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Balancing (and Imbalancing) Your Endocannabinoid System

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Balancing (and Imbalancing) Your Endocannabinoid System

Finding the Perfect Balance for Your Body

Balance: Many of us don’t understand the importance of the word.

Maintaining a healthy body and mind is vital, particularly in these difficult Covid-19 times. Globally, we are surrounded by financial devastation and news of lost loved ones. With this in mind, now is the time to reconsider how we treat our bodies daily.

Let’s be honest. Most of us only consider working on our health when we get sick, neglecting the impact that preventative measures can have on our health and wellness, even our happiness.

On your search for an excellent work/life balance, a balanced diet and a healthy immune system, you should also look at balancing your endocannabinoid system and the importance of avoiding an imbalance.

Let’s take a step back first and have a look at what the endocannabinoid system actually is…

What is the Endocannabinoid System?

The body’s endocannabinoid system is comprised of 3 main components: endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes.

Endocannabinoids
Endocannabinoids are lipid-based neurotransmitters produced by the body to help keep internal functions running smoothly. Thus far, researchers have discovered two main types of endocannabinoids, namely, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol.

Cannabinoid Receptors
Endocannabinoids bind to these receptors, with the two primary types being CB1 and CB2.

CB1 receptors are generally found in the central nervous system and are responsible for coordination, movement, pain, appetite, memory, and mood, to name just a few functions.

CB2 receptors are found in the body’s immune cells, with the peripheral nervous system directly influencing pain and inflammation.

Enzymes
Enzymes break down the endocannabinoids once they have done their job, with the 2 main ones being fatty acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglycerol acid lipase.

These 3 components, directly and indirectly, modulate and influence various physiological systems such as pain, inflammation, sensation, metabolism, muscle control, skin, mood, and memory.

How Does it All Work?

Discovered only in the 1990s, there is still much to learn about the endocannabinoid system. However, we do know that it stabilises your body’s internal environment. For example, if you are suffering from pain or inflammation that will cause an imbalance, the endocannabinoid system will kick in to help restore your body to maximum function and reverse the inflammation.

Recent studies demonstrate that well activated CB1 receptors promote antidepressant-like responses in the body, highlighting why a balanced endocannabinoid system is vital.

In addition, a balanced endocannabinoid system means immune competence, including healthy skin, having energy, healthy hair, and disease control.

What Happens When the Endocannabinoid System is Imbalanced?

In short, balance in your body is critical.

An imbalanced endocannabinoid system can increase the risk of depression, immunosuppression and mood disorders, particularly when it comes to your CB1 receptors. Too much CB1 signalling has also been associated with increased psychoactivity, systemic inflammation, cardiovascular risk, diabetes, and obesity.

CB2 over-activation and dominance can decrease immune function and diminished wound healing.

The transmitters that function throughout your body can increase, meaning that the available receptors in your body may also increase or decrease in quantity. This can limit your body’s ability to function optimally, causing any 3 of the following:

Stress
When we are stressed, our body reduces levels of anandamide. This gives you feelings of demotivation and anxiety. In addition, the body also increases its levels of 2-AG, which decreases our perception of the pain, to help avoid a repeat situation.

Insomnia
According to research, the endocannabinoid system influences how well you sleep. Increasing the amount of CB1 helps regulate sleep patterns and an increase in REM sleep. An endocannabinoid deficiency or imbalance will likely cause sleep deficiency or insomnia.

Illness
Diseases indicate that your endocannabinoid system may also be impaired. However, scientists are still discovering which illnesses cause an imbalance.
Your body’s natural balanced state is called homeostasis, which is essential to our health and survival. If the endocannabinoid system isn’t functioning optimally, it can cause many problems. This is because the endocannabinoid system is responsible for balancing anything that is off in your body.

How Could CBD Possibly Help the Endocannabinoid System?

While research is still in its early stages, it appears that CBD may work in the same way as our natural cannabinoid receptors. In addition, medical experts believe that CBD inhibits the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase, the primarily responsible for breaking down and recycling endocannabinoids.

If your body is imbalanced and not producing sufficient endocannabinoids, phytocannabinoids may be able to step in and help restore balance.

In Conclusion

Balance is essential for living a long, happy, and healthy life. In addition, it’s necessary to have a holistic approach to how you balance your life, ensuring that all your bases are covered.

While science is continuously developing, more and more research indicates the importance of a balanced endocannabinoid system.

A healthy lifestyle, excellent foods, exercise, vitamins and laughter, are great ways to help balance your system, and CBD use may contribute to restore and preventing an imbalance.

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