Partner with the master controller of disease in your health.
When we properly partner with our endocannabinoid system, we can get started on a journey toward better health. And that is one of our main missions at Brady’s Botanicals. We help you achieve better health outcomes by engaging your endocannabinoid system with our organic whole-plant extracts.
However, understanding your endocannabinoid system, how to activate it, and how it works can be daunting. This powerful system can seem more like a mystery than a partner in your health. With this blog post, we’d like to change that. We’re making seemingly daunting topics like your endocannabinoid system super easy for you to digest and understand.
In this blog post, we will answer common questions that new clients ask in our store and online all the time.
Here are the questions we’ll cover:
- What is the endocannabinoid system?
- Why is the endocannabinoid system important?
- What are the functions of the endocannabinoid system?
- Does my endocannabinoid system have a deficiency?
- How do I activate my endocannabinoid system?
- How does the endocannabinoid system work?
Let’s dive in.
What Is the Endocannabinoid System?
You may have heard of your sympathetic nervous system, which regulates the fight-to-flight response. Or perhaps you’ve heard of your lymphatic system, which protects your body from disease. But, when you first heard of the endocannabinoid system, you were probably left puzzled.
It’s not your fault, though. The endocannabinoid system (our homeostatic regulatory system) was only recently discovered. Plus, this beneficial body system is not currently part of the medical school curriculum.¹ In a nutshell, your endocannabinoid system is precisely what regulates each process that happens in your body.
To help break it down, let’s look at the word “endocannabinoid.”
“Endo” is short for the word “endogenous.” Endogenous means it’s something that’s produced naturally from inside of your body. The second part of the word “cannabinoid” comes from (you probably guessed it) cannabis. These two parts of the word come together with a very simple meaning: cannabis-like substances that naturally occur inside of your body.
So much like the other body systems in our bodies, your endocannabinoid system is not only a natural part of your body, but a crucial one – even if you don’t use cannabis (more on this later).
When thinking of your endocannabinoid system, think of it as being one of the most essential parts of your health plan because it establishes and maintains your health. Its actions are complex in your nervous system, immune system, and basically – all of your body’s organs.
Your endocannabinoid system is literally bridging the gap between your body and your mind. When we choose to delve deeper to understand this system, we begin to see how to connect our brain activity to our physical health and even disease.²
Have you ever wondered why people who use cannabis products boast an increased appetite during chemo, a better mood when stuck in a depressive mood, or relief from the most painful ailments? Their endocannabinoid system is the hero. It can be yours too.
Your Endocannabinoid System Has Goals With You in Mind
Have you ever heard of homeostasis?
If you haven’t, homeostasis is when your body tries to keep everything at the right level. Think about your car for a second. Your dashboard and gauges tell you when something isn’t working the way it’s supposed to, right?
Like the gauges in your car, or really (in our modern times) the computer in your car – your body does the same thing. It gauges and monitors essential functions happening in your body.
Is your temperature too high, too low, or just right?
Is your heart beating rapidly?
Is too much of something building up in your body that shouldn’t be there?
When something is outside your body’s normal range, your body reacts by activating your endocannabinoid system to fix it. So when it’s hot outside, and you start to sweat, it’s your endocannabinoid system working to cool you down. Or when your stomach starts growling, that’s your endocannabinoid system sending a message that you’re hungry and need to get some food in your belly.
You see, your endocannabinoid system has a major goal.
That goal is to make sure that you, your body, and its functions are always balanced. This system wants everything that makes you – you, to be stable on the inside. This looks like having a balanced mood, getting plenty of sleep, or even having more than enough energy to get your to-do list done.
Like a close friend, your endocannabinoid system checks in and makes sure that you are doing okay. If any diseases (or bullies) show up uninvited, your endocannabinoid system has your back. Your endocannabinoid system is ready to evict any unwelcome guests that could manifest into painful conditions or ailments down the road.
This is what homeostasis (i.e., keeping balance) is all about.
