You may not have heard of the endocannabinoid system before, but every one of us is born with this intricate signaling network that regulates a host of physiological functions and helps the body maintain homeostasis – a state of equilibrium achieved through the regulation of body temperature, fluid balance and other critical functions.
This amazing system can affect nearly every aspect of our health and well-being. From our brain, to our lungs, heart and muscles, the endocannabinoid system is constantly working to keep us healthy.
How the endocannabinoid system works
The endocannabinoid system interacts with various organs and critical systems within the body. But how does it do this?
This is where cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors play their part. Simply put, cannabinoids are compounds that act on the endocannabinoid system to produce effects in the body. There are two primary types of cannabinoids – endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids.
- Endocannabinoids are produced within the body (endo -“inside, within, internal”). The two most well-known of these are called anandamide and 2-AG.
- Phytocannabinoids are plant-based compounds, such as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These are found in varying degrees in the cannabis and hemp plants.
Both types of cannabinoids bind to receptors in the body – which are called CB1 and CB2 receptors. This process is what produces the effects of CBD and THC on the mind and body. It explains why medical cannabis may help reduce pain, and why CBD may help ease anxiety or help you fall asleep.
Why is the endocannabinoid system important?
Now that we know more about how it works, it’s important to understand why the endocannabinoid system is so important to our health and well-being.
So why is it so important?
The endocannabinoid system affects so many different aspects of our health primarily because cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) are found throughout the brain and body.
- CB1 receptors are found in the brain and central nervous system.
- CB2 receptors are found in the immune system, gastrointestinal tract and nervous system
Because these receptors are located in such key areas of the brain, body and nervous system, the effects of cannabinoids like THC and CBD can be widespread, and affect multiple aspects of our health and well-being.
This is why THC, CBD, and other compounds in cannabis and hemp plants have the potential to improve health. From anxiety disorders, migraines, IBS and chronic pain, the endocannabinoid system affects our bodies and minds in countless ways, and every year we are learning more about this amazing system.
The Cannabinoid Certification Course
As the scientific and medical communities learn more about the potential of the endocannabinoid system and phytocannabinoids for managing diseases and disorders, it’s more important than ever for healthcare practitioners, patients and industry professionals to stay up-to-date on the latest research and developments in cannabis.
That’s why we created our comprehensive cannabis and CBD certification course, The Endocannabinoid System and Cannabidiol (CBD). This online certificate course presents the latest research on the endocannabinoid system, THC and CBD – all in an interactive, video-based learning environment.
Learn more about this comprehensive course, and equip yourself and your team with the latest knowledge in the field.
Get started today, and earn a professional development certificate to showcase your knowledge!