Endocannabinoid System (“ECS”) Learning Center
Named after the cannabis plant that inspired its discovery, the endocannabinoid system is a complex molecular signaling system that is located in the brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems.
Natural chemical messengers produced by the body that interact within the ECS are called endocannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids (plant-based cannabinoids) mimic those produced in almost all organs of the body. Cannabinoids interact with receptors in a “lock and key” fashion, including the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. Once engaged, cannabinoids may release an intricate cascade of neurotransmitters that communicate vital information to cells, tissues, organs and glands to regulate many physiological systems in the human brain and body and help to achieve homeostasis.
Decades of research indicate that cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. A PubMed search shows over 1,500 published studies and reviews investigating compounds that regulate the ECS, with therapeutic promise indicated across a wide range of areas. We encourage you to review the wealth of research available.
A few introductory white papers, webinars and videos about the endocannabinoid system are provided below to begin or expand upon your learning. Practitioners, please log-in to view them. Stay tuned for announcements on additional educational Webinars for Practitioners.
The ECS constantly monitors your body and systems for signs of trouble or imbalance. In the event of imbalance, a cascade of neurotransmitters are released from the ECS to the organ, tissue or system involved to help address the problem. The ability to keep the body in balance is called homeostasis.
Given the broad distribution of the endocannabinoid system throughout the body, it modulates and supports balance in many important areas of health, including stress response, brain health, digestive health, skin health, bone health, reproductive health and metabolic function.
The information in our Learning Center is presented for educational purposes only and was developed to provide health professionals with an understanding of the potential applications of cannabinoids. These statements and materials have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.