The Human Endocannabinoid System 101

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In this article we’re going to take a brief look at the human endocannabinoid system and why it’s so incredibly important to spread social awareness.

Wondering what’s causing all this cannabis-infused social change? Curious why society’s view of cannabis is transforming so dramatically across the western world? Want to know what’s got Big Pharma and the titans of the Drug War on the run?

Your endocannabinoid system, that’s what.

And the faster social awareness and curiosity builds the faster everything reaches critical mass, cannabis (industrial hemp/marijuana) prohibition ends on the federal level, and the countless wonders of this plant species may once again be unleashed upon our society for the betterment of all.

Introduction: The ECS Prime Directive

When you put plant-based cannabinoids, or “phyto” cannabinoids (PCs), from industrial hemp or marijuana into your body you’re basically empowering your ECS.

It’s quite similar to supplementing protein powder or creatine before a workout to improve muscular recovery and hypertrophy.

That said, the prime directive of your endocannabinoid system is to maintain complete homeostasis in every aspect of your being, from the sub-cellular to the psychological. From protecting and repairing cells to modulating the neurochemical expressions of what we call contentment, energy, pain relief, love, etc.

Yeah…

It’s pretty important to say the least and you’ll find this system’s network of receptors located throughout your body – primary organs, sexual organs, central and peripheral nervous systems, throughout the brain, connective tissues, bones, and on and on.

Another Immune System?

Sort of, but alas, it’s rather complicated. The ECS is much broader in scope. While your immune system in a general sense is there to fight off microbial invaders, the ECS is intermingled with literally everything – brain reward systems, metabolic processes, energy balance, pain modulation, cell maintenance, neurogenesis, and the list goes on.

It’s been evolving here on earth in plants and animals for an estimated 600 million years.

And make no mistake, ECS-based “medical science” is only in its infancy. Humans have been using hemp and marijuana extracts throughout recorded history. But, we’ve only recently discovered the ECS and begun to really investigate it with modern means and scientific understanding…within a sea of politics, corporate suits, and bureaucrats CBD research has just begun.

In fact, there’s only a handful of conventional medical schools in the US right now actually beginning to teach and focus on the endocannabinoid system. What an exciting time! Doctors come to us and ask us our recommendations on dosing hemp-based CBD oils in private, how crazy is that? We’re talking paradigm shift folks.

Like, we have to say, “Be sure to consult your doctor before using any of our CBD-rich products.” But everyone in this industry understands there’s a roughly 90% chance, if you ask your doctor about the ECS, they’ll know very little. You’re better off talking to a non-doctor cannabis professional that understands how the ECS functions, based on current research, which many of us do our best to follow as much as doctors would if they could focus their medicine on it.

But there really are no universal dosage systems yet, not like the pharmaceutical industry has. All we know is that phytocannabinoids from industrial hemp and marijuana are improving lives all over the damn place. And we’re starting to figure out why.

Basic Components of the ECS

Right, so you’ve got this ancient system hardwired into your body that’s job is to maintain health at every level of your being. This system, in a very simplistic sense, is composed of…

  • Cannabinoid Receptors: There are two receptors, CB1 and CB2, that we know of.
  • Endocannabinoids: These are endogenous (meaning your body makes them naturally like adrenaline or endorphins) cannabinoids of which there are primarily two that interface with these receptors – Anandamide and 2-AG.

Now, there’s a wide array of terpenes and PCs in cannabis plants, both hemp and marijuana, but the most important two are THC (psychoactive – predominantly in Marijuana) and CBD, or Cannabidiol, which is in all cannabis plants to differing potencies depending on the specific cultivar of hemp or marijuana strain.

These cannabis PCs are the exact plant-replicas (mimetic) of our endocannabinoids, so again, when you supplement with cannabis PCs your ECS uses them to do its work, whether that be causing cancerous cells to harmlessly commit suicide or modulating your metabolism to keep you trimmer.

So far natural plant extracts (not surprisingly) are working better than synthetic or single-phytocannabinoid concentrations.

You as the consumer have two choices in terms of getting your hands on these nutrients:

  • Industrial hemp-based products which contain very low, less than 0.03%, THC and varying amounts of CBD. These are legal, and can be bought online from sites like HempforFitness.com, but you should read this before you buy cannabis oil online.
  • Marijuana-based products that are almost always going to have higher amounts of THC, along with CBD in some cases. These are only legally being sold in a handful of states and their “Recreational” and “Medical Marijuana” dispensaries. Ratios of THC to CBD are really all over the map at this point. One product might be 6mg THC and 10mg CBD, while another might be 25% THC and less than 1% CBD.

While I could melt your brain with science and medical literature, we’re just going to heavily summarize the two cannabinoid receptors throughout your body as thus, a quote from NORML’s Introduction to the Endocannabinoid System:

Cannabinoid receptors are present throughout the body, embedded in cell membranes, and are believed to be more numerous than any other receptor system. When cannabinoid receptors are stimulated, a variety of physiologic processes ensue. Researchers have identified two cannabinoid receptors: CB1, predominantly present in the nervous system, connective tissues, gonads, glands, and organs; and CB2, predominantly found in the immune system and its associated structures. Many tissues contain both CB1 and CB2 receptors, each linked to a different action. Researchers speculate there may be a third cannabinoid receptor waiting to be discovered.”

How exciting, based on the two-receptor science so far, if there’s a third… my goodness! The health properties of cannabis plants are already so astounding.

Why We Focus on Hemp and Cannabidiol

Well, first and foremost because it’s illegal to sell products online that contain more than 0.03% THC (fiber classification). With industrial hemp this isn’t an issue. Our farmers grow specific cultivars, organically and sustainably, that test within legal limits of THC while containing a fabulous terpene profile and high levels of CBD which is classified as a dietary supplement.

And, listen, the VAST majority of positive health impacts and benefits from PC supplementation come from cannabidiol. It’s the primary reason for the entire “Medical Marijuana” movement. THC is also very medically relevant with certain issues within the ECS, of course. Very much so. But not everyone enjoys the effects of THC, or the “high” that these cannabinoids cause by interacting with CB receptors in the brain.

Our products can’t get you high or stoned. You won’t fail a piss test. But, you will be providing your endocannabinoid system with powerful micronutrients that it’s hardwired to utilize. In the same exact way other systems of your body are designed to utilize vitamins and minerals.

There have been many plant-based “snake oils” that have come and gone. And there are lots of great plant-based essential oils out there. But there has NEVER been one so widely used in human history, which is now back again and causing a social/medical revolution in the 21st century.

In Conclusion

Yes, you have an endocannabinoid system. Yes, the state of your endocannabinoid system is influencing your health right now, or lack thereof. Yes, you should definitely look into your ECS as it will fundamentally elevate your understanding of how your body and “health” works.

And yes, if you would like to supplement with phytocannabinoids you can. The question is whether you want, need, or even have legal access to THC. If the answer is no, then industrial hemp-based extracts, oils, and concentrates are the way to go.