Not just saying this ’cause Sour Tangie slaps. This is actual factuals, discovered in the 1990s.
You ever hear a friend say, “I function better off weed,” or “Actually, I’m more alert when I smoke.” They aren’t dragging it. Weed in all scientific reality is designed to directly interact with what’s known as the endocannabinoid system. It’s okay. Take your time. It took me about four tries. The en-do-canna-bin-oid system, according to Healthline, is a complex cell-signaling system designed to regulate bodies functions. It is made up three parts: 1. Cannabinoid receptors found on the surface of all cells. 2. Endocannabinoids which are the molecules that activate cannabinoid receptors and metabolic enzymes that break down endocannabinoids after they are used.
There are two types of endocannabinoids- which are produced by your body. Anandamine or AEA and 2-arachidonoylglyerol or 2-AG, for short. Now, it’s almost impossible to know the levels of endocannabinoids in your system. Your body produces them as needed.
For every cannabinoid, there’s one of two receptors, whose purpose is to signal when the ECS needs to step in and regulate. They for sure “yerrrr” one another. The CB1 receptors are mainly found in the central nervous system and the CB2 in the peripheral nervous system- primarily immune cells.
Still with me? Great!
Okay so endocannabinoids can bind to one of the two receptors, right? CB1 or CB2. Which, depends on where the receptor is located. Peep this little chart to see where these receptors are found.
So let’s take that Sour Tangie we mentioned earlier (’cause I gladly will every time). The endocannabinoids in that sweet, sweet spliff would target CB1 receptors in your spinal cord, for example, to relieve pain you may have been feeling. The tetrahydrocannabinol or THC in that preroll also facilitates in generating feelings of happiness, creativity, and energy. See? Your friend was good to drive.
CB1 + THC= CB-Fun. CB2=pain relief for you.
THC has a range of positive effects for the body and mind including motor control, appetitie and digestion, mood, sleep, cardiovascular function, muscle formation, liver function, reporductive system function (Yes moms, we’ll get to smoking during pregnancy a different day.) and skin and nerve function, among several other benefits.
CBD is a little sneakier. There isn’t much science around how it interacts with your ECS, yet however it breakdown-blocks metabolic enzymes meant to destroy endocannabinoids, giving them more time to work it’s magic on your body. Nah, Sour Tangie is really a good friend.
Also, THC and CBD are both fat-soluble meaning they serve as vitamins that are absorbed along with fat to be absorbed in the body. That explains why most people and canna-companies use cannabutter and oils as bases for most of your treats and topicals. Pro Tip: Heating up your oil before use helps activate the THC, showing pain relief quicker.
The purpose of endocannabinoids is to help your body keep balanced. If anything is off, endocannabinoids will work to make sure it’s all copasetic. We all have a THC threshold, so even on days where you swear you’re a dragon, endocannabinoid’s work overtime as retrograde signals to work to regulate your cells to function properly. It got you.
At the end of the day, there is A LOT we don’t know about the endocannabinoid system. As more research is done, the more we will find out. In the meantime, induldge in the effects that are proven, and don’t feel too guilty when you need to take five for a couple of pulls.
Now that you understand the endocannabinoid system a little better, you can officially say you’re ‘self-medicating.’