The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is part of the body’s central nervous and immune systems. It plays an active role in managing how we feel regarding things like appetite, pain, mood, memory and general homeostasis. It involves molecular receptors (CB1 and CB2) located throughout the body, which are stimulated by cannabinoids.
- Endocannabinoids are produced by the body
- Phytocannabinoids are naturally-occurring in cannabis plants
Each cannabinoid reacts differently with the ECS, resulting in a variety of different effects when introduced into our system. For example, CBD has been linked to pain relief because of its anti-inflammatory properties, much like THC has been linked to feelings of euphoria.
The ECS is closely tied to just about every natural control system within our bodies, such as internal temperature, nerve simulation and even coordination. This is why cannabinoids like CBD can be effective for pain relief and why others like THC can leave us feeling disoriented and “high.”
Because different cannabinoids affect the ECS differently, there are different CBD products formulated to target it. CBD isolate, for example, may be taken by people who only want to experience pain relief, whereas a full-spectrum product may be better for others who want the full “entourage effect” of all major cannabinoids and terpenes.