THC and ME: The Endocannabinoid System

Cannabis Education

What is the Endocannabinoid system?

The endocannabinoid system is a complex network of physiologic processes extending throughout the body. It helps to establish and maintain general health and wellbeing. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an important role in your body. It interacts with cannabis, otherwise known as marijuana. The (ECS) consists of cannabinoid receptors, the molecules that make up endocannabinoids.  Show Source Texts

Where do cannabinoids and endocannabinoids come from?

Plant-originated cannabinoids exert psychoactive and medical effects within the body is because we have receptors that they interact with. More importantly, the endocannabinoids are the cannabinoid molecules our bodies produce naturally. Endocannabinoids are the cannabinoids that are produced naturally in the body by the brain.    Show Source Texts

Endocannabinoids in me!

Endocannabinoid precursors are found in the fat molecules of cell membranes. They are released on demand when a receptor is activated. Endocannabinoids bind to endocannabinoid receptors in order to signal the need for the ECS to act. Endocannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors on target cells across the body, initiating a cellular response which is amplified or diminished when metabolic enzymes break down or produce more endocannabinoids. The two main endocannabinoids produced in the human body interact directly with CB2 receptors.    Show Source Texts

What are CB2 Receptors?

CB2 receptors, located mostly in the peripheral nervous system, and specifically immune cells, endocannabinoids may bind with any of these receptors. CB1 receptors are found primarily in your brain and peripheral nervous system. They are also found in peripheral organs and tissues, and are the primary molecular targets for anandamide (AEA). Anandamide is a partial endogenous agonist, and is found in exogenous THC. THC as we know is the best known active ingredient of cannabis. Many effects of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids are mediated through the two g protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), CB1 and CB2, though newer evidence suggests additional receptors might be involved. The two known types of cannabinoid receptors which constitute the endocannabinoid system are cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2).    Show Source Texts

What is the skinny on our endocannabinoid system?

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system composed of endocannabinoids. They are retrograde, lipid-based endogenous neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors (CBRs) and the cannabinoid receptor proteins. The proteins express throughout vertebrates in the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous systems. The system uses its endogenous cannabinoids, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, to help regulate the functions of neurons, immune cells, and other tissues and organ systems.

The (EC) system, composed of the ECs, their synthesis and degradation enzymes, EC-specific transmembrane transporters, and EC receptors, is located at both excitatory and inhibitory synapses for all the classic types of neurotransmitters across the central and peripheral nervous systems, where it acts as a retrograde signaling mechanism for inhibiting the further release of transmitters. The ECS is composed mostly of endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes. Each aid the regulation of various functions in humans. These functions include sleep, mood, memory, appetite, reproduction, and pain perception.    Show Source Texts

Cited Sources

The reason why plant-originated cannabinoids exert psychoactive and medical effects within the body is, to a significant extent, because we have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that they can interact with. More importantly, the endocannabinoids are the cannabinoid molecules our bodies produce naturally. Endocannabinoids are the cannabinoids that are produced naturally in the body by the brain. 

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