Have you ever felt that no matter how many supplements you take, you just don´t feel good? Nothing works. You eat healthily, drink enough water and get even exercise done. You may have a condition called Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CED). Theoretically, many chronic diseases could be caused by an endocannabinoid deficiency. The Endocannabinoid System is found in every important part of the body. If there is a disruption, there could be various problems all over.
When there is a deficiency of anything in our body, we are going to feel off. Perfect health is only possible when we have homeostasis. Homeostasis is a perfect balance that produces a perfect state of wellbeing.
What is Endocannabinoid Deficiency?
Endocannabinoid deficiency is just that, a lack of endocannabinoids. The word can be broken down to endo (internal or within) and cannabinoid. All human beings have an underlying endocannabinoid tone. The purpose of it is to reflect the levels of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA). It also looks at the levels of the centrally acting endocannabinoids, the density of the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, and their synthesis and catabolism.
It is a complex biological process and when the endocannabinoid function is decreasing, a dipped pain threshold kicks into action. The digestion system also starts to show disfunction and sleep patterns change. Mood also gets affected. Almost everything in the physiological system is executed by the ECS.
Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CED) could also be due to genetic and inborn reasons. Sometimes it gets acquired by an injury or disease.
We have neurotransmitters that operate in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Their function is to bind the neurotransmitters to the cannabinoid receptors and receptor proteins. The purpose of the Endocannabinoid system in total is to be a homeostatic regulator in all mammals helping the body to regulate all other systems.
Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome is used as an umbrella term that covers a group of illnesses like irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, and fibromyalgia. It is generally accepted that a deficiency of endocannabinoids is the root cause of many illnesses. Evidence in studies suggests that endocannabinoids play an important role in insulin sensitivity, inflammation and fat, and energy metabolism.
In mammals, synthesizing of endocannabinoids is a natural process. Anandamide locks specifically onto CB1 receptors where 2-AG connects to CB2 receptors. Cannabinoids derived from cannabis also lock onto these receptors.
How do you Know if you are CED?
As mentioned above, there are numerous indications that you might have an endocannabinoid deficiency. Common conditions could be sleeping problems, mood changes, lack of appetite, flaky memory, and fertility problems. More serious conditions are fibromyalgia, migraine and, irritable bowel syndrome. Often a person goes from doctor to doctor without receiving a positive diagnosis. They end up believing that their problems are mental, and it leads to depression and even anxiety. The metabolism and immune system show definite signs of imbalance.
Signs of a Disruptive Endocannabinoid System
There are four definite signs that the ECS is not functioning well:
- Too many enzymes present interrupting endocannabinoids
- Not enough synthesized endocannabinoids
- Disrupted signaling between endocannabinoids and receptors
- Insufficient receptors
How many diseases are directly related to CED?
Aside from the above-mentioned diseases, neonatal failure to develop well, cystic fibrosis and causalgia (severe burning pain) could result from CED. Glaucoma, phantom limb pain, infantile colic, and repeating miscarriages are also noticed. Bipolar disease and PTSD can also be added, and the list goes on.
How can Cannabis Help?
As cannabinoids in cannabis also bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the Endocannabinoid system, it could play a vital role in bringing relief to illnesses related to CED.
THC and the EDC
THC binds to both the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our endocannabinoid system. This makes it a powerful cannabinoid that has an array of effects on the mind and body. Because of the psychoactive properties, it could help with anxiety, but in some cases it might cause paranoia. It stimulates appetite and helps to relieve pain. It is effective in muscle spasticity and helps with insomnia, depending on the strain used. It is also effective for nausea
CBD and the EDC
Other than THC, CBD doesn´t bind directly with CB1 or CB2 receptors. In fact, it is quite a mystery and is believed that it binds with independent pathways. Scientists are still unclear about how it works exactly. It is understood that it prevents endocannabinoids from breaking down to be more effective on the body.
It is clear that CBD has many benefits. CBD is an antipsychotic and prevents the breakdown of the chemical in the brain responsible for pain, mental function, and mood. It breaks down and also increases levels of blood that leads to the reduction of psychotic episodes.
CBD also manages pain and stress levels. It improves sleeping disorders and reduces inflammation. Cancer patients also benefit by using CBD as it heals cancer. It furthermore is beneficiary for epilepsy and seizure.
There is a lot more to understand from having an endocannabinoid deficiency. One thing is clear though, the cannabinoids in cannabis could help with many of the systems.