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What is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?

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It is important to understand the part of the human body that CBD interacts with. This system is known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).

The endocannabinoid system plays a vital role in the human body by regulating our physiology, mood, and everyday experience. It is also known as the Biochemical Communication System in the human body.

Its role is to maintain physiological balance in the body, known as homeostasis.

To briefly explain, this system is made up of neurotransmitters (primarily anandamide and 2-AG) and receptors (primarily CB1 and CB2) that regulate our mood, appetite, sleep rhythm, energy levels, immunity, and cognitive functioning. Further explanation of the receptors in subsequent sections.

The ECS resides in the mammalian central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), and the peripheral nervous system (nerves and ganglia outside of the brain and spinal cord). It regulates various physiological and cognitive processes including appetite, pain sensation, mood, memory, fertility, pregnancy, both prenatal and postnatal development, and mediating the pharmacological effects of cannabis. It is an extensive system as it interacts with every organ in the body.

The ECS is also associated with mediating the physiological and cognitive effects of voluntary physical exercise in humans and other animals. For example, it contributes to exercise-induced euphoria, also known as runner’s high.