Isn’t that amazing?
To understand the process of your endocannabinoid system more, let’s look deeper into what makes up the system.
Endocannabinoid System Breakdown: Three Core Parts Simplified
Let’s break it down a little further by discussing the three core parts that make up your endocannabinoid system. Those core parts are endocannabinoids, endocannabinoids receptors, and enzymes.
Part 1: Endocannabinoids
Endocannabinoids interact with and activate neurotransmitters on demand. Neurotransmitters are created to help with many of your body’s functions. Don’t let the word “neurotransmitters” scare you off, though. Neurotransmitters are simply little chemical messengers that send messages to your nerve cells.
Your body produces endocannabinoids naturally and as needed. This means that as functions go haywire, like a fever, these neurotransmitters are produced to help with that body function. This also means that we don’t exactly know what levels are kept within the body because your body creates these as it needs them.
To date, experts have found two main endocannabinoids in our body:
- Anandamide or AEA
- 2-arachidonoylglycerol or 2-AG
We’re sure that other endocannabinoids will be discovered. In fact, most experts believe there is a third endocannabinoid, and we’ll intently await that discovery when it happens in endocannabinoid research.
For now, let’s get familiar with these endocannabinoids and what you should know about them.
Anandamide or AEA: Say Hello to the Bliss Molecule
Can chocolate really boost your mood? We think so. Here’s why.
Anandamide or AEA is created naturally in the body and is found in small amounts in chocolate.
As you’ve learned so far, AEA is one of the two identified endocannabinoids in your body. This means that it’s one of the neurotransmitters in your body sending messages to your nerves to help keep everything balanced.
The “ananda” part of the word “anandamide” actually comes from the Sanskrit word, which means “happiness, pleasure, joy, and delight.” This makes so much sense seeing how AEA is known as the bliss molecule, giving us all the feel-good vibes.³
People who categorize themselves as very happy people were found to have high amounts of this endocannabinoid.⁴ While those who have depression, anxiety, increased fear, or having a hard time coping with stress were found to have low levels of AEA.⁵
Having low levels of the endocannabinoid literally drains the happiness right out of you. When your endocannabinoid system works like it’s supposed to, these levels will automatically increase when they’re low to keep you happy, joyful, and healthy.
2-arachidonoylglycerol or 2-AG: Endocannabinoid That Led to Breakthrough Research
2-arachidonoylglycerol or 2-AG is a very important endocannabinoid.
2-AG officially led to the breakthrough discovery of the endocannabinoid system. This led to further research into the cannabinoid CBD and other neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, histamine, norepinephrine, and acetylcholine.⁶
Besides basically causing the vast amounts of research on CBD that you see online today, 2-AG does have an important job. 2-AG’s job is to bring severe physiological functions into balance.
Those functions include:
- How we acquire new information (cognition)
- How we express ourselves (emotions)
- Making sure the number of calories we take in is equal to how many calories we actually use for energy (energy balance)
- The trigger due to infection or brain injury (neuroinflammation)
- Protecting ourselves from further injury or harm (pain sensation)
2-AG is the most abundant endocannabinoid in our body. So it must be important, right? Experts thought so too. Once they dug deeper, research revealed 2-AG in concentrations of 170-times more in the body than the bliss molecule: AEA.⁷ 2-AG is also a powerful neuroprotectant after brain injury and can help regulate inflammation, correct fertility issues, promote better sleep, and manage pain.⁸⁻¹²
As a whole, more research is needed on AEA and 2-AG. We’re excited to see what science will discover next as far as endocannabinoids.
Part 2: Endocannabinoid Receptors
The second core part of your endocannabinoid system is its receptors. These receptors are found throughout the body. Endocannabinoids (AEA and 2-AG) bind to these receptors to tell your body “it’s time to take action.”
Or, in other words, they tell your body that something is out of whack and it’s time to fix it.
