Endocannabinoids, also called endogenous cannabinoids are molecules made by your body. They're similar to cannabinoids-CBD, but they're produced by your body.
We all have an ECS system, just as we all have a digestive, circulatory and nervous system.
The ECS is active and exists in your body even if you don't use cannabis.
ECS regulates sleep, mood, appetite, memory, reproduction and fertility.
The ECS involves three core components: endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes.
Experts have identified two key endocannabinoids so far:
These help keep internal functions running smoothly. Your body produces them as needed,
These receptors are found throughout your body and there are two main endocannabinoid receptors:
CB1 receptors, which are mostly found in the central nervous system
CB2 receptors, which are mostly found in your peripheral nervous system, especially immune cells.
CB1 tells your body that you are in pain, and CB2 tells your body that you have inflammation, or any autoimmune disorder.
Enzymes are responsible for breaking down endocannabinoids once they’ve carried out their function.
There are two main enzymes responsible for this:
fatty acid amide hydrolase, which breaks down AEA
monoacylglycerol acid lipase, which typically breaks down 2-AG
Research has linked the ECS to the following processes:
appetite and digestion
inflammation and other immune system responses
learning and memory
cardiovascular system function
bone remodeling and growth
reproductive system function
skin and nerve function
These functions all contribute to homeostasis, which refers to stability of your internal environment. For example, if an outside force, such as pain from an injury or a fever, throws off your body’s homeostasis, your ECS kicks in to help your body return to its ideal operation.
So in essence, when you take CBD, you activate your endocannabinoid system. It only enhances the system in your body that heals you.