The body contain many unique physiologic systems whose sole purpose is to maintain an internal balance called homeostasis. We know the pancreas releases insulin to balance sugar levels between the bloodstream and cells. The thyroid gland releases thyroid hormone, which regulates vital bodily processes related to metabolism, body temperature and much more. In other words, our bodies are working constantly to stay balanced in response to our external environment.
Within the quest to understand how THC causes its well known intoxicating effects, scientists learned that we have yet another regulatory physiologic system, called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), whose role is always to maintain homeostasis from the messages sent between our cells. Further research shows that sickness, inflammation, and injury will trigger the ECS to adopt action, working to reset our internal environment to homeostasis. This system continues to be referred to as being protective and necessary for life. What happens if we might target this method to avoid illness and keep better health?
Endocannabinoids, also known as our “inner cannabis,” are synthesized at will from healthy causes of dietary fat. Cannabinoid receptors sit on the membranes of cells in some parts of the mind and the body, namely areas within the brain that control pain, memory, emotion, motor control, nausea, and appetite, as well as the gut, defense mechanisms, and peripheral central nervous system. When there is a trigger that causes an imbalance, including a physical injury or illness, endocannabinoids are released, acting as “keys” that bind towards the receptors, which work as “locks” on our cells. After the receptor is activated, a chemical reaction occurs within the cell, telling the cell to modify its message.
ECS functioning is dependent upon many factors, including genetics, age, levels of stress, diet, and overall degree of health. There might be variants inside the genes that code for that ECS which can lead to propensities for several conditions, such as ADHD and PTSD. Additionally, chronic illness, chronic stress and chronic sleep deprivation can lead to depletion in the endocannabinoids. These disruptions in the normal functioning of the ECS affect its ability to regulate cellular imbalances and achieve homeostasis.
In 2004, Ethan Russo, a neurologist and research scientist, published Clinical endocannabinoids Deficiency (CECD): Can this concept explain therapeutic benefits of cannabis in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome along with other treatment-resistant conditions? inside the journal Neuroendocrinology Letters. Russo theorized that certain people who have the listed conditions responded to cannabis-based treatments since they had endocannabinoid deficiencies that allowed the problem to manifest in the first place.
Subsequent studies have demonstrated that endocannabinoid deficiency plays a role in autoimmune diseases, epilepsy, complex regional pain syndrome, cardiovascular disease, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, nausea, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, menstrual symptoms, failure to thrive in newborns, along with other difficult-to-treat conditions.
The cannabis plant produces over 100 phytocannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These compounds mimic the endocannabinoids by interacting with the ECS and restoring homeostasis. Rather than hold off until illness is found, there are lots of methods to take care of your ECS, that will give it time to function properly, avoid deficiencies and sustain homeostasis.
It’s common knowledge that the healthy, balanced diet is required for emotional and physical well-being. Your body depend on our diet to generate the correct quantity of endocannabinoids to operate at optimal capacity. Cannabinoids are synthesized from the essential fatty acids within our diets and require a specific balance of omega-6 and omega-3 in order to be manufactured in the correct quantities.
For max bioavailability, the ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids from food is between 5:1 and 1:1, the lower the better for those with chronic illness. Western diets routinely include ratios of 20:1, mainly due to the overconsumption of omega-6 essential fatty acids which come from vegetable oils in lots of packaged foods. Western diets with higher ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids results in a lowering of endocannabinoids, ultimately causing the inability to maintain homeostasis.
Another component that promotes well-being from the ECS is aerobic fitness exercise. Animal studies report that voluntary wheel running increases cannabinoid receptors inside the brain and increases the sensitivity in the receptors to endocannabinoids. Human research indicates that exercise such as running, biking and hiking enhance endocannabinoid levels inside the bloodstream. In fact, endocannabinoids are most likely responsible for the phenomenon identified as the “runner’s high.”
Probiotics may also help the ECS. Lactobacillus acidophilus, a probiotic bacteria present in fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut, was shown to induce the expression of cannabinoid receptors within the gut, promoting intestinal homeostasis.
Both acupuncture and osteopathic manipulation boost the ECS. Yoga and meditation elicit the “relaxation response,” a physiological wjeflf phenomenon whereby you can consciously take part in behavior that promotes physical and mental wellness; although no reports have been done to date, most professionals suspect these stress management modalities boost the ECS thereby promoting homeostasis.
Lastly, what about the capacity of cannabis to prevent illness? Plant cannabinoids are very well-known to be safe as well as have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and neuroprotective properties. In the event of endocannabinoid deficiency, cannabis use could possibly be the correcting compound, eliminating the signs and symptoms of the problem. Regular cannabis use can decrease chronic inflammation and buildup of free radicals, both of which are considered to be the basis reasons for many conditions, including autoimmune and neurodegenerative disorders.