What is the endocannabinoid system?

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex cell-signaling system that is active in your body even if you do not use cannabis. ECS is complicated and has not yet been completely understood by medical professionals today. What we do know is that ECS helps regulate sleep, mood, appetite, learning and memory, reproduction and fertility, appetite and digestion, metabolism, chronic pain, stress, inflammation, cardiovascular and liver function, bone remodeling and much more.

ECS has three core components: endocannabinoids, receptors and enzymes. Endocannabinoids are similar to cannabinoids, but they’re chemical compounds produced by our bodies. Receptors are found throughout our bodies and bind to endocannabinoids to signal that ECS needs to take action. The two main receptors are CB1, which are mostly found in the central nervous system and CB2, which are mostly found in our peripheral nervous system, especially immune cells. And lastly, the enzymes break down the endocannabinoids once they’ve carried out their function.