If the endocannabinoid system is responsible for keeping our bodies in balance, what happens when the balancer needs balancing? In this blog, we will teach you more about your body’s endocannabinoid system and why you might need to supplement to keep things in good working order.
Endocannabinoids, such as 2-AG and anandamide are neurotransmitters. They are chemical compounds that travel throughout your body’s nervous system to regulate mood, appetite, pain tolerance and more. What makes endocannabinoids special is that they are produced by the body on demand. Once produced, they are used by the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors to send signals to other areas throughout the body. Then they are broken apart and recycled.
In some disease and injury states, the body’s endocannabinoid system is thrown off balance. For example, nerve injury increases the number of CB2 receptors in that area in attempts to combat inflammation, but other changes to the ECS can happen. Disruption of normal CB2 receptor activity is implicated as part of the development of schizophrenia, but scientists are yet to discover the exact role that the ECS plays in psychiatric diseases.
There are many factors in our modern daily lives than can throw off the body’s endocannabinoid system; just like any other network of hormones or neurotransmitters the ECS is susceptible to outside forces. Factors such as diet and chronic stress can alter the number of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and the body as well as increase the breakdown of our natural cannabinoids. As discussed above, changes in natural cannabinoids and our cannabinoid receptors can either help or harm the body’s natural processes.
So, what can we do to support healthy endocannabinoid function? Research suggests that the interaction of plant cannabinoids within our body’s system is helpful for overall health and wellness; for example, CBD can slow the breakdown of our own natural endocannabinoids for prolonged usage. This supplementary addition helps the overall maintenance and regulation of the important body systems discussed above; and, scientists continue to discover new function so the body that are overseen by the endocannabinoid system.