CANNABIS AND OUR BODY
What If I were to tell you that human beings evolved with an ability to process and utilize the elements of cannabis for its therapeutic purposes through our endocannabinoid system? Have you ever heard of an endocannabinoid system? Although it serves a plethora of functions outside of the interacting with exogenous (originating from outside the body) cannabinoids, it does have a uniquely intimate relationship with the plant. I’ll give you a little breakdown of the term before we get into the science of it all. The first part of the term, “Endo” derives from the Greek prefix, “Endon,” meaning within or internal. “Cannabinoid,” is a description of a diverse class of natural compounds that make up cannabis. When you combine the terms, you can interpret the meaning as, “natural cannabis compounds within.”
What is an Endocannabinoid System?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system made up of endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters known as endocannabinoids that connect to cannabinoid receptors (proteins) located throughout the central and peripheral nervous system. According to Verywell Health, the endocannabinoid system helps regulate various cognitive (mental) and physiological (physical) processes such as fertility, pregnancy, appetite, pain, memory, disposition, inflammation, sleep, motor control, digestion, pleasure/reward systems, and much more.
The ECS consist of three parts. Endocannabinoids, receptors within the nervous system that cannabinoids and endocannabinoids bond with, and enzymes that assist in the breaking down of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids.