This article was originally published on 2Fast4Buds and appears here with permission.
Apart from the endocannabinoids our body produces naturally to regulate and balance many processes such as immune response, communication between cells, appetite, and metabolism there is another type known as phytocannabinoids which are the cannabinoids produced by plants. These phytocannabinoids were believed to be produced only by cannabis plants but recent research has discovered that other plants also produce cannabinoids, in this article you'll read about the naturally occurring vegetation that produces them.
1. CANNABINOIDS AND THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
The endocannabinoid system plays a role in regulating physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory, depending on the receptor that the specific cannabinoid binds to.
Cannabinoid receptors to which cannabinoids bind to.
The naturally occurring cannabinoids that bind to the cannabinoid receptors are produced internally by humans and animals but there are other types of cannabinoids that will affect your body in a similar way.
Despite all of them being chemical compounds that can affect our mind and body in different ways, they’re divided into categories based on where they originate from.
|Endo = inside||Phyto = plants||Synthetic = man-made|
|Produced internally in our body||Produced by plants||Produced in laboratories|
The endocannabinoid system contains endocannabinoid receptors that are responsible for binding them in order for them to take action, these receptors are divided into two main types: CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptors are mostly found in your head and are thought to be the receptors that THC binds to while CB2 are mostly found in the lower part of your body, and are thought to be the receptors that CBD binds to.
Cannabinoids and their respective cannabinoid receptors.
The effects a specific cannabinoid provides depends on where the receptor is located, this is why, for example, CBD relaxes your muscles and may increase appetite while THC enhances, for example, colors, aromas, or flavors. But despite cannabinoids being produced in several different ways, the cannabinoids that growers are interested in are phytocannabinoids and are found not only in cannabis plants but also in a wide variety of household plants.
DOES YOUR BODY PRODUCE CANNABINOIDS?
The endocannabinoid system is a complex network of cannabinoid receptors researchers found to be scattered throughout our entire body, in places such as the brain, organs, connective tissues, and immune cells among others. Our endocannabinoid system is made up of different mechanisms in which enzymes destroy but also create cannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and endocannabinoids, basically, chemical compounds similar o THC or CBD, per see. But these endocannabinoids are present in animals too, not only in humans. Both endocannabinoids produced by animals and humans are designed to work together with our cannabinoid receptors such as Cannabinoid Receptors 1 and 2 (aka CB1 And CB2), triggering a range of different cellular responses needed for healthy functioning. But what does this mean? Well, these endocannabinoids moderate and can influence a lot of physiological functions such as appetite, pain, pleasure, memory, inflammation, sleeping, mood, and many, many more. This is basically why we can feel sleepy, get the munchies or alleviate pain with the cannabinoids cannabis plants produce, such as THC and CBD.
Besides basic functions, our endocannabinoid system also responds to illnesses. Researchers have found that cancer cells have been shown to have more cannabinoid receptors than healthy cells. Research also shows an increase in endocannabinoid production in patients with anxiety, chronic pain, Parkinson’s, and arthritis among other conditions. In essence, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) exchanges messages between the brain and body, making sure everything works correctly while helping manage our sleep cycle, telling …