What is The Endocannabinoid System: How Does It Influence Your Sexual Heath

Written by: Quanna Experts



Time to read 5 min

Our bodies are complex machines that host a myriad of different processes all working together that keep us functioning in good health. Many of you are already familiar with some of these boldly systems, such as the nervous system, however, an intriguing part of this intricate web of bodily functions is the endocannabinoid system. So, what is the endocannabinoid system, and why is understanding it important as it relates to CBD and sex?

In this article, we’re going to look into these questions so that you have a better understanding of how and why the endocannabinoid system impacts our sex lives. 

Understanding the Basics of the Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex cell-signaling system in our body. It plays an essential role in regulating a range of bodily functions and processes, such as mood, appetite, sleep, and memory, all contributing to our homeostasis, which is the stability of our internal environment [1].

The Key Components of the ECS

There are three core components that make up the ECS:

  • Endocannabinoids: These are naturally occurring cannabis-like substances in our body, such as anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG).

  • Receptors: These are found throughout our body and are the sites within our bodies that endocannabinoids bind to signaling the ECS into action. The two main receptors are CB1, found in the central nervous system, and CB2, located in the peripheral nervous system.

  • Enzymes: These are responsible for breaking down endocannabinoids after they've done their job. Key enzymes include fatty acid amide hydrolase, which breaks down AEA, and monoacylglycerol acid lipase, which typically breaks down 2-AG.

The Significance of The Endocannabinoid System in Homeostasis

The ECS is integral to maintaining homeostasis in our bodies. Homeostasis refers to the efforts your body makes to keep everything in the right zone, ensuring your internal environment is stable and optimal despite the external changes around you.

For example, if you're too hot and start sweating, or if your stomach growls when you're hungry, it's your ECS working to cool you down or remind you to eat. When something operates outside the right range, your body activates the ECS to correct it. Therefore, if the ECS isn't working correctly, it can cause many health problems. 

The Interaction of Cannabinoids with The Endocannabinoid System

Cannabinoids, compounds found in cannabis, can interact with the ECS by binding to the receptors we discussed. This interaction has a range of effects, some are beneficial while others may not be useful to some people's bodies and minds.

The THC and ECS Interaction

One of the main cannabinoids found in cannabis is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is associated with the ‘high’ feeling that people experience when they consume weed. THC is powerful because it can bind to both CB1 and CB2 receptors allowing it to have a wide range of effects, such as reducing pain and stimulating appetite. However, it can also cause paranoia and anxiety.

The CBD and ECS Interaction

Another major cannabinoid is Cannabidiol (CBD). Unlike THC, CBD does not have any psychoactive properties and doesn't make you high. Its interaction with the ECS is still under debate amongst medical professionals, but it's believed that it either prevents endocannabinoids from being broken down, allowing them to have more effect on our bodies or binds to a yet undiscovered receptor. CBD can help with symptoms like pain, inflammation, and nausea.

Endocannabinoid system and CBD

The Endocannabinoid System and Endocannabinoid Deficiency

Some experts believe in clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD). This theory suggests that low endocannabinoid levels or ECS dysfunction can contribute to certain conditions, such as migraines, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome. These conditions are often resistant to treatment and sometimes occur alongside each other, making the ECS a potential target for treatment.

The Endocannabinoid System and Cannabinoid-Based Treatments

Cannabinoids such as marijuana and CBD hold a lot of promise as potential treatments for a wide range of conditions due to their interaction with the endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoid-based treatments are being researched for conditions like pediatric epilepsy, pain, inflammation, acne, asthma, and other conditions. The increasing availability of medical marijuana and CBD products has largely been embraced by not only the medical patient community but everyday people, and because of this, we're likely to see more research in this area.

How CBD Interacts with the Endocannabinoid System to Influence Sexual Wellness

One of the lesser-known aspects of the endocannabinoid system and CBD is their influence on sexual wellness. CBD, by interacting with the ECS, can help alleviate stress and anxiety, increase sensations, and promote blood flow — all of which can enhance sexual experiences. CBD products such as CBD lube can be used to potentially improve your enjoyment and pleasure during sex. It's worth noting that more research is needed in this area to fully understand this interaction.

The ECS: An Area of Continuing Research

The endocannabinoid system is a complex system that plays a big role in keeping our internal processes stable. However, there's still much we don't know about it. As experts develop a better understanding of the ECS, it could eventually hold the key to treating several conditions.

The ECS and Future Treatment Potentials

The understanding of the ECS could open up new possibilities in medical treatments. As research progresses, we may find more synthetic cannabinoids that interact with the ECS in beneficial ways. This could lead to more effective treatments for a variety of conditions, potentially revolutionizing the field of medicine.

The Legal Aspect of Cannabinoids and The Endocannabinoid System

The legality of marijuana varies from state to state, so it's essential to know the laws where you live. A 2018 Farm Bill, passed by Congress, legalized hemp products — but not marijuana — at the federal level. This not only opens up treatment options for a lot of people but could also speed up medical research on CBD.

Wrapping Up The Endocannabinoid System

Understanding what is the endocannabinoid system is essential for anyone interested in health and wellness. As research continues to reveal the significant roles the ECS plays in our bodies, it's clear that this complex system is vital to our overall well-being. Whether you're a doctor, a patient, or simply someone interested in maintaining good health, gaining knowledge about the endocannabinoid system and its functions can be incredibly beneficial.

The endocannabinoid system is an exciting area of study, and as we continue to learn more about it, we can look forward to new discoveries and potential treatments for various conditions. So here's to the power of the ECS — a crucial, complex, and utterly fascinating part of our bodies.