CBD And The Endocannabinoid System | How It works
Homeostasis is a common word you hear related to consuming CBD. This is an internal balance in our bodies that’s based on physiologic systems. For example, the pancreas releases insulin to optimize glucose levels within the body’s cells and the bloodstream. What about the thyroid hormone? This is released by the thyroid gland which is how our bodies work to optimize the body’s temperature, metabolism, and more. The thyroid gland releases thyroid hormone, which regulates vital bodily functions related to metabolism, body temperature and much more. If you think about it, the body really just works on keeping a healthy balance in general.
When researching things like how THC or CBD work, we discovered that we have another physiologic system that we call the endocannabinoid system (ECS). When our body communicates with our cells, the endocannabinoid system’s job is to help both maintain and optimize homeostasis. Studies have shown that when the body is inflamed, in a sick state, or dealing with a physical injury, the endocannabinoid system kicks into effect trying to bring the body back to that homeostasis. This endocannabinoid system is essential to maintaining a healthy being. This discovery is very interesting because how can we use it to keep our bodies in the best possible health? How can we trigger this system to keep our immune system strong?
The endocannabinoid system is widely spread throughout the body. There are different parts that affect our body’s responses in different ways. These different main parts include cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes that are meant to break down the endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids, which we also call “inner cannabis,” word on of the body’s healthy sources of fats. Cannabinoid receptors are posted on the cell membranes throughout different areas of the brain and parts of the body. The areas of the brain that these receptors affect include appetite, gut health, memory, the immune system, pain, emotion, and more. When you do something that causes an injury or say if you get sick, endocannabinoids are released. This causes activation of the receptors. When activation occurs, a cell reaction occurs, saying it needs to alter its message.
The way that the endocannabinoid system works depends on many different things. One major factor is diet and overall well being. Others include things you can’t control like age and genetics. The different variations in the genes that communicate for the endocannabinoid system are what can potentially lead to specific conditions like ADHD and PTSD. There are also lifestyle conditions that can really deplete or deprive endocannabinoids. For example, if you have a high-stress job, stressful relationship, or heavily lack sleep. Stress causing deficiencies really hurt the endocannabinoids process of regulating cells and getting the mind and boy to a state of homeostasis.
Research has indicated that deficiencies in the endocannabinoid system play major parts in serious mental and physical ailments like depression, anxiety, nausea, epilepsy, and autoimmune diseases. A neurologist by the name of Ethan Russo published a journal stating that certain individuals responded well to cannabis-based treatments since they had issues with their endocannabinoid system which is what likely caused these diseases in the first place. The hemp or cannabis plant produces several phytocannabinoids which are compounds. Some of these more popular ones include THC which is popular for its psychoactive reactions. One other very popular phytocannabinoid is CBD otherwise known as cannabidiol. So how does CBD and THC work with the endocannabinoid system? They help communicate with and stimulate the system allowing it to restore to homeostasis. One way to deal with an illness is to avoid it from coming on in the first place. You can do this by taking care of your endocannabinoid system and keeping your body close to homeostasis.
One of the best ways to maintain physical and mental health is through a well balanced healthy diet. It’s the diet that provides the ability for endocannabinoids to function. Cannabinoids are processed from fatty acids in our diets and require a certain balance of omega-6 and omega-3 so that they can be produced in the right amounts. This is one reason why fish oil is such a highly recommended supplement.
It’s not completely certain what exactly is the optimal portion of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids from food. It’s likely anywhere between 5-1 and 1-1. If someone suffers from illness it’s better to have a lower ratio. Common unhealthy diets for Americans can consist of ratios of 20:1. This is due to eating way too many omega-6 fatty acids in processed packaged foods as well as vegetable oils. This is a major factor in making it more difficult for the endocannabinoid system to bring the body to homeostasis.
What else promotes a healthy endocannabinoid system. Studies on mice show that running on a wheel which is a cardiovascular exercise increases cannabinoid receptors in the brain. It also increases the sensitivity of these receptors with endocannabinoids. Studies on humans who exercise regularly also showed positive endocannabinoid levels in the bloodstream. When one goes running and they feel that “high” of endorphins being released, it’s likely a result of the endocannabinoids.
Probiotics are what help promote gut health bacteria. These may also have an impact on the endocannabinoid system. Probiotics stimulate the cannabinoid receptors in the gut, promoting intestinal homeostasis. A major source of your immune system is found in the gut and digestive tract.
It’s believed that acupuncture also helps enhance the endocannabinoid system. Other activities like meditating and regularly practicing yoga promote relaxation for the mind and body. There aren’t any conclusive studies on this but a lot of experts believe these activities also stimulate the endocannabinoid system and help the body reach homeostasis.
Can cannabis prevent illness? The cannabinoids found in plants are considered to be really safe and to have anti-inflammation properties. Some also have antioxidant and neuroprotective properties. It’s believed that regular cannabis use can help decrease overall inflammation in the body which is a confirmed root cause of many autoimmune disorders and neurogenerative disorders.
Cannabis is helpful in lowering insulin levels and also lowering the body’s insulin resistance. This could possibly lower the chances of diabetes.
With more acceptance of cannabis use as a medical resource, fewer people are turning to the use of prescription pharmaceutical drugs. This has led to about 25% less opiate-related deaths.
A lot of cannabis and CBD users claim that the Phyto cannabinoids improve their overall health by promoting quality sleep, lowering levels of anxiety and depression, and decreasing inflammation so that they can heal injuries quicker. There hasn’t been concrete research on dosing cannabis but it’s likely that small consistent doses will enhance the ECS without major repercussions.
Treat your body well and your body will do the same for you.