When you use cannabis, you’re not just affecting your brain, but actually your whole body through one pretty miraculous bodily system called The Endocannabinoid System.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is one of the best kept secrets in all of the sciences, because cannabis and cannabis research has been under prohibition for so long.
Discovered in the 1980s by the “Godfather of Cannabis” Raphael Mechoulam and Dr. Shimon Ben-Shabat, The Endocannabinoid System can be best explain as a lock and key system, and provides the foundation for how cannabinoids interact with our mind and body.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is one of the most important systems contained within all mammals. The ECS is connected to all bodily systems, including but not limited to the nervous system, immune system, digestive system, circulatory system, respiratory system, and lymphatic system. This is why when you use cannabis, you may not only feel it in your head, but also feel what people call a “body buzz”, where you can feel the effects of the cannabis you consume throughout your body.
The ECS is made of two main receptors, the CB1 and CB2, which are designed to act as “master conductors” of signals throughout the whole body, delivering cannabinoids throughout the body. The also ECS contains endocannabinoids (naturally produced cannabinoids) that bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The ECS is believed to have more cellular receptors than any system within the human body.
Cannabinoids & The ECS
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds of the cannabis plant (also known as phytocannabinoids) that are extracted from the cannabis sativa plant. Consumers in Canada are most familiar with THC and CBD, although more Licensed Producers are starting to look into minor cannabinoids, like CBG.
Since the ECS already produces cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), adding cannabinoids via cannabis use (phytocannabinoids) is essentially adding more of what the body already produces.
Terpenes as an Important Aspect of Cannabis
At TOKE, and within the general cannabis community, you’ll often hear us talk about terpenes as an integral part of the cannabis experience. This is because cannabis use is much more than just THC and CBD. Terpenes add a whole other level to cannabis when you learn about what they are and why they’re so important when you combine them with cannabinoids.
Terpenes, such as limonene, pinene, humulene, and nerolidol, to name just a few, are essential oils that are produced in the resin glands of the cannabis flowers and are responsible for the aroma and flavour of cannabis strains. Essential oils are volatile, natural and complex bioactive compounds which are known to be associated to a series of complex interactions with cells, tissues and whole organisms.
Terpenes also act in conjunction with cannabinoids and flavonoids to enhance the effects on each other through an incredible phenomenon known as The Entourage Effect.
The Entourage Effect’s discovery is credited to the Israeli scientists Shimon Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam, who we introduced earlier as the scientists that discovered the Endocannabinoid System. First brought to the science community in 1998, these scientists proposed that the fatty acids of the cannabis plant enhanced cannabinoid activity in the body.
In their research, they showed that alone or in isolation, certain cannabinoids would not bind to the body’s cannabinoid receptors, thus producing little to no effects. However, when cannabinoids were introduced to the body along with fatty acids and terpenes, there was an increase of binding of the cannabinoids to the body’s receptors, thus, “The Entourage Effect” was created.
The Entourage Effect is the synergistic action of different cannabinoids, flavonoids, fatty acids and terpenes when acting on receptors in the ECS. To put it simply, the individual parts of the cannabis plant produce more therapeutic effects when used in harmony with other parts.
The Entourage Effect helps deliver cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and fatty acids throughout the body to ensure a balanced cannabis experience.
If that isn’t miraculous, we don’t know what is!
The Endocannabinoid System & Medical Cannabis
At TOKE, we cannot provide medical advice or medical information on how cannabis affects the body in the therapeutic or clinical sense, however, we encourage people to do their research on the medical aspects of cannabis, The Endocannabinoid System, and The Entourage Effect. Once you get down the learning rabbit hole, you’ll recognize that cannabis has incredible applications across all its regulated markets.
Explore Terpenes & Cannabinoids at TOKE
At TOKE, we are here to guide you to the best products that will demonstrate to you how the ECS and The Entourage Effect works. We’ll be happy to show you information about different cannabinoid and terpene profiles, so that you can understand how cannabis has been cultivated with the human body in mind, utilizing the science that we have collected about how cannabis interacts with humans.
We’ll be excited to show you how some of Canada’s Licensed Producers have gotten extremely innovative with terpene profiles, and why choosing cannabis isn’t just about what has the highest THC content.
Come find us in store and ask us about The Endocannabinoid System, The Entourage Effect, and how these incredible phenomena can be enacted in your lifestyle. We’re more than ready to educate you and inform you about all the gifts the cannabis plant has to offer.