What Is Endocannabinoid Deficiency? [Described in Depth]

Consumption of CBD may be the answer to endocannabinoid deficiency, an internal happening that could explain numerous medical challenges.

Recent evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system, or ECS within the body could play a much more immense role than initially considered. Yet, the real problem seems to be that this internal mechanism, which greatly regulates homeostasis in the body, is not being frequently discussed outside of the cannabis world and marijuana community. Even medical schools are rarely teaching their students about the ECS and its functions, which could be due to its name connection with the cannabis plant (which has carried a negative stigma for centuries and been widely restricted and illegal in many regions).

Ironically enough, there are more cannabinoid receptors present in the body than all of the other neurotransmitters put together, meaning that the endocannabinoid system’s role is far from being miniscule. Here at WayofLeaf, we want to assist with educating people about numerous cannabis and marijuana related topics, including the endocannabinoid system and what challenges a deficiency of this mechanism can present.

Keep reading to discover more about what endocannabinoid deficiency is, and how cannabidiol can play a massive role in promoting continued regulation and balance…

What Is the Endocannabinoid System?:

First of all, it is important to explain a bit about the meaning of the endocannabinoid system. This mechanism is an organization of specialized neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors, which are allocated throughout the body, primarily within the central and peripheral nervous systems. Scientists and researchers have determined two primary endocannabinoid receptors in the body, known as CB1 and CB2. Others do of course exist, they are just less researched and less understood.

Both CB1 and CB2 are present in the central and periphery regions, and funny enough, the two of them are actually about 44% similar. The CB1 receptor primarily regulates and effects the central nervous system (CNS)/brain, kidneys, liver and lungs, while the CB2 receptor is focused on the immune system and hematopoietic cells, which are cells that generate blood cells through a process known in the medical world as haematopoiesis.

Endocannabinoids are produced naturally within the body, and they bind with these cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) to help carry out essential life functions. The two major endocannabinoids include 2-AG and anandamide. These endocannabinoids are created on demand when the body sends a signal that it needs them, and they are not stored over long periods of time like most molecules, but rather are immediately utilized. As soon as the body is thrown out of balance, it signals the endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors to give it a bit of assistance.

What Is the ECS’s Function?:

The function of the endocannabinoid system is actually rather massive, and as research continues to develop regarding this far-reaching network, it seems that the endocannabinoid system may be playing an even bigger role in the regulation of homeostasis than initially considered. In short, homeostasis really is the endocannabinoid system’s primary function, but for those who do not understand the importance of this occurrence, it’s important to break down just what this term means.

Homeostasis refers to the body’s internal balance. In order for all of the system and bodily mechanisms to be working properly and efficiently, they need to be in complete balance and harmony. Many of the structures within the body, including the ECS, work together to help ensure that you are functioning as your best possible self, i.e. not experiencing pain, staying healthy, fighting sickness, sleeping and eating regularly, and so on and so forth. The links between a deficiency in the functioning of the endocannabinoid system and numerous medical disorders has actually been quite surprising to scientists and specialists who are noticing just how vital the ECS is for a multitude of reasons, which will be described in further depth later on in this article. For now, the primary functions of the ECS will be described.

The endocannabinoid system monitors and regulates most of the basic functions of the body, including hormone regulation, digestion, reproduction, mood, sleep, metabolism, memory, immune function, inflammation, appetite, movement, neuroprotection, pain management and others, basically the majority of what the body requires to function in a healthy and thriving manner without major problems.

How Does CBD (Cannabidiol) Interact with the Endocannabinoid System?:

Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, interacts with the endocannabinoid system by serving as a regulator for this system and its function to maintain homeostasis, or balance. Unlike most active ingredients which only adjust in one direction, either lowering an element or raising it, CBD is more of a buffer and acts multi-directionally. This means that if the ECS is desiring more cannabinoids, CBD can increase the quantity – if it is desiring less, it can work to decrease the amount. This is part of what makes it such a unique component.

