Can you explain what the endocannabinoid system is and why it matters?


This is a great question!

The endocannabinoid was discovered in the mid-1990s by Israeli researcher Dr. Ralph Mechoulam who also identified THC as the main active ingredient in cannabis in the early 1960s.

Dr. Mechoulam’s research discovered two main receptors, cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2), that are keyed to both the endocannabinoids that our body naturally produces and phytocannabinoids (plant-based) like THC and CBD. Our bodies actually produce the endocannabinoids similar to how our body produces narcotic-like endorphins, which is pretty darn cool.

The fact that there is a system in our body that produces cannabinoids, and is specifically designed to accept just them, should be overwhelming proof of cannabis’ worth as a medicine. From the pain-killing effects of THC to the anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, we have just scratched the surface of this amazing plant!

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The endocannabinoid (or EC) system is the reason cannabis medications work so efficiently. Present in all humans and many animals as well, this system consists of a series of receptors in the body that are configured only to accept cannabinoids, especially tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Watch Andrea’s video response for a full description of what the EC system is and how it works.

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