According to various cellular research studies, the endocannabinoid system is a complex cell-signaling system identified in the 1990s. This discovery was achieved by researchers exploring the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is one of the most common components of the cannabinoid system in cannabis.
As opined by experts, there is a need for a wide range of research to fully understand the endocannabinoid system in its entirety. However, it has been established that the ECS system plays a significant role in regulating bodily functions and processes, including mood, sleep, appetite, reproduction, and sleep.
Even if you aren’t a cannabis enthusiast, the endocannabinoid systemic is much active in your body. In this piece, we’ll be briefly discussing the components of the endocannabinoid system. Let’s get started:
How does the Endocannabinoid System Work?
The Endocannabinoid system basically involves three core components, which include the receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes. Let’s take a brief look at each of these components:
Alternatively referred to as the endogenous cannabinoids, the endocannabinoids are the molecules produced by the body. While they share a similarity with the cannabinoids produced by cannabis, the endocannabinoids are produced by the body. According to experts, two endocannabinoids have been identified so far. While the first is the anandamide (AEA), the second is the 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG).
These two endocannabinoids have been discovered to be the main components that keep the internal health and processes functioning smoothly and effectively. They are usually produced as needed by the body. So, this makes it extremely difficult to determine the levels of each component.
The Endocannabinoid Receptors
The endocannabinoids receptors are present in all parts of the body. What do they do? They bind tightly to the endocannabinoids in order to trigger the action of the endocannabinoid system. There are two basic endocannabinoid receptors. They include:
CB1 receptors: These are mostly located in the central nervous system
CB2 receptors: The CB2 receptors are primarily situated in the peripheral nervous system, specifically the immune system.
Endocannabinoids forms a tight linkage to either of the two receptors. However, the resultant effect depends on the location of the receptor and the specific endocannabinoid it binds with. For instance, endocannabinoids might bind tightly with the CB1 in the spinal cord’s nerve to facilitate or trigger pain reliefs. Others might form a tight linkage with CB2 receptors present in the immune system to signal that the body is suffering from inflammation.
The primary function of enzymes is to break down endocannabinoids once they have performed their duties. The two essential enzymes responsible for this action include:
Fatty acid amide hydrolase: This is associated with the breaking down of AEA.
Monoacylglycerol acid lipase: This enzyme is typically associated with the breakdown of 2-AG.
Final Note The endocannabinoid system plays a significant role in the maintenance of homeostasis. However, there is a need for more comprehensive research to establish and fully understand this. This further research and understanding will serve as a key to the treatment of several other body conditions.