Thanks to the fast-paced contemporary world and its busy workflow, many of us have realized the importance of balance in all aspects of our lives. Be it consuming the right amount of nutrition for a balanced diet or balancing work and life for better physical and mental health, the significance of balance cannot be ignored.
But what about the balance within the body?
What regulates it and how?
And, how can you use Ayurvedic cannabis solutions to contribute to it?
Read ahead to find out.
ECS: The Basics
The ECS or the Endocannabinoid system is one of the most vital bodily systems and is responsible for regulating balance in the body, or homeostasis, as called medically. It is comprised of three key components, namely:
- Cannabinoid receptors (mainly CB1 and CB2), which are spread throughout the body and the brain
- Endocannabinoids like 2-AG and Anandamide which bind to those receptors, and
- Metabolic enzymes, which break the endocannabinoids down after they’re used.
These components of the ECS together have a robust influence on the body’s vital functions like:
- Memory, etc.
Furthermore, it helps all the organs function optimally and achieve a state of equilibrium, thus aiding the body’s physiological, emotional, and energy balance. But how does the Endocannabinoid System do it exactly?
Achieving Balance: Endocannabinoid System and Homeostasis
The ECS comes into play when it discerns an imbalance in the body and switches back off after restoring balance to the system.
Its CB1 cannabinoid receptors have a high concentration in the brain and the Central Nervous System (CNS), which coordinates the body’s metabolic, molecular, and behavioural processes.
And the CB2 receptors are predominantly present in the immune system, which protects the body from harmful outside invasions like bacteria and germs and blood cells.
The endocannabinoids in the brain act as neuromodulators, i.e., they enhance the neurons’ activity. They bind with the cannabinoid receptors in the region and activate them. This, in turn, affects the system’s chemical messengers and cell communication.
Activating the CB1 receptors modulates the neuronal behaviour and activity in the brain areas responsible for regulating balance. While activating the CB2 receptors aids proper muscle and bone function and helps the immune system better regulate homeostasis.
The overall balance in the ECS and hence, in the body is achieved with the comparative contribution of these receptors. When CB1 is active and dominant, it:
- Enhances sensory perception
- Decreases pain, and
- Monitors the immune system working.
And when CB2 is active, it:
- decreases inflammation and tissue injury
- improves metabolic health
- increases insulin signaling/sensitivity and satiety, and
- enhances energy balance.
Below are a few examples of how the ECS regulates different bodily processes to promote the body’s balance and stability.
ECS for Emotions, Stress, and Mood
The ECS plays a huge role in managing mood, emotions, and stress response. Ayurveda doctors and clinical experts have cited various studies, such as this one conducted by the Medical College of Wisconsin, USA, to show the role of ECS in reducing conditions like anxiety, stress, and depression.
Moreover, because of its involvement in managing mood and emotional responses, the ECS has become a potent target for medical researchers for the development of cannabis-derived Ayurveda Medicare.
ECS for Metabolism
The endocannabinoid has a direct influence on various metabolic processes. It activates the key receptors in the areas like the liver, pancreas, and digestive tract.
The University of Bologna, Italy, also showed how the ECS regulates:
- Food intake
- Lipid metabolism, and
- Energy balance in the body.
Furthermore, research from Kagawa University School of Medicine, Japan, acknowledges the same.
This has further made the ECS a valuable medical target for implementing cannabis-based Ayurveda Medicare to aid in the treatment process of various metabolic conditions, including diabetes and obesity.
ECS’s influence on Immune Function
The ECS, along with Cannabis, aids in treating the diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis and Crohn’s disease, as these are caused by imbalances and disorders in the immune system, where it attacks the healthy tissues in the respective regions.
A 2009 paper by the University of South Carolina examined the regulatory effects of the ECS on the immune system. It found that the ECS suppresses immune hyperactivity and hence, prevents immune disorders and aids the body’s recovery from immune-related injuries.
Proper activation and function of both the receptors are vital in regulating balance in the ECS and the body. Tipping the balance too much on one side can have adverse effects. If CB2 is overactive, and CB1 gets inhibited, it can:
- Increase depression
- Disturb the mood
- Decrease immune function, and
- Reduce fertility.
While if CB1 is too dominant, it can increase:
- Cardiovascular risk, and
- Systemic Inflammation.
So how to prevent it?
ECS Balance: The Role of Cannabis
The ECS might regulate the body’s balance. But what regulates the ECS?
Numerous studies and research conducted by medical experts and Ayurveda doctors have shown that phytocannabinoids from various Ayurvedic cannabis solutions play a major role in stimulating, regulating, and enhancing ECS function.
This happens because of the way the cannabinoids THC and CBD from cannabis interact with the ECS.
- THC, when consumed, binds to both the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the ECS. It not only encourages balance but also aids in treating various diseases, especially pain and inflammation.
- CBD, on the other hand, stimulates cannabinoid receptors’ activity without actually binding to them. It aids the synthesis and function of anandamide and 2-AG. It also prevents endocannabinoid breakdown by inhibiting enzyme activity, such as FAAH, which is responsible for anandamide breakdown.
This way, cannabis-
- encourages healthier endocannabinoid activity
- improves immunity,
- prevents homeostatic disorders,
- regulates body’s overall balance, and hence,
- improves wellbeing and quality of life.