The ECS (endocannabinoid system) is a biological system involving the endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters which bind to the cannabinoid receptors, as well as the cannabinoid receptor proteins which are is in the vertebrate central nervous system and peripheral nervous system.
The system regulates a variety of cognitive and physiological processes such as mood, pregnancy, fertility, during appetite, pre- and postnatal development, pain-sensation, and memory while mediating the pharmacological impact of cannabis. For incisive facts, please check the infographic about the Body’ Endocannabinoid system by the link provided below as
Homeostasis regulates primary metabolic effect within a narrow range. The human body doesn’t want the temperature to get beyond the normal. (Neither too hot nor too cold), and blood sugar levels should remain stable. The conditions need to be right for the body organs to maintain optimum performance, while exquisite mechanisms evolve to draw them back.
The endocannabinoid system of the body is a vital molecular system which helps to maintain homeostasis.
What are the Key Components of the ECS?
Due to its fundamental role in homeostasis, ECS is a widespread idea. The main components of the ECS are as follows:
- Cannabinoid receptors that are found on the surface of the cells
- The Endocannabinoids; the small molecules which activate cannabinoid receptors
- And the Metabolic enzymes which break down endocannabinoids.
They sit on the surface of the cells. Cannabinoid Receptors transmit information when conditions change like that of the inside of the cell, generating the appropriate response of the cells.
The two major cannabinoid receptors are CBI and CB2. And CBI receptors are the most abundant types of receptors in the brain. These receptors interact with THC so as to get people high. On the other hand, CB2 receptors are abundant in the nervous system and other places such as the immune system. However, both are found throughout the body.
Also, there are 2 major endocannabinoids. They include anandamide as well as 2-AG. They are made from the fat-like molecules within the cell membranes, which are manufactured on-demand. That implies that they get synthesized and used whenever needed
The Endocannabinoid Regulation of the Brain Cell Firing!
The brain cells (aka neurons) send electrochemical signals to each another. So, every neuron listens to its partners so as to decide whether it can fire off its own signal any moment.
The Endocannabinoid signals regulate the brain cells as they determine how active the brain cells can be. Under normal situations, the given brain cell gets the right amount of input from the partners (i.e. not too much and not too little). But when the partners become overactive, they send excessive signals. Then the neuron listening to this effect will detect and release endocannabinoids — which will tell other neurons to cool down. This mechanism maintains homeostasis as it prevents neurons from excessive sending of signals.
Note that the brain is not the only organ which maintains homeostasis. Other systems of the body need to regulate how their cells function. Proper regulation ensures survival.
Conclusively, understanding how the ECS works helps us to appreciate why we have ECS. The presence as well as the critical functioning of the ECS across various systems of the body, explains why a wide variety of disease and ailments are responsive to interventions!