What is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is considered the body’s Master Regulator’ and plays a vital role in maintaining balance and function of the brain, endocrine and immune systems in all humans (and animals).

The ECS is made up of a complex network of neurotransmitters, enzymes, chemical signals, and cellular receptors. The main receptors called CB1 and CB2 are regulated by naturally produced molecules called endocannabinoids. The Endocannabinoid System is located in the brain and throughout the body and regulates functions, including: 

The ECS and its functions help to optimise health by maintaining balance in the body. The Endocannabinoid System actively exists with or without plant-based endocannabinoid medicine. 

What is Dysfunction of the Endocannabinoid System?

You may be aware that imbalances in regulatory systems, like the Endocrine system, can result in hormonal issues, thyroid dysfunction, insomnia, and fatigue. In the same way, imbalances in the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) can also result in dysfunction and subsequent symptoms.

Clinical Dysfunction of the Endocannabinoid System (CECD) refers to a state where the endocannabinoid system is not functioning properly. This can be due to a number of factors including genetics, environmental stress, or underlying disease. When the ECS is in a state of dysfunction, it can wreak havoc on the body’s homeostatic state

One of the most significant impacts of CECD is on mental health, mood, anxiety, and stress with symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or chronic stress presenting. CECD can also impact physical health by influencing the regulation of pain, appetite, metabolism, and immune responses. Studies suggest that bringing the Endocannabinoid System back into balance may ultimately help to relieve the symptoms associated with dysfunction.


5 Ways to Regulate Your Endocannabinoid System 

Bringing your Endocannabinoid System (ECS) back into a regulated state is invaluable to long-term health. 

Here are five simple ways to take control:

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for a healthy endocannabinoid system (ECS) and play a crucial role in endocannabinoid production. These fatty acids are essential building blocks for endocannabinoids and can help improve their function.

2. Movement

Exercise is critical for the healthy production of endocannabinoids. Regular physical activity also helps reduce stress and improve sleep, both of which can positively impact the ECS. Additionally, exercise has been shown to reduce inflammation, a factor that can otherwise disrupt optimal ECS health.

3. Sleep

Sleep is important for a healthy endocannabinoid system, allowing the body to recharge and restore balance of the ECS while you rest. Poor sleep can disrupt endocannabinoid function, 

Leading to disruptive imbalances and secondary symptoms. 

4. Stress Management

Chronic stress can reduce the number and sensitivity of the Endocannabinoid Systems CB1 receptors, leading to whole ECS dysregulation. With CB1 receptors impacting pain and inflammation, managing stress is important for managing these symptoms through the ECS, and to help protect and maintain overall endocannabinoid system function.

5. Phyto-cannabinoid Medicine

The body produces its own endocannabinoids, but the endocannabinoids plant-based counterpart, the phyto-cannabinoid which is found in plant-based medicine, is fluidly recognised and utilised by the body’s own ECS system to regulate the body. 

Endocannabinoid Medicine 

Regulating the body’s endocannabinoid system with plant-based medicine can have potential benefits on the symptoms of chronic illness. The active compounds in phyto-cannabinoids (plant-based replicas of the body’s own endocannabinoids) can activate and interact with the ECS to help alleviate symptoms such as pain, inflammation, and anxiety. 

Endocannabinoid medicine uses the precise application of plant-based phyto-cannabinoids to help recreate the natural synergy of the body’s innate healing response. Optimal results allow the body to return to and maintain homeostasis without the support of phytocannabinoids long-term.

Ananda Clinics’ treatment plan, called The Ananda Way, targets the body’s imbalances by stimulating the endocannabinoid system to help relieve some symptoms associated with chronic illness, imbalances and disturbances in the mind and body.

How could a dysfunction of your Endocannabinoid System (ECS) be contributing to your symptoms?

Book an appointment with a GP or get more information with a free 15-minute consultation with one of our registered nurses. 

DISCLAIMER: The Ananda Clinics blog is here to provide education and information, without implying medical advice, or recommendation for the use of cannabis as medicine or adult use purposes.

Medical cannabis remains strictly regulated by the Australian TGA as it is not a registered therapeutic agent due to the lack of research and evidence in support of its efficacy or potential side effects.

If you think medical cannabis may be right for you, book an appointment with one of our doctors to find out more.

Author: Ananda Clinics
Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Jamie Rickcord MBBS., BSc., FRACGP