If you have ever suffered from a range of conditions such as chronic pain, disrupted sleep, migraines, anxiety, or fibromyalgia, you may have wondered if something else was wrong with you.
What if we told you that all of these conditions could be related to one thing – clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD)?
Dr. Ethan Russo, who first coined the term in the article published in 2016, Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Reconsidered, detailed his theories behind how a deficiency in cannabinoids might be behind these and many other chronic conditions.
Since then, other studies seem to point in this direction as well.
While much more research in this area is needed, the current findings are promising for those suffering from chronic conditions with no known cause or cure.
The Endocannabinoid System explained
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of cannabinoid receptors located in the brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems, including the immune system.
The ECS is involved in various physiological processes, including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory, and in mediating the pharmacological effects of cannabis.
CBD and THC are two of the most well-known cannabinoids, but there are over 100 different cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.
The body produces its own cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids are plant-based cannabinoids like CBD and THC.
When cannabinoids from the cannabis plant bind to cannabinoid receptor sites in the body, they can produce a range of different effects. This can include everything from pain relief to anti-inflammatory effects.
Exploring Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome
Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency is a relatively new field of study that suggests that a lack of cannabinoids can lead to a number of health problems.
Recent research shows that a deficiency in cannabinoids may contribute to conditions such as migraines, fibromyalgia, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
While more research needs to be done in this area, clinical endocannabinoid deficiency provides a potential explanation for why some people suffer from chronic pain or other conditions that do not respond well to conventional treatments.
Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency is a condition that occurs when the body does not produce enough endocannabinoids.
CECD can lead to a wide range of symptoms, including chronic pain, anxiety, and depression; this is just to name a few.
While more research is needed to fully understand the implications of clinical endocannabinoid deficiency, it is clear that this condition can significantly impact one’s health and well-being.
As such, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of this condition so that proper diagnosis and treatment can be sought.
The signs and symptoms of CECD
While the exact cause of clinical endocannabinoid deficiency is unknown, there are several possible explanations.
One theory is that the body’s natural levels of endocannabinoids may be reduced due to genetic factors.
Another possibility is that the endocannabinoid system may be impaired due to chronic stress or inflammation.
Whatever the cause, the result is a disruption in the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis.
The most common signs and symptoms of clinical endocannabinoid deficiency include chronic pain, fatigue, anxiety, mood swings, and difficulty sleeping.
The condition can also lead to digestive problems, memory loss, and cognitive impairment in some cases.
Conditions related to Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency
Conditions related to clinical endocannabinoid deficiency are a group of disorders characterized by a lack of endocannabinoids.
Researchers have just recently begun to study the endocannabinoid system, but there is already evidence that a deficiency in this system can lead to a variety of health problems.
Here are some of the conditions that scientists believe could be related to CECD:
Fibromyalgia is a debilitating condition that causes widespread pain, mental and physical stress, and fatigue. There is no specific test to identify fibromyalgia, although many believe that central nervous system sensitization might be the source of the problem.
While the exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, some researchers believe it may be related to clinical endocannabinoid deficiency.
Anecdotal reports claim that people with CECD tend to be more sensitive to pain and respond less well to pain medications.
In addition, people with CECD often report having a higher level of pain even when they are not actively experiencing pain. This suggests that the endocannabinoid system may play a role in how we perceive and respond to pain.
Some studies have found that people with fibromyalgia have a deficiency of endocannabinoids, which may explain why they experience chronic pain and fatigue.
Additionally, research shows that treatment with cannabinoids (such as CBD and THC) may be effective in reducing symptoms of fibromyalgia.
So while the exact cause of fibromyalgia remains unknown, clinical endocannabinoid deficiency may be one contributing factor.
Migraines are a debilitating condition that can cause severe head pain, nausea, and light sensitivity. For many sufferers, migraines are a chronic condition that can significantly impact their quality of life.
Some researchers believe that endocannabinoid deficiency may contribute to migraines, as it can lead to an imbalance in the nervous system.
The cause of migraines is still a mystery, but research has shown that higher serotonin levels are present when they occur.
In high doses, THC and, more importantly, anandamide may inhibit serotonin release in the platelets of the blood plasma.
The platelets have the greatest amount of serotonin in the body, found in the enteric nervous system and brain.
Researchers believe that serotonin release from the platelets is essential for the production of migraines; because of this, some believe migraines to be a blood-based illness.
Research shows that anandamide deficiency might lead to a greater release of serotonin, which may trigger a migraine. Conversely, serotonin release may be limited when sufficient anandamide circulates in the blood and brain, reducing the symptoms of a migraine.
The human body also has a system that activates during migraine headaches called the trigeminovascular (TMN) System. Some research shows that anandamide plays some role in triggering this process, and reduced levels of natural cannabinoids could lead to migraines by allowing for more TMN activity.
Additionally, endocannabinoid deficiency can influence inflammation and changes in blood vessels; both of these are potential triggers for migraines.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal disorder that results in abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits.
Although the exact cause of IBS is unknown, scientists believe it to relate to a combination of psychological factors, genetic predisposition, and gut microbiota.
Some research suggests that the cause of IBS is clinical endocannabinoid deficiency.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex network of receptors and chemicals that helps to regulate many vital functions in the body.
One of the most important ways that the ECS affects the body is by regulating the gastrointestinal tract (GI) function.
The ECS influences motility, inflammation, and secretions in the GI tract, and it also plays a role in maintaining gut homeostasis.
Recent research has shown that the ECS may also help protect the GI tract from inflammation. As a result, some believe that the ECS may be a potential target for treating various GI disorders, including IBS.
Another way that IBS may relate to CECD is through the regulation of anandamide.
Anandamide is a naturally occurring endocannabinoid that plays a role in the contraction of the colon.
This process is essential for proper digestion and preventing constipation. In addition, research shows anandamide can help reduce inflammation in the intestines and may even protect against colon cancer.
How to treat CECD
Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency is treated by restoring balance to the ECS using cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids come from the cannabis plant, and they mimic the compounds that our bodies naturally produce.
When taken in supplement form, cannabinoids can help alleviate the symptoms of clinical endocannabinoid deficiency.
In addition to treatment with cannabinoids, lifestyle changes like diet and exercise can also help manage CECD.
You can find cannabinoids in various plant-based products, such as CBD oil and medical cannabis.
If you think you may be suffering from clinical endocannabinoid deficiency, speaking to a medical professional is important.
They will be able to give you a more accurate diagnosis and recommend the best course of action. Treatment with cannabinoids can help to alleviate the symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Can a cannabinoid deficiency affect other health conditions?
Research is starting to show that many other health conditions may stem from a lack of cannabinoids as well.
Here are some of them:
- Motion sickness
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Diabetic Neuropathy
- Huntington’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Neonatal failure to thrive
- Cystic fibrosis
- Brachial plexopathy
- Phantom limb pain
- Hyperemesis gravidarum
- Repetitive miscarriages
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Bipolar disease
While we don’t understand the cause for many of these conditions, all of them are similar in the fact that a lack of cannabinoids is present.
Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency is a relatively new concept, but it could be the key to understanding various health conditions.
Cannabinoids are essential for maintaining gut homeostasis and can help to reduce inflammation.
If you think you may be suffering from CECD, it is important to speak to a medical professional. Treatments for CECD are available and can help to improve your quality of life.
As research on CECD continues, we may better understand the role that cannabinoids play in overall health.