THC & CBD are 2 out of hundreds of cannabinoids present in marijuana. Since they come from the cannabis plant, they are called phytocannabinoids. What most people don’t know, is that we also have cannabinoids that are produced naturally within our bodies. These cannabinoids are called endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids, along with receptors and enzymes, make up the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This system is responsible for keeping our internal environment stable and optimal. If something is operating outside of the right range, your body will activate the ECS to help correct it. For example, when you are really hot and begin to sweat, that is your ECS kicking in to cool you down. If your stomach is growling, that is your ECS reminding you to eat because you need fuel. A lot is regulated by the ECS; to name a few, appetite, digestion, immune function, mood, sleep, pain and pleasure are all effected by the ECS. To regulate these functions, receptors found in the nervous system and around your body bond like a lock and key with endocannabinoids to create a “reaction” (i.e sweating or growling). When you introduce external cannbinoids, or phytocannabinoids like THC and CBD, they flood the ECS, quickly attaching to the receptors throughout the brain and body. In a very general sense, this is why cannabis has the medical properties it does. The phytocannabinoids bind to the receptors instead of your endocannabinoids, or help fill in the gaps where your endocannabinods lack, potentially creating homeostasis beyond your body’s own abilities. Thus, relief!
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