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The Endocannabinoid System is both the “newest” bodily system (not discovered until the late 1980s) and the oldest in existence (shared by almost every animal that has ever lived, it dates back more than 600 million years).

The ECS is made up of a network of receptor sites (CB1 and CB2) on cell membranes, chemical activators (“cannabinoids”) that fit into those sites like keys in locks, and enzymes that either synthesize those activators or break them down.  ECS receptors have been found on almost every organ in the human body, with the highest concentration in the brain and central nervous system.

One way to think about the Endocannabinoid System is that it is more of a functional system than a structural one - think computer software program vs. hard drive; app vs. smartphone.  And it’s what that program does that is truly mind-blowing.


The Endocannabinoid System appears to solve one of the most enduring mysteries in medicine: How is the human body - separated from its environment by a layer of skin less than 1mm thick - able to maintain internal balance (“homeostasis”) within the extremely narrow parameters necessary to support human life, in the face of wildly fluctuating external circumstances and environmental conditions?

The role of the ECS as the body’s innate balancing (“adaptogenic”) mechanism is key to the regulation of everything from appetite, energy metabolism, fertility and immunity to sleep, mood, pain perception and memory.  There is virtually no function in the human body that does not benefit from a healthy Endocannabinoid System. 




Long-term imbalances in the ECS (termed “Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency”, or CED) have been implicated in a growing list of disorders, including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, infant colic, glaucoma, dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps), and even so-called psychiatric conditions like PTSD and bipolar disorder.

When your Endocannabinoid System is functioning optimally, you are not revving too high (anxiety, insomnia) or too low (lack of energy, depression).  Your body’s defenses (immunity) are not under-reactive (making you susceptible to every bug that’s going around) or over-reactive (leading to allergies, asthma, chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis and eczema, and increasing your risk of autoimmune diseases). 

A healthy ECS keeps you in that “just right” Goldilocks Zone, physically, mentally and emotionally, no matter what life throws at you.  It’s all about maintaining inner balance in the face of an ever-increasingly chaotic outer world… feeling grounded, centered and resilient in the eye of the storm.


So what can we do to make sure our Endocannabinoid System is functioning at its best?  Fortunately, a lot.  From a lifestyle perspective, low impact aerobic exercise, time in nature, mindfulness meditation, and a healthy diet rich in antioxidants, fermented foods, prebiotics and omega-3 fatty acids have all been shown to support a healthy ECS.

But the single most powerful tool we have comes from our allies in the plant kingdom.  There are plant-derived compounds that have the ability to activate our Endocannabinoid System.  The most famous of these - the one you’ve likely heard the most about - is cannabidiol, or CBD, derived from the cannabis plant.

Ironically, even though the endocannabinoid system is named after cannabis, researchers have since discovered that not only is cannabis not the only plant that produces ECS activators, but it’s not even the most effective.  This exciting area of research is in its very early stages, and Emerald Health Bioceuticals is leading the charge.  Our PhytoCann® Complex is a pioneering proprietary combination of the most effective botanical ECS activators known to science that goes BEYOND CBD. 

There are a number of reasons some people prefer not to take CBD, and the good news is, now you don’t have to.  There is a next-generation, cannabis-free alternative that not only eliminates those concerns, but has been shown to perform even better!

Tell me more about The Emerald Difference!