Smart home “hubs” are all the rage right now and for good reason. It’s incredibly convenient to be able to control your home’s heating/AC system, lights, TV and security system from a single device. Just like your home, your body is also composed of different systems. You have an immune system, a digestive system, a circulatory system and a nervous system to name just a few. The smart home “hub” that controls all these systems to help your body run as efficiently as possible is called the endocannabinoid system.
If that name sounds an awful lot like “cannabis”, there’s a reason for that, too. The endocannabinoid system was first discovered in 1964 when Yechiel Gaoni and Raphael Mechoulam were conducting research on cannabis and identified tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as the main active component. According to a 2013 US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health article:
THC, referred to as a “cannabinoid” (like the dozens of other unique constituents of cannabis), acts on the brain by muscling in on the intrinsic neuronal signaling system, mimicking a key natural player, and basically hijacking it for reasons best known to the plants. Since the time when exogenous cannabinoids revealed their existence, the entire natural complex came to be called the “endogenous cannabinoid system,” or “endocannabinoid system” (ECS).
Jumping back to our smart hub analogy, your endocannabinoid system is constantly monitoring and adjusting the different systems in your body to maintain an ideal, balanced state known as homeostasis.
What happens when your body is NOT consistently maintaining homeostasis?
You may experience frustrating disruptions to one or more of the following functions of your body and mind, including:
- Appetite, digestion, hunger
- Motor Control
- Immune Function
- Reproduction & Fertility
- Temperature Regulation
- Pleasure & Reward
Take a moment to think about how critical each of these functions are to your quality of life. You’ll quickly realize that the endocannabinoid system is one of the most important physiologic systems in your body.
How does the endocannabinoid system work?
Just as your home’s electrical system has wires and the plumbing system has pipes, your endocannabinoid system has cannabinoid receptors throughout your body. These cannabinoid receptors have a wide range of functions but fall into two categories:
CB1 receptors are abundant in the central nervous system (primarily the brain) as well as the pancreas, and other tissue such as the liver, muscles and the gastrointestinal system.
CB2 receptors are more often found on cells within the immune system including the spleen, tonsils, and organs within the gastrointestinal tract.
The diversity of receptor locations shows how important endocannabinoids are for day-to-day bodily function. When your body doesn’t produce enough endocannabinoids or is having difficulty regulating them, you are more susceptible to illnesses, mood changes and chronic pain. That’s where THC and CBD come in. By adding cannabis products into your wellness routine, you can help your endocannabinoid system do its job better and increase your chances of being healthier, happier and less vulnerable to anxiety and depression.
In short, your body was designed to respond to cannabinoids the way smart hubs are designed to respond to your instructions and preferences. At Revolutionary Clinics, we’re here to connect you with the right products with the right balance of THC, CBD and other cannabinoids to help you feel, live and be better. Our Patient Advocates work with you to help you understand what your body is telling you when you experience pain or anxiety and how to treat it with the different medicines we have available.
If you have any questions or you’re ready to start a conversation about how cannabis can improve your quality of life, please fill out the form on our website and we’ll get right back to you!