The Science Behind Endocannabinoid Deficiencies — May 17, 2019

May 17th, 2019 by Cara Oorbeck

Endocannabinoid Deficiencies

What Is It?

As we’ve discussed in earlier blogs, and you’ve likely seen in other placed on the web, your body has a system called the Endocannabinoid system (ECS), which helps to regulate the nervous system and its connection to the rest of the body. The Endocannabinoids (ECBD from now on) are lipids found in the endocannabinoid system, a group of neuromodulatory (meaning they regulate neurons in the brain and nervous system) lipids and receptors in the brain that are responsible for physical processes including pain sensation, appetite, and memory. Scientists and researchers have determined two primary endocannabinoid receptors in the body, known as CB1 and CB2. Others do of course exist, they are just less researched and less understood. This is still pretty young science. The CB1 receptor primarily regulates and affects the central nervous system (brain, kidneys, liver and lungs,) while the CB2 receptor is focused on the immune system and hematopoietic cells, which are cells that generate blood cells through a process known in the medical world as haematopoiesis.

In English, Please?

Yep, that was an absurd number of acronyms.  Think of your body like a small town with bunches of telephone lines or electric lines spreading out across the area. Those electric poles & wires are like your neurons and help to spread information or “power.” What the ECBD do in this system are to act like a lineman (someone who works on power lines and phone lines), cleaning up and maintaining the system. While they aren’t needed for the lines to operate, they make sure that it works smoothly.

Not Enough Linemen?

When there is a deficiency of ECBD in the body, the system is essentially lacking what it needs to operate smoothly. There are simply too few linemen. And what happens to all of the electric wires? They don’t function as they should. In the same way, when your neurons lack enough CBD, it can cause problems.

What Kind of Problems?

According to Dr. Ethan Russo, who conducted a study on the relationship between ECBD levels in the body and ailments, “migraine, fibromyalgia, IBS and related conditions display common clinical, biochemical and pathophysiological patterns that suggest an underlying clinical endocannabinoid deficiency that may be suitably treated with cannabinoid medicines.” Not just Russo’s study found this link. Another study, conducted around ten years after Russo’s, found that “underlying endocannabinoid deficiencies indeed play a role in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and a growing list of other medical conditions. Clinical experience is bearing this out.”

How Does It Happen?

Due to the lack of research on the topic, it is difficult to say. One explanation is that the body doesn’t produce enough ECBD on its own to supply its own needs. Normally it does, but, for whatever reason, some people may find that they do not have enough ECBD to satisfy their bodies’ needs. Since it is not stored in the body, but rather made upon demand when it is needed in the neurons, additional ECBD is needed from a different source when there is a shortage.

So Where Do The Extra Cannabinoids Come From?

Since CBD binds with the receptors that I mentioned before (just like ECBD produced in the body), it can come from an outside source, such as a cannabis plant. By using this outside CBD, there is the possibility that balance can be restored to the ECS.  Both are cannabinoids. Endo = of the body and Phyto = of a plant. So if your Endocannabinoids are not present, you can supplement with Phytocannabinoids like CBD.

How Sure Is This?

As this research is fairly new (the receptors of the ECS were only definitively proven to exist in the human body at the end of the 1980s), there are a lot of questions about the conclusions that some research has drawn. While there is a correlation between various physical ailments and a shortage of Endocannabinoids in the body, there have only been a few studies to look at this relationship. As it currently stands, the research in no way claims that these problems can be cured with CBD. Logically, it seems that CBD should help, but this is not concrete. We’re excited to see this new science progress with growing awareness about CBD and other phytocannabinoids. As always, there is plenty more room for additional research, and we at Green Wellness Life will try to keep you informed.

Resources:

www.dailyhealthpost.com/10669-cannabinoid-deficiency-chronic-health-conditions/  www.marijuanabreak.com/endocannabinoid
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15159679
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24977967


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