The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network of CB1 and CB2 cell receptors and the molecules that act on them. CB1 receptors are found mostly in tissues of the brain and the central nervous system (CNS). CB2 receptors are found in the immune system, gastrointestinal tract, retina, and peripheral nervous system.
CB1 is expressed in the tissues of both the central nervous system (CNS) and the periphery, with a predominant expression on presynaptic nerves. CB2, sometimes referred to as the “peripheral cannabinoid receptor”, is mainly expressed on immune cells but can also be found on other peripheral tissues such as the retina and in the CNS (Croxford and Yamamura 2005; Mackie 2006).
Endocannabinoids act on CB1 and CB2 receptors to regulate core body functions, including metabolism, appetite, sleep, mood, pain, immune function, and muscle movement. An irregularity of the ECS can result in pain, digestive issues, seizures, mental health concerns, and problems with mobility and balance.