The endocannabinoid system

The Endocannabinoid System

A Bridge Between Body and Mind

The endocannabinoid system or endogenous cannabinoid system—named after the cannabis plant that led to its discovery—is one of the most important physiologic systems.

Involved in establishing and maintaining human health, your brain creates its own set of cannabinoids — similar to those found in cannabis — via the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for many important bodily functions such as appetite, sleep, emotion and movement.

Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands and immune cells. With its complex actions in our immune system, nervous system and virtually all of the body’s organs, endocannabinoids are literally a bridge between body and mind.

The Discovery

In 1988, in the pursuit of unearthing the metabolic pathways of phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids, scientists at an American University discovered an unknown molecular signalling system within the body involved in regulating a broad range of biological functions. This system was named the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and it was found that cannabinoid receptors are the most abundant type of neurotransmitter receptor in the brain.

The Endocannabinoid System

The ultimate goal of the ECS is to maintain a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment. It is the system that creates vital homeostasis within the body. When an imbalance is detected within our internal environment, the body synthesises endocannabinoids that interact with cannabinoid receptors, stimulating a chemical response that works to restore homeostasis.  The body’s ability to adjust to changes and maintain homeostasis directly impacts the state of health of that organism.  Disturbances, if not corrected, can lead to impaired health or more serious diseases like arthritis, epilepsy, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer or stroke.

Two primary cannabinoid receptors have been identified: CB1 and CB2.  It is CB1 receptors which are found predominantly in the brain and nervous system whereas CB2 takes presence throughout the immune system and the peripheral nervous system.

Cannabinoids

The psychoactive properties of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active agent in cannabis, has given the plant its notoriety but THC is only one of over 60 compounds found in cannabis that belong to a class of molecules called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids (CBD) are 66 naturally occurring compounds of over 480 found in the Cannabis sativa plant.

A study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology cites numerous therapeutic properties of CBD, showing this compound can act as a natural aid in a series of conditions. CBD oil does not only contain cannabidiol as its sole ingredient; there are a number of other phyto-cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN, CBC along with a number of different amino acids, carbohydrates, fatty acids, minerals and vitamins all of which are an important constituent of CBD oil.

Typically, Hemp/CBD is poorly absorbed when taken orally.

In Lipolife® CBD products, the hemp oil has been encapsulated in microscopic liposomes which greatly increase the absorption and bioavailability of the product, it also enables the CBD to be delivered directly into the cell.

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