You probably know that neurotransmitters are little chemical messengers that help your nervous system communicate information to the rest of your body.
Here’s something you may not know: There are neurotransmitters in your body named after cannabis, the same plant family giving rise to Marijuana and Hemp. Weird, right?
These neurotransmitters, called endocannabinoids—”endo” meaning endogenous, or created by the body—were discovered after similar substances called cannabinoids were found in marijuana (the cannabinoids you’ve probably heard of are THC and CBD). And it turns out the cannabinoid compounds made by both cannabis plants and our own bodies are similar in structure and function.
How do they work? By acting on an influential system known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is located throughout your nervous system, including the brain, brainstem, and spinal cord, as well as in peripheral nerves and cells found in places like your limbs and digestive tract. The ECS includes endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes which synthesize and break down the endocannabinoids.
Perhaps the ECS’s most important roles are controlling inflammation and, notably, maintaining homeostasis in your body. Homeostasis is your body’s physiological “sweet spot”: when your biological, hormonal, endocrinological, and metabolic systems are all stable, helping you maintain an efficient and healthy internal environment.
When your internal environment deviates from that stability in any way—say, you get hot, you get hungry, or you get sick—your ECS is activated to course correct.
Indeed, the ECS and its constituent components are believed to play a role in managing everything from your sleep and mood to your memory and reproductive system.
The Link Between ECS, Stress, and Inflammation
Research has linked ECS dysfunction with a variety of psychiatric illnesses, including schizophrenia and anxiety. Other conditions like fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and migraine headaches, are thought to be correlated with an endocannabinoid deficiency, as well.
In other words, not having enough endogenous cannabinoids can make for a very faulty ECS (and a troubling deviation from your comfy cozy homeostasis).
And while it’s not entirely clear how or why an endocannabinoid deficiency occurs, a plausible explanation is widespread inflammation. It’s caused by usual suspects like:
Such inflammatory triggers may inhibit your body’s ability to produce endogenous cannabinoids, thereby impairing normal function of your ECS.
We’ll also go out on a limb and say that it likely works both ways, too: being stressed and chronically inflamed can disrupt your ECS, and a disrupted ECS can give rise to even more inflammation.
The takeaway? If you’re stressed, hurt, fatigued, or sick, inflammation is likely lurking beneath the surface. And if you don’t have enough endogenous cannabinoids of your own to quell the flame, supplementing with non-psychoactive cannabinoid products may help you restore the balance your body needs.
The Benefits of Hemp Oil and CBD Oil in The Management of Anxiety and More
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil already has known applications for things like acne, asthma, chronic pain, and epilepsy. CBD is also believed to alleviate anxiety by preventing your body from breaking down one of your own endocannabinoids called anandamide (from the Sanskrit ananda, or “bliss”), which has a naturally calming effect. And you can bet your best buck that tons more research is forthcoming on the potential of CBD to treat other ECS-influenced conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and autoimmune disorders.
Our Full Spectrum Hemp oil is rich in a powerful cannabinoid called CBD (the non-psychoactive counterpart to THC). When ingested, CBD safely activates your ECS and may help resolve long-standing issues like anxiety and stress*.