Using Hemp Products to Influence the Endocannabinoid System
Research has shown that the endocannabinoid system responds to phytocannabinoids.
The discovery of the endocannabinoid system and how it interacts with phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids found in hemp/marijuana) is by far one of the most resourceful medical discoveries.(1) This is because the endocannabinoid system is at the core of our body’s physiology and being able to manipulate it using phytocannabinoids may be one of the greatest breakthroughs in modern medicine. Read on to discover how this works.
What Is The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?
The endocannabinoid system(2) consists of endocannabinoids, receptors, and metabolic enzymes which work together to keep the body in a state of physiological homeostasis. The receptors are spread throughout the body and they trigger a physiological response when they bind endocannabinoids. The ECS controls a number of important processes in the body that include pain, hunger, immunity, endocrine functions, memory, and sleep among others.
The journey towards the discovery of the ECS has been a long and interesting one, but it finally appears that scientists are coming to grips with the significance of this system.(3) It is unfortunate that medical schools have exempted the study of the ECS from their syllabus for many years.
What Roles Does the Endocannabinoid System Play?
The endocannabinoid system plays a key role in neuropsychological processes.(4) These include:
- Neuronal development
- Synaptic plasticity – essential for memories and learning ability
- Neuromuscular system and function development
- Motor skills
- Sleeping cycle
- Body temperature regulation
- Homeostasis – for body balance, aging, and disease control.
What are Endocannabinoids?
These are chemical compounds inside the human body that influence the ECS. Endocannabinoids bind to the same receptors as CBD, THC, THCV, and CBDA among other phytocannabinoids that are present in hemp or marijuana.
The common endocannabinoids in the human body include anandamide and 2-AG. These endocannabinoids are released on a need basis and taken out from the system by metabolic
enzymes once they have completed their roles. Once released, they interact with the endocannabinoid receptors (CB1 & CB2) to influence the ECS and in turn influence the processes that are controlled by the ECS.
The ECS may on occasion experience deficiency, meaning that the system is deficient and may need to be “boosted.” This is where phytocananbinoids come in. When this happens, the condition is referred to as chronic endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD).
How are Body Endocannabinoid Levels Measured?
For great health, we need to ensure that we have optimal endocannabinoid levels in our body. Primarily, two methods can be used to measure endocannabinoid levels in our bodies:
- Noninvasive methods (testing saliva, blood or hair)
- Invasive methods (brain microdialysis and tissue testing)
What Is Chronic Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD)?
When the body lacks sufficient levels of endocannabinoids, it may go into some disease states, as recent studies (5) have shown. Science is proving that a number of chronic conditions may be triggered or perpetuated by a deficiency in the ECS.
CECD has been shown to have an effect in the following conditions:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Bone loss
- Chronic pain
- Anger management problems
Further investigations into this may provide a breakthrough in the treatment of such conditions.
How Hemp can be Used to influence the Endocannabinoids System - Phytocannabinoids & the Endocannabinoid System
The key role of our endocannabinoid systems is responding to endogenous cannabinoids that our bodies produce. Research has shown that the endocannabinoid system responds to phytocannabinoids, and an example of this is CBD, one of the many active phytonutrients in cannabis. CBD interact passively with the CB2 receptors that are spread throughout the body.
As a result, CBD/ hemp has been reported for the following positive results to the human body.
- Seizure reduction
- Alleviation of chronic and normal pain
- Eliminating Psoriasis symptoms
- Preventing heart disease
- Inhibiting the ID-1 gene from emerging. This gene is responsible for cancerous disease development.
- Reduces stroke development possibilities
- Inhibits Alzheimer’s disease symptoms
- Alleviating paranoia and anxiety
- Promoting the emergence of new and healthy cells.
Take Charge of Your Health
Hemp products with good amounts of CBD, terpenes, extra cannabinoids, and other active cannabis ingredients can play a big role in establishing a balanced and functional endocannabinoid system. Good for you, there is a wide array of CBD-infused products in the market that offer value for money that can help align your bodily functions. These products are often in the form of CBD oils, vapes, tinctures, gummies, salves, tablets, and so on.
However, before trying out a CBD product, you need to consult with your physician or pharmacist to get their approval. CBD interacts with other drugs (6) to either potentiate or reduce their effects. Hence, only a qualified medical practitioner can advise if CBD consumption is a healthy and safe choice for you.