the endocannabinoid system and homeostasis

Maintaining Internal Balance in an Ever-Changing External Environment

HOMEOSTASIS AND THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM

HOMEOSTASIS AND THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM

Hemp oil extract compounds and the endocannabinoid system play a key role in supporting homeostasis. But what exactly is homeostasis and what does the endocannabinoid system has to do with it?

WHAT IS HOMEOSTASIS?

 
Homeostasis is a term used to describe the process of maintaining internal balance in an ever-changing external environment. In humans, homeostasis is a multitude of individual but interdependent processes that ultimately maintain the functioning of our body.
 
Circumstances in our body may fluctuate due to various external factors. Think about how things like temperature, stress or even the food you eat can temporarily affect the way your body works.

For example, the heat on a hot day can cause your blood pressure to drop. That could make you feel dizzy, tired, or uncomfortable. Conversely, preparing for a presentation for work or studying for an exam may increase your blood pressure. That may make you feel anxious or have to deal with headaches and other physical symptoms.

That’s how the internal circumstances of your body can fluctuate in response to the ever-changing conditions of the external environment. Luckily, your body has built-in reaction mechanisms to deal with these changes and to work properly as soon as possible.

These different mechanisms all play an important role in helping our body achieve and maintain homeostasis. And even though the individual homeostatic processes in your body are different, they all consist of three essential components:

endocannabinoid man in discomfort
endocannabinoid man in discomfort

For example, the heat on a hot day can cause your blood pressure to drop. That could make you feel dizzy, tired, or uncomfortable. Conversely, preparing for a presentation for work or studying for an exam may increase your blood pressure. That may make you feel anxious or have to deal with headaches and other physical symptoms.

That’s how the internal circumstances of your body can fluctuate in response to the ever-changing conditions of the external environment. Luckily, your body has built-in reaction mechanisms to deal with these changes and to work properly as soon as possible.

These different mechanisms all play an important role in helping our body achieve and maintain homeostasis. And even though the individual homeostatic processes in your body are different, they all consist of three essential components:

–  Receptors responsible for detecting external changes.
–  A control center that decides how to respond to these changes.
–  Effectors that perform the corresponding reaction.

–  Receptors responsible for detecting external changes.

 

–  A control center that decides how to respond to these changes.

 

–  Effectors that perform the corresponding reaction.

To better understand how our body reacts to external changes, let’s think about how it regulates our internal body temperature.

 
In this example, the control center is the hypothalamus. A part of the brain that helps our bodies detect temperature changes and respond accordingly to maintain optimal internal temperature.

In a sense, the hypothalamus works like a thermostat. The ECSs receptors help the hypothalamus to detect changes in temperature and to react accordingly. These Receptors are located in the skin as well as in the internal structures of the body.  As the temperature rises, our body begins to promote heat loss to maintain its internal temperature at around 37 ° C. When temperatures drop, our body reduces the heat loss.

Thermoregulation is just one example of a homeostatic process that is constantly taking place in our body.

HOMEOSTASIS AND THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM

The endocannabinoid system has been discovered in research on how cannabis affects the human body. More specifically, it has been recognized which receptors in the body are affected by cannabinoids. The first found affected receptors are called CB1 receptor and CB2 receptor. These receptors are found throughout the body, in the brain, nervous system, organs, glands, digestive tract, skin, and tissues. Most, however, are in the brain. The CB1 receptor is associated, among other things, with coordination and movement, pain, emotions and mood, thinking, appetite, and memories.

an illustration of the endocannabinoid structure
an illustration of the endocannabinoid structure

The endocannabinoid system has been discovered in research on how cannabis affects the human body. More specifically, it has been recognized which receptors in the body are affected by cannabinoids. The first found affected receptors are called CB1 receptor and CB2 receptor. These receptors are found throughout the body, in the brain, nervous system, organs, glands, digestive tract, skin, and tissues. Most, however, are in the brain. The CB1 receptor is associated, among other things, with coordination and movement, pain, emotions and mood, thinking, appetite, and memories.

It used to be thought that cannabidiol acts directly on the CB2 receptors. However, recent findings suggest that cannabidiol has no direct effect. It instead influences the body to use more of its own cannabinoids. It stimulates the endogenous cannabinoid system. The ECS is now considered one of the most important physiological systems in terms of maintaining and achieving good health.

The receptors of the ECS have a “wireless” connection with the whole body. The ECS is constantly trying to regulate the body towards more stability. No matter what the influences and fluctuations it is exposed to. The endogenous cannabinoid system supports the body in a variety of internal, physiological processes and helps to regulate them. The four main tasks of the ECS are neuroprotection, stress regeneration, immune balance, and homeostatic regulation.

