Can Cannabis and CBD Help Improve Your Health?

Cannabis and CBD can help improve your health because it returns balance to your body. Our bodies have what is called an endocannabinoid system (ECS), meaning our bodies produce their own natural cannabinoids. The two main cannabinoids produced by our bodies are anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Anandamide could be seen as the body’s own natural THC.

The ECS helps to regulate your internal systems. This is called homeostasis.Homeostasis requires a system of feedback loops. When these feedback loops are disrupted, health problems arise.

Cannabis and CBD works with your body’s ECS to help regulate your internal systems and chemical levels. Correctly dosed, cannabis and CBD can help improve your health and transform your quality of life.

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What Does the ECS Do?

The ECS is involved in regulating many of life’s essential processes, including:

  • Fertility
  • Pregnancy, during pre- and postnatal development
  • Inflammatory responses and immune system functions
  • The pleasurable effects of exercise
  • Appetite
  • Pain-sensation
  • Mood
  • Memory
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What Does CBD Do?

Here’s how it can be used as a medicine and help improve your health:

  • CB1 & CB2 Receptors – CBD is a partial antagonist of the CB1 and CB2 receptors, meaning that it can turn them off to a certain extent. However, CBD doesn’t do this directly, as it does not bind to cannabinoid receptors very well. Instead, it changes how other cannabinoids attach themselves to cannabinoid receptors.
    Areas of the body that are inflamed tend to have a high expression of CB2 receptors. CBD’s ability to antagonise CB2 receptors could be the reason why cannabis can help battle inflammation. This makes CBD potentially very useful for autoimmune conditions, arthritis and post-exercise inflammation.
  • Serotonin Receptors – CBD attaches itself to the serotonin receptor, 5HT1A, at least partially. This makes CBD potentially very useful as an antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication (anxiolytic).
  • Vanilloid Receptors – The vanilloid receptor is responsible for regulating the body’s internal temperature, and processes pain signals, too. CBD desensitizes vanilloid receptors, helping reduce pain. This may be a reason why cannabis can cool the body down, as well as reduce feelings of nausea.
  • Opioid Receptors –  CBD talks to opioid receptors, in particular the opioid receptors mu and delta. CBD “convinces” opioid receptors to change shape, and this can essentially “turn down the volume” on pain levels. This is referred to as allosteric modulation.
  • Calicium and Sodium Ion Channels – Those with epilepsy have cells that cannot take in calcium and sodium ions properly, meaning electrical signals are improperly sent. This leads to seizures.

You can read “How Does CBD Work?” for a fuller account of how CBD works or download our guide.

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I Don’t Suffer from Any Major Health Problems. Can Cannabis Help Me?

The fact is, even otherwise healthy people can suffer from health issues. Aches and sprains of all types impact us all. Perhaps the one of the biggest ways in which cannabis can help treat otherwise healthy people is by battling stress.

Stress can lead to a number of problems, including insomnia, depression and headaches/migraines. Suffering from any of these problems for a long period of time can cause further long-term problems, as the immune system goes haywire and produces pro-inflammatory proteins even when they are not needed. This can potentially trigger conditions like cancer in some people.

So yes, if you are an adult, cannabinoids like CBD (and small amounts of THC as well) can prove to be therapeutic and beat stress, which can reduce the likelihood of developing more serious conditions. This is speculation, of course, and the evidence required to call a substance “preventative” is high.

women and cannabis

Can You Explain Endocannabinoid Disruption or Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD)?

There are three main components of the endocannabinoid system. These include:

  1. The endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-AG. In CECD, which is a concept thought up by Dr. Ethan Russo, there is a shortage of these cannabinoids. This means that the body cannot regulate some of its essential functions.
    Cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant (phytocannabinoids) can mimic anandamide and 2-AG, at least roughly if not perfectly. Taking can help restore balance to the system by mimicking our own natural endocannabinoids.
  2. The endocannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found in the brain, spine and digestive system. Activating CB1 receptors can lead to psychoactive effects. CB2 receptors are found in the immune system. Activating or deactivating CB2 receptors can help control inflammation. If these receptors are damaged, or if we suffer from a genetic problem that doesn’t code for these receptors, then health problems can arise.There is a theory that bombarding the body with cannabinoids can help cannabinoid receptors grow or function better, as the body needs to create them in order to process it all!
  3. The enzymes that break down cannabinoids. The enzyme that breaks down anandamide and THC is fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). The enzyme that breaks down 2-AG is monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL). These enzymes ensure that the levels of cannabinoids do not reach dangerously high levels.
    When the enzymes that break down cannabinoids are not functioning properly, it means that they are not being broken down, or are being broken down improperly. There is a woman who cannot feel pain as intensely as others as she lacks the enzyme FAAH. This means that she has large amounts of anandamide in her body.

If you would like to know more about cannabis, read through the rest of our blog, or even send us an email and ask us a question.

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Written by
Dipak Hemraj
Dipak Hemraj - Chief Research Officer

Dipak Hemraj is a published author, grower, product maker, and Leafwell’s resident cannabis expert. From botany & horticulture to culture & economics, he wishes to help educate the public on why cannabis is medicine (or a “pharmacy in a plant”) and how it can be used to treat a plethora of health problems. Dipak wants to unlock the power of the plant, and see if there are specific cannabinoid-terpene-flavonoid profiles suitable for different conditions.

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