WHY CANNABIS WORKS
UNDERSTANDING YOUR ECS
Many people are unaware of the fact that they have an Endogenous Cannabinoid System (ECS) in their body, helping them manage stress and maintain homeostasis. When you consume cannabis, compounds from the plant interact with this system. The activation of the Endocannabinoid System is how cannabis can have such profound effects at healing ailments of the body. The ECS is a chemical communication network that is vital to keep all the systems of the body in sync.
YOUR ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
The ECS is composed of a network of endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and the enzymes that create and break them down.(1) You have cannabinoid receptors throughout your body, found in abundance in your brain and spinal cord, your skin, your endocrine glands as well as on your immune cells. Where we have cannabinoid receptors you will also find endocannabinoids as these are the messenger molecules that bind to the receptors, delivering a message. While the message of these molecules differs depending on the location in the body, the goal is always the same, to maintain homeostasis. (2)
Maintaining homeostasis is one of the very important roles of the Endocannabinoid System as it is key for preserving a state of wellbeing. Homeostasis is when all systems of the body are working together to keep you alive and functioning at an optimal level. When you wake up feeling energized and well, this is a sign your ECS is primed and functioning well.
One of the major ways the ECS helps us to maintain homeostasis is by combating inflammation. (3) When there is stress or injury to an area of the body, the natural biological response is inflammation. While this response is important, in our modern day we are constantly exposed to elements in our environment that can cause excess inflammation. This could be from lead or chlorine in drinking water, heavy metals from fish, toxins from overly processed food, parabens in our skin care, to the polluted air we may breathe. Ultimately inflammation is the root cause of “dis-ease” in the body.(4) There is a wide array of health problems that are an expression of inflammation in the different areas of the body. Inflammation often occurs for years before it is expressed at a sufficient level to be considered a ‘disease’.
The ECS is our superhero constantly helping our bodies to combat and reduce inflammation. Like any system, when in overdrive for too long, the system inevitably gets worn down and works less efficiently. Supporting your ECS to have the appropriate nutrients it needs to thrive is important to maintain wellness. We can also boost the system by consuming compounds which directly interact with the system, like compounds found in cannabis. The activation of the ECS is why cannabis is effective at offering relief for some many ailments like muscle pain, arthritis, anxiety, insomnia and even cancer. There are a handful of other plants in the plant kingdom which also influence the ECS.
To learn more about supporting this vital system, join us for a live lecture!