The reason why CBD is often coined as a modern-day ‘snake-oil’ is most consumers, don’t understand the science behind the compound, and the science of our health. Our body works in somewhat mysterious ways to achieve a healthy balance or overall ‘good’ health. Since, cannabidiol or CBD is somewhat new to the medical community – those mysteries are slowly, but surely, being figured out.
It all comes down to our body’s physiology system, and the inner-workings of the system to reach a goal of optimal health. Which is known as homeostasis. So, how does our body function to achieve wellness with and without CBD? Here we’ll dive deep into figuring out the puzzle pieces of our physiological system, and how CBD is an important component and catalyst to helping our body achieve homeostasis.
What Is Optimal Health?
To most, optimal health is the absence of disease. Meaning, if you have no symptoms of an illness or condition then you must be healthy. While this is semi true, it’s hard for anyone to say they feel 100%, 100% of the time. Depending on environmental factors, specific body-make-up, diets, exercise routines, etc. it’s more than common to feel less than perfect day-in, and day out.
Our body works in a way that relies on polar opposites. Or, it requires a yin and yang of different processes to maintain a ‘balance’ of overall health. For instance –
- The body’s immune system functions on a balance of anti-inflammation, and inflammation.
- The nervous system functions on a balance of inhibition GABA vs excitation GABA.
- The endocrine system functions on a balance of catabolic breakdown and anabolic build-up.
- The oxidation system functions on a balance of anti-oxidation and oxidation.
So, inflammation, oxidation, and other ‘negative’ body functions aren’t necessarily bad – it’s more about the balance of the two opposites to achieve a level ground of health. This is known as the ‘dynamic balance’ of polar opposites. The stronger your body’s physiological system can stay in balance with itself, the more capable your body is to achieve homeostasis – or, the overall feeling of feeling well.
The Balance of Health
Now, let’s discuss how that balance is achieved internally. Our body is made up of a number of signaling molecules that keeps our body’s system working regularly. As an example, neurotransmitters are the signaling molecules for the neurology (brain) system, hormones are the signaling molecules for the endocrine system, and cytokines are the signaling molecules for the immune system. Altogether, they communicate and work together to keep your body balanced for optimal health.
Next, think of these signalling molecules as different parts all connected in an old-school style of baby mobile. Altogether, the hanging parts or ‘signaling molecules’ are connected by a system of strings and sticks. But, if one molecule or part in the system gets heavier with weight or goes ‘awry’ the entire mobile becomes off-balance. The change of the one part (or molecule), causes a shift that moves the mobile back and forth or up and down. For your body, this is what happens when you’re feeling sick.
Like the analogy – it doesn’t matter which signalling molecule goes awry, to cause the imbalance in the body. Your body begins to re-balance, or to find a new point of homeostasis to become ‘leveled’ again. But what happens if you begin taking medication for the symptoms that occurred while your body was re-balancing? The entrance of prescribed medications can cause even issues with the internal connection of systems. Let’s explore that next.
How Medications Work
When your system is shifting and re-balancing, it’s likely you’ll feel ‘off’ or not well. For many, they may schedule a doctor’s appointment where tests are conducted. Typically, this test leads to a discovery that may require a prescribed medicine to address the symptom or issue that’s been detected. So, what happens when an outside compound like a pharmaceutical drug enters the system?
That drug is designed to address just one of the signaling molecules, or one of the symptoms you’ve been feeling. Not the entire system, or in the analogy – the entire mobile. To put it in perspective, the medication will bind to just one molecule to ease the symptom its setting off. Think of this as a clamp or extra weight onto a hanging part on the mobile. Again, your body will have to re-balance to make-up for the additional weight and become level once again.
Now we all know, pharmaceutical drugs have many side-effects. Since the drug is in your system, another signaling molecule might start to go awry due to these side-effects. Such as nausea, or a headache. Now, the body has to work to re-balance again and find that point of ‘homeostasis’.
While everything seems in balance, because the mobile isn’t shifting from side to side…is it really? As you can imagine from the analogy, the weights of medications are just artificial and cause stress to the entire system by trying to become leveled again from system to system. So, some of the bars holding the small pieces on the mobile might be bent, or cockeyed, to make sure it’s all in balance again.
All in all, what we’re trying to explain is – pharmaceutical drugs work towards addressing individual symptoms or molecules. Not the entire system of inner-working parts. Overall, this causes an immense amount of strain on the system which leaves it more vulnerable to outside factors. Meaning the cockeyed parts or bent connections can break more easily with any encounters of internal or external issues. Like colds, viruses, or new drug interactions.
How CBD Re-Balances Health
So, how does CBD work differently to achieve homeostasis? Put simply, instead of directing its power to just one of the signalling molecules, CBD works towards the entire system of balance. For the analogy again, think of CBD influencing all of the key points on the mobile where all pieces come together, like the branches holding the pieces on strings. In the body, this is the nexus of balance or homeostatic system. While CBD doesn’t address the single molecule with an issue, it works towards leveling out the imbalance from the top, where it can trickle down.
