Research is showing more and more that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is vital for creating emotional homeostasis. It does this through many mechanisms and it helps counter the topic I find most interesting: how inflammation in the body creates ‘mood disturbances'.
A study in Frontiers of Molecular Neuroscience, November 2018, titled ‘Exploiting the Multifaceted Effects of Cannabinoids on Mood to Boost Their Therapeutic Use Against Anxiety and Depression’ by Mario Stampanoni Bassi et al , discusses how Cannabinoids and the ECS have a strong influence on mood disorders. Considering over 30% of adults in the USA are using psychotropic medications with significant side effects, it’d be great to know that there are viable options for those who wish to be mentally healthy without sacrificing other components of life.
The study covers a lot of topics in great detail and it is a great read. As stated above, the connection between inflammation and mood disorders is the topic that piques my interest the most. Maybe it’s because I deal with pain and inflammation in my office on a daily basis with my patients, but regardless, we likely all know many people who suffer with pain and inflammatory issues.
This study has a section about inflammation and mood. It discusses how with certain inflammatory conditions, pro-inflammatory mediators can induce conditions such as anxiety, fatigue, sleep disturbances, social withdrawal, and more. Pain and inflammation in the body cause the release of inflammatory ‘cytokines’ in the brain. These processes cause depression and anxiety. There are also some inflammatory molecules that create behavioral malfunctions. To take this further, inflammation has been directly linked to major depression.
I remember learning in chiropractic school how chronic pain can make people suicidal. Although healthcare providers knew this to be the case, the mechanism was not known. This now all makes sense. It’s not just about the pain and dealing with it. The pain and inflammation actually poison the brain and alter how it works. This alteration can lead to significant changes in brain function. Wow!
Let’s consider neurodegenerative diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Those with MS suffer from more anxiety and depression than the general population. It is not the condition itself that causes this. The damage to the immune system is now being shown to further neurological diseases. Without question, a properly functioning ECS is essential.
Studies of post-mortem patients with major depression demonstrated that the immune system was damaged with these people and that this damage could have contributed to the depression.
We know the ECS is governed by the function of the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The CB2 receptor modulates pain and inflammation through the immune system. When the ECS is dysfunctional or otherwise not working, there is no way the CB2 receptor can help the body with secreting anti-inflammatory cytokines. Without these cytokines, mood disorders can be worse. Simply put, we need our CB2 receptors to work and the best way to invigorate our ECS is by utilizing Cannabidiol (CBD). This is one mechanism by how CBD can help reduce anxiety and depression.
Use of high quality CBD is essential. One can ill-afford to use a product with dangerous synthetic cannabinoids (SCBs). Be sure to only use products that are lab tested. Why is this? Lab testing helps to ensure the quality of the product. Please share this blog with those who can benefit as enhancing the ECS can be a game changer for so many people.