The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a biological system that is made up of endocannabinoids- which are neurotransmitters, cannabinoid receptors and cannabinoid receptor proteins. All of these can be found throughout the body’s central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. Although the ECS is still being studied, it is believed that this system plays a giant part in certain physiological functions, such as sleep, memory, inflammations, mood, pain, appetite, and reproduction.
For a system that can largely impact our health, and therefore our daily lives, here are 4 interesting facts about the endocannabinoid system.
Most Animals, Including Vertebrates and Invertebrates, Have an Endocannabinoid System
Research has shown that few species do not have an endocannabinoid system, such as anemones, sea sponges, and nematode worms. Although an endocannabinoid system has been found in some invertebrate species, most research to date has been focused on mammalian species. In recent years the number of products based around certain cannabinoids has increased exponentially, not only for human consumption but also for our pets.
The Endocannabinoid System Increases Its Activity When The Body is Fighting a Disease or Stress
Scientists have found that the endocannabinoid system activates when a disease or stress is present. This increased functioning of the endocannabinoid system has been witnessed when it comes to numerous diseases, such as neurodegenerative diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer. These findings confirm the conclusion that increased activity of the endocannabinoid system helps to maintain balance within different bodily functions, and actively works against any imbalances including diseases and their symptoms.
Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Does Exist, and May Be a Cause of Certain Diseases
When the endocannabinoid system is functioning properly, the body and its functions are in balance and have reached homeostasis. But when the endocannabinoid system is not working optimally, for reasons such as endocannabinoid levels being low or some similar impairment, this can mean individuals may suffer. Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD) is believed to be involved in a range of diseases, however, it is thought that there are natural ways to stimulate your endocannabinoid system, which can then correct these deficiencies, resulting in the endocannabinoid system soothing any symptoms, and restoring homeostasis.
The Endocannabinoid Receptor, Anandamide, Is The Largest Neurotransmitter Found In The Human Brain
Neurotransmitters are biochemical substances that are able to transmit information between neurons throughout our brain and body. The most widely known neurotransmitters are serotonin and dopamine. However, in recent years more research and attention is being paid toward the endocannabinoid receptor- Anandamide, which has been discovered to be the most common biochemical substance to be found in the human brain, and is also referred to as the “bliss” molecule.
The endocannabinoid system is still under preliminary research, due to it being quite a recent discovery with confirmation of it being a biological system only happening in the 1990s. However, expect to see many more developments and findings in the next few years as the spotlight shines on to the endocannabinoid system, as well as certain phytocannabinoids. And with this development, we will learn more about how our body’s work and what we can do to reach our peak health and wellness potentials.