The endocannabinoid system is a complex signaling system of our body that is present throughout our entire body. It is a cellular signaling system that plays a very important role in regulating many functions and processes in the body. Among other things, it affects the regulation of:
- Body temperature
- Motor functions
- Muscle information
- Cardiovascular system
- Skin functions
- Fertility (hormonal processes)…
What does the term “balance” or “organism homeostasis” mean?
Homeostasis is the ability of our body to maintain the stability of all our internal processes, regardless of events and changes in the environment. Take our body temperature as an example – it must remain the same regardless of the temperature of the external environment. Also, the beating of our heart must remain in a normal rhythm, the level of our hormones must remain normal, our body must rest after exertion and have enough energy for work, for a new start… despite all the changes in the environment around us. This is our internal homeostasis. But how can our body maintain it? Let’s take a look: in case of external heat, there is a danger that our body will overheat. In this case, the body activates our endocannabinoid system, which immediately reacts and starts to regulate the situation. The body begins to sweat in order to cool down and maintain normal body temperature. We all know the feeling of hunger – but where does the message come from that we need food for energy, fuel? Our endocannabinoid system is responsible for this. Similarly, our endocannabinoid system alerts us when rest, exercise, fluid intake…is needed, like our personal balance scale that must remain in balance.
The endocannabinoid system is composed of:
- endocannabinoid receptors,
- endocannabinoids (molecules that bind to these receptors), and
- enzymes that ensure proper synthesis and degradation of endocannabinoids.
The most well-known endocannabinoid receptors are CB1 (central nervous system) and CB2 (peripheral nervous system). Endocannabinoids are endogenous agonists of cannabinoid receptors and are intracellular signal transmitters between neighboring cells. They are lipophilic molecules that become part of the cell membrane after synthesis, with many different enzymes involved in the synthesis process. Enzymes are also part of the endocannabinoid system. Enzymes are basically proteins or a protein complex that regulates the speed and direction of reactions in living and non-living cells. Each enzyme only acts on specific substrates or reactions. The characteristic of enzymes in their function is that they are not consumed or permanently changed during their activity. Enzymes play a very important role in the endocannabinoid system in the degradation of exhausted endocannabinoids.
Endocannabinoids are formed in the tissues of mammals. Over time, with disease, and stress, the level of our endocannabinoids begins to decrease. In this case, we can rely on the cannabis cannabinoid CBD, which can enter our endocannabinoid system and indirectly influence the increased formation and consumption of endocannabinoids through enzymes. We really need them!