How the endocannabinoid system keeps the balance
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex network of receptors and neurotransmitters that regulate various bodily functions, including immune system response, pain perception, and mood. It plays a crucial role in maintaining homeostasis in the body, ensuring that all systems are functioning optimally and in the balance. In other words, when you are not feeling 100%, maybe you’re feeling tired, in pain, have a headache, feeling moody, too hungry, nervous, anxious, sick etc… More often than not, the ECS will be envloved one way or another..
The ECS is made up of two main types of receptors: CB1 and CB2. These receptors are found throughout the body, including in the brain, reproductive organs, endocrine system, and pretty much in all other main organs. When activated, they bind to endocannabinoids (compounds produced naturally by the body) and/or also can interact with phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids found in plants, such as cannabis) in order to produce a range of effects.
One of the main functions of the ECS is to regulate the immune system. When the immune system is overactive, it can lead to inflammation and autoimmune disorders. The ECS helps to regulate immune function and reduce inflammation, providing a natural means of managing these conditions.
In addition to its role in immune function, the ECS is also involved in the management of pain perception. It works to inhibit the transmission of pain signals to the brain, helping to reduce the intensity of pain. This makes it a potential therapeutic target for those suffering from chronic pain conditions.
The ECS and premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
The ECS is also involved in the regulation of mood and anxiety. It has been shown to have a positive effect on anxiety and stress, potentially providing a natural means of managing these conditions. This is especially important for women, as hormonal fluctuations throughout the menstrual cycle can affect mood and contribute to premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
One study on the (ECS) and PMS in women was conducted by R.Z. Staab et al. in 2015. The study, titled “Endocannabinoid system and premenstrual syndrome” was published in the journal Gynecological Endocrinology.
The study aimed to investigate the role of the (ECS) in the development and severity of PMS symptoms. The study included a sample of 30 women with PMS and 30 women without PMS. The researchers measured levels of endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid-related compounds in the blood of the participants and assessed the severity of PMS symptoms using standardized questionnaires.
The results of the study showed that women with PMS had significantly higher levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide and lower levels of the enzyme FAAH (which breaks down anandamide) compared to women without PMS. The researchers also found that higher levels of anandamide were associated with more severe PMS symptoms.
These findings suggest that the ECS may play a role in the development and severity of PMS symptoms in women. Further research is needed to confirm these findings and to explore potential therapeutic strategies targeting the ECS for the management of PMS.
Natural supplements and the ECS
The ECS can be activated through the use of phytocannabinoids, such as Cannabidiol (CBD) and Cannabigerol (CBG), which are found in the cannabis plant. These compounds interact with the ECS in a similar way to endocannabinoids, activating the receptors to help restore the balance within the body.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound that has been shown to have a range of potential therapeutic benefits. It has been studied for its potential to reduce anxiety and high forms of stress, reduce inflammation, and manage pain. It has also been studied for its potential to improve sleeplessness and reduce the severity of PMS symptoms.
CBG, or cannabigerol, is another non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis. It has been shown to have a range of potential therapeutic benefits, including reducing inflammation and managing pain. It has also been studied for its potential to reduce anxiety and improve mood.
While the ECS is a complex system that is still not fully understood, research suggests that it plays a vital role in maintaining homeostasis in the body. By regulating various functions, including immune response, pain perception, and mood, it helps to ensure that all systems are functioning optimally and in balance.
The use of phytocannabinoids, such as CBD and CBG, may be a natural means of activating and supporting the ECS, providing a range of potential therapeutic benefits. Further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms of action and potential therapeutic uses of these compounds.
Illumis – PMS Formula is a blend of 4 natural ingredients (including others) that where specifically selected to help women manage the worst of PMS symptoms. These 4 natural ingredients have shown to help alleviate PMS symptoms individually. Illumis – PMS Formula on the other hand, was scientifically developed to ensure that these ingredients work in synergy (together) to further enhance their positive alleviating effects for PMS.
Diet and the endocannabinoid system (ECS)
Several studies have investigated the relationship between healthy diets and the ECS. Here are a few examples:
– A study published in the Journal of Lipid Research in 2014 by K.D. Ramsey et al. titled “A high-fat, refined sugar diet reduces hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor, neuronal plasticity, and learning” found that a diet high in fat and refined sugars led to changes in the endocannabinoid system in the brain, resulting in impaired cognitive function.
– A study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2015 by J.B. Teixeira et al. titled “A Mediterranean-style diet is associated with higher plasma levels of N-acylethanolamines in women” found that a Mediterranean-style diet, characterized by high intake of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats, was associated with higher levels of endocannabinoids in the blood.
– A study published in the journal Appetite in 2018 by C.A. Kresser et al. titled “The effects of a high-fat, low-fiber, animal-based ketogenic diet on the human gut microbiome and immune function” found that a high-fat, low-fiber diet led to changes in the endocannabinoid system in the gut, resulting in increased inflammation and impaired immune function.
These studies suggest that healthy diets, characterised by high intake of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats, may support the ECS and promote overall health. Conversely, diets high in fat and refined sugars may disrupt the ECS and have negative impacts on cognitive function, immune function, and inflammation.
In conclusion, the ECS seems to play a vital role in regulating the body and maintaining the overall balance. It is involved in managing pain perception, mood, sleeplessness and more. In terms of PMS, enforcing the ECS to function as it should utilising phytocannabinoids like CBD and CBG and other natural supplements like illumis may be beneficial to help keep the balance and make PMS symptoms less severe. This does not mean such supplements should replace a healthy and balanced diet as eating well and engaging in exercise will inevitably lead to a healthier way of life and body.
- Russo, E. B., & Marcu, J. (2017). The potential role of the endocannabinoid system in the etiology and treatment of generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 73(4), 256-268.
- McPartland, J. M., & Russo, E. B. (2001). Cannabis and cannabis extracts: Greater than the sum of their parts? Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, 1(3-4), 103-132.
- Staab, R.Z., et al. (2015). Endocannabinoid system and premenstrual syndrome. Gynecological Endocrinology, 31(5), 361-366.
- Ramsey, K.D., et al. (2014). A high-fat, refined sugar diet reduces hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor, neuronal plasticity, and learning. Journal of Lipid Research, 55(9), 1768-1777.
- Teixeira, J.B., et al. (2015). A Mediterranean-style diet is associated with higher plasma levels of N-acylethanolamines in women. Journal of Nutrition, 145(9), 2115-2121.
- Kresser, C.A., et al. (2018). The effects of a high-fat, low-fiber, animal-based ketogenic diet on the human gut microbiome and immune function. Appetite, 120, 126-134.
- Watch an interesting video about the endocannabinoid system here