Endocannabinoid System: Cannabis & Your Brain on Drugs
By Dalton Rosario
Hemp and cannabis plants are composed of non-psychoactive cannabinoids crystallized in the form of mushroom-like trichomes that interact with our body in the form of endocannabinoids. These microscopic compounds are naturally created in our body and interact with receptors in our cells impacting physiological processes that regulate our immune system, memory, appetite, mood variance, sleep patterns, anti-inflammation and pain. A number of non-psychoactive cannabinoids such as CBD, CBDa, CBN, CBG and CBC can be ingested and received by our endocannabinoid system along with psychoactive cannabinoids most commonly in the form of THC.
The body’s endocannabinoid system receives cannabinoids through two primary receptors called CB1 and CB2. The former are found in the brain and central nervous system while the latter are located in peripheral organs and cells linked to the immune system. Although distinguishable, both receptors are responsible for physiological functions related to our health and well being. Not only does our body create cannabinoids on its own but we also receive cannabinoids like a key into a lock. This symbiotic relationship spanning thousands of years represents a distinct dynamic between human beings cultivating cannabis and cannabis shaping neurological receptors in our brain and corresponding cell tissues.