What exactly is the ECS? Many of you have probably heard of the musculoskeletal system and the cardiovascular system, but the endocannabinoid system has only recently been researched in its full responsibility and function. Experts are still researching this modulating system.
The ECS is made up of a large number of organic compounds. These substances include lipids (insoluble compounds such as fats and hormones), cell receptors and enzymes. This complex system is basically responsible for cell signalling, which regulates many processes in the body. This in turn influences cognitive function and physiological "modus operandi". In simple terms, this means that moods, immune responses, sleep and appetite are partly controlled by the ECS.
Endocannabinoids are produced in all humans and animals and are not produced by the use of cannabis. In fact, the fascinating discovery of the ECS some 30 years ago has led to a deeper understanding of the ECS and its effects on the entire body. Since then, there have been an enormous number of studies on neuromodulation, skeletal muscle recovery and cancer treatment.
In particular, 2 main endocannabinoids (endogenous cannabinoid lipids - eCBs) have been identified that are known to be produced by the body. There are also 2 important eCB receptors (CB1 and CB2) and 2 important enzymes.
How does it work? The lipids bind to the receptors, these signalling cells (neurotransmitters) send an "action command" to induce either the cognitive or physiological change mentioned above. Once the work is done, the enzymes break down the lipids and the process is complete.
So why can CBD benefit us? Experts agree that the ECS plays an important role in homeostasis. Homeostasis is the mechanism by which the inside of our body is stabilised to function optimally, or in short, our internal systems are balanced and able to function properly. This can also be described as a "self-healing process". For example, if you cut yourself, the ECS sends an action command to heal the wound.
Supporting our ECS with CBDs can supplement the imbalance when our body is not producing enough eCBs. Similar to taking vitamin B when you are stressed as your body can't produce enough to meet the demands. This could be the reason why CBD is becoming increasingly popular as a 'miracle cure' for many ailments.