Our body is exposed to various stresses and environments every day. While it has the ability to withstand such stresses, it also has the ability to maintain a balance within the internal environment of the body. The state in which the body is at complete balance is commonly referred to as homeostasis. The human endocannabinoid system is one of the vital components in the human body to maintain homeostasis.
This article has everything you need to know about the human endocannabinoid system.
What is the Human Endocannabinoid System?
There are several systems in the human body that work together to maintain homeostasis, a state of balance in the body. The Human Endocannabinoid System was discovered and classified in 1992. It is one of the main systems that retain homeostasis through its various functions and regulations of bodily functions. It interacts with other systems in the body and brings relief for stress, pain, mood, memory, and more.
Components of the Human Endocannabinoid System
There are several components in the human endocannabinoid system that help to regulate the body’s functions.
Researchers found that the brain has cannabinoid receptors that can interact with the compounds from the cannabis plant called cannabinoids. The receptors were called CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors based on where they were present in the body.
These receptors were also called neurotransmitters as they pass neural signals throughout the body to stimulate the respective cells to produce beneficial effects.
The CB1 receptor can be found in locations like:
● Nerve cells in the brain
● The Spinal cord
● In Peripheral organs
● In the spleen
● On the surface of white blood cells
● In endocrine glands
● In the gastrointestinal tract and
● In urinary tracts
The CB2 receptor was found later on and can be found in locations like:
● On white blood cells
● In the spleen
● And most immune cells
These receptors help communicate with other cells to induce the body to produce certain compounds and enzymes that bring about beneficial effects in the body.
Endogenous Cannabinoids and their Types
The body has the ability to produce its own cannabinoids and they are called endogenous cannabinoids or endocannabinoids. They produce the same effects as the cannabinoids found in cannabis plants.
Each endocannabinoid was specific to a receptor site. The endocannabinoids are classified into two types:
● Primary Endocannabinoids: Anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG)
● Secondary Endocannabinoids: Homo-gamma-linoleoyl ethanolamide (L-EA), docosatetraenoul ethanolamide (DEA), noladin ether (2-AGE), N-arachidonoyldopamine (NADA)
These endocannabinoids interact with the receptors and induce effects like pain relief, soothing the mood, relaxing muscle, anti-inflammatory functions, etc, based on the location of the receptor.
Following the endocannabinoids, the enzymes were discovered. The enzymes were responsible for breaking down the endocannabinoid compounds once their neurotransmissions were successful. This prevents hyperactivity of the endocannabinoid compounds. The ECS has two main enzymes present:
● Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) that breaks down AEA
● Monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) that breaks down 2-AG
What does the Human Endocannabinoid System Do?
The endocannabinoid compounds usually originate from the fat cells of the cell membrane. When a body faces a disturbance, stress or an abnormality, the endocannabinoids are released into the system. They then bind to the respective receptor and induce the body to perform appropriate responses to provide relief to the body and restore balance. The enzymes then act on the endocannabinoids once the body’s balance is restored.
For instance, if the body is experiencing pain, the endocannabinoids interact with CB! receptors to reduce the inflammation in the site of pain. Once the pain subsides, the enzymes act on the endocannabinoids and break them down.
CBD and the Human Endocannabinoid System
Cannabinoids obtained from the cannabis plant have a similar molecular structure to that of the endocannabinoids. The CBD or Vijaya is used extensively to relieve pain and stimulate an immune response in the body.
There is a lot of evidence-based study and research that CBD interacts with the ECS by preventing the endocannabinoids from breaking down. This enhances the effect of the endocannabinoids, thereby prolonging their effect.
There are also other studies that say that the CBD or Vijaya binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors and act like endocannabinoids and produce similar effects.
With the research available, we can confidently say that Vijaya can be used to improve mood, relieve pain, improve immunity and help with several other health conditions.
Benefits of the Human Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system is extensively vital for the functioning of various other systems in the body like the Central nervous system, regulating Cardiovascular functioning, the Gastrointestinal system, the Reproductive system, Skeletal system, Immune system and also regulates Metabolic processes.
The ECS can help to regulate functions in the body such as Memory and learning, regulate Appetite, stimulate Stress response, reduce Pain sensation, regulate the Mood. induce sleep and help with anxiety, depression symptoms like insomnia, reduce Inflammation and also help people with Drug addiction.
Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD) can occur due to reduced levels of cannabinoids in the body or due to a decreased function or dysfunction of the ECS. This can cause migraine, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome.
PTSD is another commonly known condition associated with CECD. reduced levels of cannabinoids can result in the inability of a person to come back to homeostasis post a traumatic event. This can lead to the development of PTSD.
More research is being done on how CECD can be reversed or treated. Ensuring that the ECS functions normally can help to maintain homeostasis in the body which is very important for survival.
Currently, supplementing endocannabinoids with CBD or Vijaya has proven to be a viable solution to restore homeostasis in the body.
Maintaining Healthy Human Endocannabinoid System for Homeostasis
There are some lifestyle changes that can be made to ensure that the ECS functions normally. Clinical studies have proven that maintaining moderate body weight, exercising regularly, and consuming healthy food can help keep the human endocannabinoid system in its prime.
Additionally, taking CBD or Vijaya supplements in any form like gummies, oil, capsules, etc. can help boost their functions and retain homeostasis in the body at all times.