Article content continued
A pamphlet in the pharmacy mentioned the human endocannabinoid system. What is it and how does my cannabis use affect it?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a messaging system that is present throughout the human body. The ECS plays a vital role in the nervous system and regulates several physiological processes including appetite, digestion, mood, motor control / coordination, sleep, and other processes. The ECS also affects the immune system, cardiovascular function, sensory integration / pain perception, tumor monitoring, fertility, bone physiology, the endocrine system, neural development, and many other processes.
Photo by Getty Images
The endocannabinoid system consists of three main components: endocannabinoids (the chemical messengers), receptors (the structures that the endocannabinoids bind to), and regulatory enzymes (the chemicals that are responsible for making and breaking down the endocannabinoids).
The ECS was only discovered in the last few decades and called the endocannabinoid system, as compounds derived from the cannabis plant interact with the components of this messaging system. For example, THC binds to the receptors of the endocannabinoid system and alters the activity of the ECS to effect changes, including a “high”.
The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment by a qualified healthcare provider and does not constitute medical or other professional advice.