Endocannabinoid system – what is it and why is it important?

Located all throughout the central nervous system and peripheral nervous lies the endocannabinoid system – a group of cannabinoid receptors.

Memory, mood, pain sensation, appetite – the ECS regulates it all. Its primary goal is homeostasis. To put it simply, the ECS’s role is to maintain a stable internal environment.

The scientists have identified the two primary cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2:

  • Found primarily in the brain, and nervous system, the CB1 receptors are the ones that THC glues itself onto. When CB1 receptors get activated by THC, it produces psychoactive effects.
  • Located primarily in our immune system; the CB2 receptors are responsible for regulating cannabis’ anti-inflammatory effects. CB2 receptors basically act as an immune response.

To our knowledge, there are at least 85 cannabinoids found in cannabis. Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds that interact with the receptors mentioned above. The two most widely researched are THC and CBD.

THC can promote creativity, amplify your thoughts, and keep you focused. That is, as long as you don’t abuse the curative cannabis properties.

CBD, on the other hand, is THC’s relative that produces non-intoxicating effects, and is the second most researched cannabis compound. This compound doesn’t really bind to CB1, or CB2 – it indirectly stimulates the endocannabinoid system by suppressing a certain enzyme. Consider this an explanation to why CBD partly counteracts the effects THC has on our brain. Exactly like THC, CBD also may play an important role in appetite, the immune system, and pain management.