When it comes to CBD, many resources discuss its effects on the endocannabinoid system. But what is this mysterious body system? How does it work, and how does CBD work with it? Read on for a crash course on the endocannabinoid system, its parts, its role in your body, and more.
What Is the Endocannabinoid System?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a natural biological system found in all mammals. That includes dogs, cats, and the human body!
The endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes that make up the ECS are too small to see, even under a microscope. Still, the system is essential for our health and well-being.
Your endocannabinoid system is active even if you don’t use cannabis (marijuana) or CBD. Plant-derived cannabinoids like CBD and THC affect us by interacting with parts of our ECS. Scientists discovered CBD and THC decades before we understood how cannabinoids work, so the endocannabinoid system is named after them.
The Endocannabinoid System and Homeostasis
But what is the ECS doing, exactly? We’ll discuss the many roles of the endocannabinoid system in detail shortly. Overall, the function of the ECS is to keep other biological systems in balance.
Every day, the body performs an incredible balancing act called homeostasis. Homeostasis is the biological principle that living things require a narrow, pre-set range of conditions to survive.
Body temperature is a helpful example of homeostasis. After all, only a few degrees span the gap between hypothermia (95 °F) and a dangerously high fever (105 °F).
The endocannabinoid system uses perfectly timed molecular signals to keep our body temperature in the “safe zone.” It sends adjustment cues to our skin, brain, and other organs when we’re too hot or cold.
Every feature of the body has a similar “just right” range, meaning the endocannabinoid system is always hard at work.