How does the Endocannabinoid system work?

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The endocannabinoid system (ECS) was discovered in the early 1990s was by researchers exploring THC, a well-known cannabinoid found in cannabis.   

The ECS is a neurotransmitter system, a network of receptors, enzymes, and biochemical pathways involved in manufacturing and using the body’s own form of cannabinoid

There are many other neurotransmitter systems in the body such as dopamine, noradrenaline GABAergic and serotonin systems. The ECS system behaves in a slightly different way from the others as it turns off the response rather than on and stops the release of chemicals that would otherwise over stimulate the body.

Experts are still trying to fully understand the ECS, but it is known to play a role in regulating a range of functions and processes, including, sleep, pain control, mood, appetite, memory, stress response, immune function, temperature control, reproduction and fertility.

The Endocannabinoid system is the important part of the jigsaw and explains why CBD and other cannabinoids work for so many conditions.

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Endocannabinoid System

The ECS involves three main components:

1, Endocannabinoids (ECBs)

2, Cannabinoid receptors (CB receptors)

3, Enzymes that synthesize and break down ECBs

Endocannabinoids (ECB’s) – The Keys

Endocannabinoids are molecules produced by your body.

Two key endocannabinoids have been identified, Anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG)

These ECB’s keep internal functions running smoothly. Your body produces these molecules as and when they are required, this is why it is difficult to know what a typical dosage of CBD is for each person.

Anandamide was discovered in the 1990’s, this molecule operates throughout the endocannabinoid system and regulates appetite, optimises memory, and balances hormones, to name just a few of its functions. It’s even been identified as the source of the “runners high”, experienced during or after intense exercise.

2-ArachidonoylGlycerol (2-AG) has been linked to our emotional states, protection from seizures, and maintaining cardiovascular health.

Endocannabinoids are lipid-based neurotransmitters which means they are synthesized from fats. Your body has several different enzymes that work together to transform fatty substances into anandamide and 2-AG.

Increasing your dietary intake of omega 3 and other essential fatty acids may help your body boost its production of ECB’s, as these fatty acids are building blocks for ECB’s

The lipid-based structure of cannabinoids is the reason why CBD is fat-soluble and why hemp extract is delivered in an oil base like coconut.

Cannabinoid Receptors (CB Receptors) – The Locks

CB1 and CB2 receptors are found throughout your body which endocannabinoids bind to.

CB1 receptors are mostly found in the central nervous system.

They are essential for a healthy functioning brain and are one of the most common receptors in the entire nervous system. Depending on what region of the brain they are in, they can be moderators of your memory, mood, motor function, or your perception of pain.

Although CB1 receptors are most common in the central nervous system, we find them throughout the human body at lower densities. In other parts of the body, CB1 receptors also have roles in, hormone production, cardiovascular health, and digestion.

CB2 receptors are most often found on the cells of our immune system. They help moderate inflammation and our immune response to pathogens.

Endocannabinoids can bind to either receptor.

If ECB’s are the keys, then cannabinoid receptors are the locks.


Enzymes are responsible for breaking down endocannabinoids (Keys) once they have carried out their function.

There are two main enzymes responsible for this:

*Fatty acid amide hydrolase, FAAH which breaks down AEA.

*Monoacylglycerol acid lipase, MAGL which breaks down 2-AG.

Your body controls when & where ECB’s are produced, and how quickly they removed or broken down.

Once anandamide and 2-AG has delivered the messages, the body needs a way to prevent them from continuing to stimulate the ECS indefinitely. ECBs are removed by proteins to storage sites or delivered to enzymes that removes the ECB’s from the body.

How Does CBD Work?

CBD (Cannabidiol) plays a large role in the endocannabinoid system by influencing and enhancing your natural levels of endocannabinoids.

CBD does not directly trigger your CB1 and CB2 receptors, instead it modifies the receptors’ ability to bind to cannabinoids.

CBD also works to inhibit Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH). This inhibition creates higher levels of endocannabinoids like anandamide.

CBD helps your ECS system work correctly and can have a positive influence on it.

Supporting A Healthy ECS.

The ECS is involved with so many aspects of health, research on the endocannabinoid system has increased since its discovery 30 years ago.

The Endocannabinoid system is extremely easy to throw out of balance. Stress levels, diet and exercise all influence your body’s ECS, and our modern lifestyles may be taking a toll on our systems.

Some experts believe in a theory known as clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD). This theory suggests that low endocannabinoid levels in your body can manifest in illness. Experts believe that maintaining homeostasis is the primary role of the ECS.

Taking CBD as part of a healthy lifestyle will help promote Homeostasis.

For more information on How to naturally improve your endocannabinoid system

How Can I Take CBD?

There are a few different ways to take CBD, each method has its own unique absorption profile. Options include ingestion, topical application, and sublingual administration.

Sublingual: CBD is absorbed through tissue under the tongue and enters the bloodstream in around 15 minutes. This is one of the best ways to maximise absorption.

How Much CBD Should I Take?

Dosage frequency & amounts are at the user’s discretion, with a maximum daily dose of 70 mg. New users are recommended to start on a low dose and build up gradually to a standard daily dose of 20 – 25 mg.

Mg of CBD Per 10ml bottle   Drops Per 10ml Mg of CBD Per Drop Recommended dose Number of servings
500mg 200 2.5mg 10 drops 20 servings
1000mg 200 5mg 5 drops 40 servings
2000mg 200 10mg 2-3 drops 80 servings

For a more comprehensive dosage chart follow the link CBD dosage

Based in Stockport, Leaf Organics is dedicated to offering the best CBD products available in the UK. We have extensively researched and sourced the best products (see our Lab Reports) and created an extensive FAQ page to answer some of your questions. Should you need further information, please contact our friendly team today.


All Leaf Organics products are a food supplement only and should not be used as a substitute for a varied diet. Leaf Organics products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Keep out of the reach of young children. Always read the label. All products contain less than 0.1% THC.