The Coolest Thing You Have Probably Never Heard of : The ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM (ECS)

How Can My CBD Be So Multi-Purpose? Well, Has Anyone Told You Your Body Has A System Designed for CBD?

Today we want to talk to you about this super cool thing that most people have never heard of, and with good reason since, well, to be quite frank, there is not much talk about it. The thing we want to talk about is the Endocannabinoid System, and the reason we want to talk about it is because we want you to know why your CBD is helping you. The Endocannabinoid System (say that 10 times really fast!) is the core explanation for why a natural, plant-based product, namely CBD, can be so versatile and so in harmony with your body. It is why it is helping so many people regardless of age, gender, race, preferences, etc. etc. etc.

With all the talk about CBD these days, have you ever wondered why it works, and why it is so effective? Have you ever wondered how CBD can have such a positive impact on such a wide variety of issues like sleep, stress, anxiety and depression, pain, inflammation, skin conditions, etc.? If you are like any of us at BKLYN CBD you might have one friend taking CBD for anxiety, a relative taking it for arthritis and inflammation, another friend taking it for sleep, your sister or brother taking it for joint pain, and the list goes on. So, you might ask, how can one product be so useful on so many different human ailments?

Today's newsletter is geared at breaking this enigma down a little. We are not here to bore you  with medical explanations, complicated terminology, or any other "heavy" reading. But, we do want to shed some light on how CBD, which is a plant-derived product belonging to a larger family of flowering plants known as Cannabaceae, can marry so well with the human body's systems. Well, the explanation behind CBD's efficacy on the human body's activities is rooted in the coolest thing you have probably never heard of, namely the 'Endocannabinoid System (ECS)'.

CBD plant species

Basically, scientists have discovered that we humans have our very own cannabis-like system naturally in our body, called the Endocannabinoid System, or the ECS for short. The ECS exists and is active in your body even if you don’t consume any products or derivatives from plants in the Cannabaceae family. Furthermore, this system is a critical human biological system, much like our Endocrine System, Endorphin System, Nervous System, etc. What is even crazier is all other animals, even fish, have it too, and it is just as important for them as it is for humans. 

Even the Folks over at Harvard Are Talking about the Human Body's ECS!

If you just Google this phrase, 'Endocannabinoid System' you will find articles from well reputed publishers like Healthline, Harvard Health, Medical News Today, and many others. Per Harvard Medical School, August 2021:

"The ECS regulates and controls many of our most critical bodily functions such as learning and memory, emotional processing, sleep, temperature control, pain control, inflammatory and immune responses, and eating. The ECS is currently at the center of renewed international research and drug development."

harvard and endocannabinoid system

Breaking Down Some of the Nitty Gritty

The ECS works thanks to three elements: 1. cannabinoids, 2. receptors, and 3. enzymes. Humans have two known cannabinoids, AEA and 2-AG, and two known receptors, CB1 and CB2. Cannabinoids are the molecules made by your body, and your body produces them as needed. No two people are similar, so identifying a "typical" level or range of cannabinoids for humans is hard. As for your receptors, they are found throughout your body and they are the things to which cannabinoids bind. When cannabinoids bind to the receptors, they trigger actions for your ECS. It is precisely because these CB1 and CB2 receptors are found throughout your body that CBD can have an impact on so many bodily functions. Cannabinoids are present and interacting with receptors from head to toe.

  1. CB1 receptors: mostly found in the central nervous system
  2. CB2 receptors: mostly found in your peripheral nervous system, especially immune cells
harvard shows how cbd works  

    So, now that we know what the ECS is and what its three main elements are (a. cannabinoids, b. receptors, and c. enzymes), how does CBD fit in? Well CBD, which is short for cannabidiol, is what we call a phytocannabinoid, with 'phyto' being the Greek prefix meaning plant. In other words, CBD is a cannabinoid from a plant. The cannabinoids our body makes are called endocannabinoids, with 'endo' being the Greek prefix meaning 'within' or 'inside us'. In other words, endocannabinoids are the cannabinoids that we already produce inside our bodies.

    cbd and endocannabinoid system

    Making Sense of It All & Putting It All Together

    It is theorized that because of the similarity of all cannabinoids, both phyto- and endo-cannabinoidswhen our ECS is not functioning properly, adding phytocannabinoids, like CBD, may help restore balance to our body's ECS. Just like when we are deficient in certain minerals or vitamins, like iron for example, and we seek to restore our levels by eating plant elements like fruits and vegetables, we can do the same thing with our ECS. When we need to boost or support our bodies' own endocannabinoid levels, we can consume plant derivatives like CBD. 

    At the end of the day, the whole point of our ECS is to maintain homeostasis, which in Greek means stability. And, when the ECS system is not stable it can wreak havoc on our day-to-day, as many of you already know too well. While there is still a lot that is unknown with regards to the ECS and cannabinoids, we do know that phytocannabinoids and CBD are super impactful in maintaining our ECS' homeostasis.

    It is important to note that there are many ways to increase our ECS' functioning. At BKLYN CBD, while we firmly believe in the efficacy of our products, and have proven results from our thousands of customers, we humbly recognize that there is way more to having an optimized ECS than just taking supplements. Scientists are understanding this system more and more each day but below are a few ways we have learned your ECS can be supported naturally.

    Other Ways to Nurture Your Very Own Endocannabinoid System

    • Aerobic exercise: The levels of our natural endocannabinoid AEA are increased by exercise. It has been suggested that AEA levels are linked to runner's high. What a good excuse for a dance party!
    • Cacao and maca: These two elements both work on the ECS by blocking an enzyme, FAAH, which is responsible for breaking down the endocannabinoid AEA. The slower FAAH breaks AEA down, the longer AEA sticks around. Have you ever craved chocolate when stressed? :)
    • Other herbs: Chemicals in plants like echinacea and liverwort influence our ECS. Kava, a South Asian root, is supposed to have ties as well.
    • High omega-3, lower omega-6 diet: While evidence here is preliminary, scientists suspect that high omega-3 and lower omega-6 diets help balance how our receptors, CB1 and CB2, activate. 

    Conclusion - Learning Cool Things!

    To wrap up, let's get back to our newsletter's title 'The Coolest Thing You Have Probably Never Heard of: The ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM (ECS)'. While we are no crystal-ball readers over here at BKLYN CBD, we do think that with all the natural benefits that can be had from CBD, and all the relief that our BKLYN CBD community has told us they are getting, the word Endocannabinoid is at risk for becoming a very buzzy word in the years to come. Given what you have just learned in this article, we hope you agree that this is one very cool thing!

    As you embark on your CBD journey, or continue your existing one, we are excited to have hopefully provided you some new knowledge about your very own Endocannabinoid System, as well as to have given you some tips on how to boost this system and your overall health. If you have any questions about our products, just shoot us an email at contact@bklyncbd.com or chat us on our website bklyncbd.com.

    And stay tuned for our future blogs where we are going to dive into some more specific uses for CBD, everything from brain wellness to overcoming stress and fatigue and gut health!

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