The Effects of Cannabinoids on the Endocrine System
Fatigue, chronic stress, and burnout are the hallmarks of our on-the-go society. You feel tired all the time, but have trouble sleeping. When you do finally get some sleep, you wake up still tired. It may not be the amount of sleep you get. Chronic fatigue, mood disorders, dry skin, and other ailments may be signs that there is trouble with your endocrine system. What can you do to remedy these problems? Recent studies have shown the use of cannabinoids effects on the endocrine glands. Cannabis can be a viable holistic treatment for endocrine disorders.
A structure of connected glands, the endocrine system affects every cell and organ in the body. These glands secrete hormones that help cells communicate with each other by their molecules attaching to receptors. Throughout our bodies, there are many receptors. They relay information about what’s going on inside and outside of our bodies. The data goes to other sources that react and cause changes creating homeostasis, an equilibrium within our internal environment. If something is not right with that communication, it creates an imbalance. The imbalance is what can cause diseases and disorders.
Another network that works with the endocrine glands is the endogenous cannabinoid system. Also referred to as endocannabinoid, the system creates chemicals that are similar to those found in marijuana plants. Compounds that are created by the endocannabinoid system bind to what are called CB1 and CB2 receptors. When specific molecules combine with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, the effects are very similar to marijuana. Just like cannabis, reactions in the endocannabinoid systems have shown to affect functions dealing with appetite and digestion, pain response, immune function, inflammation, mood, memory, sleep, motor control, muscle and bone growth, and stress response. Other systems can cause changes in include the nerve, skin, cardiovascular, and reproductive systems. Marijuana as a plant-based substance can be a viable option to treat and reduce the symptoms of various disorders of the endocrine system.
Endocrine System Glands
Although there are many throughout our bodies, there are several primary glands in the endocrine system. These include the pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, pineal, adrenal, pancreas, ovaries, and testicles. Cannabis has been shown to relieve symptoms in issues with the thyroid and pineal glands.
The pituitary gland is considered the master gland. It works in conjunction with the hypothalamus, which is part of the brain. The hypothalamus decides which hormones the pituitary gland should release. It does this by sending hormonal or electrical messages. Hormonal messages make the pituitary release one of several hormones including GH (Growth Hormone), THS (Thyroid-stimulating hormone), FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), LH (Luteinizing hormone), and Prolactin. Electrical messages from the hypothalamus cause the pituitary gland to release ADH (antidiuretic hormone) and oxytocin
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland below Adam’s apple in the front of the windpipe. It has two side lobes connected by the Isthmus. The thyroid gland has several vital functions. It regulates metabolism, generates body heat, breaks down food into nutrients and turns them into energy. It works relentlessly to create balance in the systems of the body.
Symptoms of an imbalance in the thyroid gland include hair loss, dry skin, chronic fatigue, and mood disorders. Problems with our thyroid can cause goiter, hyperthyroidism, grave’s disease, and thyroid cancer. The use of CBD oil and thyroid medications can help reduce the symptoms of these diseases and disorders.
Both Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, and thyroid chemicals work to restore balance to the gland. CBD and thyroid hormones attach to and cause similar reactions in both the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The healing qualities found in CBD can help relieve symptoms of thyroid disorders. CBD is the non-psycho active component found in the cannabis plant. Used for centuries as a medicinal, CBD has shown the ability to help relieve symptoms of thyroid disorders such as anxiety, irritability, pain, and inflammation. CBD oil and thyroid chemicals also react similarly. Using CBD-oil infused topical products is a safe and easy way to use cannabis to treat skin disorders due to thyroid issues.
Marijuana and the Pineal Gland
The Pineal Gland is a small, pinecone shaped gland in the center of the brain between the brain’s two hemispheres. It produces the hormone melatonin. This is the primary hormone that regulates our ability to sleep. CBD with Marijuana and the pineal gland hormones may be able to help rebalance any imbalance that causes sleep disturbances. Strains of the cannabis plant have different levels of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). This is the chemical that causes the user to get high. It can affect sleep patterns. Used in conjunction with CBD, THC can be used to control sleep patterns. Use of certain strains of cannabis and the pineal gland hormones already in the body can help a user to either sleep more or less depending on their sleep issues.
There are two adrenal glands, one located on top of each kidney. They produce essential hormones that make it possible for us to function in our everyday lives. Cortisol is the primary hormone. One of its main functions is to help us to respond to stress. Adrenal fatigue is a common non-specific disorder of the glands. It’s not a medical condition, but a symptom of other possible disorders. The main signs of adrenal fatigue are chronic pain, fatigue, irritability, sleep, and digestive problems. Any medications, including marijuana, can cause a disruption in the adrenal glands.
Marijuana and Adrenal Fatigue
Marijuana and adrenal fatigue go hand in hand. Just like prescribed drugs, the THC in marijuana can disrupt functions in the adrenal gland. On the other hand, cannabis products without THC or low amounts don’t appear to cause the same kind of problems. Marijuana and adrenal fatigue can be combined if you use cannabis products with CBD, instead of THC.
If you have problems involving the endocrine system, cannabis may help. CBD and CBD oil has many healing qualities that can reduce symptoms such as pain, fatigue, and anxiety. On the other hand, cannabis products with high THC may make symptoms of adrenal fatigue worse. Before treating yourself, enlist the help of medical marijuana doctors that specialize in disorders of the endocrine system and are trained in functions of the endogenous cannabinoid system.