What Is Endocannabinology?
In the medical field, the “study of” something is usually coined with the suffix “-ology.” We have all heard of neurology, pulmonology, etc. – and as CBD is becoming more accepted by the medical community, the study of its effects have been classified as “endocannabinology.”
CBD exerts its effects by engaging with your body’s built in endocannabinoid system. This is a complex system that regulates everything that happens in your body, from breathing to hormone regulation, immunity, to your body’s temperature, your mood, and more. An endocannabinoid system that is finely tuned and in perfect balance will keep you in optimal health.
But many other things impact this regulatory system, and not all in a good way. Our environment – stress, exposure to certain chemicals like exhaust fumes, the amount of sleep or exercise we get, genetic makeup and even the food we eat can all knock the endocannabinoid system off-balance.
The root of Endocannabinoid Dysfunction Syndrome or endocannabinoid imbalance is typically inflammation. Inflammatory foods, injuries, environments, and more compound into a variety of conditions. Our bodies combat this inflammation by trying to maintain balance. Endocannabinoids are integral to balance optimization of all systems, especially the immune system.
Our cells signal to each other. For instance, when muscle tissue gets damaged if you bump into the corner of a table, those damaged cells signal for an inflammatory response. This causes pain, so you don’t damage the area further by misusing it. The response causes swelling, which protects the damaged tissue and brings in more healing and inflammatory proteins. The response ultimately causes healing.
Behind this process is the network known as the endocannabinoid system. When this system is overloaded, however, it struggles to respond to these signals appropriately. That’s where CBD comes in. You can read more about CBD by reading this helpful blog!
Our bodies make endocannabinoids, or the ligands (key-like molecules) that bind to cannabinoid receptors. The formation and elimination of cannabinoids happens constantly in the human body. Billions are made daily. The system of processing requires significant amounts of Omega-3 and Omega-6 and other essential fatty acids. When we don’t eat enough foods with these essential fatty acids, the entire system suffers.
CBD also binds to or influences the CB1 receptor, PPAR, TRV, and other receptor targets. Its effects impact the serotonin system, opioid system, and others. It is so effective with regard to seizure activity in the brain that the FDA has approved a CBD-based medication, called Epidiolex, after studies and trials analyzing CBD’s known anticonvulsant properties.
Endocannabinology is a young medical science, which means that there is much more to be discovered. Believe it or not, this important human system was not even fully described until the 1980s due to government regulation and prohibitions on the science. Epidiolex is the first of many approved pharmaceutical-grade and insurance-covered (sometimes) drugs that will be approved as our understanding of the endocannabinoid system, and the methods we can use to affect it, grows.
In the meantime, however, studies have shown that you can affect your endocannabinoid system with almost every decision you make – the food you eat, the exercise you get, the vitamins you take, and more. While cannabidiol is one of the most versatile phytocannabinoids that can interact with your body, nutrition gives your body the building blocks it needs to thrive. It requires natural, whole foods in a well-balanced diet to create new cells. Healthy fats, like the Omega-3’s and Omega-6’s mentioned earlier, are especially important in this process.
Like many effective medications, CBD is not meant to provide a solution to every problem or imbalance in your body – it is supposed to work in conjunction with a balanced lifestyle.
At Well Theory, we’re invested in helping you learn how to live well. Check out the rest of our blog for more healthy living tips, our Herbal Kitchen cooking show for easy, wholesome recipes, and our surgeon-designed CBD products to give your life the boost it needs to achieve optimal wellness!
Dr. Meredith Warner is the creator of Well Theory and The Healing Sole. She is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Air Force Veteran.
She is on a mission to disrupt traditional medicine practices and promote betterment physically, spiritually and mentally to many more people. She advocates for wellness and functional health over big pharma so more people can age vibrantly with more function and less pain.
At Well Theory, Our surgeon-designed products are FDA Registered and formulated to help people:
- Manage the symptoms of musculoskeletal pain
- Recover vibrantly from orthopedic related surgeries
- Fill the gaps in our daily diets
- Manage pain associated with inflammation
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