Your Endocannabinoid System & You

It usually happens in your first or second yoga class. You look around and, in the middle of the Warrior pose you suddenly start to feel your body in space. You feel your torso and limbs and every cell of your body existing in the universe, and yet, at the same time you lose all sensation of physical attachment to the world. 

 

For me, it was after I applied Relief Cream to my shoulders, feet, and knees. When I laid down in a simple Shavasana pose on my mat and, in complete silence, felt each part of my body melt away from the tips of my toes to the top of my head. That moment was my first sense of the power of homeostasis, or balance.

 

 

Homeostasis is what our bodies naturally strive to achieve. Day in and day out, as we compete with modern environmental stressors like jobs, family, traffic, and chores, our body and mind work to the point of near exhaustion to keep us balanced. 

 

Hormones, enzymes, and a zoo of biological and chemical compounds need constant maintenance to help our bodies perform their best. And there is one master system taking it all head on: the Endocannabinoid System.

 

What is the Endocannabinoid System? 

 

Put simply, the Endocannabinoid System (or the “ECS” for short) is the biological system in our bodies that manages homeostasis. It evolved over 600 million years ago (waaaaay before humans), and can be found in mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and even invertebrates!

 

You’ve probably heard of the Respiratory System that regulates the lungs and the oxygen in our cells, or the Digestive System which manages the gut and processes the food we eat, or the Immune System that keeps us safe from germs and other nasties. The ECS is just another system giving your body commands so that it functions properly and keeps you healthy. 

 

 

How does the ECS work?

 

The ECS manages chemicals called “endocannabinoids” (“endo” as in, endogenous to ourselves) that interact with specific receptors in our bodies the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Like a key to a lock, the endocannabinoids “unlock” the CB1 and CB2 receptors, releasing enzymes that help regulate the other systems’ unique functions. 

 

This means the ECS helps our blood flow smoothly, our synapses fire on time, our hormones release (or not!), and our bodies balance.

 

Over time, the imbalance can manifest as a smorgasbord of different physical and mental health issues.

 

Everyone is born with their ECS in tip top condition. But as we get older and we experience stress, we produce fewer and fewer endocannabinoids. Eventually, our bodies don’t function as optimally as they did when we were younger. And over time, the imbalance can manifest as a smorgasbord of different physical and mental health issues.

 

How does the CBD work to enhance the ECS?

 

External, natural chemicals called “phytocannabinoids” (“phyto” as in, phytogenetic, or from plants) can help replenish our body’s ECS where our endocannabinoids left off. Created by plants like Cannabis Sativa, phytocannabinoids include cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC the psychoactive component of cannabis). 

 

There are over 100 other phytocannabinoids in Cannabis Sativa, and each of them work to increase the effectiveness of the others including CBD and THC. This collaboration among chemicals is called the “entourage” or “ensemble” effect.

 

 

The entourage effect is incredibly powerful, especially in full-spectrum CBD products. Full-spectrum products contain very tiny amounts of THC as an ingredient (less than 0.3%, so it won’t cause any psychotropic effect), which is a key component in helping the other phytocannabinoids like CBD attach to your ECS’s CB1 and CB2 receptors (making them way more effective!).

 

Broad-spectrum and isolate CBD products are processed to contain no THC whatsoever, and are therefore naturally less effective within your body’s ECS.

 

For reference, products that are called broad-spectrum CBD contain some phytocannabinoids other than CBD, and offer a slice of the entourage effect. However, CBD isolate doesn’t contain any other phytocannabinoids, and so it doesn’t have any assistance from the entourage effect. It’s important to note that broad-spectrum and isolate CBD products are processed to contain no THC whatsoever, and are therefore naturally less effective within your body’s ECS.

 

It’s a lot like eating an apple versus eating apple sauce or drinking apple juice. The whole plant will have more of the valuable nutrients for your body than a processed product!

 

Your ECS is unique, just like you!

 

Despite all humans being generally built the same, our genes, our environment and how we’ve treated our bodies over time can alter (ever so slightly!) how they operate. 

 

Freshman year of high school I injured my right hand in a volleyball accident (I’ll never dive for the ball on a hardwood floor again!). At the time, it was the most painful experience of my life, but over time it healed and now those finger joints only occasionally ache after a prolonged typing session, or before a storm, or just randomly! But sometimes the inflammation and pain are so bad I have to completely stop what I’m doing and rub some Relief Cream between my fingers.

 

 

Obviously, that doesn’t mean you have the same problem! And just because I have trouble staying asleep at night or coping with stress-related anxiety due to imbalanced hormones, doesn’t mean that you do too. Our personal health is different, our ECS is different, and so our wellness goals are different. Makes sense, right?

 

CBD is a powerful health agent. And with any wellness routine, it’s important to recognize that everyone’s internal systems (including their ECS) is different, and you should adjust your dosage based on your own needs. 

At Equilibria, we are committed to helping you find your Goldilocks dose (not too soft, not too strong). So you can get back to peak ECS, back to homeostasis, and back to feeling more balance in those yoga poses.

 

Reach out to your own personal Dosage Specialist today to let her know how you’re doing. Learn more at www.equilibriawomen.com, and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to join our community!