What is the Endocannabinoid System? Read on..
Time to look a little bit more in-depth into the endocannabinoid system, which consists of cell receptors and corresponding molecules in our bodies, so sit comfortably and the geek show shall begin!
Where does the name Endocannabinoid come from?
The name derives from the Greek word Endo meaning ‘within’ to represent the natural cannabinoid receptors within the human body. The main endocannabinoid molecules inside us are called anandamide (AEA) and 2-Ag. Interestingly when Anandamide was first isolated it got its name from the Sanskrit word Ananda, which means bliss in Hindi. So AEA (Anandamide) actually means the bliss molecule and I think that is pretty cool!
The endocannabinoid system sits throughout our bodies covering CB1 and CB2 receptors! CB1 are found predominantly in the central nervous system and CB2 more often found in the immune system. Our bodies already create these endocannabinoids, which we can get from our diet and are eased into our system through things like fatty acids e.g Omega-3. The endocannabinoid system can effectively increase or reduce communication channels with the intent of achieving equilibrium by synthesising 2-AG and AEA to achieve a balanced biological environment.
How does the body work with the Endocannabinoid system?
Our clever bio-suits (aka human body) use enzymes in the endocannabinoid system to break down leftover endocannabinoids and when Cannabis/hemp extract is added to the mix it stops the enzymes breaking down the AEA molecule (aka our old friend the bliss molecule) and makes more of it available for use by other cells.
We are all individuals and it seems that this is also reflected in our endocannabinoid system levels reflecting a unique balance of receptor density and how we absorb amounts of 2-AG and AEA.
The science behind Cannabis
The science behind Cannabis and endocannabinoids shows that introducing Cannabis can have a direct impact upon these systems in our bodies, this really excites and interests me. It is the endocannabinoid system that promotes embryonic development which makes human life possible. It promotes brain development in the embryo by regulating stem cells and after birth the endocannabinoid CB1 receptor initiates milk suckling! This system was only discovered and the findings were published in 1992, however the endocannabinoid system began evolving over half a billion years ago.
Wow that’s the science attack over and I shall retire from the white coat for the moment. Hope you liked the interesting snippets and look forward to more blogs!
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