Just like every person has a respiratory system to breathe, we all have an endocannabinoid system that aids in a wide variety of bodily functions. The EC system consists of three parts; endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes. Together these three parts receive and process cannabinoids, some of which are even naturally produced by the human body.
These naturally occurring cannabinoids are the first major part of the EC system, and they’re called endocannabinoids. These organic substances that are made by our bodies share many features with cannabinoids that are found in cannabis, and they exist to keep bodily functions (such as maintaining a consistent temperature, heart rate, and sense of balance) stable. When cannabis is consumed, a cultivar’s mix of cannabinoids are received by the EC system and processed alongside naturally occurring endocannabinoids.
The second part of the endocannabinoid system are receptors, and they’re located in both the nervous system and body tissue. Receptors, as their name suggests, are where cannabinoids get received. Cannabinoids bond with these receptors so that they can be processed. While bonding, enzymes break them down and absorb them. This process is how cannabis gets into our bodies and produce its effects. Each person’s EC system is unique to their own bodies though, which explains why strains have the potential to affect each individual differently. As research continues to progress, we’ll all keep finding out how the endocannabinoid system and cannabis can both factor into a healthy lifestyle.