Endocannabinoid deficiency is exactly what it sounds like – one’s body lacks endocannabinoids or the proper functioning of receptors creating a weakened system. It’s very real and backed by decades of research. When supplementing with hemp products, consumers really ought to know how to support and optimize the system! There’s a bit of ground to cover but I’ll keep it simple.
Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency or CED, was first written about in 2001 by Dr. Ethan Russo, neurologist, psychopharmacology researcher and Medical Director of PHYTEC, a biotechnology firm specializing in therapies that target the endocannabinoid system. Dr. Russo came to see that lower levels of endocannabinoids are related specifically to migraines, fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome. Additional illnesses have been connected in the years since the first study and lucky for us the information is very accessible. Russo also worked with GW Pharmaceuticals as a Senior Medical Advisor and study doctor. (The pharmaceutical industry has thrown synthetic cannabinoids into the ring, but with few approved treatment applications and at high cost to the patient. It will be interesting to see if safety and efficacy of the natural stuff can be outdone. I’d rather have my entourage effect!)
Dr. Robert Melamede, former Biology Chair and current Professor at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, has discussed how cannabis may prevent age-related illness by playing a role in moderating free radicals. Unfortunately, free radicals are aging us from the inside out, so defense against them is very valuable! He explains that over time, inflammation builds in the body until a “weak-link” is exposed and broken, causing or creating dis-ease. Since we are biologically unique, this explains why Endocannabinoid deficiency affects each person differently.
When the ECS is functioning normally, one can expect a general feeling of balance or well-being – trouble is, most of us are not experiencing this. We are generally suffering with one or more stressed-induced maladies most likely stemming from our environment, our lifestyle choices, and sometimes our parents (Heredity, that is 😉). If you have imbalances in mood, memory, motivation, reproductive function, sleep, and/or high amounts of pain or inflammation, chances are your body lacks endocannabinoid tone! Let us empower ourselves with the knowledge to tune in and tune up!
- Ways to amplify your system include adding cannabinoid-rich foods, herbs and supplements! Regularly consume plant foods rich in polyphenols and anti-oxidants like dark, leafy greens, oregano, black pepper, black seed (or black sesame), rosemary, saffron and nutmeg while avoiding pro-inflammatory eats and drinks such as dairy, red-meat, refined sugars and flours and alcohol.
- Supplementing with CO2 extracted, hemp-derived CBD oil can assist by adding phytocannabinoids to the mix, and even in low doses can have profound effects on the user! There are also non-cannabis varieties of phytocannabinoid supplements that are worth looking into. As we’ve said before, trial and error will allow you to find what works for you.
- Exercise can induce “Runner’s High” which has the same effect on the brain as THC. We also sweat out toxins and (attempt to) rid our bodies of fat, while expending energy for a better night’s sleep. Daily workouts can help you maintain your bliss!
- Finally, reducing stress with breathing techniques, gentle stretching, meditation or a hobby you love will benefit the ECS, by helping to calm the mind and reduce inflammation.
- Fun Fact: the ECS does not favor being temperature-controlled, so hot yoga, sits in the sauna, cold showers, and building a snowman will challenge and improve your miraculous ECS!
With these tips, it is my hope that you’ll begin supporting your ECS and therefore create better health outcomes for a brighter future, for all of us! We’ve got to get the word out and so I will read, write and keep you up to date with ways to support, regulate and keep healthy your Endocannabinoid System.
In 2015 Dr. Russo gifted us with this beautiful synopsis of the ECS, including details pertaining to CED. If you wish to read more on these, this is a great place to start. http://www.phytecs.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/IntroductionECS.pdf