CBD has very quickly become a ‘hot’ topic in today’s conversation, and with the world’s growing needs for alternatives to the everyday pill prescription, it’s easy to see why.
And despite slow legalization as a drug or food supplement across the United States and in other regions of the world, CBD only grows more popular by the day.
This popularity can be traced back to the numerous bodily effects that the cannabis extract continues to be credited for, whether in oil form or as powder and sometimes quite controversially. Below, we consider its benefits for the endocrine system.
The endocrine system is one of the body’s most important and most complex systems. The system is comprised of a series of glands situated all over the body, including major glands such as the pituitary gland, which are in charge of secreting hormones at regulated levels into the bloodstream.
These hormones are then directed to their target body organ, resulting in physical bodily actions, changes or reactions. At the top of the endocrine system is the brain, which controls, through the hypothalamus, the level of each hormone secreted by each gland every time. This neuroendocrine relationship is what keeps us functioning day in, day out.
To better grasp the power and gravity of the endocrine system, one must first imagine how human life would be like without hormones. And how better to imagine that than through understanding the bodily processes they control?
A quick run-through reveals that the body is home to hundreds of glands, each in charge of a bodily hormone that affects physical activity. It also reveals that processes such as puberty, childbirth, lactation, growth, metabolism, reproduction and even stress wouldn’t happen the same way or even occur at all.
They all need their well-regulated hormones to be triggered and to happen as expected. Anything short of the required amount is cause for worry.
In other words, the body’s endocrine system needs to be at full performance all the time to support human life, including neuro sections like the hypothalamus, and in all environment changes.
Over the years, scientists have discovered that the human body naturally secretes its own CBD through its own active cannabinoid system, known as the endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS), which supports the activities of the endocrine system to a large extent.
The ECS (or Endocannabinoids, as they’re commonly termed) are essentially comprised of receptors known as CB1 and CB2 and are found in every body organ and tissue in the body. Their primary role is to maintain stable functionality for body organs all the time (also known as homeostasis), which they achieve using their natural internal secretion of cannabinoids.
Read also: 5 Superfoods You Want to Add to Your Diet
Through its endocannabinoid system (ECS) the body secretes its own CBD, which supports the ECS’s role of maintaining the body’s environmental balance. Some of the ECS’S other roles for the endocrine system include;
When the endocrine system under-functions or malfunctions, the result is endocrine disorders. Some of them include anxiety, insomnia and stunted growth. Cannabinoids such as CBD have been found to have a positive effect on some endocrine disorders, including anxiety and insomnia through enabling mental clarity and enabling solid patterns of sleep.
Studies show that all body nerves have cannabinoid receptors on them, especially the nerves associated with the HPA axis (the combination of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal glands).
Through their homeostasis role, the body’s endocannabinoids end up playing a role in the secretion of very important hormones from glands such as the pituitary glands, which are responsible for processes as important as human growth.
Read also: 5 CBD Hemp Oil Facts and Myths Set Apart
Stress is a regular occurrence in our day to day lives, and our endocrine systems are partly to blame for it. The ECS is directly responsible for the stress we feel, through its regulatory role on hormonal balances.
When we are stressed, our HPA axis (the combination of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal glands) are stimulated, and through a CB1 receptor-based signaling cascade, our neuroendocrine functions are stalled. This reaction is dangerous, especially for anxiety patients.
The body’s endocannabinoids have been found to help reverse this situation through their own signaling and hormonal modulation abilities, which counteract the HPA axis’s activation. And even better, consumption of natural CBD sources has been found to boost the abilities of the ECS, enabling it to help the body handle stress-induced signal cascades from the hypothalamus.
Yes, it is, but not in the way someone would imagine. One would expect that the supplementary CBD consumed is absorbed by the organ’s cell’s CBD receptors for homeostasis work. That’s not true. Rather, CBD, sans the compound THC of course, does not readily interact with either the CB1 or CB2 cell receptors.
Instead, it enables a direct increase in the ‘tone’ of the body’s naturally selected endocannabinoids by inhibiting the action of the fatty acid and enzyme amide hydrolase (FAAH), which was found to break down bodily cannabinoids before their purpose. In other words, CBD works as a “FAAH inhibitor,” which is quite helpful for anxiety-related problems.
The world of cannabis extract CBD continues to get exciting, and for the next few years, it will only get better. If you’re a fan of CBD, it’s important that you always source your stash from the right stores, and that you always know the composition of whatever’s in the bottle. Otherwise, have fun with your next CBD oil drop!