5 Fun Facts About the Endocannabinoid System
Besides the obvious fact that cannabis provides an intoxicating effect, cannabis and CBD have an intense influence on the human mind and body. Ever wonder why that is? Well, thanks to the discovery of a complex bodily system called the Endocannabinoid System, or ECS, we now have more facts about the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system is a biological system composed of endocannabinoids or endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that influence the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. Scientists stumbled upon this complex regulatory system while studying tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the active cannabinoid in cannabis almost 30 years ago.
While you probably don’t understand the complexity of it, you’ve likely heard of the ECS by now. Cannabinoid receptors found in the Endocannabinoid System were originally believed to exist only in the human brain. Thanks to scientists and researchers, we now know that these cell membrane receptors exist throughout the human body and are said to regulate many of our physiological and psychological bodily functions! Without getting too sciency, let’s explore 5 fun facts about the endocannabinoid system that you may not know.
1. The Endocannabinoid System is the Most Important System You Never Learned About in School
Flashback to middle school for a moment. Remember when you learned all about systems like the nervous, circulatory, pulmonary, skeletal in health class? Well, left out of every educational and medical textbook until only recently, was the most influential system of all: the ECS. It’s no wonder many of us are learning about it for the first time! Finally, students and future physicians are learning the science and mechanisms behind this 600 million year old system, and most importantly, how the ECS influences or modulates every other system in our body.
2. Most Living Species Have an Endocannabinoid System
According to the US National Library of Medicine, “all animals, including vertebrates (mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish) and invertebrates (sea urchins, leeches, mussels, nematodes, and others) have been found to have endocannabinoid systems”. Wild, right? But it’s true. Even your dog or cat have endocannabinoid systems, which is likely why you see a host of CBD products in your local pet store or veterinarian office. Curious which living thing doesn’t have an ECS? Insects.
3. The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) Helps the Body Maintain Homeostasis
Another fun fact about the Endocannabinoid System is that put simply, it modulates the central nervous system’s function and helps maintain homeostasis. Acting as a bridge between the body and the mind, the ECS is said to be a “master regulator of homeostasis in the human body”. Born from Greek words for “same” and “steady”, homeostasis is a biological process to actively maintain stable conditions necessary for survival in living beings. The ECS is popularly said to regulate sleep, mood, pain, and appetite.
4. Some Experience a Deficiency in Their Endocannabinoid System
This might not be such a fun endocannabinoid system fact, but it’s an important one to mention. Yes, there is such a thing as endocannabinoid deficiency. Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency, or CED, was first presented to the science and medical communities in 2001 by Dr. Ethan Russo. This theory proposes that in the same way our bodies can have calcium and vitamin deficiencies, they can also have an endocannabinoid system deficiency. Dr. Russo believes that for some, the deficiency might be related to genetic differences, or that “it might be an acquired deficiency resulting from injury or disease”.
5. The Endocannabinoid System Can Do Wonders for Your Mental Health
Admittedly, this is our favorite endocannabinoid system fact. We’ve all heard how going for a walk, doing yoga, and meditation can help those of us seeking to improve our mental health. What we don’t hear as often are the positive effects cannabinoids can have on our mental health. It’s totally a thing, and get this: studies carried out in humans have consistently demonstrated that the endocannabinoid system is fundamental for emotional homeostasis and cognitive function.
Now that we have explored some fun facts about the endocannabinoid system, check out other cannabinoid facts at Go Green Botanicals. Go Green Botanicals is a health and wellness advocate for the community and its customers by providing natural remedies: the highest quality CBD products at the best price. They are a resource for information and education on CBD products and their benefits. They have a brick and mortar in New Braunfels, Texas, but their goal is to attract regional and national customers via their online store.