between a variety of health problems and low endocannabinoid levels, similar to how a deficiency in neurotransmitters can be linked to other health problems like depression. In research this is referred to as “clinical endocannabinoid deficiency,” and it can play a role in autism, migraines, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome. And these are just the beginning as the research surrounding the ECS continues to grow.Â