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The discovery of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) dates back to the 1990s. In 1990, Dr. Lisa Matsuda and her colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) announced that they had located the precise DNA sequence that encodes THC-sensitive receptors in the mouse brain. Dr. Matsuda successfully cloned the cannabis sensitive receptor, naming it CB1.

Humans also have the same receptor, which consists of a string of 472 amino acids strung like beads in a chain that bobs in and out of the cell membrane seven times. In 1992, a collaboration between researchers William Devane, Lumir Hanus, Roger Pertwee and Raphael Mechoulam brought to light a new neurotransmitter, therefore called "endogenous cannabinoid" or, for short, "endocannabinoid", a molecule that binds with the same receptors of the brain that are sensitive to THC.

Endocannabinoid system


The cb1 and cb2 receptors

Cannabinoid receptors are present throughout the body, embedded in cell membranes. When cannabinoid receptors are stimulated, they initiate a variety of physiological processes, which can affect a wide range of bodily functions. For example, the endocannabinoid system regulates appetite, sleep, mood, inflammatory response, memory, pain and much more.

The two classic cannabinoid receptors are CB1 and CB2. CB1 is found primarily in the brain and central nervous system, but is also present in other tissues such as the liver, lungs, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract. CB2, on the other hand, is mainly present in cells of the immune system, but has also been found in other cells, such as those of the brain and peripheral nervous system.

Other receptor classes beyond CB1 and CB2 are also studied as inherent to the Endocannabinoid System. For example, the TRPV1 and GPR55 receptors have been identified as possible members of the endocannabinoid system, as they can also bind to cannabinoids and have similar effects on the body's physiological processes.


From an evolutionary point of view, the Endocannabinoid System is very ancient and is present in almost all animal species, with the exception of insects. Given its long evolutionary history, the ECS is thought to serve basic functions in animal physiology and is an essential part of life and adaptation to environmental changes.

In animals, the endocannabinoid system has two kinds of receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found primarily in the brain and central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found in peripheral organs, especially in immune cells.

The animal endocannabinoid system is involved in many physiological processes such as appetite, pain sensation, mood and memory. Specifically, dogs express a higher concentration of endocannabinoid receptors in the brainstem and cerebellum than any other species. These brain structures control heart rate, breathing and muscle coordination.


In each tissue the Endocannabinoid System carries out different tasks, but the objective is always the same: homeostasis, i.e. the maintenance of a stable internal environment, despite the oscillations of the external environment. Cannabinoids promote homeostasis at all levels of biological life, from the sub-cellular to the organs and organism and, probably, to the interaction between organisms.

Endocannabinoids are key players in life's capacity for multidimensional biochemical balance, known as homeostasis. Microbiologist and international medicinal cannabis activist Robert Melamede describes the Endocannabinoid System as the "master mediator" continually multitasking, adjusting and readjusting the complex network of molecular thermostats that controls our physiological rhythm.

CBD and the Endocannabinoid System

Cannabidiol (CBD), which we remind you is free of psychotropic effects, acts indirectly on the receptors of the endocannabinoid system. It does not act on a particular pathology but is a "regulatory" substance of our endocannabinoid system. CBD can modulate mechanisms already existing in our body. In essence, when an imbalance or decompensation occurs in the endocannabinoid system, the modulation provided by cannabidiol (CBD) which acts, for example, on the immune system or indirectly on an inflammatory process - tends to restore the original balance.

Cannabidiol (CBD) involves an indirect modulation of an alteration of the human endocannabinoid system caused by pathologies or trauma.


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