The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
July 5, 2018
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system composed of endocannabinoids, which are endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors, and cannabinoid receptor proteins that are expressed throughout the mammalian central nervous system (including the brain) and peripheral nervous system. The endocannabinoid system is involved in regulating a variety of physiological and cognitive processes including fertility, pregnancy, during pre-and postnatal development, appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory, and in mediating the pharmacological effects of cannabis.
The three types of Cannabinoids
- Phytocannabinoids – derived from the cannabis plant. THC and CBD are the major cannabinoids in cannabis.
- Endocannabinoids - these are cannabinoids created by the body and work on the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which is a lipid (fat) signaling system influencing many body processes. Cannabinoids work on two major receptors CB1 and CB2.
- Synthetic cannabinoids – these are cannabinoids created in the laboratory.
Location of CB1 and CB2 receptors in the human body