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The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)



The Endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an internal, biological, neuroregulatory system, which is directly related to the cannabis plant, since it produces endocannabinoids, which are endogenous lipid-based neurotransmitters, bound by cannabinoid receptors and cannabinoid receptor proteins, expressed throughout the vertebrate central and peripheral nervous system (including the brain). The
is involved in regulating a variety of physiological and cognitive processes, including fertility, pregnancy, pre- and postnatal development, appetite, pain sensation, mood and memory. It also participates in the mediation of some of the physiological and cognitive effects of voluntary physical activity, in humans and other animals, such as contributing to the euphoria caused by exercise, as well as in the settings of motor activity.

Squid, tiny nematodes and all vertebrate species, all have an endocannabinoid system. It is an essential part of their lives and their adaptation to environmental changes. Comparing the genetics of cannabinoid receptors into different species, scientists estimate that the endocannabinoid system must have evolved into primitive animals 600 million years ago.

The existence of this system was discovered, within the framework of the scientific community, in the 60s, but it was only in 1988 that its structure and function was systematically recorded and clarified.

Two types of primary endocannabinoid receptors have been identified: CB1, discovered in 1990, and CB2, discovered in 1993.


The CB1 receptor is a cannabinoid receptor conjugated to G protein encoded in humans by the CNR1 gene. CB1 regulates the release of neurotransmitters when activated. It is expressed pre-synaptically in both glutamatergic and GABArgic endo-neurons and, in fact, acts as a neuromodulator to inhibit the release of glutamate and GABA. It is activated by cannabinoids that are naturally produced within the body (endocannabinoids) or introduced into the body by hemp or a related synthetic compound.


The CB2 receptor is a G-conjugated receptor, which in humans is encoded by the CNR2 gene. About 360 amino acids make up the human CB2 receptor, making it somewhat smaller than the CB1 receptor, consisting of 473 amino acids. CB2 receptors are also known as conjugated to a complex and highly preserved signal transfer pathway, which decisively regulates a number of important cellular processes for tissue maturation and growth.


CB1 receptors, located mainly in the brain and nervous system, as well as in peripheral organs and tissues are the main molecular target of the endocannabinoid ligand (binding molecule), Anandamide, as well as the mimetic of the phytocannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Another key endocannabinoid, is 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG), which is active in both receptors, along with its own mimetic phytocannabinoid, CBD. 2-AG and CBD are involved in regulating appetite, immune system functions and pain management.

A functional endocannabinoid system leads to homeostasis of the organism and is essential for good health. Unlike synthetic derivatives, herbal cannabis can contain over a hundred different cannabinoids, including THC, which all work together collaboratively to produce better medical results

The Green Greeks Magazine

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