The Endocannabinoid System

Cannabinoids naturally occur in the human body, in the nervous and immune systems. There are 3 types of cannabinoids:

  • Synthetic Cannabinoids that are produced in a laboratory (ex: pharmaceutical medications)
  • Endogenous Cannabinoids which are produced in the human body (may be referred to as endocannabinoid system)
    • The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a nerve cell signaling system (communication between cells) in the body that helps regulate and balance bodily functions, maintaining physiological, cognitive and emotional balance
  • Receptors CB1 & CB2 are located in the body. CB1 receptors are mainly located in the brain and central nervous system. CB2 receptors are mostly located in the organs.
  • There are 2 endocannabinoids: anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG)
  • Phytocannabinoids which are produced in the cannabis plant. Examples are THC and CBD (referred to as cannabinoids)
    • Cannabinoids bind to endocannabinoid receptors in the body. These receptors are found throughout the body.
    • By stimulating the Endocannabinoid system with Phytocannabinoids will restore balance and relieve symptoms
 CB1 ReceptorsCB2 Receptors
LocationBrain & Spinal cord Some Peripheral tissueImmune tissue
RegulatesAppetite Movement Posture Sensory perception Memory Cognition EmotionInflammation & Pain (regulation of cytokine release from immune cells and immune cell migration)

CB2 receptors do not cause the high that stimulating the CB1 receptors may cause.

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