The Endocannabinoid system (ECS) refers to a collection of cell receptors and corresponding molecules. Receptors can be seen as locks, the keys to these locks can be found in chemical molecules called Agonists or Ligands. The agonists bind to cells, relaying messages and giving the cell a specific direction.
The cell receptors found in the ECS respond to certain types of agonists. An agonist is a substance that initiates a physiological response when combined with a receptor. The two main Endocannabinoid molecules are 2AG and Anandamide There are two Primary Receptors in the ECS, CB1 receptor and the CB2 Receptor. Anandamide has a strong affinity for the CB1 Receptor and a much weaker affinity for the CB2. Where 2AG has a stronger affinity for the CB2 Receptor. Endocannabinoids are the body’s endogenous cannabinoids. Anandamide is considered the bliss molecule. Its released when we feel good and happy, eating chocolate also releases anandamide.
Cannabinoid receptors are found all through the body giving rise to a variety of functions. CB1 receptors are mainly found in the Central Nervous System, CB2 receptors are found in the GI Tract, immune cells and Peripheral Nervous System.
The Endocannabinoid System helps to control many of the body’s day to day functions.
Endocannabinoids help to maintain Homeostasis or balance in the body. A disrupted ECS leads to CNS in-balance and can also disrupt messages from the brain. When the brain can’t communicate with the Central Nervous System it can’t tell the immune system what to do causing a long list of issues. When the body can’t produce enough endocannabinoids it then can’t regulate the functions mentioned above. This is called Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency.