We all have a nervous system, a respiratory system, and a circulatory system, among others. In 1988, scientists discovered another one: the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, which produces molecules similar to cannabis in the body. They’re so numerous, that there are more in the human brain than any other receptors. At first, scientists thought endocannabinoid receptors were only present in the brain and nervous system, but later discovered the receptors are everywhere in the body.
Scientists were trying to figure out how the THC, the part of cannabis that gives you a “high,” in cannabis affected the body. They knew about the cannabinoid receptor CB1, and since then, they’ve identified CB2. CB2 is found in different parts of the body, including the digestive system, immune system, and many other organs.
Even with these discoveries, scientists still needed to find out exactly how the human body was interacting with these receptors. They questioned why we had them, without cannabinoids to attach to them.
What Does The Endocannabinoid System Do?
While we haven’t figured out everything that the endocannabinoid system can do for us, we do know that its major role is to keep the body in homeostasis. Homeostasis means “steady,” and is, basically, the body is working to keep itself stable and balanced. The endocannabinoid system helps the body to maintain homeostasis to keep everything in your body working together.
Who Has An Endocannabinoid System?
Once the ECS was discovered in humans, scientists then studies other species, and found that all vertebrates and invertebrates have an endocannabinoid system. CB1 and CB2 receptors have been found in mammals, reptiles, fish, and birds.
What If Your Endocannabinoid System Is Deficient?
When your endocannabinoid system is working properly, your body is in homeostasis—a state of balance. But, like everything else in the body, the ECS can function at a low level, or be dysfunctional. There are some scientists who believe that such daily issues as migraines and fibromyalgia, could be caused by a deficient endocannabinoid system. It takes just supplementing the body with cannabinoids from plants to get back to homeostasis.
Why Do Natural Cannabinoids Help The Endocannabinoid System?
Throughout history, people have used hemp and cannabis to treat ailments like arthritis, epilepsy, and depression. Healers didn’t always know why cannabis and hemp worked, they just knew that it did. Once the ECS was discovered, cannabis as medicine made scientists excited, and opened the doors for research. Scientists believe that small, regular doses of hemp and / or cannabis helps to regulate the body on a consistent basis.
What’s Next For The Endocannabinoid System?
It won’t take long for scientists to dig deeper into the endocannabinoid system, especially with the possible removal of cannabis from the Schedule 1 status with the national government. This will enable scientists and doctors to study cannabis and hemp, and their effects on the human body.
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