Endocannabinoid System: What is It?
The endocannabinoid system is involved in a host of homeostatic and physiologic functions, including modulation of pain and inflammation. As presented by Mike Membrino, the endocannabinoid system comprises the cannabinoid receptors CB1, CB2 and possibly others; the fatty acid derivatives which act as their endogenous
ligands; and the proteins responsible for the synthesis, reuptake and degradation of
these endogenous ligands.
Other scientists have discovered the function of this system while examining the role of
cannabis. In this case, they presented it with Endo which meant endogenous that
originates within the body and cannabinoid refers to a group of compounds that
activates the system.
Several researchers have looked at the effects of the endocannabinoid system in the sense that is relates to therapeutic potential in most neurodegenerative disorders.
What are Cannabinoids?
Are commonly referred to as the chemical activators of the endocannabinoid system.
In this case, there exist endogenous and exogenous types of cannabinoids. The
endogenous as mentioned above originated inside the body system. They are also
referred to as the endocannabinoids, these compounds are produced naturally by the
human body. They interact with cannabinoid receptors to regulate basic functions
including mood, memory, appetite, pain, sleep, and many more.
Exogenous, on the other hand, originating outside the body. CBD as found in hemp is
considered exogenous. When consumed, it interacts with cannabinoid receptors to produce physical and psychological effects in the body.
Mike Membrino, President of Neuro Endoceutical, USA, suggests a significant difference
between THC and CBD showing unlike THC, CBD has little or no affinity for CB1
receptors making it a possible choice for neurological treatments. THC is very psychoactive while CBD is a safe option as they have opposite effects on the body.
What are Cannabinoids receptors
The endocannabinoid system ECS has two main receptors including CB1 and CB2.
CB 1 receptors are expressed in both the central nervous system and periphery. They
are the most abundant GPCR in the brain, with high expression levels in the basal
ganglia nuclei and moderately high expression in the hippocampus, cerebellum and
neocortex (Fine, & Rosenfeld, 2013). Additionally, CB1 are found in the entire part of
the body but are mostly present in the brain and spinal cord. They are concentrated in
brain regions associated with the behaviors they influence.
On the other hand, CB2 is up-regulated in response to inflammatory cues or immune
cell activation. They are found in the peripheral nervous system. They are especially
concentrated in immune cells. When CB2 receptors are activated, they work to reduce
inflammation. Inflammation is an immune response which is believed to play a role in
many diseases and conditions. More recently, CB2 expression has also been reported
to occur in normal brain; in neural progenitors (Fine, & Rosenfeld, 2013).
In a general manner, the distribution of CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body suggest
their therapeutic benefits when it comes to the treatment of various neurodegenerative
What are endocannabinoids?
Endocannabinoid are produced naturally inside the body. The major components presented by Mike Membrino include 2-AG and anandamide. 2-AG is found at higher
concentrations in the brain, while anandamide is found at higher concentrations in
other areas of the body. Both are capable of binding to CB1 and CB2 receptors, but
differ in their affinities for these receptors.
When endocannabinoids are released in the body, they are broken down by enzymes
knowns as fatty acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglycerol lipase.
Functions of Endocannabinoids system
ECS is associated with various function in brain disorders. On the other hand, as
presented by Mike Membrino, President of Neuro-Endoceuticals, ECS is involved in
regulating various basic functions of the human body. Some of the functions include:
1. Pain management
3. Mood enhancement
5. Immune function
6. Inflammatory effects
8. Cardiovascular function
10. Memory and learning
Apart from the above-mentioned functions, ECS is involved in treating various mental
illnesses. For example, Michael argues that the anandamide and THC
are used to lower the blood pressure by triggering the CB1 receptors. In
effect, the hypotensive effect is greater in high blood pressure individuals that
those with normal blood pressure. This can only suggest that cannabinoids
exert stronger effects when a metric is too far from homeostasis. In this case,
ECS has high effect on hypertension.
