Endocannabinoid System & Cannabis

You might not see the word “endocannabinoid” very often, leaving you to wonder what it is and what it means. Many of you have probably heard that the nervous system is responsible for our fight or flight response. Well, the endocannabinoid system is also responsible for numerous functions when it comes to the human body. To better explain what the endocannabinoid system functions are, we’ll be breaking down the facts you should know, as well as how cannabis can play a role in this system:

What Is the Endocannabinoid System?


The endocannabinoid system is a complex network of chemical signals and cellular receptors that run throughout our bodies and brains. There are two cannabinoid receptors in our brains known as CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptors can be found in the central nervous system, while the CB2 receptors are mainly found in your peripheral nervous system. Endocannabinoids bind to these receptors to signal the ECS that it needs to take action. 

Endocannabinoids, also known as endogenous cannabinoids, are molecules in your body. They are similar to cannabinoids, which provide the body with a chemical substance that has similar effects to those produced by the Cannabis Sativa plant

Depending on where the receptor is located and which endocannabinoid it binds to, it can create a different effect. For example, if you’re experiencing back pain, the endocannabinoids might target the CB1 receptors in your spine. 

Once the endocannabinoids have carried out their function, there are two main enzymes responsible for breaking them down. These enzymes are known as fatty acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglycerol.

What Are Its Functions?

Research has shown that there is a link between the ECS and the following functions:

  • Appetite 
  • Digestion
  • Metabolism 
  • Pain
  • Inflammation 
  • Mood
  • Memory
  • Sleep
  • Stress
  • Motor Control
  • Cardiovascular System
  • Muscle Formation
  • Bone Growth
  • Reproductive System Formation
  • Skin Function
  • Nerve Function
  • Liver Function 

These functions are what contribute to the return to homeostasis. For example, if your body is experiencing pain, it can throw off your homeostasis. When this happens, your ECS helps in maintaining homeostasis. 

How Does Cannabis Interact with It? 


Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, is one of the main cannabinoids found in cannabis. When THC enters your body, it interacts with your endocannabinoid system and binds to both the CB1 and the CB2 receptors.

THC can have many therapeutic benefits on your body and mind, but some may be less desirable than others, such as slower reaction time, anxiety, or paranoia. 

According to Healthline, the production of synthetic THC cannabinoids is currently under development to only promote beneficial interactions with the ECS.


Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is the second major cannabinoid found in cannabis. While THC gets you high, CBD does not, nor does it have many negative effects. CBD has a different effect on the endocannabinoid system than THC. CBD changes the binding ability of receptors and cannabinoids, which means it can optimize the effects of other cannabinoids in the body. There is still much debate over what CBD does, as some experts believe it prevents enzymes from degrading endocannabinoids, and that CBD can still bind to a receptor.

Research has found links between CBD and pain relief, reduction of anxiety/depression, as well as helping with sleep disorders. 


If you’re requiring cannabis-related products but are unsure of where to look, worry not. You’ll find the best possible experience at your Summerland cannabis store. Feel free to drop by and take a look at the variety of products we have in stock. From capsules to pre-rolls, we can assist you with whatever you desire.

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