The main function of the ECS is to maintain homeostasis within the body. Cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body, including the lymphoid organs, lymphatic system and immune cells.
For instance, CB1 receptors can be found in immune cells with the activation of CB1 receptors being linked to changes in immune cell reactivity while the endocannabinoid Anandamide being linked to the modulation of immune function. Likewise, endocannabinoids are also present in immune cells and are thought to impact their functionality in localized environments.
Similarly, CB2 receptors are found in abundance throughout the immune system and along with 2-AG, is the main “interface” between the ECS and the immune system. For example, CB2 receptors are found in monocytes, macrophages, and leukocytes as well as several lymphoid organs while 2-AG, when binding to CB2 receptors, selectively targets cell types that have an immune function capability.
CB2 receptors are also involved with immune function and response as well as regulating inflammatory responses through activation of the immune cells responsible for recognizing, destroying, and processing antigen materials.
The end result of all of this is one in which the ECS together with the immune system combines to regulate and modulate immune functioning and responses that can result in either an immunosuppressant (suppressing the immune system) or immunopotentiating (enhances the immune system) effect.