Endocannabinoid Deficiency: What It Is and Why You Should Care

March 29, 2018

Since cannabinoids are essentially non-existent in today’s typical diets, are we now starved of cannabinoids? Some researchers believe yes.

Everyone has their own personal reasons for why they take CBD supplements. Every day, more people discover how incorporating daily servings of CBD oil into their routine provides positive benefits that keep them at their best.

Some arrive at CBD supplements after hearing about the concept of endocannabinoid deficiency and how it may be an underlying reason for why they’re not feeling well.

Spend a few minutes with us to learn about endocannabinoid deficiency and how it may affect you.

Review of the Endocannabinoid System

Before diving into an explanation of endocannabinoid deficiency, it’s important that you’re familiar with your body’s endocannabinoid system and the important role in plays in maintaining your health and wellness. So let’s do a quick review.

The endocannabinoid system is your body’s major regulatory system. Everything from your mood, sleep, metabolism, and immune system response is regulated by your endocannabinoid system.

This system works by synthesizing neuromodulatory lipids called endocannabinoids, a class of active compounds that interact with cannabinoid receptors found on cells throughout your central and peripheral nervous systems and immune system. When endocannabinoids bind with, or block, these cannabinoid receptors, they elicit chemical responses designed to keep the body and its functions in balance.

Anytime one of your functions gets out of whack, the endocannabinoid system goes to work, synthesizing the necessary endocannabinoids to bind with or block cannabinoid receptors to return those functions back into balance, or homeostasis.

You can see why a properly functioning endocannabinoid system is so crucial.

What is Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency?

Endocannabinoid deficiency, which is commonly referred to as clinical endocannabinoid deficiency among the research community, is a relatively new theory presented by medical cannabinoid experts. The theory attempts to explain why, in some cases, the endocannabinoid system is unable to properly keep the body in balance.

First introduced by renowned cannabinoid researcher Dr. Ethan Russo in 2004, the theory of clinical endocannabinoid deficiency suggests that in some cases the body doesn’t produce enough endocannabinoids for the endocannabinoid system to function properly.

Russo had been analyzing published studies and noticed that people diagnosed with certain conditions had a tendency to have lower levels of endocannabinoids. In his research review, he went on to suggest that a deficiency in endocannabinoids could explain why some conditions develop.

endocannabinoid deficiency effects

Russo then took it a step further. He suggested that supplementing the body with cannabinoids could possibly be beneficial for addressing endocannabinoid deficiency.

While more research is needed before the endocannabinoid deficiency can be proven, the theory could explain why some conditions and symptoms develop and perhaps how to prevent or manage them.

Supplementing with Plant-Derived Cannabinoids

For those who are potentially experiencing a deficiency in cannabinoids, there could be a solution. Cannabinoids are not only obtainable from the body. In fact, they can be found in three places:

  1. Produced naturally by the human body (endocannabinoids)
  2. Formed by plants (phytocannabinoids)
  3. Created artificially in the lab (synthetic cannabinoids)

Yes, cannabinoids can also come from plants. For example, CBD, or cannabidiol, is a plant-derived cannabinoid found in plants like flax, Echinacea, and in higher amounts in cannabis plants like hemp. Cannabis alone contains more than 100 different naturally occurring cannabinoids.

When cannabinoids come from plants, they’re called phytocannabinoids. These plant-derived compounds share a similar molecular structure to endocannabinoids, which allows them to activate the endocannabinoid system by interacting with its network of cannabinoid receptors.

It is thought that the reason people have become “starved” of cannabinoids and are experiencing a deficiency is due to plant-derived cannabinoids having been removed from the contemporary human diet. For example, while hemp had once been widely used in the U.S., over the past few decades it has become difficult to find, causing CBD and the plant’s other natural cannabinoids to essentially disappear from the food chain.

Russo and other researchers have suggested that introducing cannabinoids, such as those found in plants, into our systems may be able to support the endocannabinoid system’s efforts in bringing the body back into balance.

It’s no secret that many CBD consumers worldwide are experiencing the natural balancing benefits of supplementing their systems with cannabinoids. Many of our customers have shared how they now use our CBD oil products as part of their healthy lifestyles.

athlete needs cannabinoids

Learn More about Cannabinoids and the Endocannabinoid System

You can learn even more about phytocannabinoids like CBD and the role your endocannabinoid system plays in keeping your body running at its best by visiting the Dixie Botanicals® blog.

Think you can benefit from cannabinoid supplements? Start your daily CBD routine today by visiting our online shop.

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