A Deep Dive into the ECS: Our Bodies’ Master Regulator

When it comes to understanding the many benefits people experience from CBD oil, learning about the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is essential.

The ECS plays an essential role in our well-being by regulating our mood, sleep, stress, appetite, memory, immune function and much more. An intricate network of receptors, endocannabinoids and enzymes are involved in this master regulating system. Together, they make sure that we maintain a crucial balance and sense of harmony within our bodies.

Going forward, we’re strictly going to dive into the biology of the ECS and the fascinating ways in which it works. If you’d rather have a more all-around introduction to it, with some political and social context, we suggest reading this article instead.

How Does the ECS Keep Us in Balance?

The ECS consists of three key components: receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes. 

Let’s explore each of these components and how they work together.

  1. Receptors: “Receiving & Transmitting Signals”

The ECS relies on two primary receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are mainly found in the brain and central nervous system, while CB2 receptors reside in peripheral tissues and immune cells. These receptors act as gatekeepers that receive and transmit signals to bring about physiological changes. 

For instance, CB1 receptor activation plays a role in managing mood and emotions, potentially affecting anxiety and depression. Whereas CB2 receptor activation can lead to decreased inflammation and may contribute to managing inflammatory conditions.

  1. Endocannabinoids: “Messengers of Harmony”

Endocannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds within our bodies that bind to cannabinoid receptors, like CB1 and CB2. The two most studied endocannabinoids are anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Each endocannabinoid has a distinctive role: Anandamide helps regulate mood, pain, and appetite, while 2-AG influences immune responses and neuroprotection

Research has also shown that the “runner’s high” experience after exercise has been shown to be induced in part by anandamide acting on CB1 receptors, eliciting anxiolytic effects on the body. 

  1. Enzymes: “Fine-Tuning the Balance”

Enzymes help to maintain optimal levels of endocannabinoids by orchestrating the synthesis, release, and degradation of endocannabinoids. For instance, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) breaks down anandamide, while monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) metabolises 2-AG. These enzymes ensure that endocannabinoid levels are balanced and appropriately maintained throughout the body.

These three components are the basis for the endocannabinoid system: a sophisticated regulatory system responsible for achieving homeostasis, or a sense of balance, within our bodies. 

The ECS does this by being in close connection with the many physiological processes that sustain our bodies throughout the day, e.g. sleep or digestion. When a disturbance occurs in any of these physiological processes, the ECS detects it and kicks into action, working hard to restore their equilibriums. In a way, you can think of the ECS as having an “observer” role over every process, making sure that everything is running smoothly.

The endocannabinoid system is almost no different to our nervous system; they both send signals between different cells and organs, in a way, tying everything together and ensuring our intricate physiological network remains well-connected and functioning optimally. The nervous system is a master communicator, and the ECS is (also) a master regulator.

The ECS isn’t Perfect – but CBD Can Assist

Like almost anything, the ECS can also not be working as it should. There is even a condition termed “Endocannabinoid Deficiency” which is, essentially, a shortage in the production of the endocannabinoids that are necessary to get the ECS working optimally. However, it doesn’t need to go that far before we start thinking about nurturing and optimising our ECS.

There are several ways to assist the ECS in its optimisation and CBD is one of them. CBD, or cannabidiol, found abundantly in CBD oil, fascinatingly interacts with the ECS.

CBD is thought to modulate the activity of the endocannabinoid system, but it doesn’t bind directly to the CB1 or CB2 receptors. Instead, it’s thought to work by preventing the breakdown of the body’s naturally produced endocannabinoids, increasing their availability and enhancing their effect. It may also interact with other receptors such as TRPV1 receptors that are known to mediate pain perception, inflammation and body temperature.

What More Can We Expect from Science and the ECS?

We already know that the ECS has a significant role in our well-being. We also know that there is still much left to discover on this fascinating topic. 

You see, unfortunately, the research into the ECS was relatively held back since its groundbreaking discovery in the late 80s.


