What Is Cannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome?
Cannabinoid deficiency syndrome?
Yes, the cannabinoid deficiency syndrome theory is based on the idea that there are many diseases which are caused by malfunctions in the natural balance of endocannabinoids in your brain. Therefore, treatment with “phytocannabinoids” like CBD can have wide-ranging positive benefits.3
Scientists now believe Clinical EndoCannabinoid Deficiency (CECD) could play a role in the following conditions:2
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Motion Sickness
“Migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and related conditions display common clinical, biochemical and pathophysiological patterns that suggest an underlying clinical endocannabinoid deficiency that may be suitably treated with cannabinoid medicines,” Neuro Endocrinology Letters, Dr. Ethan Russo1
The term “Clinical (Endo)Cannabinoid Deficiency” was first coined by Dr. Ethan Russo in 2004, but the research actually goes back to 1988.1,2
You may not be familiar with Dr. Ethan Russo, but you might be familiar with his patented CBD medicine Epidiolex, the first patented medicine which has CBD as its only active ingredient. The FDA recently (as of early 2019) approved Epidiolex as a treatment for seizures.
If you are not sure what some of these technical terms mean – then you are in the right place, because this article will break down exactly how it works and help you find out if you have cannabinoid deficiency syndrome.
It All Starts In The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
The endocannabinoid system (or ECS) is very easy to understand at first glance. The prefix “endo” means “made in the body” – so the endocannabinoid system is a natural system of cannabinoids which already exist in your body.
The ECS regulates homeostasis – the delicate balance of different systems in your body. It affects appetite, mood, memory, pain, and practically everything else that your body does. When your body gets out of balance, it can cause a wide range of diseases.2,3
That’s why researchers first began studying clinical cannabinoid deficiency as a way to restore homeostasis in the body.
How The Endocannabinoid System Works
Endocannabinoids are manufactured on demand. Whereas other neurotransmitters, like dopamine and serotonin, are synthesized and stored for when they are needed and released according to certain stimuli…
Endocannabinoids are synthesized (created) exactly when they are needed, and they are destroyed once they are used. The upregulation (creation or synthesis) and downregulation (destruction) of endocannabinoids are carried out by the enzymes in the body.
Now, the ECS controls homeostasis in your body in a very unique way: by traveling backward through your homeostatic systems to deliver messages.4
Think about it this way: you are at home, and you suddenly realize you want to eat some pizza. In this analogy, the pizza is your neurotransmitters.
So you call the pizza delivery place. But instead of just sending one pizza, they just start sending you pizzas one after the other. This is the way your body works. It’s always sending pizzas/neurotransmitters to cells throughout your body.
What the ECS does is it goes to the pizza shop and tells them whether you need more pizza or less pizza. So essentially, it goes backward (against the flow of pizzas) to regulate the homeostasis of your body.
Again, there really is no pizza. We’re just talking about neurotransmitters and the ECS here. I’m sorry if now you really are hungry for pizza.
Cannabinoid Receptors And The Benefits Of Helping Them With CBD
The two kinds of Cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2 have very different effects on the body.
CB1 receptors are found in the brain – specifically your limbic system – and have a role in mood, inflammation, anxiety, blood pressure and much more.
In fact, activating CB1 receptors has been found to have all of the following benefits:5
- Relieving depression
- Increasing myelin formation (protects your nerve cells from degeneration)
- Lowering intestinal inflammation
- Decreasing intestinal permeability (Leaky Gut Syndrome)
- Lowering blood pressure
- Lowering anxiety
- Reducing fear and paranoia
- Increasing BDNF levels
- Increasing PPARy expression
- Reducing GPR55 signaling
- Lowering prolactin
CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are found in the spleen, tonsils, thymus, and immune cells of the body.
Changes in the CB2 receptor’s function can lead to beta-amyloid protein, the primary component of the amyloid plaque found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.4
CB2 malfunction can also happen with nearly every kind of human disease, including 5
- Pain-related illnesses
What Is The Significance Of CBD?
CBD and other phytocannabinoids can help to restore the proper functioning of the ECS back to normal, restoring homeostasis and eliminating problems caused by CB receptor malfunction as listed above.
That’s because CBD balances the levels of endocannabinoids up and down to introduce what Dr. Ethan Russo calls “Endocannabinoid Tone” meaning the perfect balance of endocannabinoids in your body.
When there are too many, he says, CBD helps regulate them down. And when there are not enough, CBD helps regulate them up. By restoring balance to these systems of your body, it eliminates a huge number of potential health risks all at once.3
One example of how CBD works is in inhibiting FAAH, which is the enzyme that works to break down anandamide in the brain. Low levels of Anandamide, one of the endocannabinoids listed above in this article, has been linked with migraines.4
But that’s not all: it has also been associated with regular headaches, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and other pain- or inflammation-related illnesses.4
By inhibiting FAAH, CBD increases the amount of anandamide in your body, and the anandamide helps to regulate those processes and keep homeostasis without pain.
So… Can CBD Help With YOUR Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency?
There is a huge body of research to show that Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD) could be at the root of a great number of the health problems that people face today.
But what is even more exciting is that there is significant research that shows the health benefits of CBD specifically. It shows how CBD can balance this deficiency by increasing the endocannabinoids in your system, and that by introducing CBD into your system, it could have potentially HUGE health benefits in many areas of life.3
Whether you are currently struggling with health issues related to Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency or just trying to prevent them from ever happening in your life… The research supports CBD as a very helpful medicine that is safe and which can help you maintain balance in your ECS.3
As always, consult your doctor, but if you are ready to try some CBD products, check out our selection here