What Is The Endocannabinoid System?

A close-up view of a marijuana plant

Scientists have been researching the effects of marijuana for decades. Fortunately, their experiments led them to discover THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. At the same time they learned how THC works in the brain. It all has to do with the new system the scientists identified - the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Named after the plant Cannabis Sativa - ECS is the extraordinary communications system in our bodies and brains that influences how we feel, think, move, and react.

Without the endocannabinoid system, the benefits of medical marijuana would be lost on us. But ECS doesn’t exist just to allow us to get high. It’s critical in regulating our health, well-being and general homeostasis - basically every aspect of our body’s natural state of balance and equilibrium.

Parts Of The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system has three components:

  • Endocannabinoids produced by all mammals to activate their cannabinoid receptors
  • Cannabinoid receptors found on the surface of cells
  • Metabolic enzymes that break down endocannabinoids after they’re used

As more studies on the ECS are conducted, researchers are finding that it may play an important role in diseases like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's.

ECS Deficiency Syndrome

We know that a properly functioning ECS helps us maintain homeostasis. But what happens if the endocannabinoid system isn’t supplemented with medical marijuana, or if the body isn’t in natural homeostasis?

Some scientists believe that ECS deficiency contributes to painful ailments like Irregular Bowel Syndrome (IBS), migraines, and fibromyalgia. This line of thought has led to advanced research involving supplementing the body with plants containing cannabinoids. That, of course, includes medical marijuana.

Endocannabinoid System Supplements

Medical marijuana isn’t the only compound that can help boost the endocannabinoid system. Extended periods of exercise contribute to the increase of anandamide, known as the “feel good” endocannabinoid.

From a nutritional standpoint, Omega-3s in our diet help support the signalling of the brain from the endocannabinoid system. Foods high in Omega-3s include fish, seeds, soybeans, certain oils and nuts.

Talk to the Patient Service Providers at Nature’s Medicines to gain a better understanding of how your endocannabinoid system works. By tapping into their knowledge you’ll be able to enjoy the greatest benefits from your medical marijuana experience.