What is the Endocannabinoid System?
What is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?
In our body, there are a huge number of biological systems, all working interdependently to some degree. Their functions are based on the interactions of certain organic chemicals, and the Endocannabinoid System (also known as the ECS) is no exception. Made up of endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors, the ECS is responsible for regulating a wide number of processes both physical and mental, including fertility, pregnancy, prenatal development, postnatal development, appetite, pain sensation, mood, memory, the effects of exercise (runner’s high), brain reward proccesses, as well as the effects of cannabis itself. Sounds like a lot, right? It is! The endocannabinoid system is invaluable for a large number of reasons, the endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids playing a vital role in every single day of our lives.
The ECS Simplified
Now, this description is a tad technical, so it may behoove us to take a more personal look at what is going on with the ECS. What is it exactly that it does for us? It is involved in memory, yes. You try to think back to a day that you were particularly happy, and the ECS is helping you. It’s involved in appetite too, so when you have a craving for a burger, that’s your ECS at work again. Your energy levels, your stress responses, your behaviour, it all comes down to the ECS. Your immune system functions too, as well as your ability to fall asleep and the way that your body responds when you go for a run or lift some weights. It is all related to the ECS.
As you can see, your ECS is actually at the core of your entire life. It is becoming increasingly clear that the endocannabinoid system is a key to balanced health. Everything you do, every activity you undertake, it all comes down to the endocannabinoid system. Just like you put some thought into maintaining a healthy blood flow and keeping your muscles strong, you should start thinking about boosting your ECS as well – it matters!