What is Our Endocannabinoid System?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an intricate and complex “cell-signaling” system that helps to regulate many of our daily functions such as appetite, sleep, metabolism, immune response and general cell health. Significant research into the existence of the ECS began in the 1990’s. The endocannabinoid system has two components: endocannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoids, which are signaling molecules, or neurotransmitters. Hormones, like serotonin, are a familiar type of neurotransmitter. The receptors, known as CB1 and CB2, are found on the surface of cells throughout our body. CB1 receptors are typically found in the brain and central nervous system. CB2 receptors can be found throughout the body, such as our gastrointestinal tract and our immune system.
CBD has a significant impact on the receptors, which interact with the neurotransmitters, to help us reach a state of balance, or homeostasis. One such neurotransmitter that CBD influences is anandamide, which is associated with memory, body temperature, and mood, among other things.
Terpenes and their role:
Terpenes are compounds found naturally in plants that determine their smell, but they also have beneficial effects on health and wellness. Terpenes have been used for thousands of years within the world of aromatherapy. Cannabis contains over 100 different types of terpenes. Terpenes interact with cannabinoids to enhance or modify their results, which, when working synergistically, is known as the “entourage effect” – a fancy term that means the whole plant is working together.