The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an essential biological system present in all mammals. It has evolved to regulate a wide variety of physiological processes like pain-perception, mood, memory, appetite, stress, immune function, and homeostasis.
Homeostasis is a scientific term basically describing our bodies’ continuous efforts to keep all of our systems in equilibrium—you can think of the ECS as the body’s universal regulator. If some of our internal systems are dialed-up too high or turned-down too low, it is the job of the ECS to bring everything back into perfect balance.
We now know that cannabis sativa– including hemp and marijuana – exerts its effects, in part, by mimicking our endocannabinoids (natural compounds produced by the body to ‘activate’ our ECS). Chemical compounds expressed by the cannabis plant, including CBD, are able to directly or indirectly interact and activate our ECS.
At first, researchers thought cannabinoid receptors were only located in our brain and nerve cells, but as it turns out they are located all throughout our bodies. And because of this, the ECS is involved in an astonishingly wide variety of physiological processes.