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The Endocannabinoid (eCB) System is perhaps one of the

most important physiological systems involved in maintain-
ing human health and is the reason why cannabis is an
effective treatment for a range of conditions.
The eCB System consists of receptors (CB1 & CB2) and endog-
enous ligands for those receptors (i.e. natural substances
produced in the brain that act on those receptors) and are found
throughout the body; in the brain, organs, tissues, glands and
cells. They are keyed to the endocannabinoids that our body
naturally produces along with (plant-based) phytocannabinoids
like THC and CBD. In each tissue, the cannabinoid system
performs different tasks, but the goal is always homeostasis, the
maintenance of a stable internal environment.
CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain and both are
present in the male and female reproductive organs. THC is
specifically keyed to the CB1 site and is responsible for the
feeling of intoxication associated with consumption of cannabis.
From a therapeutic standpoint, its most important effect is to
moderate the perception of pain.
Intensity of pain is reduced when THC is present and as CB1
receptors are not present in the part of the brain that regulates
heart rate and respiration there is no lethal dose, allowing as
much as needed for its palliative effects.
CB2 receptors are primarily found in the immune system with the
highest concentration in the spleen. The CB2 receptors are keyed
to CBD which works as an anti-inflammatory agent. The immune-
boosting functions are less understood as research is really just
beginning. The benefits of CBD is a promising area of future
research.
The fact that there is a system in our body that produces
cannabinoids, and is specifically designed to accept just
them, should be overwhelming proof of cannabis’ efficacy as
a medicine. From the pain-killing effects of THC to the
anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD,
we have just scratched the surface of a world of possibilities.

UPAlliance.org
The Endo-Cannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological regulatory system
which facilitates the effects of cannabis on humans and other animals.

CB1 receptors are highly concentrated in
the brain and central nervous system but
are also found in much smaller numbers
all over the body.

THC

CBD

CBN

CB2 receptors are most commonly
found in the peripheral organs,
particuarly cells associated with the
immune system.

CB2 Receptor
CB1 Receptor

Synapse T-Cells