Endocannabinoid System

All humans have an Endocannabinoid System (ECS) with receptors in the brain’s Central Nervous System, the spleen and the white blood cells.

The ECS was discovered in 1990 by an Israeli scientist, Dr Ralph Michoulam.  He discovered that the CB 1  and CB2 receptors were linked to the endocannabinoid’s that our bodies produce naturally.  They also link to the phytocannabinoids (plant cannabinoids) THC and CBD.

CB1 receptors are situated primarily in the Central Nervous System of the brain, but they are also found in the reproductive system of both men and women.  The CB1 receptors are activated by THC and are mainly involved in moderating pain.

CB2 receptors are activated by CBD.  These receptors are found within the Immune System but the largest concentration is found in the spleen.  CBD was only discovered 5 years ago, and new data is being released daily as the research studies are concluded.  The proven results show that CBD has many qualities and health benefits.

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Receptors Are Found on Cell Surfaces

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The Endocannabinoid System is a complex signalling network that interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors.  The ECS works like a lock and key, the receptors being the lock and the phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids being the keys. When the cannabinoids activate (or unlock) the ECS, these interactions allow neurotransmitters to relay messages to nerve cells within the body.  This allows the body to make adjustments to keep the body balanced and healthy.

CBD doesn’t bind with the receptors, but sits inside them and prevents chemical messages from binding to them.  CBD interacts with many receptors throughout the body such as 5-HTIA, the receptor that releases seratonin (the feel good hormone) within the body.

Learn more about the Endocannabinoid System and the benefits of CBD in our Research Library.