Digestion, Mood, and the Endocannabinoid System: What’s What?
Given the ever-expanding availability of hemp-derived products, CBD for digestion has become a popular use of this hemp-derived dietary supplement. Digestive health has enormous implications on mood. The gut microbiome (the 50 billion bacterial residents of our digestive tract) releases compounds that control and direct our digestive processes.
The endocannabinoid system has receptors throughout almost all tissues of the human body including in the brain, immune system, and digestive system. Maintaining a well-toned endocannabinoid system could be the key to balancing both mood and digestion.
The endocannabinoid system and mood
Let’s begin by looking at the endocannabinoid system and mood. The correct endocannabinoid signaling creates a healthy response to stress. This leads to lowered anxiety and mood disorders. Simultaneously it plays a role in the extinction of fearful memories and their reconsolidation. Ideally, a healthy endocannabinoid system helps us to navigate through stressful situations and allows them to leave less of a negative mark in our psyche.
Digestive disorders can create many of these same unwanted experiences. When there is inflammation of the stomach or long-term imbalance of the digestive microbiome, one can experience depression, anxiety, and even memory loss. This memory loss is not the positive removal of fearful concepts but can be responsible for foggy recollection of non-emotional sentiments. Digestive health has such a strong influence on mood and mental well-being that taking a probiotic can sometimes be as effective as common antidepressants.
The endocannabinoid system and digestion
The endocannabinoid system influences and regulates the GI tract in major ways. The endocannabinoid system and digestion work hand in hand. There are two major endocannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. Each of these can be found abundantly in both the tissues of the brain and body. When CB1 receptors are overactive, the permeability of the digestive tract lining is increased.
When this occurs, free-flowing products of metabolism that normally would pass through the digestive tract as waste can instead be absorbed by the stomach lining, going on to influence the brain, causing depressive and anxiogenic symptomatology. The endocannabinoid system is integral in many antispasmodic actions of the body, especially in the muscles that control digestion. Antispasmodic treatment is an important aspect of digestive health and has been used to handle IBS and common digestive discomfort.
Balance Your Endocannabinoid System, Balance Your Mood
The regulation of mood requires the proper care of both mind and body. Exercise is capable of creating major changes in mood and functionality. Sleep is closely related to the experience of mood disorders. As detailed above, diet and digestive function are crucial as well. Following a steady sleep pattern, exercise routine, and diet can go a long way when balancing the endocannabinoid system, and in turn, mood.
Omega fatty acids, digestion, and the endocannabinoid system
Mood, diet, and the endocannabinoid system are clearly related based on the fact that omega fatty acids play a role in each. When eating omega fatty acids, you are balancing the flora which reside in the stomach and intestines. There are more than 50 billion bacteria inside your digestive tract at any given time, and they are responsible for breaking down your food. Omega fatty acids promote a healthy balance of the different species of bacteria in our gut.
These omega fatty acids are also the precursors to the body’s endogenous cannabinoids, the major signaling molecules for the endocannabinoid system. Omega fatty acids themselves have been studied and shown to have an impact on mood and anxiety. They also have the benefits of assisting immune functioning, neuroprotection, and anti-inflammation.
All of these properties are also hallmarks of the endocannabinoid system. Specifically, omega-6 fatty acids (which have the first double bond after the 6th carbon atom in the chain) are metabolized by the body to form either anti-inflammatory endocannabinoids or pro-inflammatory prostaglandins, one or the other. For that reason, healthy endocannabinoid system tone is directly related to an anti-inflammatory cellular environment.
Treating any one of these areas will put you on the right path to achieve ideal results. Natural supplements are a great way to begin a holistic plan. However, the truth is that to create balance in all of these regions, you will need to work on each individually as well. Green Roads is here to support you with our vast resources of information and our wide range of products for any situation.