Intro to The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, is in all of our bodies.  The ECS helps maintain hemostasis, or balance.  The ECS helps regulate our sleep, mood, appetite, and memories, to name a few.  It also has a role in releasing dopamine, the “feel-good chemical messenger”, which is pertinent to so many people in our world today. When our bodies are balanced, these messages transmit freely, and our ECS maintains this homeostasis.

When in stress, our bodies secrete endocannabinoids (cannabinoids coming from our own bodies) to activate cannabinoids receptors, who start “listening”. Chronic stress can tire these receptors out, causing balance in our bodies to be disrupted.

Two major endocannabinoids that are the major signaling molecures for our ECS are Anandamide, or AEA, and 2-Arachinoglycerol, or 2Ag.  Anadamide comes from the Sanskrit word for bliss, our version of THC. 2Ag is our version of CBD and helps with pain relief, suppression of vomiting, and stimulates appetite.

Each of us has biologic individuality when it comes to the ECS.  There are small nuances that we all need to learn about our bodies in order to have it functioning properly and to have us feeling well.  Because of its complexity and the differences patient-to-patient, a cannabis nurse can really help you navigate the information and find what works for you!

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