Also, it’s important to understand that CBD is a phytocannabinoid, meaning it is not present in the body, but rather is sourced from an outside presence (i.e. the marijuana plant). It binds with the cannabinoid receptors throughout the body, including the CB1 and CB2 receptors, and it communicates with the ECS to determine how it can “be of assistance” in terms of homeostasis. For this reason, it is able to help with endocannabinoid deficiency – that is, when the body naturally cannot produce enough endocannabinoids to maintain homeostasis (this can happen for a number of different reasons, which will be discussed in the next section).

What Does Endocannabinoid Deficiency Mean?

Endocannabinoid deficiency is when the body naturally does not produce enough endocannabinoids to maintain the body’s homeostasis. This deficiency is actually quite a bit more complicated than it may seem, for research has been discovering many links to debilitating medical conditions that may arise from a possible lack of cannabinoids. For example, the endocannabinoid levels in individuals that suffer from migraines, fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome all appear to be low when tissues are extracted from the body and examined.

Additionally, it seems that those who suffer with migraines also have a more likely chance of developing fibromyalgia or irritable bowel syndrome throughout their lifetime, tying seemingly unrelated medical conditions to one another. Although these are only three examples, they do express the eerie connection between the ECS and many poorly understood medical conditions where pain is driven by an outside “mystery factor.” When an endocannabinoid deficiency does exist, it manifests itself in a number of different ways: pain being where it should not be, sickness becoming more prevalent, and an immensely lowered seizure threshold, just to name a few.

Endocannabinoid deficiency could actually be so common and prevalent that it could be the explanation for a number of medical conditions that are not fully conceptualized, nor do not have a cure. This includes disorders such as migraines, Alzheimer’s, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia and Parkinson’s disease, just to name a few.

How Can Cannabis Assist with Endocannabinoid Deficiency?:

Both THC and CBD are capable of binding with the endocannabinoid receptors and providing the system with cannabinoids when it is lacking, or is not able to produce enough of its own (as is the case when endocannabinoid deficiency exists). Both THC and CBD are phytocannabinoids, because unlike “endo”cannabinoids, they are not already present within the body.

Also, it’s important to understand that while THC is psychoactive (meaning that it produces high effects that may not be desirable for all), CBD is completely non-psychoactive – when combined with THC, it can actually suppress and numb down some of the mind-altering qualities of THC, especially regarding the lessening of anxiety and lowering of heart rate.

The pharmaceutical drug Sativex, for example, is a 1:1 ratio of THC and CBD that is administered as a mouth spray, but it does not cause extreme psychoactive outcomes. This is likely due to the balanced combination of CBD and THC.

Also, due to cannabidiol’s (CBD) ability to assist medical conditions and supplement cannabinoids within the ECS, it is sometimes preferred by those seeking herbal medical treatments because it allows one to go about their day normally without having to find any psychoactive high.

Cannabidiol tends to be more legally recognized as well, making it easier to access for those who need the medicine. Additionally, CBD is better suited than THC for managing certain specific medical ailments, for example epilepsy, schizophrenia, inflammation and more.

What Is the Solution?:

Research has been suggesting that pairing a healthy lifestyle, healthy diet and some sort of cannabinoid increasing agent can help deal with endocannabinoid deficiency in a lasting and effective manner. Plenty of evidence also exists, however, showing that cannabidiol (which has the ability to increase endocannabinoids in the body) can act as a major aid independently. More studies will need to be conducted and are currently underway for a complete understanding of how the ECS operates internally, but so far the results have been quite eye-opening, astounding and revolutionary.

Final Thoughts:

If you have ever been wondering about the endocannabinoid receptor, about how cannabidiol (CBD) plays a role on a bodily level or about how exactly this medicinal compound assists with such an endless quantity of medical conditions, then we hope this article has cleared some information up for you, as well as provided you with a basis for understanding what endocannabinoid deficiency really is, and that it actually does exist, possibly on a larger scale than once imagined.

We hope you found this article to not only be entertaining, but also educational and informative. None of the information written above has been reviewed by a doctor or medical professional, and therefore it should not be interpreted as medical advice.