The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a bit misunderstood and is sometimes completely unknown, even to doctors. Dr. Aimée Shunney has dedicated her time and practice to balancing this system with her patients and perfecting dosing for each individual patient.

Before working with patients on optimization, it’s important to be able to explain what the ECS is, as simply as possible. Understanding the basics of what a system does and how it works helps patients be more conscious of the results they experience.

Dr. Aimee Shunney explains in the video how our ECS is made up of 2 endocannabinoids, endo meaning made within our body. Yep, we make cannabinoids already! These two endocannabinoids are called anandamide and 2AG. Then we have the enzymes that produce and degrade the endocannabinoids, and last we have our cannabinoid receptors. Each of these is what makes the structure of the ECS, and its chief job is to keep us adapting optimally to change. Homeostasis.

Just like any other system, the respiratory system, the digestive system, the endocrine system, the ECS can fall out of balance, and it usually happens when our other systems begin to fall out of balance.

This is where CBD comes in.

Cannabidiol (CBD), is 1 of 80+ Phytocannabinoids, meaning it’s a cannabinoid made by a plant, that can be extracted from a cannabis plant. This single isolated cannabinoid is what doctors are excited about. CBD has endless research studies on effects it can have on the human body. You can read about some of these studies at

Dosing is what is very difficult to determine for each individual patient and really depends on what conditions the patient has and what the doctor is trying to treat. Dr. Aimée’s method is simple, low and slow. She starts each patient on a very small dose, determines if the patient is feeling the effects of the treatment or having any side effects. If the patient has a positive reaction, she ups the dose slowly. Once the patient is taking enough to feel tired or drowsy, she backs off and has a personalized dosing schedule for that patient!

For more education on CBD and the ECS, check out our CBD educational resource

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Dr. Aimée Shunney is a naturopathic physician in private practice since 2001, currently at Santa Cruz Integrative Medicine in Santa Cruz, California.

She completed her undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt University where she graduated cum laude with a BA in psychology and minors in theatre and women’s studies. After several years of working with teens in residential treatment facilities, she returned to school for her postgraduate pre-medical coursework, and then attended the National College of Naturopathic Medicine where she received her naturopathic medical degree. Dr. Aimée continues to pursue additional postgraduate education with the Institute for Women’s Health and Integrative Medicine, International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health, Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine, and others. She is licensed to practice medicine by the state of California. 

In addition to seeing patients, Dr. Aimée has served as a consultant to the natural products industry since 2011. A dynamic educator, radio personality, and writer, she is on a mission to empower people to take charge of their health with integrative medicine. Whether she is hosting local events, or presenting nationally, her engaging style, emphasis on individualized treatment, and passionate belief in radical self-care make her an audience favorite.

Dr. Holly Lucille, ND, RN serves as the President of California Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Dr. Lucille works at the Los Angeles Free Clinic providing health education, promotion and prevention. Dr. Lucille serves as a Naturopathic physician, an expert on women’s health issues. In her private practice, Healing from Within Healthcare in Los Angeles, California, she specializes in Women’s Wellness. She has extensive education in various modalities, including homeopathy, clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, body and energy work and mind body and lifestyle counseling. She serves as a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of PhytoPharmica Inc. She serves as a Member of Scientific Advisory Board at EuroPharma, Inc. She serves as a Member of Medical Advisory Board at Integrative Therapeutics, Inc. She served as Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Enzymatic Therapy, Inc. She serves as Member of Naturopathic Scientific Advisory Committee at Kamedis Bio Herbal Skincare. She is the recipient of the 2004 Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine Legacy Award recognizing her incredible service and contributions to the naturopathic medical community. She is a Registered Nurse. Dr. Lucille has Doctorate from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine where she received the ‘Daphne Blayden’ award for her ‘Commitment to Naturopathic Medicine.

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