Endocannabinoid System Explained

As you learn about medical marijuana, you may want to have the endocannabinoid system explained. You hear about CBD, THC, and CBC, as well as other cannabinoids. But what do they do? How do they affect me? Read on to discover your endocannabinoid system.

I have an Endocannabinoid System?

You’re most likely familiar with many of the systems that make up your body. Everyone knows the main systems, like the circulatory system and the nervous system. You may even be familiar with the lesser known endocrine system. But, few people know that we even have an endocanncabinoid system. But it wasn’t until the 1990’s that scientists discovered it.

Not only do we have an endocannabinoid system, but it is vital to our survival. In fact, the endocannabinoid system is in charge of regulating many things.

Endocannabinoid System ExplainedThink about your home’s heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) system. You turn your furnace on when the house is too cold. You turn your air conditioner on when the house is too hot. But do you have to get up and turn on the a/c when it’s too hot? Most people have a thermostat attached to their HVAC system. This allows you to set a certain temperature that you want to maintain. The thermostat then monitors the temperature of the home. When the temperature rises above the set level, the thermostat turns on the a/c.

Your endocannabinoid system is like a thermostat for most of your body’s functions. It affects pain, inflammation, sleep, memory, mood, appetite, and reproduction. It’s designed to keep each of those things regulated. Your body likes regulation, or homeostasis. It wants everything to stay the same with very little change.


The endocannabinoid system is located throughout the body. It’s in your organs, glands, immune cells, and connective tissues. This system is a series of receptors. There are two recognized receptors- CB1 and CB2. Some areas of the system have only one, while other areas have both types of receptors.Endocannabinoid System Explained

Cannabinoids are made by the body and in plants that we consume. These cannabinoids fit into the receptors like a key in a lock. If the key doesn’t fit, nothing happens. When the key fits, a reaction is triggered by the receptor (CB1 or CB2).

Unlocking Wellness

Anandamide was the first cannabinoid discovered inside the human body. It’s nicknamed the “Bliss Molecule.” High levels of anandamide cause feelings of happiness and blocks pain. The brain makes this cannabinoid. When it fits into the CB1 and CB2 receptors, it causes the receptors to activate. Through this activation, it reduces pain and makes you happy.

(There are other benefits of anandamide. I’m keeping it simple here.)

THC from marijuana is very similar in structure to anandamide. It’s a different key, but it fits the same lock as anandamide. It causes elevated moods (happiness) and relieves pain.Endocannabinoid System Explained

Adding Cannabinoids into Your System

Anandamide benefits us with happiness and relief from pain, so we want more anandamide in our system. And in this article, I explained how CBD increases anandamide in the body. So if you add CBD to increase anandamide and THC, which mimics anandamide, you get pretty amazing results.

Of course there are other benefits from CBD and THC for our bodies. Both aid in suppressing muscle spasms and provide relief from vomiting and nausea. So combining them magnifies the relief. Individually, they also add a host of other beneficial effects on our body.

Did you know about your body’s endocannabinoid system? Hopefully we have explained the endocannabinoid system in plain, easy to follow language. Drop us a comment below, we would love to hear your thoughts.


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10 thoughts on “Endocannabinoid System Explained”

  1. Fantastic article. I never knew about the endocannabinoid system, Truly fascinating. I have been giving it a lot of thoughts about using CBD oil and have heard many great things about it.
    Thank you so much for this very informative article.

    1. Thank you for the comment. It is not very well known and I didn’t understand all of it until I really began to dig into the research. We still have a long way to go in discovering everything it does, but future research looks promising.

  2. Thanks for this great article! I have been seeing A LOT about CBD oils and the like lately and while I’ve found it interesting I was confused as to how it all worked. Thanks for creating a resource that highlights this!

    1. This is exactly why I created the site. The topic fascinates me and as I began to gain an understanding, I wanted to share it in easy to follow language. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Interesting, I never knew that I had an Endocannabinoid system regulating my body. I liked you analogy. Once you explained what it was like that, everything clicked for me. The body is an amazing self regulator.

    I do have a question though. If you use too much CBD, can that overload the Endocannabinoid system? I like marijuana, but I do not use it on a regular basis.

    Thank you so much and I hope you make it a great day!

    1. While you can’t overdose on CBD or marijuana, you may have some less than optimal side effects by taking too much CBD (or too much marijuana). However, unless you are taking statins, insulin, or blood thinners, there’s nothing to worry about. However, too much CBD as a supplement can negate the benefits of CBD. It’s always best to start low and gradually increase until you find the optimal dose.

      Thanks for the comment, Alex. I did have a great day!

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