The endocannabinoid system (ECS) can be thought of as a regulating and maintenance system in the human body. It helps us remain at a state of homeostasis, and when that is achieved, we tend to act at our peak performance. It has an effect on stress, pain, appetite, energy, cardiovascular system, reward/motivation, reproduction, and sleep.
One recent study that was conducted by Yale University found that the endocannabinoid system played a large role in how children responded to fear, trauma, and anxiety. There are three main properties that make up the endocannabinoid system. They are cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and also the enzymes that break these things down. The endocannabinoid system is active throughout the whole body. It is in our immune cells, throughout our whole nervous system, spinal cord, and in nearly all cells of the brain.
Our skin is even said to contain cannabinoids receptors. The two most popular endocannabinoids in the system are known as anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). These two endocannabinoids seek out cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, which are the 2 more prominent and popular ones. The CB1 receptors are known to have more of an effect on cognitive and motor function, whereas CB2 receptors are more involved in neuroinflammation and neuroprotection. The endocannabinoid system can be thought of as somewhat like a traffic light that allows neurotransmitters through or to hold them back.
All mammals contain an endocannabinoid system that interacts with phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids that are known to be found in marijuana. Because of the endocannabinoid system, cannabis can play a large role in medicinally and therapeutically relieving symptoms for individuals that suffer from various symptoms. An endocannabinoid system that is functioning normally is what regulates people from having a tremendous amount of fear and anxiety. In a way, it tells the brain which message should be relayed.