What is Homeostasis?
Homeostasis is our ability to maintain the stability in our body’s internal state that may otherwise change due to external factors. We could lose our health when we lose balance in our body state.
A cold or fever is an example of such a change. Do you think you can sweat or shiver consciously? Those are our body’s response to the change in internal temperature. It sweats to reduce skin temperature, and it shivers to increase the same.
Below are some examples of homeostasis.
· Body temperature
· Body alkaline level
· Calcium levels
· Glucose levels
· Fluid volume
The endocannabinoid system is the mechanism that plays a critical role in retaining the homeostasis.
What is the endocannabinoid system?
ECS is a system that contains endocannabinoids, neurotransmitters, and neuroreceptors. As per researchers, almost all living organisms possess an endocannabinoid system. ECS is the primary control mechanism that manages the body functions.
Cannabinoids are available within the human body and also in the cannabis plants. Endogenous cannabinoids are found within the body. Endocannabinoids are present in several parts of our body, and our body generates it as and when the need arises.
Likewise, exogenous cannabinoids are found in cannabis plant varieties. External cannabinoids from the cannabis also function exactly like the endogenous cannabinoids. CBD and THC are examples of exogenous cannabinoids. Besides, cannabis produces several other types of cannabinoids in large quantities.
Cannabinoids activate the receptors in our body-cells to receive the signals from the neurotransmitters present in the brain. As a result, our body cells coordinate with the mind and works towards achieving the homeostasis.
Our body possesses two main types of neurotransmitters, namely anandamides and 2-AG. Anandamide is responsible for the mood-related actions, while 2-AG is responsible for anti-inflammation, pain relief, and immunity actions. These neurotransmitters send signals to the receptors to initiate efforts to maintain homeostasis.
There are several types of receptors, but CB1 and CB2 are the primary ones. Majority of the CB1 receptors are present in the brain and spine cells. On the other hand, CB2 receptors are abundantly present throughout the body parts and tissues.
When the endocannabinoid count goes down, our body’s response to the adverse conditions become weak. Our brain and the endogenous cannabinoids integrate with this system to influence our body cells and nervous system. CBD is a useful cannabinoid that affects our ECS positively. And, researches show that CBD can compensate for the cannabinoid deficit in our ECS.
Discovery of the Endocannabinoid system
Cannabis has long been a topic of controversy due to the extreme popularity of its euphoric and psychoactive effects. Thousands of researchers were involved in cannabis-related researches and studies.
In the year 1960 THC and CBD was discovered. Since then, researchers were trying to explore the effects and actions of THC on human body and brain.
In the year 1990, the cannabinoid receptor was discovered by a group of scientists. THC was administered on mice with engineered DNA that doesn’t express G protein-coupled receptors. And, the THC didn’t show any effects on the mice. That study report was the first step to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system.
That particular study proved that THC influences the body through the receptors that are coupled with our body cells. THC paved the way to the discovery of the neurological system. Also, cannabis-derived cannabinoids influence the system, so the ECS was named after cannabinoids.
Why is ECS significant?
To be precise, the endocannabinoid system is the bridge between our body and the brain. Maintaining the homeostasis and keeping up the immunity and reflexes are the brain’s primary functions. At times when our body lacks the endocannabinoid production, our body’s ability to maintain the homeostasis reduces.
Exogenous cannabinoids from the cannabis plant varieties help to retrieve the health. It does the same job as the endocannabinoids. ECS is a crucial system that allows the brain to communicate with the body cells.
How Exogenous cannabinoids influences ECS?
Cannabis produces more than a hundred cannabinoids. Every single type of cannabinoid tends to communicate with the ECS in different ways. However, all these cannabinoids can offer a wide range of health benefits by interacting with our ECS. These cannabinoids reach the ECS through the bloodstream and get absorbed by the fat cells.
THC activates a large amount of CB1 receptors which is responsible for the mood-related actions by the brain. That is the reason people get euphoric-high after consuming THC products. On the other hand, CBD activates CB2 receptors.
Endocannabinoid system is the key control mechanism in our body. It connects the human brain with the body-cells through the neurotransmitters, cannabinoids, and receptors.
To the contrary, exogenous cannabinoids can be both psychoactive and non-psychoactive. THC is the psychoactive agonist while CBD is just the opposite. These external cannabinoids compensate for the lack of endocannabinoids and boost wellness and responsiveness.