What is the Endocannabinoid System? The Top Things You Need to Know for Inflammation

If you’ve heard of CBD, and not the endocannabinoid system (ECS), you’re not alone. Many consumers take advantage of CBD’s effects and benefits, without even knowing how or why it works. 

But, if you’re not a consumer yet, or are looking to improve your health and wellness routines, knowing the most about the ECS can be highly beneficial for achieving desired effects.  

So, what is the endocannabinoid system’s function, and what is its relationship to CBD and other hemp cannabinoids? Keep reading for the ultimate Endocannabinoid System 101 guide to find out and for an in-depth focus on how the ECS works to relieve inflammation and pain. 

What is The Endocannabinoid System and What is its Role? 

The ECS is a physiological system, that wasn’t discovered until the 1990s when cannabis research began to increase. At that time, researchers found the endocannabinoid system in the human body was made up of a variety of receptors, and neurotransmitters that sent messages throughout the body to maintain ‘homeostasis’ or overall balance within the body. 

The encannabinoid system has three main components – endocannabinois, receptors, and enzymes. Endocannabinoids, also known as endogenous cannabinoids, are molecules that are naturally produced by the body and are similar to cannabinoids produced by hemp. Two of the most notable endocannabinoids that have been discovered so far, include – 

  • anandamide (AEA) AKA the ‘bliss molecule’
  • 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG)

These two endocannabinoids help the body function optimally, again, to maintain homeostasis and your body produces them as necessary to do so. 

Then you have receptors. Endocannabinoids influence these receptors in order to send a signal or message between cells in the body. The two main receptors, are CB1 which is found mostly in the central nervous system and CB2 which are primarily found in immune cells, and the peripheral nervous system. 

The action, or effects of the receptor is dependent on where the receptor is located, and which endocannabinoid impacts it. For instance, CB1 receptors found in the spinal nerve can be activated to relieve pain. But others may interact with CB2 receptors in immune cells, which signals inflammation – a sign of autoimmune disorders. 

The last component are enzymes, which are responsible for breaking down endocannabinoids once their function is complete. The two most notable enzymes are fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which breaks down AEA and monoacylglycerol acid lipase, which breaks down 2-AG. 

Through these components, the encodannabinoid system is linked to assisting or regulating the following functions and processes – 

  • Inflammation
  • Immune system responses
  • Chronic pain
  • Metabolism
  • Appetite
  • Digestion
  • Mood
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Motor control
  • Sleep
  • And more… 

All in all, the medical community believes that achieving and maintaining homeostasis is the endocannabinoid system’s primary role, and function. 

The Endocannabinoid System and Pain or Inflammation

So, let’s dive deeper into cannabinoid receptors and pain. Chronic pain is a complex condition, but is often the result of both peripheral central nervous system or neuroimmune activation.  Which signals the initiation of chronic pain whether inflammatory, or neuropathic. Or, it can stem from inflammation, which is why nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin or ibuprofen are often recommended for relief. 

Through the ECS’ components wide scope of influence over the body, internally, and CBD’s interaction with the same system – the compound has the ability to implement its own anti-inflammatory effects. To prove its efficacy, here are just some of the studies conducted so far on the endocannabinoid system, CBD and their relationship with inflammation – 

  • In a 2021 study review, researchers concluded that cannabinoids successfully reduced the levels of at least one inflammatory cytokine found naturally, internally. 
  • In another 2021 study, researchers found that CBD and a minor cannabinoid, CBG exhibited anti-inflammatory activity. 
  • An animal study published in the European Journal of Pain suggested CBD reduced pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, when applied topically. 
  • Another animal study conducted in 2008 found that CBD effectively prevented the onset of type 1 diabetes which is an inflammatory autoimmune disease.
  • In 2013, another animal study on mice concluded that CBD was effective at combatting the effects of inflammation in those that suffered from multiple sclerosis.

Exercise, Inflammation and the ECS

Even more, a study recently concluded that endogenous cannabinoids (like we talked about earlier!) are important in the role of regulating metabolism and inflammation. Furthermore, they found exercise can help accompany the effects, strengthening the ECS’ ability to fight inflammation. 

In this study, researchers found that participants in a a 6-week exercise program reduced inflammatory marker levels in participants, with increased levels of natural endocannabinoids and short-chain fatty acid levels. 

This leads researchers to believe that the short-chain fatty acids that are produced naturally by the gut microbiota and endocannabinoid receptors have a positive synergistic relationship. When adding in regular exercise, the anti-inflammatory effects only increased. 

All in all, experts are just uncovering the full scope of the endocannabinoid system’s role in our everyday functions, and for relief. But, with the positive study results collected so far, there’s strong evidence that CBD does play a positive part in reducing inflammation and supporting the ECS, naturally. 

Cannabinoids and Inflammation – The Bottom Line 

With the information you’ve gained today, you can answer – what is the endocannabinoid system and know how CBD for inflammation and pain is science-backed. Through the endocannabinoid system in the human body, CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects help reduce inflammation overall, in turn reducing pain. 

Now, you can put your endocannabinoid system and CBD oil to good use, by improving your current routines or trying it for the first time. At Pure Power, we intentionally formulate and craft each CBD product for the highest efficacy. 

That includes, full-spectrum, un-refined oils, straight from high quality hemp for its pure plant power plus a host of other adaptogens, functional mushrooms and vital minerals. Our specially crafted capsule blends contain a plethora of natural ingredients that support healthy recovery and relief. 

Improve your endocannabinoid system and everything it addresses in your body, by stimulating it with premium CBD blended with other potent herbs and vital minerals. Shop Pure Power, now!