The Endocannabinoid System consists of 3 main components:

1.  Cannabinoid receptors, like CB1 and CB2. They are found in different parts of the brain and the body. As well as in certain cells of the immune system.

2.  Endocannabinoids such as anandamide and 2-AG. They are produced in the brain and bind to one of the two cannabinoid receptors. Unlike other molecules in the body, anandamide and 2-AG (2-Arachidonoylglycerol) are synthesized. They are used when needed and not produced and stored for later use.
 
3.  Metabolism enzymes that degrade endocannabinoids after they have been used. The two most important enzymes in the endocannabinoid system are FAAH (Fatty acid amide hydrolase), which degrades anandamide, and MAGL (Monoacylglycerol lipase), which degrades 2-AG.

Below are some concrete examples of how the endocannabinoid system can help regulate various processes in the body and promote homeostasis:


THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM REGULATES THE METABOLISM


The endocannabinoid system plays an important homeostatic role in the regulation of various metabolic processes. It has key receptors in areas such as the digestive tract, pancreas, liver, and even adipose tissue.

 

For example, endocannabinoids may affect digestion and nutrient uptake by stimulating receptors in the digestive tract. In addition, the ECS has a direct impact on how nutrients are stored and transported in the body.

STRESS REACTIONS

In addition, the ECS is involved in the management of emotions as well as the mood and response to external stress.

 

As mentioned earlier, cannabinoid receptors (especially CB1) are present throughout the body. Especially in the brain, CB1 receptors are among the most common G protein-coupled receptors. Particularly high levels of CB1 receptors are found in key areas of the brain involved in the regulation of stress, emotions, mood, anxiety.

That also includes:

– the prefrontal cortex
– the amygdala
– the hippocampus
– the Periaqueductal gray (PAG)

 

By stimulating receptors in these different parts of the brain, the ECS can reduce stress, worry, and anxiety.

brain receptors in endocannabinoid system
brain receptors in endocannabinoid system

STRESS REACTIONS

In addition, the ECS is involved in the management of emotions as well as the mood and response to external stress.

 

As mentioned earlier, cannabinoid receptors (especially CB1) are present throughout the body. Especially in the brain, CB1 receptors are among the most common G protein-coupled receptors. Particularly high levels of CB1 receptors are found in key areas of the brain involved in the regulation of stress, emotions, mood, anxiety.

That also includes:

– the prefrontal cortex
– the amygdala
– the hippocampus
– the Periaqueductal gray (PAG)

 

By stimulating receptors in these different parts of the brain, the ECS can reduce stress, worry, and anxiety.

THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM CAN IMPACT THE IMMUNE FUNCTION


Unlike CB1 receptors, CB2 receptors are most abundant in immune cells. By directly or indirectly stimulating these receptors, cannabinoids play a key role in promoting immune regulation.


The endocannabinoid system can help to regulate immune homeostasis in the gut. It can help to regulate an imbalance that causes the immune system to attack healthy tissue in the digestive tract. Endocannabinoids are actively helping to regulate the immune system.

HOW CAN HEMP OIL PROMOTE HOMEOSTASIS?

CBD is a natural compound derived from hemp. It’s the most important chemical compound in Hemp oil. Unlike some other herbal cannabinoids, it does not really fit into any of the cannabinoid receptors in the body. However, it is able to stimulate activity in the receptors without binding directly to them. Supporting the ECS in creating an optimal energy balance in the body. Stimulating this balancing system to produce its therapeutic effects and promote homeostasis.

 

Instead of binding to CB1 or CB2 receptors, CBD has two very unique effects on the body. First, it promotes the synthesis of 2-AG, which in turn stimulates activity in the receptors. It also inhibits the activity of FAAH, the enzyme responsible for the degradation of anandamide.

Hemp extract interacts with another G protein-coupled receptor called TRPV-1. This receptor plays an active role in regulating body temperature as well as pain and inflammation. By interacting with TRPV-1 and stimulating anandamide and 2-AG increases, the hemp oil compound indirectly promotes healthy endocannabinoid activity.

creating homeostasis with hemp oil

It stimulates the endocannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 in case of imbalance in the body. The chemical compound is able to interact with cells in our body perfectly. Its molecule structure has a similar composition comparable with chemicals that the human body naturally produces.

The endocannabinoids of our body are given active support by the compounds found in hemp extract.

Hemp oil also directly or indirectly influences the following receptors positively:

Vanilloid receptors (important for discomfort modulation)
Adenosine receptors (important for the sleep-wake cycle)
Serotonin receptors (important for mood and stress management)

 

Hemp oil extract is supporting the organism by giving the ECS the necessary boost to continue to function most efficiently. It promotes the maintenance of our state of equilibrium, by stimulating the body to regulate and balance itself again.

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