Why Your Endocannabinoid System Could Be The Secret to Unlocking Your Body’s Natural Healing Power

When you combine the right kinds of cannabinoids and terpenes it can create a synergetic effect known as The Entourage Effect– which provides a unique and more complete cannabis experience. Bloom Medicinals understands this and it is the foundation of what sets us apart from most medical marijuana companies.

What is the Endocannabinoid System?

In one form or another, various components of the cannabis plant have been used for medicinal, industrial, and recreational purposes for centuries. Only recently, however, has research started to shed light on the medicinal potential offered by the plant’s active compounds, known as cannabinoids.

One of the most active compounds within the cannabis plant is the cannabinoid Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Besides THC, more than 100 different cannabinoids have been identified in the cannabis plant–many with promising medicinal applications. One well known cannabinoid is cannabidiol (CBD).

There are three categories of cannabinoids:

  • Phytocannabinoids – occur naturally in the cannabis plant, like THC and CBD
  • Endogenous Cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) - naturally produced within the bodies of humans and animals
  • Synthetic Cannabinoids – produced in a lab by pharmaceutical companies

Most people are surprised to hear that endocannabinoids occur naturally within our bodies – whether or not we consume medical cannabis. They’re even more surprised to find out we all have an internal communications system known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS) — which helps to regulate sleep, mood, appetite, memory, reproduction, and fertility.

How Our Endocannabinoid System Works

The ECS is made up of three components. First, we have endocannabinoids which occur naturally within our bodies. Second, we have a network of cellular receptors. There are at least two types of cellular receptors.

- CB1 receptors are found in our brains and in the nerves of our spinal cords. CB1 receptors help to control neurotransmitter activity and regulate things like hunger and alertness.

- CB2 receptors occur mostly in our peripheral nervous system, the digestive system, and within cells in our immune system. Endocannabinoids within our bodies bind to these receptors to regulate essential functions like immune function.

Research has shown that CB2 receptors could play a role in the potential treatment of diseases with limited or no approved therapies such as neuropathic pain and neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.¹  Some researchers believe that we may even have a third type of cannabinoid receptor that remains undiscovered.

How-ECSystem-Works

Enzymes and the ECS

The third component of the endocannabinoid system are enzymes that help to break down cannabinoids and endocannabinoids. For example, the FAAH enzyme works to break down endocannabinoids created by our bodies, but it can not break down THC. So, when someone ingests cannabis, THC is able to attach to the CB1 receptor in their brain and they experience the sensation of feeling “high.”

Compare this to when someone ingests cannabidiol (CBD). Since CBD does not have psychoactive properties like THC, it can provide health benefits without leaving patients feeling high. For example, CBD can inhibit the FAAH enzyme from breaking down the endocannabinoid called anandamide. Anandamide is produced naturally in our bodies and is known to be a mood enhancer that can provide a calming effect. By preventing FAAH from breaking down anandamide, CBD enables it to attach to the CB1 receptor; which often results in a calming effect for patients. This is why CBD has shown promise in helping to alleviate stress and anxiety.²

This is just one example of why understanding the way cannabinoids interact with our ECS can be essential in unlocking our body’s true healing potential.

How Your ECS Can Help to Unlock Your Body’s Natural Healing Power

One of the most important roles our ECS plays is helping our bodies achieve internal balance and homeostasis. Homeostasis is described as "any self-regulating process by which biological systems tend to maintain stability while adjusting to conditions that are optimum for survival.” ³

In simple terms, homeostasis is our body’s way of keeping our internal processes in balance. When our bodies achieve homeostasis, essential functions within our cardiovascular, nervous, and immune systems tend to work as they should. But, when things are out of balance, our bodies can experience health issues.

Research suggests that the ECS plays an important role in helping to regulate:

  • Energy levels
  • Blood pressure
  • Embryonic development
  • Nausea
  • Memory and learning
  • Immune response

It is also thought that our ECS could also play a role in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

So, what happens when our endocannabinoid system is unable to effectively regulate our internal functions? This is known as clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CED) and it may play a role in conditions like fibromyalgia, migraines, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Although research on how to correct CED is still in its early stages, increasing the body’s production of endocannabinoids, ingesting plant-derived cannabinoids, and decreasing endocannabinoid breakdown are considered potential options.

In addition to helping to treat clinical endocannabinoid deficiency, research is ongoing for the use of cannabinoids as potential treatment options for serious conditions like Alzheimer disease, chronic pain, autoimmune disease, and even kidney disease.

THC and cannabis are just two of the most well known cannabinoids. If you would like to learn more about the different types of cannabinoids and their potential health benefits, click the button below.

Achieving Homeostasis Is About More Than Just Cannabinoids

An often overlooked element in helping to unlock the therapeutic power of our endocannabinoid system is finding the right balance of cannabinoids and terpenes.

Terpenes are aromatic compounds naturally produced in plants. Terpenes are what give plants like jasmine, lemongrass, and cannabis their distinct aroma. In nature, terpenes help to protect plants from animal grazing and infectious germs. They also help to attract pollinators.

The Health Benefits of Terpenes

Terpenes are bioactive, and depending on their concentration and how a person uses them, they can offer potential health benefits. For example, the terpene isopulegol, known for its minty smell, is found in the essential oils of lemongrass, lemon balm, geranium, and eucalyptus. Certain strains of cannabis that are rich in isopulegol, like Kosher Tangie, have shown to have health benefits that include being anti-inflammatory, anti-seizure, antiviral, and gastroprotective.

Click here to read more about terpenes and their potential health benefits.

The Entourage Effect – It’s All About Synergy

When you combine the right kinds of cannabinoids and terpenes it can create a synergetic effect known as The Entourage Effect– which provides a unique and more complete cannabis experience. Bloom Medicinals understands this and it is the foundation of what sets us apart from most medical marijuana companies. Our Patient Care Specialists will take the time to get to know you, your condition, and your specific needs. By doing so, we can help you enjoy the improved quality of life that is possible when you select the cannabis products that are right for you and your endocannabinoid system.

If you live in a state with a Bloom Medicinals dispensary, click the button below to learn about the full range of medical cannabis products available to you.