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What is the Endocannabinoidome?

,  July 09, 2023  Written by Kristen Williams
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The Endocannabinoidome refers to a complex regulatory system in the human body that involves various components and processes related to the endocannabinoid system (ECS). As a quick refresher, the ECS is a signaling system made up of cannabinoids produced by the body (called endocannabinoids) along with receptors and enzymes that are involved in maintaining homeostasis: the body's ability to maintain a stable internal environment despite external changes or disturbances.

The term "endocannabinoidome" or “eCBome”was introduced to emphasize the extensive nature of the ECS, similar to the "-ome" suffix used in other biological systems like the proteome or genome. It acknowledges that the endocannabinoid system encompasses more than just the well-known endocannabinoid receptors, such as cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). The eCBome also includes endocannabinoids such as anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) as well as the enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), which are responsible for endocannabinoid synthesis and breakdown.

In addition to these core components, the eCBome also includes related lipid molecules, orphan receptors (such as TRPV1 and PPARs), transporters that regulate endocannabinoid concentrations, and other proteins that interact with endocannabinoids or play a role in their signaling pathways. These components collectively form a complex network of interactions that contribute to the regulation of various physiological processes, including pain sensation, mood, appetite, immune function, inflammation, and neuronal communication.

While the concept of the eCBome is still evolving, researchers believe that understanding its intricate mechanisms and interactions could lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies for a wide range of conditions, including pain management, neurodegenerative disorders, psychiatric conditions, and metabolic disorders.

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