In your body, there are two main endocannabinoid receptors:¹³⁻¹⁴
- Receptor #1: CB1 – primarily found in your central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and organs)
- Receptor #2: CB2 – mostly found in your peripheral nervous system (especially immune cells)
Endocannabinoids can attach themselves to either of these receptors. The effect that attachment or binding causes depend on which receptor the endocannabinoid is bound with and vice versa.
For example, endocannabinoids like 2-AG or AEA may bind themselves to your receptor CB1, which is mostly found in your central nervous system. The reason the endocannabinoid chooses to bind itself to that specific receptor could be to relieve pain.
On the other hand, endocannabinoids may bind themselves to your receptor CB2 in your immune cells, which is mainly found in your peripheral nervous system. This might happen because the endocannabinoid needs to signal that your body is experiencing inflammation. This is important because if your body experiences inflammation, this could be a sign of an autoimmune disorder.
When something in your body is off-balance, your endocannabinoids bind themselves with your receptors to help bring your body back in balance or start the healing process from within. Once your endocannabinoid connects with one of your receptors, they are officially active and doing the job they’re meant to do.
Part 3: Enzymes
The third and final core part of your endocannabinoid system is enzymes. Simply put, once the endocannabinoid is done doing its job, enzymes in your body break the endocannabinoid down. There are two main enzymes that help get this job done.
The first enzyme is fatty acid amide hydrolase, or FAAH. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down the endocannabinoid AEA. The second enzyme is monoacylglycerol acid lipase or MAGL. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down the endocannabinoid 2-AG.
To put this into perspective for you, when you take a product like our CBD gummies, the CBD will actually slow down the breakdown of AEA (bliss endocannabinoid) by the enzyme FAAH. This is really awesome because you can feel the happiness endocannabinoid longer thanks to using CBD.
And that’s just one reason why CBD is a favored tool for feeling calmer and uplifted longer.
What Is the Main Function of the Endocannabinoid System?
As we touched on earlier, the primary function of your endocannabinoid system is to make sure your body is in homeostasis. Meaning that your endocannabinoid system always wants you and your body to be in complete balance because that’s when you are at your healthiest.
Your endocannabinoid system doesn’t want you in pain, hungry, stressed, or unhappy. That’s why when certain functions within your body start to get too low or too high – your endocannabinoid system kicks into action thanks to your endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes.
In fact, we know the endocannabinoid system directly impacts:¹⁵
- Appetite, digestion, and metabolism
- Mood, stress, sleep, learning, and memory
- Chronic pain, inflammation, and motor control
- Liver, skin, nerve, and reproductive function
- Muscle formation, bone remodeling and growth, cardiovascular functions
- The occurrence of vomiting and seizures
- And much more!
If you haven’t guessed it yet, this is what we love so much about the endocannabinoid system at Brady’s Botanicals. Your endocannabinoid system is your internal master controller for detecting and ridding disease within your body.
But then, you might be asking yourself…
If our endocannabinoid system is so great, then why do I have pain? Or depression? Or anxiety attacks?
If my endocannabinoid system isn’t fighting off my imbalances, does that mean something’s wrong with my endocannabinoid system?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this journey. We’re going to walk you through understanding the answers to your questions and how to promote a healthier lifestyle.
Endocannabinoid System Deficiencies – True or Untrue?
There’s a theory called CECD or clinical endocannabinoid deficiency that was first presented in 2001.¹⁶ This theory is built around the idea that having low levels of endocannabinoids in your body could cause certain health conditions.
While there is no concrete research that CECD happens – let’s talk about this a bit more with an open mind.
Let’s take fibromyalgia, migraines, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), for example. All of these conditions have no apparent underlying cause. They are resistant to any kind of treatment. They also tend to happen alongside each other at the same time.
Meaning that if you were to have just one of these conditions, it’s possible you can gain another one. Yikes!
