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Cbd oil for homeostasis

CBD and Homeostasis: Cannabidiol’s Role in Your Body’s Internal Balance

If you’ve been keeping up with all things CBD, you might have come across the term homeostasis. However, you might be wondering what it is all about and what CBD has to do with it. Fortunately, this article takes a look at everything you need to know about CBD and homeostasis.

What is Homeostasis?

Homeostasis refers to any physiological process within which the body maintains a balanced internal environment in response to a changing external or internal environment. Maintaining this balanced internal environment is crucial for the survival and proper functioning of all organisms, including humans.

However, a wide variety of factors such as lifestyle, diet, stress, heat, etc., can cause certain conditions within the body to fluctuate leading to unwanted consequences within the body. To ensure that the body continues to function properly, various bodily functions and systems will adjust in order to restore a state of equilibrium through individual yet interdependent processes.

A good example of how the body deals with fluctuating conditions caused by changes in its current environment is through the regulation of the internal body temperature. For instance, if the internal body temperature gets too high on a hot day, the body triggers sweating which helps the body to cool off as the sweat evaporates. On the other hand, if our internal body temperature gets too low, the body triggers shivering, which produces heat. In either case, the body reacts by affecting various bodily functions to return the temperature to the balanced level.

Another common external factor is stress. High levels of stress can lead to increased blood pressure, anxiety, headaches, and so on. If these issues persist, they can have a negative effect on the body. The body has its own natural way of dealing with these changes to ensure that it is back to functioning optimally.

How Does Homeostasis Work?

While the body has many different inbuilt response mechanisms and homeostatic processes to deal with different changes, they all have three basic elements:

i) Receptors which are responsible for detecting changes in the external environment or external stimuli

ii) A control center that dictates the appropriate response to the changes

iii) An effector which executes the response

How CBD and Homeostasis Are Related

The endocannabinoid system or ECS is a complex cell-signaling system present in all mammals and vertebrates. It is responsible for regulating a wide range of physiological functions including pain, sleep, digestion, inflammation, immune response, and many others and it plays a crucial role in maintaining homeostasis.

The ECS is made up of three key components:

i) Cannabinoid receptors: There are two main types of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). They are found throughout the body but most predominantly in the central nervous system and immune system.

ii) Endocannabinoids: These are the body’s own natural cannabinoids. Anandamide and 2-AG are the two most popular endocannabinoids.

iii) Enzymes: The ECS also contains metabolic enzymes that are responsible for breaking down endocannabinoids after use. The two main enzymes are MAGL – which breaks down 2-AG and FAAH – which breaks down anandamide.

How the ECS Works

The ECS works and interacts with other systems in the body through cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body. Whenever an imbalance is detected in the body, endocannabinoids are produced which interact with the appropriate cannabinoid receptors thus triggering the specific chemical response that returns the body to normal. Once the endocannabinoids have done their work, enzymes break them down.

However, in some cases, the body is not able to produce sufficient endocannabinoids, which ultimately means that the ECS becomes unable to fully restore balance in the body. This condition is called “clinical endocannabinoid deficiency.” The lack of enough endocannabinoids in the body can cause a wide range of negative health issues. Fortunately, according to scientific research, endocannabinoids can be supplemented with phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids found naturally in plants ) such as CBD and help restore balance in the body. This is because they work in a similar manner as our body’s natural cannabinoids.

CBD and Homeostasis

The popularity of CBD has rocketed upward over the past few years as it has gained a lot of public attention. It has become the go-to choice for many seeking safe, effective, and natural health supplements. It is able to achieve all these potential benefits through its interactions with the ECS. Scientific research has found that CBD helps to promote homeostasis which is crucial for great health. CBD is a unique cannabinoid since it interacts with many other receptors aside from cannabinoid receptors to produce various effects in the body.

Cannabidiol helps to promote homeostasis in a number of different ways. But first, it is important to note that CBD does not bind with the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. This is mainly because the molecule of CBD is too big to fit into any of the cannabinoid receptors. Instead, it influences the functions of the receptors. Depending on the concentration of available CBD, it can either activate, inhibit or antagonize various cannabinoid receptors. Below is a look at the different ways CBD helps to promote homeostasis.

The Effects of CBD and Homeostasis

Inhibits FAAH Enzyme

As discussed earlier, FAAH is the enzyme responsible for breaking down anandamide. Sometimes, this enzyme can break down the cannabinoid prematurely or too quickly, leading to an imbalanced ECS. However, CBD has been found to have an inhibiting effect on the FAAH enzyme. By inhibiting this enzyme, anandamide stays longer in the body, thus increasing its effectiveness and ensuring homeostasis. Anandamide is mainly associated with mood, pain, memory, fertility, etc.

