What Is the Human Endocannabinoid System?

The human endocannabinoid system (ECS) is one of the major systems in the body. It plays a vital role in regulating physiological processes to achieve a state of internal harmony, also known as homeostasis.

 

Maintaining homeostasis is key to your overall health; however, it requires a delicate balance, and the ECS works to correct that balance when thrown off by something like an injury. The ECS influences a variety of processes, including mood, digestion, pain perception, sleep, and more.

How Does It Work?

 

The ECS comprises three core elements: cannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes that both create and break down cannabinoids.

  • Cannabinoids are compounds that bind to cannabinoid receptors and activate them. The human body creates its own cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids, but there are many cannabinoids in the world, such as cannabidiol (CBD).
  • Cannabinoid receptors are protein molecules that can be found in all major body tissues. When a cannabinoid binds to a cannabinoid receptor, it produces a biological response to return the body to homeostasis.
  • The enzymes that make and break down cannabinoids help regulate the levels of cannabinoids in the body, which also play a role in maintaining your state of internal balance.

How Does CBD Interact With It?

When introduced to the body, cannabidiol can reduce the activity of the enzyme that breaks down endocannabinoids, which may prove beneficial for certain individuals. Other discovered benefits include:

  • Reducing anxiety
  • Regulating sleep patterns
  • Increasing appetite
  • Relieving inflammation

Better yet, CBD is non-psychoactive, so it won’t get you high. That said, while taking CBD can be a resource of relief, everyone’s body is different, so you should consult your healthcare provider before taking it.

 


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