It does so by interacting with our body’s cells. The cells in the central nervous system are covered in receptors. CBD seeks out these receptors, where it can send its message to the interior of the cell. It travels all the way into the nucleus of the cell, where it reaches our chromosomes. If you didn’t know, our chromosomes contain the intelligence center of our entire physiology system.
In the chromosome, you’ll find our body’s DNA that contains the genetic codes for every little thing our body does. Like, the software that runs our body’s physiology system. The codes found in genes decipher what proteins our body makes – including all of those signalling molecules that essentially run our body. Like, the neurotransmitters, hormones and cytokines that are found in the neurological system, endocrine system and immune system.
Since CBD can reach this point of our cells, it has a vast influence on what it can do for our body’s ability to function. In fact, it directly modulates the transcription of over 1100 genes that signal molecules to reduce inflammation in our central nervous system, and immune system. With these 1100 genes alone, CBD naturally restores homeostasis to both systems. How so?
CBD up-regulates genes that create anti-inflammatory bio-chemicals, and the GABA system in our central nervous system which brings calmness. It also down-regulates the genes that create inflammatory bio-chemicals and the glutamate system in our central nervous system which causes over excitation. This allows CBD to target all the points of balance in our system, versus individual receptors, like prescribed medications would do.
Our body’s physiology system is very complex with hundreds of signalling elements. For instance, our immune system has nearly 350 signalling elements alone. So, you can see how complicated it can be to craft a medication that addresses just 1 without affecting others. This also explains why there’s so many differing drug interactions when taking OTC or prescribed medications. Because if you affect any one of those little receptors, it’s going to shift all the receptors that are connected in the intertwined system.
When you introduce CBD to our complex systems, the balancing effects target the entire working network. This is what causes a ‘cascade’ of homeostasis from the top tier of the system, to the bottom, to better align all of the working parts. Consequently producing the feeling of overall well-being or optimal health.
Why You Need To Understand The Endocannabinoid System
To finish our investigation, we’ll go back to those receptors that are found on our body’s cells that allow CBD to bind and travel to our genetic code. Those receptors are a part of the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Which surprisingly enough, wasn’t discovered until 1992. Meaning, many doctors or medical professionals now, didn’t even learn about the system during their time in medical school.
The endocannabinoid system is the most prevalent receptor system in our body, and serves as the ‘highway’ of communication from system to system. In our research of the ECS, the medical community has found that our body also produces its own natural cannabinoids. Including the two most important to know, anandamide and 2AG. Both cannabinoids are pivotal in our ability to feel ‘well’.
Anandamide is known as the ‘bliss’ molecule and is produced in high levels during meditation, and both compounds are released in mother’s breast milk. Hence, a baby’s happiness when being fed. They’re both also associated with the rush of a ‘runner’s high’ which isn’t just a myth, and can be scientifically proven with the raised levels of anandamide and 2AG after or during a run.
Why is this all so important to know? To circle back, it all goes towards achieving optimal health and the overall feeling of well-being. These endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout our entire network of body systems. The central nervous system, cardiovascular system, lymph system, even in our bone marrow, and in our immune organs (intestines, spleen, bladder). And, with just a recent discovery of the endocannabinoid system, and CBD’s effects – we’re at the infancy of uncovering the full spectrum or importance of both.
But most importantly – inflammation is natural to today’s current society. Everyone is naturally inflamed from environmental toxins (herbicides, insecticides, heavy metals), chronic biological infections (bacteria, viruses, fungus, molds) and a leaky gut or inflammatory diet (endotoxins). These external and unavoidable factors, cause your central nervous system to be inflamed, as well as your immune system.
An inflamed system, or symptoms of inflammation stress can cause –
- Autoimmune diseases
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema
- Chronic infections
- Brain Fog
- And more…
Since optimal ‘health’ is achieved through physiological homeostasis, you need a compound that addresses the system balance necessary for optimal health. Not necessarily just addressing one single symptom, like our current pharmaceuticals are designed to do. With this further research and increasing studies, a growing population of medical professionals are coming to the conclusion that CBD is an essential and crucial component required for optimal health. Especially finding out that our body’s two natural cannabinoids anandamide, and 2AG are responsible for key feelings of ‘bliss’ that could be prolonged or strengthened in life.
The Final Word on Cannabidiol & Homeostasis
We all have our own habits or routines to try to stay as healthy and happy as possible. Without knowing that CBD could be the answer for putting our mental and physical health back into balance. Now that you know that CBD isn’t just the modern-day, ‘cure-all’ that so many are trying to sling – it may just be time to add a new scientifically proven component into your routine.
As research continues to solidify the benefits and internal effects of CBD…start self-exploring with the natural plant cannabinoid to achieve optimal health, now. It could just be the missing part of the puzzle to better health, and overall homeostasis. Choose the purest blend that nature has to offer, with Nature’s Pure CBD. Shop our full collection of premium, high-quality CBD goods, now.