MANY PEOPLE UNDERSTAND WHAT CANNABIS DOES—BUT MOST OF US DON’T KNOW WHY IT DOES IT.
Cannabis is a beautiful, sophisticated, mysterious, and inspiring plant—and, as scientists in the last 25 years have discovered, the human body is designed to interact with it via the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Our bodies are a series of complex systems, most of which you are probably familiar with—the nervous system, the digestive system, circulatory system, etc. Roughly 25 years ago, a Los Angeles doctor working to understand how THC, the compound responsible for much of cannabis’ range of effects, stumbled upon a complex network of cannabinoid receptors (CBr, CB-1) in cells located within both the central and peripheral nervous system.
In the years since, doctors and scientists have identified other cannabinoid receptors (including cannabinoid receptor 2, or CB-2), located within the immune system, digestive system, and most of the body’s major organs. These receptors are unique in that they are able to receive the CBN, THC, and CBD molecules found within cannabis.
The unearthing of CB-1 and CB-2 led researchers to the discovery of Anandamide, a cannabinoid-like chemical found within our bodies that interacts with the CB-1 and CB-2 receptors. Anandamide moderates both the central and peripheral nervous systems and as a result has an impact on the regulation of functions within the immune system.
“I think all athletes—whether they’re NFL or NBA pros or just serious athletes wanting to better their fitness—are learning about the therapeutic potential of this plant.
It’s incredible to think, inside the last 25 years, we’ve discovered a system in our bodies specifically designed to interact with the active chemical compounds found within cannabis.
The CB-1 receptors within our bodies receive THC molecules from cannabis. These receptors are concentrated in the brain, as well as the central nervous system, and are scattered throughout bodily tissues. They are mostly responsible for many of the psychoactive effects commonly associated with our favorite plant.
CB-2 receptors are designed by our bodies to receive the CBN molecules found within cannabis. These receptors have been discovered within the peripheral organs and cells inside our bodies’ immune system. The highest concentration of CB-2 receptors is located in the gut.