Well, it just happened to be that it was because of research looking into the impact that Cannabis had on our bodies that the ECS was discovered for the first time – at a time when politics were particularly sensitive about the topic of Cannabis. Since then, the ECS (and hemp) has often been falling under the same umbrella. But perhaps it’s time to give our endocannabinoid systems a better second look, considering how much it’s doing for our well-being.

In addition to the well-known anandamide and 2-AG, researchers are exploring novel endocannabinoids, learning about their unique roles and the different actions they have in the body. An improved comprehension of these signalling compounds, which we naturally produce, will allow us to better gauge and possibly manage the therapeutic potential of the ECS.

There are also ongoing studies that are currently defining ECS’s involvement in various diseases like chronic pain, neurodegenerative diseases, psychiatric disorders, metabolic disorders, and immune-related ailments. Needless to say, this could improve our potential for therapeutic interventions, as well.

Terpenes and flavonoids, other prominent compounds found in hemp, are also being studied for their interactions with the ECS, holding further therapeutic promise. 

Finally, once we get a greater general understanding of the ECS, we’ll then also be better able to distinguish the individual variations that are in each of our endocannabinoid systems, allowing for more personalised medical approaches.

What we’re trying to say is that this might just be the tip of the iceberg!

Giving the ECS a Chance is Giving our Well-Being a Chance

There’s no doubt that the endocannabinoid system is a remarkable network playing a crucial role in our well-being. Understanding its components and functions helps us appreciate the significant role of how CBD oil works and its potential to support balance and harmony within our bodies.

However, due to its somewhat coincidental affiliation with cannabis, scientific research was relatively held back on the ECS. We hope we can get past the undeserved social stigma, so we’re sooner able to discover more about this system holding valuable insights into our well-being.

If we, at LAYV, want to support the social and scientific advancements of the endocannabinoid system, we also need to represent strong business conduct which includes high-quality products and services – and because high-quality CBD products are certainly necessary if we all want to get the most out of our endocannabinoid systems!

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What LAYV® users say

14:01 13 Mar 24
I bought the CBD oil on the recommendation of a friend who was very satisfied with it. I think it's a nice oil! I don't notice much of the effects, but I do sleep a little better since I started using it so I'm satisfied :)
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20:41 07 Feb 24
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16:28 15 Jan 24
This really is a fantastic product. I was always a good sleeper, but with this CBD oil (20%) I sleep much deeper and wake up rested. In addition, it helps to calm my nervous system and I am much calmer and focused throughout the day. I recommend this product to everyone for a calm nervous system and good health. Think of it as a nutritional supplement that should not be missing in this hectic Western world we live in.
Richard LemmensRichard Lemmens
10:44 18 Dec 23
What a fantastic product. For several months now we have been using the LAYV CBD variant 20% daily before going to sleep as a routine. As young parents, sleep is sacred to us, but with children this is sometimes lacking. By using the 20% variant, we both notice that we sleep much deeper, making us more rested in the morning.We also use the drug when we experience a stressful situation. By using a few drops, we quickly notice that we become calmer and can continue with our busy daily work lives.Previously used products from other brands, but these do not provide a pleasant mouthfeel and the taste is not as mild as the LAYV variant.
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17:41 04 Dec 23
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I slept wonderfully thanks to LAYV, I couldn't live without it
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Dit is echt een fantastisch product. Ik was altijd een goede slaper maar met deze CBD olie (20%) slaap ik veel dieper en wordt ik uitgerust wakker. Daarnaast helpt het mijn zenuwstelsel tot rust te brengen en ben ik door de dag heen veel rustiger en gefocussed. Ik raad iedereen dit product aan voor een kalm zenuwustelsel en een goede gezondheid. Zie het als een voedingsupplement die niet mag ontbreken in deze hectische westerse wereld waar we in leven.
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Calming without the risk of paranoia. I used to reach for cannabis on very sporadic frequencies to unload from a busy existence as an entrepreneur and journalist, but smoking weed or hash was always a gamble for me: 50/50 chance of a slightly paranoid experience that exacerbated stress rather than reduced it. For me, this is a good substitute that allows me to relax physically and mentally, but sin negative high. But don't think of it as a panacea; you have to create a peaceful environment for it to really come into its own.
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