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Endocannabinoid System Science
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a unique chemical messaging system active throughout the brain and body that affects many important functions.
- The ECS produces endocannabinoids that play a role in regulating appetite, metabolism, stress response, learning, sleep, mood, pain, immune function, and more!
- The ECS has preventative and protective mechanisms for the nervous and immune systems, initiates pain control, and calms inflammation.
- The ECS was discovered in 1990, and its complex functions are still being researched.
Understanding the ECS is critical if we are to more effectively manage human health, especially chronic, debilitating diseases for which there are no orthodox cures. Some researchers suggest that when properly activated, the ECS may help suppress certain disease processes.
Evidence suggests that the ECS may even be involved in generating subtle-but-therapeutic shifts in the ways we perceive the world, relate to our internal landscape, think and feel about ourselves, and interact with each other. A healthy ECS increases our ability to be open to new perspectives and experiences.
Endocannabinoids are chemical compounds that our bodies make naturally to activate the receptors within the ECS. When the body is stressed, endocannabinoids go to work to fix the problem.
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds originating outside the body. There are more than 100 known cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD), found in the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa).
CBD works as a switch to turn on the endocannabinoid system. Research has shown that small doses of cannabinoids from hemp can signal the body to make more endocannabinoids and build more cannabinoid receptors.
CBD is also thought to prevent the breakdown of endocannabinoids, which promotes homeostasis—equilibrium—by balancing metabolic functions, nutrient transportation, energy storage, and insulin sensitivity.
Understanding Endocannabinoid Deficiency
Through the stresses and strains of modern living, the endocannabinoid system can become depleted, impacting its role of bringing balance to the body.
American neurologist Dr. Ethan Russo has termed this “endocannabinoid deficiency,” suggesting that it lies at the root of many difficult-to-explain illnesses such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome, and even migraines.
According to Dr Russo, “If you don’t have enough endocannabinoids, you have pain where there shouldn’t be pain.”
5 Signs Your ECS Might be Unbalanced
- You are particularly sensitive to pain
Scientists have demonstrated that endocannabinoid receptors play an important role in modulating pain and inflammation. Research suggests that cannabinoids may reduce pain and inflammation.
- You feel anxious or “blue”
People who contend with anxiety, social discomfort, and/or “the blues” often report an improvement in mood once they start using CBD as part of a daily wellness routine. If you are feeling more than just a little down, depressed or anxious, it’s important to seek the advice of a mental health care professional before using CBD and other hemp-derived products.
- You are addicted to junk food
If you’re constantly craving all the wrong things, perhaps your endocannabinoid system is being overtaxed. Normal hunger should signal you to seek healthy foods that deliver vitamins, minerals, high quality proteins, fiber, complex carbohydrates, and essential fatty acids, not empty calories. CBD might help modulate those unhealthy sugar and fat cravings.
- You have chronic pain or inflammation
Almost all age-related illnesses have, at their root, chronic inflammation—everything from auto-immune disease, cancer, neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and inflammatory bowel disease. A 2004 study found that an endocannabinoid deficiency may underlie migraines. CBD and full-spectrum hemp products are useful in reducing the body’s inflammatory response.
- You have a difficult-to-treat skin condition
Scientists believe that disruption to the endocannabinoid system might bring about a whole host of skin issues including acne, dermatitis, dry skin, hair loss, excessive hair growth, itching, pain, psoriasis, and abnormal skin growths. If you have a skin condition that doesn’t respond to conventional medicine, your ECS may not be functioning properly. One way to stimulate the skin’s ECS receptors is by topically applying cannabinoids such as CBD to the problem areas. The ECS’s main purpose in the skin is to regulate the production and survival of healthy cells and to produce proper immune responses.
6 Effective Ways to Boost Your ECS
- Bump up Your Omega 3 Intake
Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for a well-functioning ECS.
Studies suggest the reported “runners high” is not caused by an endorphin rush but by an increase in the production of endocannabinoids.
- Keep Your Gut Healthy
Eighty percent of your immune system is located in your digestive tract! Without proper elimination, the body can actually poison itself. Certain medications also affect digestion and elimination. Eat a balanced diet, avoid fast foods, and reduce stress to boost gut health.
4. Eat Your Greens
Greens are abundant in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that protect cells, and they’re rich in fiber.
- Cut Down on Alcohol
Studies show that ethanol dampens the ECS.
- Take Miracles of Health Hemp and CBD-Infused Products
Our full spectrum hemp and CBD isolate-infused products can boost your endocannabinoid system with natural plant cannabinoids.
ONE FINAL NOTE: We recommend that you talk to your doctor before you begin using hemp and/or CBD products. This is especially important if you are taking medications, as the natural compounds in hemp may affect the efficacy of some drugs.