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What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?

We each have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) in our bodies. The purpose of the ECS is to help manage bodily functions in order to maintain homeostasis, or balance within the body. When our bodies are in balance, they are able to function more optimally, and at their best. Some of the bodily responses of the ECS regulate sleep, pain, stress and appetite.

Three main components of the ECS include cannabinoids, receptors that cannabinoids bind to, and enzymes that synthesize as well as degrade these cannabinoids once they have served their purpose.

Cannabinoids include endocannabinoids, which are produced within our bodies, and phyto- or exo-cannabinoids which are found in the cannabis plant. These cannabinoids bind to CB1 receptors, found in the central nervous system, and CB2 receptors, found mainly in the peripheral nervous system and on immune cells circulating throughout the body via the bloodstream.

Cannabinoids, such as CBD, bind to these receptors and can in turn influence how they receive other cannabinoids. Once bound, certain processes are triggered, for example reducing inflammation or decreasing the perception of pain, with the purpose of bringing the body back into balance.

For more information on CBD

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