Known as “the body’s own cannabinoid system”, the endocannabinoid system is involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory, and in mediating the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Found in all vertebrates, the ECS performs different tasks, but the goal is always the same: homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal body environment.
When cannabinoid receptors are stimulated, a variety of physiologic processes occur. CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain, although they are also both present in the male and female reproductive organs. Modern research shows that THC is specifically keyed to the CB1 site. As a result, it is responsible for the feeling of intoxication that is the most familiar aspect of cannabis.
CB2 receptors are primarily found in the immune system with the highest concentration located in the spleen. The receptors are tied to CBD and works as an anti-inflammatory agent. This relationship is the foundation behind various CBD benefits. The power of CBD isolate, with its anti-spasmodic qualities, is currently one of the most important and exciting findings within the cannabis industry. CBD also moderates the effects of THC. It will remove THC from the CB1 receptor, thus, lessening the effects of THC and creating the “come down” effect.
In addition to cannabinoids and endocannabinoids, naturally occurring Terpenes found within the plants contribute to what is known as the “entourage effect”. The regulatory effects of the ECS are amplified in the presence of specific primary and secondary terpenes. For example: the terpene, Linalool and limonene combined with CBD is being examined as an anti-acne treatment. These examples only scratch the surface of all possible synergies made available to us by way of whole plant therapies.