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Why Does Cannabis Work?

Lightshade - Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of receptors located throughout the human brain, central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. The ECS provides vertebrates with balance and homeostasis by modulating the flow of neurotransmitters and regulating a number of bodily functions, including appetite, sleep, emotion and movement. Cannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBN, etc.) are  the diverse chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant that bind and fit into the existing network of ECS receptors throughout the human body. Imagine cannabinoids as keys and the ECS receptors as locks that are designed to accept specific cannabinoids. The ESC exists to receive cannabinoids produced inside the body and stimulating the ECS with plant-based cannabinoids restores balance.

There are two ECS receptors found throughout the human body; CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are most concentrated in the brain and central nervous system while CB2 receptors are mostly founds in cells in the immune system and its associated structure. When CB1 receptors are activated  the result are the psychoactive and physical effects commonly associated with cannabis consumption. When CB2 receptors are activated they alter the release of cytokines, which promote inflammation and immune function.   The ECS receptors are part of a very complex regulatory system with broad and diverse functions and, due to its ubiquitous activity. provides a bridge between body and mind.

Research and education information courtesy of Holos Health | Dr. Joseph Cohen, D.O.