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What Is the Endocannabinoid System?

Sophia Hanson Health and wellbeing

graphic. what is the endocannabinoid system

When discussing Cannabidiol (CBD) products and why they are so effective at treating so many different types of body imbalances, it’s important to understand one of the fundamental aspects of the human body. That aspect is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and it’s something that plays a central role in how CBD is able to positively influence the body’s many functions.


Every single living invertebrate on earth has an ECS, which is why CBD products can be beneficial to our pets too. Every bird, cat, dog and human being you see has one, each with its own intricate network of CBD receptors that are used to maintain the body’s homeostasis.

(Leafly 2016)


When we talk about homeostasis, we’re referring to the state of wellness that the body is continuously trying to achieve. A good analogy to use would be to think of your car’s dashboard, with all of its dials and gauges. When any of these gauges or dials go into the red, it’s not a desirable situation, so something needs to be done to bring things back under control.

(Very Well Health 2018)

The human body is just an extremely sophisticated machine and the endocannabinoid system could be seen as a biological management system that keeps everything ticking over. When you get hungry, that’s your ECS kicking in and telling you that you need to eat and when you sweat, it’s the ECS again, indicating that you’re overheating. Whilst this is a simplistic way to look at the endocannabinoid system, it is quite an accurate one.


To better understand how this balance is achieved, we now look at another extremely important element of the ECS - cannabinoid (CB) receptors.


CB1 & CB2 Receptors

Rather than being a physical network in the body, like the cardiovascular system, the ECS is a comprised of a vast network of CBD receptors located all across the body. These receptors sit on the outside of each individual cell, closely monitoring conditions outside of the cell. If conditions outside the cell move outside of what are considered as being the ‘normal’ parameters, endocannabinoids are then produced as part of a cellular reaction to help normalise those conditions.


CB1 receptors are located all across the central nervous system and it’s these that are responsible for producing the high that’s associated with smoking cannabis when the Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) stimulate them. CB2 receptors are those found outside of the central nervous system in other body functions like the immune, circulatory, endocrine, lymphatic, respiratory and digestive systems.

(Canabo Medical Clinic 2017)


infographic cb1 and cb2 receptors locations

There are many different types of CB receptors, but these are by far the most prevalent and happen to be the first two discovered by science.


Cell Communication


Endocannabinoids are molecules that are naturally produced on demand, which usually happens when the CB receptors detect a change in conditions outside the cell. When these conditions return to what are deemed to be ‘normal’, the body stops producing endocannabinoids, as they are now seen as surplus to requirements. Any that are left over are broken down by a metabolic enzyme that’s created for that very purpose.


Introducing phytocannabinoids - which are the type of cannabinoids found in cannabis - into the body mimics the effect that naturally occurring endocannabinoids have on CB receptors. This means that the cannabinoids help to encourage optimal conditions in the body, which in other words, means a healthy state. And because the endocannabinoid system pervades every function in the body, CBD is able to alleviate problems by addressing cell imbalances wherever they exist.


Scientific Basis


Everything we’ve talked about so far is backed by science, with some research linking increased endocannabinoid levels after prolonged exercise. A healthy balanced diet is also something that is believed to help the good function of the ECS in the body with Omega 3 oils and other fatty acids in hemp seeds and oily fish are known to help.

( 2017)


The medical industry as a whole is still playing catch up when it comes to the ECS, which can be largely attributed to the fact that cannabis and things made from it have been illegal to grow, process and sell in the United Kingdom until recently. Now that the therapeutic effects of CBD products are becoming more widely known, it would seem that it’s only a matter of time before its full range of health benefits are officially recognised.


CBD - Working With the ECS For Better Health


When you consider how CBD works in tandem with the ECS to make our body’s systems work at their optimum levels, it starts to bring what a natural wonder it is into sharper focus. By working with the body’s own innate system that’s been designed by nature to keep everything in check and working well, CBD is able to stop illnesses and disease before they manifest.

At Cannakinnetic, we offer a comprehensive range of premium CBD products that work with the endocannabinoid system to promote good health in the ways we’ve talked about today. Not only that, but we are committed to creating the purest CBD Oils, CBD soft gel capsules, CBD balms and CBD Vapes, using only the most ethical and green farming and extraction techniques available.


If you are interested in sampling this alternative way of staying healthy with one of the most gentle and natural products on the market, you can find lots of information on our website If after reading through, you need any advice about anything discussed here or about choosing the right CBD product for your needs, our friendly team is available:


Thanks for taking the time to read our blog. We hope that you have found it useful.

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Strause, T., & Strause, T. (2017, May 16). 7 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Endocannabinoid System. Retrieved from


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