The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is our body’s primary regulatory system. Cannabinoid receptors (CBr), along with naturally-occurring cannabinoid-like chemicals called endocannabinoids, and enzymes form the ECS
The ECS is not an isolated system like the digestive or respiratory system. Instead, it is spread out throughout our body on nearly every organ. Responsible for homeostasis or keeping our body functions in balance, it may affect everything from sleep, appetite, pain, inflammation, memory, mood, and reproduction.
Plant substances, phytocannabinoids, can also stimulate or interact with your ECS. To date, there have been over 100 cannabinoids discovered in cannabis. The two most well known are THC and CBD.
Found to influence the endocannabinoid system, CBD is best known for inhibiting the enzyme FAAH, leading to an increase in the amount of anandamide in the brain. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive and has very little binding affinity with the endocannabinoid receptors.
Other natural plant compounds, particularly terpenes have actions that are complementary to phytocannabinoids. These compounds work together in what is known as the entourage effect.