Your immune system balanceThe function of the immune system is simple, to protect an individual from danger. However the mechanisms by which the immune system functions to accomplish this task are incredibly complicated and far-reaching in that they impact on the biochemistry of all other biological systems. The far from equilibrium thermodynamic model of life is based on a multidimensional web of biochemical balance that has pro- and anti-inflammatory processes as a core component. The immune system is a critical regulator of this core.
The immune system responds to environmental perturbations impinging on an organism. Free radical production is a universal signal of imbalance between an organism and its environment. However, organisms have evolved the capacity to respond by producing and using free radicals and other reactive oxygen and nitrogen chemicals as sanitizing agents to fight infection. This response, however, must be kept in check due to the highly reactive nature of these chemical species. By modifying DNA, RNA, proteins and lipids, free radicals reduce an organism’s distance from equilibrium by reducing the efficiency of biochemical flow (the friction of life). The endocannabinoid system critically tries to restore balance by reducing the inflammatory response and promoting the anti-inflammatory response. The health consequences of pro-inflammatory imbalances are all pervasive.
Most immune disorders can be attributed to a pro-inflammatory imbalance that results in the immune system attacking inappropriate targets that results in autoimmune disease. Arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, diabetes, Lupus, and multiple sclerosis all have proinflammatory imbalances that results in tissue destruction. Each of these illnesses is, in part, characterized by excessive pro-inflammatory cytokines , which are protein messengers through which the immune system communicates with itself and the rest of the body. Since the endocannabinoids are important regulators of the anti-inflammatory response, as well as the development of the immune system itself, some of these illnesses are now being characterized as endocannabinoid deficiencies including melancholic depression, multiple sclerosis, migraines, etc.
eCB DeficiencyYour body produces some of the same compounds found in cannabis; these are called endo (for endogenous) cannabinoids and encompass the natural endocannabinoid system (ECS). We produced endocannabinoids in two general locations, in the CB1 receptors in your brain (which is why one gets high from cannabis) and the more numerous CB2 receptors in the lower intestine, gut and uterus.
An emerging literature documents the ‘‘eCB deficiency syndrome’’ as an etiology in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, psychological disorders, and other conditions.
What doctors have now discovered is your natural endocannabinoids production in the gut assists in the regulation of the immune system and also gut motility (pooping). If this is correct than multiple sclerosis, migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, lupus, Crohn’s may all be diseases relating to a shortage of natural endocannabinoids or clinical endocannabinoid deficiency.
No surprise, what we at Green Buddha have found is maripills or cannabis caps – extra virgin coconut oil with cannabis extract in a gelatin cap – can be extremely useful for those with autoimmune diseases and gut motility issues. This should come as no surprise, since we now think these conditions relates to clinical endocannabinoid deficiencies.
Enhancing Your eCB would lead to better control of the imbalance that leads to these auto-immune conditions. Green Buddha would like to review several primary ways to strengthen your endocannabinoid system:
First is by avoiding stimuli that deplete endocannabinoid resources. For example, one of the functions the system mediates is the reduction of inflammation. Therefore, eating inflammatory foods like refined grains, sugar, and trans fats can eventually be overwhelming.
Stress also recruits endocannabinoid resources, so poor nutrition combined with stress can be especially damaging. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy fat sources like olive oil, fish, and eggs is very helpful, as is engaging in stress-reducing activities like meditation and yoga.
Second pathway to empowerment is consuming things that up-regulate endocannabinoids or cannabinoid receptors. For example, probiotics increase CB2 receptors in intestinal cells and may even potentially reduce pain by acting through those receptors. Exercising, including running and biking, increases endocannabinoid levels.
Olive oil, in addition to being anti-inflammatory, may help fight colon cancer by increasing CB1 receptors on the cancer cells. Researchers found that patients with naturally high expression levels of CB1 and CB2 receptors had significantly better disease-free survival than patients with low expression levels.
Engage in general well being exercises. If your condition allows you now is the time to better exercise more, practice nutritional healing and take up yoga or some similar stress reliever.
Green Buddha is also aware that taking the time to slow life down, reconnect with family and enhance those substantial interpersonal connections in your world. Anthropologists have noted those with good support groups - made up of family and friends - have the best chance of fulfilling a vibrant life.