Scientists believe there are more cannabinoid receptors present than any other receptor in the human body. Two specific kinds of cannabinoid receptors have been identified to make up the endocannabinoid system. The CB1 receptor is normally present in the nervous system, connective tissues, gonads, glands and organs, whereas the CB2 receptor is present in the immune system and associated structures.
Due to the fact that cannabinoid receptors reach into almost every part of the body, cannabinoids are integral in many different bodily functions. Cannabinoids are used in intercellular communication, and since their discovery, have helped us better understand the bridges between body and mind.
Cannabinoids are also crucial in the process of maintaining homeostasis within cells and the body as a whole. The endocannabinoid system regulates autophagy, a process in which the cell segregates one part of its contents to be self-digested. It's extremely important that the body maintain the correct balance of cannabinoids in order to function properly and keep the whole body healthy.
“While this process keeps normal cells alive, allowing them to maintain a balance between the synthesis, degradation, and subsequent recycling of cellular products, it has a deadly effect on malignant tumor cells, causing them to consume themselves in a programmed cellular suicide. The death of cancer cells, of course, promotes homeostasis and survival at the level of the entire organism,” said Dustin Sulak, DO to Norml.
HOW CANNABIS WORKS ON THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
Cannabinoids from marijuana can stimulate or mimic our natural cannabinoid production. When phytocannabinoids are introduced, they can cause an increase of cannabinoid receptors in the body. This increase in cannabinoid receptors can help to explain why people don't “feel” any effects the first time they take marijuana. But their heightened number of cannabinoid receptors, once they've previously introduced cannabinoids into their body, causes a more prominent effect.
Cannabis can work synergistically with the endocannabinoids produced inside the body to bring the body into homeostasis. Cannabis, unlike other synthetic medications, works in harmony with the body to bring it into health by obtaining equilibrium.