What is the Endocannabinoid System

Honestly, we can't believe that we haven't written about this before. Considering that this website is dedicated to CBD, it is strange that we have omitted the most important part of the 'Cannabis phenomenon': the Endocannabinoid System.

Basically, the Endocannabinoid System (the ECS) is a network of receptors that can be found in almost every part of our body. They interact with Cannabinoids (and other chemicals including a single Terpene) and are part of our body's ability to achieve homeostasis. Homeostasis is a process of self-regulation where your body actively works to maintain an internal balance when something outside has changed. The most used example of this is when the body senses that we are cold, it starts to shiver.

Our body does this for everything- and even the smallest of changes in our body's internal systems can be catastrophic and even result in death. The ECS is part of how our body triggers its self-regulatory response.

When the body sees a change in the balance, the body synthesizes chemicals (cannabinoids) to activate/deactivate the ECS which triggers a response to rectify the internal change. There are cases where our body is deficient and therefore, cannot effectively deal with a shift in our internal equilibrium (therefore making us sick)- this is caused bu an abundance of enzymes which break down the cannabinoids, the inability to create endocannabinoids/ the cannabinoid receptors or factors such as unhealthy diet, lack of sunlight or unhealthy lifestyle.

So where does CBD come in? Well, you can used plant-based cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids) to supplement your body's ability to regulate itself. Whether that is a cannabinoid oil or paste, or other cannabinoid sources like Olives, or flax seeds. Otherwise, maintaining a healthy balanced diet, maintaining healthy water consumption, plenty of exercises and a healthy sleeping pattern can help keep your ECS in tip-top condition.

CB1 & CB2 receptors

There are 2 parts of the ECS: the CB1 and CB2. Found in the 1990's, the CB1 receptors are part of your central nervous system (brain, nerves and spinal) and the CB2 receptors deal with the peripheral nervous system (extremities, digestive system, and immune system)

Different cannabinoids interact with the different receptors, which is why each cannabinoid does something different.


Harry is the primary writer at CBD Bible. He has been writing about CBD for more than 5 years and has had his writing featured on a number of high-profile publications. Find him on Twitter @CBDBibleUK