Your Endocannabinoid System:
What Is It? How Was It Discovered? Why Does It Matter?
Submitted by Emerald Health Bioceuticals
You've no doubt heard about body systems like your respiratory system, cardiovascular system, and nervous system. But, what is the endocannabinoid system and why haven't you heard about it before? Our endocannabinoid system helps promote biological balance in every cell, tissue, and organ—supporting the brain, immune system, nervous system, and your overall health and wellness.
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been around for an estimated 600 million years! In fact, every animal except for insects has one. The ECS is an elegant, lock-andkey style, cell-signaling, receptor site system that can be activated by endocannabinoids produced naturally in your body or by phytocannabinoids (plant-based cannabinoids) that mimic those produced in your body. These cannabinoids fit with our receptor sites (CB1 and CB2 receptors) and may release an intricate cascade of neurotransmitters that communicate vital information to cells, tissues, organs, and glands critical to maintaining optimal health and homeostasis.*
In fact, the ECS plays a crucial role in your day-to-day life. It communicates with every cell, tissue, and organ we have and directly regulates the proper function of a wide range of body processes, such as your mood, how well you sleep, and what you remember.
How the ECS was Discovered
In 1992, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, a professor of medical chemistry, was working in the lab at Hebrew University Jerusalem hoping to determine what caused THC in the body to create a psychoactive 'high'. During his research, he stumbled on a startling revelation. He and his team uncovered a naturallyoccurring neurotransmitter called anandamide. They kept digging and what they found was nothing short of remarkable…Anandamide is an "endo" cannabinoid produced in the body and it is similar in structure and activity of the THC derived from cannabis.
From this discovery, further research was conducted and quite literally a new body system was discovered! Similar to the nervous system, the ECS is a receptor site system. Dr. Mechoulam and his colleagues discovered that the compounds found in cannabis and other botanicals work directly with the ECS, similar to the compounds produced naturally in the body.
What does your ECS do?
We have all heard "balance" used in many capacities. It seems we are all seeking balance and in the body, this is called "homeostasis". Balance is the main role the ECS plays in your body and how it benefits your health.
Balance is a vital ingredient to your life, well-being, and maintaining this balance is critical to your survival. In fact, studies have uncovered something amazing about disease and chronic health problems…they are the result of your body's inability to maintain homeostasis!
Why Your ECS is Critical for Balance
Our bodies are chock full of cannabinoid receptor sites and these receptors have very important jobs. The best known receptor sites are cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). CB1 receptors can be found in great numbers throughout your central nervous system and CB2 is found in your gastrointestinal tract, immune cells, and peripheral nervous system.
Here's a great example of how your ECS helps you. Let's say you're suffering from some anxiety. What's happening in your body is that your anxiety is causing an influx of too much adrenaline. Too much adrenaline in your system can pitch you into a full-blown panic attack!
But, your ECS can help smooth that out and bring you back in balance by finding and attaching to the correct receptors. Those receptors, in turn, tell your body to stop producing excess adrenaline. The result? You feel calmer.
The Big Three Cannabinoids
There are three general varieties of cannabinoids—the activators that attach to the receptors to ignite action in the ECS.
1. Phytocannabinoids—Plant-based cannabinoids, such as THC or CBD found in cannabis, are also found in a wide variety of non-cannabis plants, herbals, and botanicals. The phytocannabinoids, such as the ones found in plants like Echinacea, do not exhibit any psychoactive results.
2. Endogenous Cannabinoids—Your body produces these cannabinoids naturally with proper diet, sleep, stress management, exercise, and healthy lifestyle choices.
3. Synthetic Cannabinoids—These cannabinoids are produced artificially in the lab. Because your body doesn't always make enough cannabinoids naturally, you can choose to supplement them. Research has discovered that cannabinoid supplementation can help build more natural cannabinoid receptors in your body, which can help you maintain homeostasis.
ECS Deficiency Syndrome & How to Best Support Your ECS
Considering how important the ECS is to the body, it's not a surprise that a deficiency of endocannabinoid activity can negatively impact your health.
ECS deficiency can result from poor diet, lack of exercise, environmental factors, drug abuse, or genetics. Basically, anything that increases stress and inflammation in the body can also decrease ECS activity. With this syndrome, there is also a reduced ability to cope with stress and health challenges can arise.
A whole foods diet, exercise, stress reduction, and certain botanicals can help support a robust and active ECS. Emerald Health Bioceuticals offers a new and innovative way to address some of your most common concerns by tapping into your ECS! With its proprietary non-cannabis base, PhytoCann™ Complex nourishes your ECS in a holistic way and its hero ingredients target specific health challenges, so there is a precise formula that is right for your particular needs.
Emerald Health products help support the ECS to promote biological balance in every cell, tissue, and organ— supporting the brain, immune system, nervous system, and overall wellness.
Look for ENDO CALM, ENDO BLISS, ENDO SLEEP, ENDO INFLAME, and ENDO BRAIN for powerful herbal and botanical support for your endocannabinoid system!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.