Article content continued
A pamphlet at the dispensary mentioned the human endocannabinoid system. What is that and how does my cannabis use impact it?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a messaging system present throughout the human body. The ECS plays a critical role in the nervous system and regulates multiple physiological processes, including appetite, digestion, mood, motor control/coordination, sleep and other processes. The ECS also influences the immune system, cardiovascular function, sensory integration/pain perception, tumor surveillance, fertility, bone physiology, the endocrine system, neural development, and many other processes.
The endocannabinoid system is comprised of three main components: endocannabinoids (the chemical messengers), receptors (the structures to which the endocannabinoids bind) and regulatory enzymes (the chemicals responsible for the manufacturing and breakdown of the endocannabinoids).
The ECS was only discovered within the last few decades and was referred to as the endocannabinoid system because compounds derived from the cannabis plant interact with the components of this messaging system. For example, THC binds to the receptors of the endocannabinoid system and alters the activity of the ECS to effect change, including causing a “high”.
The content in this article is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider, and does not constitute medical or other professional advice.