Are you exhausted?
Are you stressed?
Are you feeling anxious more often?
Are you achier than usual, even or especially after exercise?
Do you frequently have an upset stomach or appetite changes?
Do headaches come out of nowhere?
Does This Sound Like You?
If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, your Endocannabinoid System (ECS) may be at least in part be to blame. As much as depression is now popularly and medically recognized as an imbalance in serotonin, your brain’s “happy” chemical, scientists are continuing to explore the role that the Endocannabinoid System plays in mood and many other normal health processes. They are particularly interested in what can go wrong when the ECS falls out of balance.
It goes without saying that if you experience any of the symptoms above, that you should get them checked out by your doctor before trying anything yourself. You may even be surprised to learn that you are “healthy” even though you don’t feel that way. There are subtle changes that can happen in your body that do not cause medical conditions but instead cause you to feel unwell. These changes are not detected in current blood tests, though that may change in the future. Currently, scientists are exploring the many ways that your endocannabinoid system influences the processes that occur in your body, and how disruption of normal endocannabinoid signaling harms the body’s natural optimal function.
Endocannabinoids Play a Role in Health
If you want to know more about how your Endocannabinoid System works, we’ve written some other blogs that explore the topic in more detail, so you may want to read those as a primer. In short, your body naturally produces endocannabinoids (‘Endo’= inside the body) that bind to either CB1 or CB2 receptors that are spread throughout your brain and body. These cannabinoids are broken down by the ECS, and while each individual cannabinoid and receptor have slightly different effects, they have diverse balancing functions throughout the body that promotes optimal stress tolerance, mood, sleep onset, and many other processes.
However, when the body becomes too strained by factors such as mental/emotional stress, poor diet, and insufficient sleep, this can induce an endocannabinoid deficiency. Insufficient levels of endocannabinoids, either by decreased production or increased breakdown, can result in increased inflammation, digestive issues, increased sensitivity to pain, and mood imbalances.
Balancing the Endocannabinoid System
So, what can we do to bring our ECS back into balance? Lifestyle changes, such as eating a balanced diet, exercising, and other forms of self-care are always necessary. For example, Fish oil or Omega-3 fat supplementation has been shown in research to positively affect endocannabinoid function since our endocannabinoids are produced from fatty acids. However, what is necessary is not always sufficient. Ultimately, a supplementary addition of external cannabinoids will help bring the ECS into balance. You see, when phytocannabinoids (‘Phyto’ = coming from plants) are ingested at a clinically relevant dose, the internal breakdown of endocannabinoids is slowed, allowing one to use them for a longer period of time to better-regulate the important body functions that the ECS oversees.
Make sure you look for full-spectrum phytocannabinoids at a 25 mg per serving dose!
Now that you know the critical role your ECS plays in keeping many systems of your body in balance, you are empowered to make decisions to bring you closer to vibrant health. Check out this blog to read about the many benefits of supplementing plant cannabinoids to help you feel well and stay that way.