Phytocannabinoids May Offer Natural Relief for Chronic Illnesses
Studies are underway to determine if stimulating our endocannabinoid system could help alleviate the pain caused by certain chronic illnesses.
Many chronic illnesses result in pain and inflammation. Our bodies create natural substances to combat the effects of both. It’s not widely known, but the human body’s own endocannabinoid system creates fatty acids such as 2-Arachidonyl-glycerol (2-AG) and another called anandamide. Anandamide can cause a feeling of relaxation and well-being like the plant-based cannabinoids found in marijuana and hemp.
The pain associated with chronic illnesses may be due to a deficiency of the cannabinoids created by our own body. Studies are underway to determine if stimulating our endocannabinoid system could help alleviate the pain caused by certain chronic illnesses. Phytocannabinoid oil may hold the key. But here’s the interesting thing about it: Our bodies don’t use the cannabinoids we ingest from these plants. Instead, they activate our own human cannabinoids and effectively say, “Get to work!”
The human endocannabinoid system
It’s important to understand that what our bodies produce does not have the same psychoactive properties as the cannabinoids found in marijuana. In fact, only a single cannabinoid – delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol – is responsible for that “high” feeling you get when you ingest or inhale cannabis. There are more than 80 other cannabinoids in marijuana and hemp that are completely void of this property.
Our endocannabinoid system helps us regulate neurotransmitter functions. Anandamide – one of the fatty acids it creates – binds with cannabinoid receptors throughout our entire body to assist with vital functions like appetite, motor control, immune response, pain perception, and even sleep. Research has shown that these human endocannabinoids inhibit a substance called glutamate. It’s a key neurotransmitter found in our body that prolongs neuropathy – a super scientific way of saying that it causes pain relief.
The connection between chronic illness and endocannabinoids
Studies have found that people living with chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and even migraine headaches have significantly lower amounts of anandamide in their brain, musculoskeletal system, and their gut.
It’s theorized that there may be a link between dysfunctional signaling in the endocannabinoid system because of this deficiency. There’s even a name for it: clinical endocannabinoid deficiency, or CECD. Researchers think this medical condition could be a part of the cause of chronic medical conditions ranging from:
Studies are being undertaken to determine if ingesting plant-based cannabinoids can help to restore the balance in the endocannabinoid system, which would reverse the symptoms of CECD – as well as help to deal with the pain caused by these chronic illnesses.
Pain relief versus the high feeling
Researchers are quick to point out that ingesting the plant-based cannabinoids that potentially “reset” incorrect levels of human cannabinoids does not include delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol. This is the psychoactive cannabinoid found in marijuana. Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol fits into a cannabinoid receptor in our brain and nervous system. The receptor is known as CB-1.
So, when phytocannabinoid oil free of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol is ingested, it instead binds with our body’s cannabinoid receptors where it activates endocannabinoid signaling. It also suppresses an enzyme called fatty acid amide hydroxylase (FAAH). This fatty acid breaks down our beneficial anandamide.
Cannabinoids won’t get you stoned, but research is underway to see if they may help to return our dysfunctional endocannabinoid systems to normal by suppressing FAAH.
Both inflammation and the neuropathy are modulated by our endocannabinoid system. Both inflammation and pain are the hallmarks of most human chronic illnesses. Further research is needed to provide proof that phytocannabinoid oil can work with our own endocannabinoid system to push back against chronic illnesses.
SanSal Wellness strives to make the best full-spectrum hemp oil available. Our plants are grown in nutrient-rich soil and fed with fresh Rocky Mountain water. We only use whole plants, and our extraction process ensures purity and safety. We also offer products free of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol. Everything we produce is tested by third-party labs. To find out more about our process, please visit our site.