The Endocannabinoid System
There are over 60 cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis, THC and CBD being the most abundant. In 1988 it was found that the brain has receptor sites that respond to cannabinoids and not long after it was discovered that humans and all mammals have a system working throughout our central and peripheral nervous systems that act on cannabinoids that our bodies manufacture called endocannabinoids. The system was named the Endocannabinoid System or ECS.
The ECS is involved in regulating a number of physiological and cognitive processes including appetite, pain, mood, motivation, memory, immune function and more. Two cannabinoid receptors are now known. CB1(Cannabinoid Receptor 1) is found mainly in the brain and CB2(Cannabinoid Receptor 2) is found mainly in the immune system.
Research suggests that some conditions may be the result of a deficiency in cannabinoids called clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD).
Stress & Plant Cannabinoids
Studies link stress with inflammation in the brain which is linked to memory loss and depression. Larry Parsons of Scripps Research Institute explained in 2009 at an International Cannabinoid Research Society Meeting that "an increase in endocannabinoid levels serves as a buffer to physiological and behavioral stress.”
Physical, mental and emotional stress can take a toll on our health. Certainly there are many things we can do such as healthy eating, exercise and self care to reduce stress and improve our health. Perhaps these actions also improve our ECS functioning, but what about plant cannabinoids?
Plant cannabinoids have been found to work the same way as our own bodies endocannabinoids. Consuming CBD rich whole plant oil, which can support our ECS and also act as an anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant may be an important addition to many individuals wellness plans.