What is the endocannabinoid system?


The endocannabinoid system is the network of enzymes and receptors in the body that produce and respond to endocannabinoids like anandamide. It also reacts with exocannabinoids like THC and CBD. There are two kinds of cannabinoid receptors in the body: CB1 and CB2. The primary difference between the two receptor types is their location, but they both perform similar functions.

CB1 receptors are located for the most part in the CNS, while some are found in the pancreas and liver. THC is the most notable agonist of CB1 receptors and thus these are the receptors responsible for producing the high. Astoundingly, CB1 receptors are the most numerous receptors in the brain, which is believed to be why there are so many different functions of the ECS.

CB2 receptors are located overwhelmingly in the immune system, but are found in the stomach, liver, spinal cord, heart tissue, and several other organ systems as well. Many of the therapeutic effects of cannabis are mediated through interaction with the CB2 receptor, including its role in fortifying the immune system.

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