Well, it just-so-happens to be a similar shape to a compound our bodies create naturally. Thanks to its shape, THC is able to tap into a network in our bodies called the endocannabinoid system. It’s this ability that gives THC it’s psychoactive effects. But, what is the endocannabinoid system and what does it do?
What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) refers to a collection of cell receptors and corresponding molecules. You can think of cell receptors like little locks on the surface of your cells. The keys to these locks are chemical molecules called agonists. Each time an agonist binds to a cell it relays a message, giving your cell specific direction.
The diversity of receptor locations shows just how important endocannabinoids are for day-to-day bodily function. They help regulate the following:
- Appetite, digestion, hunger
- Motor control
- Immune function
- Reproduction and fertility
- Pleasure and reward
- Temperature regulation
People often joke about the herb’s ability to heal a wide variety of seemingly unrelated conditions. But, we now understand that these conditions are all regulated in part by the ECS. The medical implications of this finding are endless.