The internet is alive with a bunch of facts and fiction regarding the human endocannabinoid system. So what is the truth?

If you’re reading this article, the chances are that you know what the endocannabinoid system is, even if you don’t know all the facts. For those that don’t know, the endocannabinoid system is a delicate system within the body, which regulates appetite, sleep, pain, and a whole host of other functions in humans, and animals for that matter.

However, as this system has not been explored in so much detail to date, especially in terms of its symbiotic relationship with cannabis, many misconceptions and myths have made their way across the stratosphere, from those who are often less than fully advised on the matter.

Some research has suggested that the endocannabinoid system evolved in the human body due to the long standing use of cannabis by humans. But this is not true, and is one such myth that must be debunked. In other words, despite wishful thinking on the part of some people, cannabis and humans did not evolve symbiotically.

On the same subject, doctors and researchers often talk about “endogenous cannabinoids” as if they are cannabinoids which are made by the body. This is another myth, as they are simply endogenous particles that were discovered by studying the way cannabinoids are assimilated into the intricate human system.


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Another common misconception, according the folks over at CannaReps, is that “THC binds to CB1 receptor sites and CBD binds to CB2 receptor sites.” Most believe that to be true, and as it sounds all sciencey, they don’t usually explore the topic further. However, while THC does bind primarily with the CB1 receptors, CBD does not, as it primarily binds to GABA receptor sites and many others.

Many believe that cannabinoids are only found in cannabis, and that’s a fair enough assumption, especially if you look at the names. But, it isn’t true, as they are also found in things like hops and other plant lineages that are yet to be studies in detail.

CB receptors are interesting in terms of their relationship with cannabis and the body. With the common misconception being that CB1 receptors are found only in the brain, while CB2 receptors are found only in the body and white blood cells. In actual fact, CB1 receptors are found anywhere that neurons are found, and as there are neurons throughout the body, there are also CB1 receptors throughout the body, alongside them.

It isn’t the biggest deal, but for scientific purposes information needs to be thorough and correct in its totality. For example, while CB2 receptors are found in their highest concentrations in the peripheral nervous system, and in major organs, many of the same organs also contain CB1 receptor sites.

As new research and information bombards us on an almost daily basis, regarding cannabis and its relationship to human health, it’s vital to stay up to date with the very latest, cutting-edge information, as there’s nothing better than being fully informed, especially when it comes to your health and well-being.

[Image credit- Pexels]

1 COMMENT

  1. “CB1 receptors are found anywhere that neurons are found”

    Hey thanks I did not know this. Substances which promote neurogenesis are likely to have been vital to our evolution. Although there are many plants achieving this, cannabis seems to be the strongest promoter – that is, weed causes the most neurogenesis activity compared to cinnamon, hops, etc.

    Another interesting note is “Runners High” uses the same pathways as getting high.

    It was previously thought endorphins caused the runners high but endorphins cannot cross the blood brain barrier.

    I believe neurogenesis is what gives us the pleasurable high when we smoke weed – our bodies reward for growing more neurons. Intense exercise also causes neurogenesis.

    Another fascinating aspect to our ECS is its relationship with our immune systems – it shares many, many, many connections and if you have any doubt, have a look at figure 4 here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3131805

    Yep.. figure 4… is something I think of regularly these days and the advent of ‘superbugs’ in the news, and how the weakening of prohibitionists’ ECS could detrimentally affect their immune function: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3131805 and recently http://herb.co/2017/07/22/hiv-aids

    The final vital point is I see people that are endocannabinoid deficient (lookup Clinincal Endocannabinoid Deficiency or CECD) that are are (A) not being helped by their doctor because their doctor knows nothing on the topic and (B) they are being prescribed comparatively ineffective and dangerous (in terms of side effects) medications.

    Personally, I don’t think cannabis originated from exactly one pocket (current knowledge points to a single pocket in or near the Himilayas area) but multiple (potentially hundreds or thousands) probably existed throughout time. Think of how many hundreds sometimes thousands of metres of sediment lie since trees first appeared on our plant. Huge flood events dump sediment and can cause small unique ecosystems to become extinct. The point I am trying to make here is this: given any single plant species, what are the chances of there being exactly: (A) zero, (B) one, (C) two, (D) three, (E) up to 100, (F) up to 1000 or (G) 1000+ pockets scattered on our earth, evolving under similar environmental circumstances. I believe there have been many pockets on earth where cannabis has existed but for one reason or another, the pocket disappeared (note: if you ever listen to anyone talking about growing cannabis outside they will tell you this: everything eats it). The general point to all this is I believe cannabis has been around on the banks of rivers dropping flowers into the water since sea squirts started absorbing them. Or if not cannabis at least a plant which causes enough neurogenesis for the squirt to evolve.

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