Promotes Synthesis of 2-AG

CBD has been found to promote the production of the endocannabinoid 2-AG. With increased levels of this endocannabinoid, activity in the endocannabinoid receptors is increased leading to a more active ECS. This greatly contributes to homeostasis.

Activates the TRPV-1 Receptor

CBD binds with a G-protein coupled receptor known as TRPV-1 also known as vanilloid receptor 1. When it comes to homeostasis, it plays a key role in body temperature regulation as well as controlling pain and inflammation.

Serotonin Receptors (5-HT1A)

Serotonin is the main hormone responsible for regulating mood and enhancing feelings of happiness and well-being. By activating the 5-HT1A receptors, CBD helps to enhance the effect of serotonin and reduce anxiety. The 5-HT1A receptor also regulates nausea, pain perception, appetite, and mechanisms of addiction.

Inhibits the Signaling of GPR55

According to scientific research, CBD inhibits GPR55 signaling thus minimizing bone reabsorption and the spread of cancerous cells. It also plays a role in maintaining blood pressure.

Influences Gene Formation

Our genes determine the production of all signaling molecules. These include hormones in the endocrine system, cytokines in the immune system, and neurotransmitters in the central nervous system. The genes hold all information needed to create these molecules. According to recent scientific research, CBD has an influence on the transcription of more than 1100 genes. Some of these genes are behind the creation of signaling molecules that are responsible for regulating inflammation in the central nervous system and the immune system.

It Activates PPARs

CBD activates PPARs (Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptors) which have an effect on the regression of lung tumors. In addition, they help to regulate genes associated with functions such as the uptake of lipids, insulin sensitivity, regulation of energy, and so on.

Activates Dopamine Receptors

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in how we experience pleasure. Due to the effect it causes, it encourages habits such as having sexual intercourse and eating. The activation of dopamine receptors helps to improve moods and influences addictive tendencies.

Conclusion on CBD and Homeostasis

Maintaining a balanced internal environment is vital for all living organisms. There is a specific level that all conditions within the body need to be at all times for the body to function optimally. The ECS is the main physiological system responsible for maintaining this balance. However, for various reasons, it can become imbalanced. If any condition remains unbalanced, it can have dire health consequences on the body. However, CBD works hand in hand with the ECS to restore balance within the body.

This explains why people may start to feel better after using CBD. Through its effects on the ECS, it may help promote good health and wellbeing. It can assist in regulating quite a number of crucial functions and processes in the body which bring about overall balance. There is still a great need for more research into the capabilities of CBD. Therefore, be sure to discuss it with your doctor before trying it for any serious health issues.

Homeostasis and CBD: What’s the connection?

If you’ve been reading about CBD or cannabinoids in general, you probably noticed that the phrase homeostasis pops up frequently.

If you’re anything like most of the public, it’s a phrase you wouldn’t naturally associate with cannabis…We don’t blame you.

We would be the same had we not come across the endocannnabinoid system and decided to learn more about how CBD works within our body.

What Is Homeostasis?

Homeostasis describes the tendency for bodily functions and systems to fluctuate and adjust in order to maintain a steady-state of equilibrium. These actions are derived from feedback loops which serve as mediators to a changing external environment.

Homeostasis also involves regulating our drives and behaviors in regards to a roughly 24-hour cycle. Take for instance our day/night circadian rhythms regulated via melatonin; regulation of food intake; cortisol levels; core body temperature; and the timing of other biological processes.

Now in plain English…Homeostasis ensures our body is kept in optimal condition by orchestrating a variety of internal changes in response to internal or external changes.

Consider how body temperature, hunger or stress can alter how your bodily functions and the fact you have direct feedback loops which prompt you to sweat, eat, or do something to de-stress.

For example, our body temperature hovers around 37° C, and we have processes in place to maintain this by shivering when cold or sweating when hot.

You might be wondering why all of this is important, and what all this have to do with CBD?

Maintaining an internal equilibrium is crucial

To survive, all living organisms need to maintain homeostasis.

The endocrine, exocrine, and nervous systems influence homeostasis via mostly negative feedback loops with a wide variety of internal bodily systems to maintain a pre-set internal environment.

Even our very own cells are constantly working to have appropriate concentrations of elements and minerals for things like maintaining proper heart rhythm, conducting signals, and contracting muscle. All vital functions depend on ensuring the body operates in optimal condition by regulating these conditions and indicators within a specific threshold.

