Visiting a dispensary and purchasing cannabis for the first time can be intimidating. There are a lot of unfamiliar terms and products. Terpenes, cannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system and all sorts of labels are confusing to decipher. Knowledge and understanding of the options ensures confidence in making choices and a superior overall experience with cannabis. The best place to start is with the endocannabinoid system or ECS. The ECS is found in the human body as well as dogs, cats and other mammals. It is a complex cell signaling system responsible for regulating body functions such as the immune and nervous system. The endocannabinoid system works to promote homeostasis and produces the runner’s high. It plays an important role in sleep, memory, pain, mood, the reproductive system and more. The ECS is made up of endocannabinoids, enzymes and receptors that partner together. CB1 receptors are mainly located in the central nervous system. CB2 receptors are primarily found in the peripheral nervous system. Enzymes take care of breaking down endocannabinoids once they’ve done their job. Cannabinoids are compounds found in the cannabis plant. While TCH and CBD are the most well-known and abundant, over a hundred cannabinoids have been identified. Some of the more common ones include CBN, CBG, CBC and THCV. Each one produces unique effects within the body by interacting with CB1 and CB2 receptors. They influence how cells communicate by determining how they send, translate and receive their functions. THC is mainly associated with the psychoactive effects of cannabis. CBD is non-psychoactive and offers a wide range of therapeutic benefits. When equal amounts of THC and CBD are consumed, the effects of THC are more balanced.