• Jayleece Clark
  • 3 Ways The Encannabinoid System Is a Woman's Best Friend
3 Ways The Encannabinoid System Is a Woman's Best Friend

The last few years have been an amazing time for mainstream acceptance of “alternative” health products. From “old wive’s tales” backed by clinical studies, to unprecedented exposure of how over-medicated we are, “alternative” is the new mainstream medicine.


When it comes to alternative health care products, perhaps no single plant-based medicine has come farther with recent mainstream acceptance than CBD.


CBD is short for cannabidiol. It’s typically presented in oil form and is derived from the cannabis plant, of which there are two main varieties for the purposes of CBD. Hemp-derived CBD is from parts of the cannabis plant containing less than .3% THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana). While marijuana-derived CBD comes from other parts of the cannabis plant, and is defined by having more than .3% THC (often up to 15% by dry weight).


As one might expect, marijuana-derived CBD is federally illegal, though there are many states where it can be procured in accordance with state law (recreationally, or medically).


Hemp-derived, CBD, however, has recently been declassified as a schedule 1 drug and classified as an agricultural commodity. This is thanks to the Farm Bill of 2018. While some states do have more tailored restrictions, a vast majority of states have aligned local laws with the Farm Bill. This means that hemp-derived CBD is now fully legal (state and federal wise) in over 40 states.


Now that we’ve cleared up the regulatory status of CBD. Let’s take a look at some of what CBD actually does!


The Endocannabinoid System


The Encanna...what?


In school you likely learned about the eleven systems of our body including

-Muscular System

-Endocrine System

-Nervous System

-Reproductive System

-And so forth


Well, while none of that has changed, a great deal of what we know about our most important systems has been re-framed in the last 20 years.


Searching on PubMed’s database of peer-reviewed medical articles helps to reveal the scope of this change. Looking for the word “cannabinoid” in articles published in the last 20 years reveals over 25,000 articles.


Yes, 25,000. That’s the equivalent of 2+ peer-reviewed medical journal articles about the encannabinoid system EVERY DAY FOR THE LAST 20 YEARS.


While the been jerked around by the politics related to plant medicine, the medical community has come to some pretty astounding realizations about the potency and importance of cannabis and hemp-derived compounds.


One of the most far-reaching discoveries is that the endocannabinoid system is perhaps THE MOST important physiologic system for maintaining the health of humans.


So what does it do?


Put succinctly, the endocannabinoid system is a series of receptors located in you organs, immune cells, glands, brain, and connective tissues. These receptors are specifically built to take in cannabis-derived compounds. And when they do, they trigger a wide range of events, depending on where the receptor is housed.


The common thread between all endocannabinoid receptors is that they tend to promote homeostasis and balance.


Autophagy is one example of what the endocannabinoid system promotes. In fact endocannabinoid receptors are one of the most effective ways to balance out autophagy. Autophagy involves telling the correct cells when they should self-digest and -- in a sense -- recycle themselves. While properly tuned autophagy leaves healthy cells alone and targets cells that need to self-digest, there are often issues with autophagy. Cancer is one situation in which autophagy can save your life and restore homeostasis in a dramatic way.


Yes, you read that correctly. The endocannabinoid system is one of the most central components to effectively fighting cancer. And that’s just one area in which this system puts in the work.


For all you ladies out there looking to really up your health goals (in a way that’s really not that cumbersome), let’s check out some of the key ways in which CBD can improve your health.


Women-Specific Benefits of CBD

While there are plenty of benefits derived from CBD for all, women in particular have a great deal to gain from routine use of CBD as an herbal supplement.


Here are some specific ways in which CBD can help you with a variety of female-centered health concerns.


Those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis seek more CBD

Did you know that females are 4-5 times more likely to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis than males? While there are tons of pharma practices for managing this condition, many come with unwanted “side” effects.


Those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis have been found to have a much higher level of endocannabinoid receptor expression. This is the bodies way of saying it’s seeking out CBD to a much greater extent. Though more studies are ongoing, CBD has been found to effectively manage pain, inflammation, and sleep cycles that are so often affected by rheumatoid arthritis.


Have an unspecified pain disorder? Endocannabinoids may be involved…

Women suffer from a range of treatment-resistant illnesses that are also often misdiagnosed. Irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and migraines.


While top-notch CBD products have been shown to help with most of these illnesses on their own, there’s also an interesting hypothesis that’s been being thrown around in medical research circles.  Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CED) is a term being used for a host of nebulous and impactful symptoms often lumped in with the illnesses listed above. CED has been linked to individuals whose endocannabinoid receptors express themselves to a greater degree (meaning they’re seeking more CBD)


CBD Combats Many PMS Symptoms

While CBD is known to tackle many general cause of discomfort (pain, swelling, sleep patterns) there are actually a ton of specific PMS symptoms that CBD directly combats. Let’s take a look at the dynamic between CBD and common PMS symptoms:

  • CBD interacts with our limbic system pushing it towards homeostasis. The limbic system reacting to emotional and  shifts is a primary reason for mood swings during PMS.

  • CBD interactions with receptors known to dramatically regulate hormone production. If your hormones take over during PMS, CBD has been shown to help.

  • CBD has been proven to improve bowel movement irregularity as well as work on bloating, cramping, as well as inflammation.


In summary


Hemp-derived CBD products have recently been made legal nationwide thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. While some states are catching up to this new regulatory standard, a vast majority of America allows hemp-derived CBD on a state and federal level. As with many female-centered health issues, you have to dig to really get good information. Studies have been underfunded, or only performed on men. But with the CBD-wave taking off, hordes of studies have shown what CBD can do for women (and everyone). Enjoy!


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