If you haven’t started to realize the incredible power of the Endocannabinoid System yet, you’re missing out! From protecting the nervous system to regulating the immune system, to impacting the growth of the embryo and even the growth of cancer the intelligence of the ECS unlocks amazing abilities. Let’s draw our focus on a big critical chunk, Inflammation and the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
The ECS helps regulate the balance or homeostasis of inflammatory pathways that are involved in so many different processes. It can have a vast impact on inflammation throughout the entire body through the activation of those cannabinoid receptors, or switch locks, as we’ve talked about before by cannabinoids.
When cannabinoids activate the cannabinoid receptors in a body that has increased inflammation happening, we can find an anti-inflammatory effect from the ECS. Research has discovered that phytocannabinoids (plant based cannabinoids) like CBD (cannabidiol) and CBDA have inhibitory effects on key enzymes of the inflammatory response known as COX (cyclooxygenase) enzymes. These are the same enzymes that NSAIDs target for the management of pain.
COX enzymes are linked to more than just pain and cause bigger problems than a little inflammation. Overexpression of COX-2 is associated with the development of colon cancer and COX-2 enzyme inhibition may be a key treatment target. Recently, it has also been shown that the ECS can protect against colonic in?ammation, which is of interest in prevention of bowel disease and colorectal cancer.
The ECS is activated when cannabinoids connect with cannabinoid receptors (switch locks) that are located all over the body. There is an abundance of these switch locks that have been discovered in the central nervous system and we have found that certain receptors activated by cannabinoids can act on nerve cells (glia and neurons) to inhibit the release of proinflammatory molecules (like interleukin-1 (IL-1), tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-), IL-6 and nitric oxide (NO). They also enhance the release of anti-inflammatory molecules like IL-4 and IL-10.
That was a mouthful. Simply put, we have found that cannabinoids are able to positively modulate the inflammatory response in more than one way!
This is why many people are seeking out ECS support for their overactive immune system (i.e. allergies, asthma, arthritis, autoimmunity and inflammatory bowel disease)!
So let?s step back for a moment and check out some of the other options currently on the American market for dealing with inflammation.
Humira ranks at the top of pharmaceutical sales bringing in about $20 BILLION dollars in 2018. It is used to treat several autoimmune conditions by mediating the inflammatory response. No doubt it helps a huge number of people and I am ALL FOR helping people. But once you understand HOW it is helping, and at what cost you might begin to think a little differently.
If you have never done much research into the negative effects of a medication that you, your child, your parent, or a loved one is taking it’s one of the first things I recommend to my patients in the awakening process of piecing together their failing health.
Let’s get more specific on how these drugs mediate the inflammatory response.
It is a TNF- blocker
Wait a minute! Didn’t we just list that above as something that cannabinoids naturally inhibit YES. Cannabinoids act on nerve cells (glia and neurons) to inhibit the release of proinflammatory molecules (like interleukin-1 (IL-1), tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-), IL-6 and nitric oxide (NO).
So, they’re essentially doing the same thing here.
Lets review side effects from the strong pharmaceutical inhibition of TNF-alpha. There’s a lot of them, so we’ll only pick out the most dangerous ones here, but you can easily pull up a more extensive list (and I encourage you to do so!). This snippet is from drugwatch.com:
A black box warning in Humira’s label highlights the risk of serious infections leading to hospitalization or death, including TB, bacterial sepsis, invasive fungal infections and infections due to opportunistic pathogens. It also features cancers, notably lymphoma and hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma.
YIKES! The problem is that when you artificially block this important protein, the rest of the immune system can suffer dramatically. Fortunately, using whole plant medicines does not offer the same harsh impact.
Can you guess where I am headed?
If there is a safer and more natural option, why not try it
If cannabinoids can positively modulate the inflammatory response in more than one way
And we can source cannabinoids from plants to support and/or replenish our endocannabinoid system
And these plants appear to be extremely safe (assuming you aren’t allergic but still wise to double check for other drug interactions too)
I think it only makes sense to try a high quality and full spectrum hemp oil that has been tested for purity and potency. I hope you do too!
I must share one more important bit of helpful information for anyone seeking natural support for inflammatory related issues
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
If you have researched natural ways to reduce inflammation, it is highly likely you have come across articles discussing the benefits of fish oil, krill oil or some other source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Now we are discovering that the benefits of a GOOD fish oil or plant-based omega fatty acid support are taking us deeper into a healthy ECS because these essential fatty acids are also the building blocks our body needs to whip up our own ?homemade? endocannabinoids! In addition to their own ability to promote a healthy inflammatory response.
So there it is ? my top general recommendations for people to research for use with their own inflammatory issues is full spectrum (CBD-containing) oil and a high quality fatty acid support.