Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency
A neuromodulatory system called the 'endocannabinoid system' was discovered in 1990 by Miles Herkenham. It was revealed that every human body creates it's own cannabinoids which are referred to as endocannabinoids. It is these endocannabinoids that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) uses for various vital processes such as pain, appetite, inflammation, metabolism cellular life or death cycles and ensuring homeostasis.
Endocannabinoids in Breast Milk
Endocannabinoids are naturally found in breast milk and are therefore received by every child during breastfeeding. In this way, the body of each human establishes it's own cannabinoids (endocannabinoids). The presence of endocannabinoids is thought to be for the purpose of ensuring healthy bodily processes such as normal sound sleep cycle, healthy metabolism and a regular appetite. However, the human body is unable to store these endocannabinoids as a form of reserve, and can eventually lead to a deficiency known as Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency.
In 2004 Dr. Ethan Russo cloned Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency and was able to figure out the symptoms that become apparent whenever there is an inadequate level of endocannabinoids. The variety of diseases which fall under the umbrella of this deficiency are often characterised by extremely serious pain, abnormal immune systems, weariness and mood imbalances. This is due to the fact that these physiological processes are often controlled or regulated by the endocannabinoid system.
Endocannabinoids, Endocannabinoid Receptors and Enzymes
The largest neurotransmitter in the body is the endocannabinoid system and it is made up of three basic parts; endocannabinoids, endocannabinoid receptors, and enzymes that control the endocannabinoid levels. Every human body makes two main endocannabinoids, one of which is the anandamide- this was first identified by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam in 1991 after cloning an endocannabinoid system receptor site (CB1) which he named after the Sanskrit word ananda which means blissful. This indicated that there was a substance in every human body that is attached to that receptor site. The second major endocannabinoid found in humans is the 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol (2-AG),which was discovered a few years after the first receptor site was cloned by Dr. Mechoulam as a result of the first discovery i.e the CB2. Hence, the neurotransmitters when released, activate the cannabinoid receptors which are mainly broken down by enzymes including Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) and Monoacylglycerol Lipase (MAGL) respectively.
It should be noted that there are a few ways in which your body can reflect a form of endocannabinoid system deficiency; either through inadequate endocannabinoid synthesis, or maybe due to insufficient cannabinoid receptors. Alternatively, as a result of excess enzymes which break down the endocannabinoids, or could be due to lack of adequate signals irrespective of the presence of both endocannabinoid and cannabinoid.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Migraine and Fibromyalgia
Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency is a form of proposed spectrum disorder which has been found in a lot of conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Migraine and Fibromyalgia. Although only limited research has been carried out on this particular disorder, the results so far reveal that Phytocannabinoids (like those found in cannabis) could directly or indirectly help to balance the Endocannabinoid System by mediating both under-active and overactive endocannabinoid system activities. Also, by eating foods which help to increase the level of endocannabinoid in both the body and the brain, and reducing lifestyle factors that decrease endocannabinoid signalling (such as certain foods and medicines) the problem of endocannabinoid system deficiency signalling can be solved.
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