Also, a condition like fibromyalgia doesn’t affect just one body system. Fibromyalgia affects the central and peripheral nervous systems, the endocrine (hormones), digestive, and immune system. Fibromyalgia has been linked to premature perimenopause, early hysterectomy procedures, and problems conceiving. It’s also linked to sensitivity to temperatures and even poor memory.
Now, let’s go back to the theory.
If you recall, you’ve learned that your endocannabinoid system involves so many functions of your body and maintains balance. It makes sense that having a deficiency within your endocannabinoid system would create conditions related to so many functions within your body.
Even Dr. Ethan Russo, a board-certified neurologist, psychopharmacology researcher, and author, believes in CECD and its relation to fibromyalgia, migraines, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).¹⁷ At Brady’s Botanicals, we’re also believers in CECD.
How else could it be possible that someone can experience immediate relief from their condition by simply taking whole-plant full-spectrum extract or a Full-Spectrum Delta-9 gummy? How is it possible to calm down an anxiety attack with just a few discrete draws of our rescue vape?
CECD is really the only logical answer. Especially after so many of our clients have told us how amazing it is to find relief so quickly. An increase in beneficial natural properties may be just what the body needs to find balance again.
Recharge Your Endocannabinoid System for Better Health Outcomes
When you find yourself stuck within diagnoses or less than optimal systems, you have options with us.
At Brady’s Botanicals, we celebrate guiding our clients through how they can activate and boost their endocannabinoid system naturally through the power of cannabis. We know this is possible for our clients because we’ve seen and celebrated their results with our products.
We’re able to help our clients boost their endocannabinoid system with cannabis. We isolate the beneficial compounds from the plant to raise your endocannabinoid levels. We don’t just isolate CBD or Delta-8 or Delta-9.
At Brady’s Botanicals, we’re the whole-plant company. Whole-Plant means we effectively use all beneficial properties of the plant (there are over 100) to create the specific outcome you want in your health regime.
So when your endocannabinoid system is not able to maintain balance in your body – you can give it a boost with specific cannabis products perfect for your health goals and overall well-being.
Your Endocannabinoid System Is Powerful for Your Health
There is no denying your endocannabinoid system is a powerful ally in your health and wellness. It’s possible for you to achieve your health goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle with natural endocannabinoid medicine. However, getting started can be daunting.
At Brady’s Botanicals, we love helping people new to the world of cannabis find the perfect regime to aid their health. The first step to getting started is an easy one – with our free, quick quiz. Answer a few questions so we can get to know you a little better, and we’ll give you recommendations for the perfect regime for your health.
Take the first step with our free quiz. Quick, easy, and discrete. Better health has never been more convenient.
- Why Isn’t the Endocannabinoid System Studied in Med School?
- Getting High on the Endocannabinoid System – PMC
- Brain activity of anandamide: a rewarding bliss? – PMC
- Genes may contribute to making some nations happier than others
- Anandamide: Bliss Molecule for Happiness & Mental Balance | Be Brain Fit
- 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2AG): An Important Endocannabinoid
- Endocannabinoid Binding to the Cannabinoid Receptors: What Is Known and What Remains Unknown – PMC
- Synaptic and Cognitive Improvements by Inhibition of 2-AG Metabolism Are through Upregulation of MicroRNA-188-3p in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease – PMC
- Emerging Role of the CB2 Cannabinoid Receptor in Immune Regulation and Therapeutic Prospects – PMC
- CB2 receptors in reproduction – PMC
- 2-AG into the lateral hypothalamus increases REM sleep and cFos expression in melanin concentrating hormone neurons in rats
- The Major Brain Endocannabinoid 2-AG Controls Neuropathic Pain and Mechanical Hyperalgesia in Patients with Neuromyelitis Optica
- Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System – PMC
- The CB2 receptor and its role as a regulator of inflammation – PMC
- Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System – PMC
- Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Reconsidered: Current Research Supports the Theory in Migraine, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel, and Other Treatment-Resistant Syndromes
- Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD): can this concept explain therapeutic benefits of cannabis in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and other treatment-resistant conditions?