There has been a lot of talk about cannabinoids in recent years, and you may be asking yourself: what is it about the endocannabinoid system that you need to know, or what is its significance in the human body? This article offers a brief overview of the endocannabinoid system including what it is, how it works, as well as its role in the human body.
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What Are Endocannabinoids?
Endocannabinoids are described as natural ligands of vanilloid, cannabinoid, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors. The Endocannabinoid system is a combination of the downstream signaling targets, cannabinoid enzymes, receptors, and ligands.
Endocannabinoid System: How It Works
How the endocannabinoid system works can be traced down to the functions of the major components. These components are discussed briefly below:
The endocannabinoids are made of three components including enzymes, receptors, and endocannabinoids.
Your body makes endocannabinoid molecules. The commonly known types of endocannabinoids are 2-arachdonoylglyerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA). These molecules enhance your body’s functionality in different ways.
2. Endocannabinoid Receptors
Your body has an unlimited number of endocannabinoid receptors. For the system to function well, the endocannabinoids have to bind with the receptors. The primary endocannabinoid receptors are the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The CB1 receptors are common within the nervous system while the CB2 is along with the peripheral nervous system, specifically in your body’s immune cells.
The endocannabinoid can bind to any receptor – whether the CB1 or the CB2. Usually, the outcome of the binding process is dependent on the location of the receptor at the time of the binding. For example, in order to suppress any pain in your spinal nerve, the CB1 receptor has to bind with endocannabinoids. On the other hand, common conditions in the body such as inflammation are addressed whenever CB2 receptors bind with cannabinoids within the immune cells.
Enzymes are important in the endocannabinoid system because they break down all the endocannabinoids. For example, this component breaks fatty acid amino hydrolase into anandamide and monoacylglycerol acid lipase into 2-arachdonoylglyerol.
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Roles of the Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system has several functions in the human body. Some of these functions are outlined below:
1. Female Reproduction
Exogenous and endogenous cannabinoids are believed to regulate various reproductive events in a female. The localization of the endocannabinoid system around the hypothalamus, which is responsible for the production of hormones that regulate diverse reproductive processes in a female is enough evidence of its role in female reproduction.
The system’s effects are impactful on reproductive aspects such as the endocrine function, reproduction, and fertility. It is important to know that extreme amounts of endocannabinoids can have adverse impacts on the female reproductive system.
2. Regulation of Anxiety-dependent Behaviors
The endocannabinoid system regulates various anxiety-dependent behaviors. For example, the glutamatergic cannabinoid receptors are used in the mediation of anger and in the prevention of excessive arousal. Contrastingly, the GABAergic neurons can limit the release of inhibitory transmitters. When combined these two components effectively control the arousal sense in human beings especially in novel circumstances.
The endocannabinoid system plays a significant role in the spinal cord. The cannabinoids receptors are used in the suppression of noxious-stimulus-evoked responses. This process is effected through the modulation of the input of noradrenaline.
Palmitoylethanolamide, a standard type of endocannabinoid is safe and effective as an analgesic. It is used in the induction of analgesia responses. Besides, paracetamol, which is a common pain reliever follows the analgesic mechanism utilized by the endocannabinoid system.
The N-arachidonoyl dopamine and Anandamide, major endocannabinoids, are instrumental in thermoregulation. These components act on the transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TrpV1) that is used in thermoregulation. Chili peppers have an active component that resembles the endocannabinoid structure. The activation of the TrpV1 channels by these components leads to vasodilation.
6. Sleep Enhancement
Endocannabinoid act as sleep inducers within the human central nervous system. For instance, anandamide increases slow-wave sleep and decreases wakefulness. In addition, this component is useful in the promotion of sleep and arousal suppression.
7. Physical Exercise
The Endocannabinoid system is useful during physical exercise. The endocannabinoid enzymes, receptors, and ligands mediate cognitive and physiological effects in human beings during voluntary physical activities. Generally, anandamide alongside other chemicals stimulates exercise-induced euphoria.
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The endocannabinoid is very instrumental in stabilizing various body processes. Nevertheless, not every physician out there is aware of how the endocannabinoid functions, especially considering the laws and regulations around the use of cannabis components. In addition, details about how the components of endocannabinoid can be used to address various body conditions are still scattered. Therefore, it is advisable you get clear guidance from knowledgeable and qualified physicians.
It can be a daunting task trying to figure out where to start your endocannabinoid-related medication. The best way is to start by getting advice from medical cannabis physicians who will determine the right component for you depending on your specific health condition. If you are looking for endocannabinoid medication, get in touch with MDBerry for reliable solutions and advice.