The Endocannabinoid System – what’s it all about?

The system that keeps your body in balance.

With CBD gaining more media attention now than ever before, there may be questions about what they do. More specifically, you may be asking, “what is the endocannabinoid system?”

To understand the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, it is a good idea to get used to the idea of homeostasis. In short, this is the process or reaction the body goes through to maintain a stable internal environment, or equilibrium. Leading on from that, the endocannabinoid system is thought to be one of the ways through which this is achieved.

The endocannabinoid system regulates many processes in the body to achieve that equilibrium. It helps to regulate and balance many other systems in the body, such as your immune response, the communication between your cells, your appetite and metabolism, and your memory. Without it, the body can develop health issues ranging from simple headaches to various types of cancer.


Endocannabinoids are the molecules that your body produces to do this – in fact, they’re very similar to cannabinoids (CBD is a cannabinoid). Throughout your body, there are different types of endocannabinoid receptors – CB1 and CB2.

CB1 receptors are found in the central nervous system, as well as both male and female reproductive systems, and they are responsible for regulating the effects of cannabinoids. CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are mostly found in the nervous system and seem to be responsible for anti-inflammatory and immune functions throughout the body.

What’s the link to CBD?

Cannabis has been known to react to the endocannabinoid receptors in some way, however it varies depending on which molecule it is. THC seems to fuse itself to the CB1 receptors (the ones in the central nervous system and brain), helping to create the ‘high’ feeling someone might get when smoking cannabis.

However, it is suggested that CBD doesn’t react to receptors, but instead prevents the endocannabinoids from breaking down. As a result, they last longer and could become more effective.

Effects of CBD

The way that CBD molecules react with endocannabinoids in the body appears to be how it helps with certain bodily functions, such as sleep, pain reception, your appetite, and memory.

In addition to that, CBD could potentially help with inflammation, anxiety, and depression. It seems to support the endocannabinoid system rather than hinder it.

Therefore, if you want to keep your body’s systems in balance, CBD might be a good idea. However, it is still important to aim for as healthy a lifestyle as possible regardless of whether you have CBD or not.

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