By continually making small adjustments and thus increasing or decreasing stimuli on the cellular level, the human body can ensure our body functions optimally.

The human body is naturally in a constant state of flux in an attempt to maintain this equilibrium, and it does this via a variety of adjustments known as homeostatic processes.

So what are they?

How does homeostasis work?

Homeostatic control mechanisms contain three components which can be summarised in short below:

  • A receptor neuron senses external stimuli which then begins a response to send information to the control centre (usually the brain).
  • The control centre (often the hypothalamus section of the brain) signals an effector located in another part of the body to respond to the stimuli. The hypothalamus signal may go back through an effector neuron, or it may release a short endocrine signal to the pituitary gland for farther hormone response.
  • The effector then sends feedback again to the control centre, which signals an increased response to the stimuli, or the centre informs the effector to stop signalling if equilibrium has been achieved.
  • This three-step process continues indefinitely as a loop known as positive (increasing the response) or negative feedback.

Three examples of homeostasis

  • Temperature: The body must maintain an average temperature of 37° C (98.6° F) to operate in optimal condition. The hypothalamus section of the brain controls when we sweat, and when it receives increasing impulses that we are too hot, it signals our body to start sweating. Once we reach 37° C, the same control centre stops sending the signal so that stop sweating and maintain our core body temperature. Our core body temperature will also naturally slightly fluctuate with our sleep/wake cycles.
  • Glucose levels: Blood sugar levels rise when we eat, and the body responds by releasing insulin from the pancreas when the levels exceed an optimal operating threshold and stores the excess glucose as glycogen. On the other hand, when blood sugar levels become too low, glucagon from the pancreas signals the liver to convert its glycogen into glucose for immediate release.
  • Blood pressure: The cardiovascular system must maintain blood pressure within a reasonable range to efficiently pump blood around the body and maintain organ perfusion. The cardiovascular centre located in the brain receives impulses from receptors located in blood vessels around the body to increase or decrease the pressure. Blood pressure homeostasis also involves a complicated cascade of hormones involving the brain, kidneys, blood vessels, and even the lungs that help regulate pressures in the long term.

The role of the endocannabinoid system in homeostasis

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a highly complex physiological system found in all mammals and most living organisms with a vertebrate.

Research suggests the ECS is a regulator of other systems found within our body and that it assists in restoring balance. It has been recognised as an essential modulatory system which maintains the function of multiple organs and vital tissue found in the body.

The ECS has three primary areas of functionality:

  • Cannabinoid receptors are known as CB1 and CB2 which are found across the body but located most extensively in the central nervous system and immune system.
  • Cannabinoids produced by our body called “Endocannabinoids” interact with the ECS and bind with the receptors. The two most well-known of these compounds are called (2-arachidonoyl glycerol) (2-AG) and anandamide.
  • Enzymes break up endocannabinoids when they are no longer needed or if they are produced in excess. The most common of these enzymes are known as MAGL (breaks down anandamide) and FAAH (breaks down 2-AG). There is potential in inhibiting these enzymes.

The endocannabinoid system is a highly complex physiological system found in all mammals and most living organisms with a vertebrate.

The ECS is a regulator of the other systems within our body, and it is connected to each one through cannabinoid receptors which relay messages when activated, ensuring our body maintains homeostasis.

Endocannabinoids are vital in the management of homeostasis by signalling other systems in our body to make changes when necessary.

As a result, homeostasis is a product of organs and systems in the body interacting with the ECS to orchestrate feedback loops. Without the endocannabinoid system, we would be unable to maintain this internal balance.

Does CBD promote homeostasis?

Plant cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids) mimic the action of compounds found in our body which flow through the ECS.

Although, unlike other phytocannabinoids like THC, CBD doesn’t directly fit into any of the two receptors which control the effects derived from the ECS.

However, it is thought to stimulate receptor activity without directly interacting them itself. Research suggests this might be because CBD promotes anandamide production, one of 2 primary endocannabinoids.

Which consequently fosters homeostatic regulation by binding to cannabinoid receptors. Promoting nerve cell development in the brain via a process known as neurogenesis. Nerve cells are crucial to improve control centre signalling while enhancing functions such as learning and memory.

Final word

Our understanding of the Endocannabinoid System is still rudimentary, and it’s clear more research is required to understand its exact interactions in promoting a homeostatic response.

Nonetheless, it is evident that the CBD can drive changes in our body through the ECS. Which can influence effects felt in systems across the human anatomy.

It’s exciting to think of the possibilities. Today we can hypothesise, but not say for certain, how all this exactly fits together.