Separately, it is believed that the central objective of CB1 in depression is
significantly supported by the effects of traditional antidepressants. Precisely,
chronic tricyclic antidepressant treatment increases CB1 density in the
hippocampus and hypothalamus, which may mediate the treatment’s
therapeutic effects. Increasing anandamide, which enhances activation of
CB1receptors, produces antidepressant-like effects (Smaga, I. et al., 2014).
The anti-inflammatory properties of the ECS may also be involved in controlling
There has been anecdotal and preliminary scientific evidence of hemp extract affording
symptomatic relief in diverse neurodegenerative disorders. These include multiple
sclerosis, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This evidence implied that hypofunction or dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system may be responsible for some of the symptomatology of these diseases.
For example, characterization of the CB1 and CB2 receptors are closely linked
to the mitigating the underlying biological processes of the Alzheimer’s
disease. For instance, Anandamide, function through the activation of the
CB1, will tend to stamps down neurotoxicity through various mechanisms.
Interestingly, in the process where CB1 reduces and CB2 increases in the
brain of the Alzheimer’s disease patients, the endocannabinoids may be
produced by neurons and glial cells in response to the beta-amyloid
deposition in which they will activate the CB1 neuroprotective pathways and
regulate inflammation through CB2,
Similarly, because The ECS is involved in numerous neuro-modulator processes.
Pre-clinical educations powerfully suggest that The ECS plays a role in
neurogenesis, neurodegenerative procedures, as well as in the neural circuits
supposed to be compromised in schizophrenia (Desfosses et al., 2010). In humans, increasing confirmation shows that CB1receptor densities are transformed in schizophrenia and that anandamide levels are preeminent, suggesting that the ECS is involved in the pathophysiology of the disorder.
Other studies show that the ECS is involve in the regulation of homeostasis. According to Mike Membrino, President of Neuro-Endiceuticals, most of the diseases are associated with a LACK of homeostasis. Not surprisingly, the ECS tends to regulate, thereby
maintaining at bay and naturally treating various diseases.
Endocannabinoid System as a Medicine
CBD has been the been the most common way of targeting the ECS which tends to
stimulate the ECS within the body system and provide the therapeutic impacts. Medical marijuana has been presented with various medical benefits from mood enhancement, appetite, and cognitive function. It can also be used in palliative care to increase the quality of care and promote the wellbeing.
Additionally, there are other synthetic cannabinoids that tend to have a high effect on the
ECS. For example, Dronabinol is a synthetic version of THC that is mostly used to
prescribe cancer and HIV AIDS patients in combating nausea and appetite.
CBD, on the other hand, recent studies have claimed the positive
contribution of neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory mechanisms of CBD, suggest
that it can be used for therapeutic procedures in dealing with various neurological
Other clinical studies have recognized the physical effect of hemp extract use, for
instance, pain relief, appetite promotion, and inflammation. Additionally, little
research or few kinds of literature have been initiated on the efficiency and side
effects of CBD in humans. However, most researchers are now describing the impacts of
CBD for therapeutic interventions in clinical trials.
In conclusion, regardless of the complexity of the ECS, it is clear that it holds a true value
for various scientists and medical professionals.
Smaga, I., Bystrowska, B., Gawliński, D., Przegaliński, E., & Filip, M. (2014). The
Endocannabinoid/Endovanilloid System and Depression. Current
Neuropharmacology, 12(5), 462–474.
Desfossés, J., Stip, E., Bentaleb, L. A., & Potvin, S. (2010). Endocannabinoids and
Schizophrenia. Pharmaceuticals, 3(10), 3101–3126.
Scotter, E. L., Abood, M. E., & Glass, M. (2010). The endocannabinoid system as a target for the
treatment of neurodegenerative disease. British Journal of Pharmacology, 160(3), 480–498.
Fine, P. G., & Rosenfeld, M. J. (2013). The Endocannabinoid System, Cannabinoids,
and Pain. Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal, 4(4), e0022.