Many people first hear about the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and associate it to cannabis. The name can be greatly misleading and has more to do with history than with actual science. The endocannabinoid system would not have been discovered if it wasn’t for researchers such as Raphael Mechoulam who wanted to figure out what psychoactive and non-psychoactive compounds in cannabis impact the body and how.
Discovery of the endocannabinoid system
This research led the scientists not only to isolate plant cannabinoids like THC, CBD and a wide variety of other ones but to see which physiological system they impact, as for most of history this was a great mystery. What the researchers eventually discovered is a highly complex and extremely important (possibly the most important) physiological system that we now know as the endocannabinoid system.
There are more and more researches in this field in the last few researchers for its importance in overall health. The ECS is spread out all over our body and is found in the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, the gut and more. It is comprised primarily of two main receptors named CB1 and CB2, along with vanilloid receptors and others.
CB1 and CB2 receptors
For our purposes we will focus only on CB1 and CB2. CB1 is mostly responsible for neuronal functioning, cellular energy functioning, among many other things and it is important to understand that these always work in symbiosis with one another. CB2 is mostly connected to the immune system and is associated with inflammatory and anti-inflammatory processes in the body, which are both crucial for a well-functioning immune system.
Endocannabinoid system discovered before the knowledge of cannabis
The interesting part of all this is that with the etymology of the words endo – within and cannabinoids – from cannabis, some may be misled to believe that cannabis is necessary for the endocannabinoid system to work. This is absolutely incorrect, as fascinatingly the endocannabinoid system is an extremely ancient physiological system that evolved hundreds of millions ago.
The cannabis plant evolved much later and although it is fascinating that the cannabis plant has the components to activate and inhibit our various receptors, the main fuel of the ECS are actually fats! That is right, to work with the endocannabinoid system we need fats from our food. Some fatty acids are already made in endogenously but others are absolutely needed to be taken from food.
Perfect recept for health and balance
Along with the wonders of cannabis producing all the cannabinoids, certain food grade cannabis seeds from the Finola plant have the perfect omega fatty acid ratio that are perfect for our endocannabinoid system.
When we add vitamin D-3 either endogenously synthesized by Sun exposure during the warmer months in the northern hemisphere or in a tropical climate all year round and we combine it with healthy fats and some physical exercise we have all that the ECS needs. We have the perfect recipe for health and balance.
What few people know is that in our fast paced society with poor diets, high stress and constant digital connection we are hyper-activating our CB1 receptor and with a poor diet we are activating CB2 because of higher rates of inflammation which can lower our immune system and overall health.
Today, meditation, improving diets and including good fats in our diet is important to bringing the ECS in a more harmonious and balance state. We are confident that the results will include better health and a higher level of well being.