The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a still relatively recently discovered bodily system which is increasingly being found to be vital to many aspects of good health. The ECS includes various types of receptors located in the brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems, and chemicals naturally produced in the body by specialized (“neuromodulatory”) lipid cells. These chemicals are known more commonly as cannabinoids, but more technically as “endocannabinoids” because they’re produced “endogenously,” i.e., they’re made in the body.

It turns out that medical cannabis is proving to be active and beneficial in so many conditions because it provides many cannabinoids of its own to supplement the body’s own supply (which can be deficient for many reasons). The cannabinoids provided by cannabis are known as “phytocannabinoids” with “phyto” referring to the fact that they come from a plant. THC and CBD are the two best known phytocannabinoids, and four others are also under very active study, but that leaves somewhere between 70 and 100 more (estimated) to be better understood over time, plus promising components beyond cannabinoids, which is one main reason whole plant medicine – with its “entourage effect” has the greatest promise in many conditions.

The cannabinoid receptors are divided into two main subtypes, known as CB1 and CB2. They have some similarity, they are mostly differentiated by what tissue or organ system they are associated with in the body.

CB1 is found mostly in the brain, with some presence in lung, kidney, liver, fat, heart, muscle, and bone. CB1 receptors are mostly associated with the psychoactive and euphoric aspects of THC. However, CB2 receptors are mostly found within the immune system and blood cells, and secondarily in lesser density within the nervous system, liver, gut, muscle, and bone.

In each tissue, the cannabinoid system performs different tasks, but the goal is always the same: homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment.

No two patients or their ECS systems are identical. Cannabis is both in some cases a truly specialized – and in many cases very broad spectrum – medicine. Varying strains and methods of ingestion can play a factor in optimum health. Patients and health care providers need the ability to find what works best in individual cases.

#MMJ #ECS #UTleg #Utpol #GetSerious #TRUCE    

See full article – Meet your Endocannabinoid System (ECS)