Harvard Health Publishing ran a brief story on the human endocannabinoid system. It said the system “regulates and controls many of our most critical bodily functions such as learning and memory, emotional processing, sleep, temperature control, pain control, inflammatory and immune responses, and eating.” To achieve this regulation, your body makes endogenous cannabinoids or endocannabinoids.
Cannabinoids are molecules your body applies to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system. The receptors then send neurotransmitters to regulate a bodily process, of which you have many thousands. When the process achieves the balance that the body wants, the receptor produces enzymes that neutralize the cannabinoids, which prevents your many processes from getting out of balance.
Why Big Pharma Is Big on Cannabinoid Research
If you have too much of the neutralizing enzymes in your system, they can bog down the work of the cannabinoid receptors. Malfunctioning cannabinoid receptors are responsible for a great many illnesses and conditions. Optimized cannabinoid receptors are responsible for well-balanced health. So pharmaceutical companies are all over cannabinoid research. They want to create compounds that can safely increase a body’s cannabinoid production or, sometimes, reduce it.
But many people are already taking exogenous cannabinoids (i.e., cannabinoids produced outside the body) to correct imbalances. The two most prominent exogenous cannabinoids are THC from the cannabis plant and CBD from hemp. THC is psychoactive, which means it can affect mood and perception. That is, regardless of any benefits, it can also get you high. CBD is not psychoactive. It can supplement the endocannabinoid system without any mood-altering side effects.
CBD can relieve pain. A recent survey of 2,701 fibromyalgia sufferers found most use CBD to manage the condition. And most of those reported pain relief. An earlier clinical study found CBD can relieve certain kinds of pain, including neuropathic pain and pain from malignant disease.
CBD can ease anxiety. A 2019 study of healthy volunteers showed that CBD reduces anxiety. I found this study interesting because the researchers induced anxiety in the volunteers by giving them a public speaking test. They said it was “a well-tested anxiety-inducing method.” And several studies have proved CBD’s ability to moderate the symptoms of PTSD.
CBD may improve heart health. There have been a number of heart health studies. But a 2020 study of healthy men caught my eye. It found that CBD reduced the participants’ blood pressure at rest. But it also found that the effect went away after seven days, apparently because the participants developed tolerance. Intriguingly, however, CBD’s ability to reduce blood pressure under stress (rather than at rest) persisted.
Your Body Makes Cannabinoids
If you’re suffering from a diagnosed disease, you should stick with your doctor’s advice, although you may want to ask him or her if CBD might relieve symptoms.
But if you simply feel that you’re not functioning at your best, there is very little risk in supplementing your body’s production of cannabinoids with CBD. CBD has been pronounced safe by the World Health Organization (PDF): “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile. Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications.”
Our products — Peak’s Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil, Peak’s Iso-Filtered Hemp Oil, and Peak’s Calm Cream — come from American-grown hemp and are typically much purer than Asian hemp products.
Yes, your body makes cannabinoids. But is it making enough? If you suspect it’s not, talk to us.