Cannabidiol (CBD )health and wellness products are popular among users due to their various therapeutic effects. Some of them are anxiolytic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsive, and antiemetic effects. These are due to cannabidiol’s influence on the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which in turn affects the endocrine system that controls many of our physiological functions like energy metabolism, digestion, body temperature, etc. The purpose of this article is to investigate how CBD affects the endocrine system; read on to know more about this.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
The ECS consists of chemical messengers like hormones and neurotransmitters that affect various functions in our body either directly or indirectly. Two of its main cannabinoid receptors are CB1 and CB2, and they are found throughout our bodies. The CB1 receptors are mainly part of both central and peripheral nervous systems functioning, while the CB2 receptors are involved with the immune system. Moreover, the ECS along with its cannabinoid receptors regulates the homeostasis through various molecular pathways, and the endocrine system plays an important role in this.
The Endocrine System
The endocrine system is the network of glands that are found in various parts of our bodies, and they secrete chemical messengers called hormones that target specific organs or organ systems. This directly affects their functions, and any issue with this causes physiological disorders. Besides, the hypothalamus in the brain acts as the control center for the endocrine system by regulating the release of hormones by the pituitary gland. This is important because they affect physiological functions downstream. Furthermore, the central nervous system can rapidly respond to changes in internal and external environments due to the hypothalamic neuroendocrine functions.
Endocrine Regulation Through The ECS
The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has a significant role in our stress response, and this depends very much on the CB1 receptors of the ECS. The activation of CB1 receptors results in the inhibition of this pathway. Also, it has been found from research that cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) and THC have both inhibitory and stimulatory effects on the HPA axis.
CBD benefits like its anxiolytic effect are due to its positive effect on the endocannabinoid system. This is because CBD acts as a Fatty Acid Amid Hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor; FAAH breaks down cannabinoids. As a result of this, cannabidiol improves the regulation of the HPA axis that is useful for people with anxiety issues. Moreover, current studies show that the best way to achieve this is to use dietary CBD supplement in the form of oils, pills, capsules, etc.
We hope that this article clarified your doubts about the effect of cannabidiol (CBD) on the endocrine system.