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Throughout everyone’s scholastic career, we’ve all taken rudimentary science classes that teach us about our own body.  Systems like the digestive system, nervous system, respiratory system and circulatory system are all taught in school.   But, new innovations in the science world have led us to discover a new system in our bodies that no one ever talks about.

What is the Endocannabinoid System?

The System in your Body That School Never Taught You

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a network of receptors located in the brain and throughout the nervous system; it is the body’s way of maintaining and regulating the homeostasis of crucial body functions.  The system is comprised of two different receptors: CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors function primarily to interact with and breakdown the cannabinoids that our body makes, AKA endocannabinoids (‘endo,’ meaning inside the body).  It uses these endocannabinoids to regulate important body functions like sleep, stress management, pain tolerance, inflammation, reproduction, motor learning, memory and more. 

Why haven’t I heard about the ECS before?

It wasn’t until 1964 that the first cannabinoid was identified by an Israeli scientist called Raphael Mechoulam.  Since the ECS is a relatively new discovery, the research behind it hasn’t quite gotten the traction that it merits.  This is because external cannabinoids from sources like hemp and CBD extracts weren’t legal until recently, so most people didn’t pay much attention to the research behind it.  Additionally, the system doesn’t have definable boundaries like the circulatory system, or nervous system does.  Since the ECS functions to manage so many other important body systems, it is nearly impossible to create a definable ‘map’ of the ECS in our body, making it a difficult and abstract topic to teach in a basic science class. 

How can I boost my Endocannabinoid System?

Current research says that the ECS can interact with several different types of cannabinoids – not just the ones that our body makes.  According to current research, a supplementary addition of external cannabinoids can be largely beneficial and delivers several powerful health benefits.    When external cannabinoids are ingested at an appropriate dosage level, the internal breakdown of endocannabinoids is slowed, meaning that our body can use the endocannabinoids that it makes for a longer time so that it can better-regulate the important body functions that it oversees.

But, if you’re like most people, you’re probably skeptical about taking vitamins and dietary supplements. With all the different dietary supplements that are currently out, it’s almost impossible to know what each one does and if it has any serious side effects or not – especially if you’re taking it for a system that you don’t know much about.  GREAT NEWS: we can support our Endocannabinoid System with natural phytocannabinoids.

Wait, what is a phytocannabinoid?

Simply put, phytocannabinoids are external cannabinoids that come from plants (‘phyto,’ meaning coming from plant); specifically, the hemp plant.  Because hemp naturally produces over 500 different phytocompounds, of which roughly 100 are considered to be phytocannabinoids, it is widely considered as the best source of external and natural cannabinoids.    The two most well-known cannabinoids are Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). 

Doesn’t hemp get you high?

Nope.  Since a lot of people associate marijuana with hemp because it comes from the same family of plant, it is easy to confuse the two; although, they have their vast differences.  The difference between hemp and marijuana lies in its appearance, function, cultivation, and application.  While hemp does contain tiny amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that gets you high in marijuana, it only contains less than 0.3%, not nearly enough to get someone high. 

So, if you’re looking for a completely natural way to support your body, consider adding Phytocannabinoids or CBD to your daily vitamin regimen.  Research specifies that adding CBD or phytocannabinoids to your regimen helps with daily stress relief, managing inflammation or pain, promotes the onset of sleep, and ultimately supports your ever-important Endocannabinoid system.