What is the Endocannabinoid System?

illustration of businessman jugglingHow many balls can you juggle? For me, it’s not very many. But I am juggling a lot when it comes to work, family, and personal responsibilities. You probably are too. And we all know those times you lose your balance and can’t keep all those balls in the air.

No matter how hard we work to keep our lives in balance, sometimes, for reasons out of our control, that stability is lost. Balance isn’t just an important piece of maintaining the craziness of our lives; it’s also essential when it comes to keeping our bodies functioning smoothly and effectively.

In the product descriptions for several items on the Eco Health Source site, you’ll see mention of endocannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system. This system is critical to the proper functioning of our bodies. And it’s a key reason why CBD and hemp-based products are so beneficial for us.

But how does this system work? Here’s what you need to know.

What is the Endocannabinoid System?

graphic of body with locations of CB receptors

All mammals, including humans, have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) at work in their bodies. The basis of the ECS is a series of receptors found throughout the body, including in the brain, organs, connective tissues, and the nervous and immune systems. These endocannabinoid receptors are active in all of us all the time, monitoring conditions outside the cells and providing each cell with appropriate information on how to respond to changes in the body, keeping us in a state of homeostasis.

“Homeostasis” refers to a body’s ability to maintain stability despite changes. While our bodies can and should change over time, the body needs time to process and recover. Achieving homeostasis in the body means that we can respond to changes while maintaining the proper functioning of the body.

The endocannabinoid receptors are activated by (you guessed it) endocannabinoids. Our bodies naturally produce these chemical compounds, which ensure our cells maintain that response mechanism.

The third pillar of the ECS are metabolic enzymes, which break down endocannabinoids after they are used by the body. The enzymes are critical for ensuring that endocannabinoids are used as needed but exit the body when they are no longer necessary.

So, the ECS consists of:

  • naturally produced endocannabinoids,
  • that react with endocannabinoid receptors to achieve homeostasis,
  • which are then broken down by metabolic enzymes once they have been used by the body.

Why is this important? We put our bodies through a lot every day, and keeping all systems functioning at an optimal level is no easy task. Maintaining homeostasis, a level of balance throughout the body, is essential for keeping us healthy, active, and productive.

How does CBD affect the ECS?

While our ECS is primed to process cannabinoids produced by the body, it also responds to plant-based cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD). Though our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids, illness, injury, and stress can move our bodies out of homeostasis to a degree that our internally produced endocannabinoids aren’t able to compensate.

When we ingest CBD, we enhance the ECS. The receptors are stimulated by CBD to produce their own cannabinoids, improving the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis. By taking CBD, we are supplementing a naturally occurring system already at work in our bodies.

CBD can support individuals experiencing issues like chronic pain, sleeplessness, or anxiety. But it can also help give a boost to those of us who aren’t dealing with a major health and wellness issue, by keeping our bodies functioning at an optimal level and feeling well!

Learn More About and Shop for CBD Products

Eco Health Source offers an extensive selection of CBD and hemp-based wellness products to support healthier people, pets, and planet. Click here to visit our online store.

Leave a Comment:

2 comments
CBD Shows Promise for Treating Seizures - Eco Health Source says December 17, 2018

[…] works to bring the body back to a state of homeostasis, or balance, by interacting with cannabinoid receptors that are naturally occurring in our bodies. […]

Reply
Hemp vs Marijuana: Why Hemp Doesn't Cause a HIgh | Eco Health Source says January 17, 2019

[…] is actually a plant version of compounds our bodies are already making to support the Endocannabinoid System, which is responsible for keeping our bodies in homeostasis. Marijuana does contain lower levels of […]

Reply
Add Your Reply