What is the endocannabinoid system and how does it work?
The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, is a body-wide signaling network that promotes homeostasis. In other words, as your external environment changes, the ECS keeps your body’s internal processes stable.
When life stressors increase, for example, the ECS helps maintain neuroplasticity to reduce the risk of depression and anxiety. In a similar way, the ECS helps balance processes that resolve inflammation and regulate the immune response.
The ECS is a network of receptors and signaling molecules. The two types of receptors are called CB1 and CB2. As threats to your biological balance arise, signaling molecules called endocannabinoids, or eCBs, bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors, triggering cascades of signals that help maintain homeostasis.
Our bodies naturally produce eCBS, but poor diet, lack of exercise, and other factors can disrupt eCB production, contributing to biological imbalance and conditions such as chronic inflammation, poor immune response, depression, and anxiety.
Be sure to watch Part 2 to learn how to use phytocannabinoids and omega-3s to help resolve chronic inflammation.