During tough times, we aren’t always our bright & cheerful self. Everywhere we turn today, news about coronavirus overwhelms us. We are nervous for what's to come; the uncertainty can take a toll on us all. But we are grateful for family, friends, the healthcare and other front line workers keeping us safe and fed, our homes, pets & our health.
This blog will take a look at how CBD can help us cheer up during difficult times. We will dive into the science behind this miracle plant and how it can prevent the breakdown of anandamide otherwise known as our “bliss” molecule. But first, a quick recap on the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS helps regulate a variety of physiological and cognitive processes including appetite, pain-sensation, memory, and mood. It is also known for facilitating the pharmacological effects of cannabis. The ECS helps regulate and encourages homeostasis – any process or reaction that our body utilizes to actively maintain a constant internal environment.
Endocannabinoids are compounds produced by our body that activate the cannabinoid receptor.The two major endocannabinoids are anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). These endocannabinoids stimulate the cannabinoid receptors to activate biological activity.
Anandamide is a neurotransmitter our body produces. Anandmide synthesizes in areas of the brain where memory, motivation, superior cognitive processes and movement control are managed. In this way, it influences physiological systems such as pain, appetite regulation, pleasure and reward. It is basically the body’s own antidepressant. Scientists have observed that the administration of CBD prevented the breakdown of anandamide allowing it to build up to higher, more effective levels.
The increased levels of anandamide suggest an improved mood and reduce stress and anxiety. How so? Each of us have an enzyme known as fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) which breaks down anandamide when it enters the cell. CBD interferes with FAAH’s ability to break down anandamide, allowing the bliss molecule to have a longer lifespan.
CBD may also boost signaling through serotonin receptors. What does this mean? SSRIs block reabsorption of serotonin in the brain. This helps the brain cells transmit more serotonin signals reducing anxiety and boosting your mood in some cases. In an animal study, researchers found that CBD may affect serotonin levels faster than SSRIs. Serotonin is known as the “feel good” chemical contributing to wellbeing and happiness. CBD may boost the availability of serotonin reducing our anxiety and depression!
Increasing anandamide and serotonin are two ways which CBD can help us feel happier! As the non-psychoactive component found in the cannabis plant, CBD can promote your body’s natural ability to get high on life. Incorporating CBD along with a healthy diet, a solid sleep schedule and exercise can improve our health and wellness - body, mind & spirit. Stay healthy, friends!