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  • POSTED JUNE 12, 2018
Introducing the endocannabinoid system
 
For two particular reasons, there are few topics being explored in the cannabis space more exhilarating than the endocannabinoid system. First, for a lack of research in the area, medical schools have almost exclusively omitted the system from the curriculum. Second, as drug policies have evolved, researchers have been allowed to study the system, and its inherent connection to cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.
 
Contemporary research has attributed the endocannabinoid system with a full host of physiological and homeostatic functions. Generally, the system is responsible for helping to regulate homeostasis. Specifically, the endocannabinoid system is reported to be involved in the modulation of pain and inflammation.1
 
Significantly, studies have found that plant-based terpenes and cannabinoids – such as the 60- plus in the cannabis plant –can serve as a significant analgesic when treating chronic pain conditions. Lead researchers in the area have found a scientific link between the endocannabinoid system, and the phytocannabinoids present in the cannabis plant.
 
 
To date, two primary receptors, CB1 and CB2, have been identified. CB1 receptors, the most abundant receptors in the mammalian brain, are present in lower quantities in peripheral tissues and cells. For its part, CB2 receptors are responsible for the inhibition of anandamide degradation or its antioxidant properties.2
 
Because of a unique ability to mimic these CB1 and CB2 receptors, cannabinoids have come under the microscope of a new class of researchers. In terms of isolating new cannabinoids to treat particular ailments and illnesses associated with the needs of the endocannabinoid system, the future seems to hold much promise.

References:
1. “The endocannabinoid system, cannabinoids, and pain.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820295/
2. “The endocannabinoid system as an emerging target of pharmacotherapy.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2241751/
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