The endocannabinoid system is a key physiological system, involved in the foundation of health maintenance. The receptors are found in the brain, in numerous organs, connective tissue, glands, and in immune cells. It has complex actions on the immune system, the nervous system, and in all the organs within the body, and can be viewed as a powerful connection between the body and the mind. The endocannabinoid system literally links the state of physicality and disease to brain functioning. The endocannabinoid system, whether through naturally made endocannabinoids or marijuana and its derivatives, or similar plant-derived cannabis, impacts humans in ways that are immensely complex and challenging.
Marijuana is commonly used and its use by women is rising. Women have been found to be more susceptible to abuse of cannabinoids and the development of dependence, and experience more severe withdrawal symptoms and relapse more often than do men. As well, when women use cannabinoids, they are more impacted, with altered functioning on tasks. In adolescents, females are more likely to be adversely affected than are male adolescents by cannabinoids. Importantly, it is now accepted that estradiol is the hormone that impacts this important sexual dimorphic effect of cannabinoids.
These hormones are active in the use of our metabolism to carry out these functions. Endocannabinoids, however, reduce thyroid hormones, which in turn reduces the energy needed to carry out the necessary functions.
The interaction creates altered hormones that are sent to other glands, and upon receiving these messages, send out their own hormones as a response. Since CB1 receptors are found on most other glands and organs, this makes it easy to balance the hormones directly within its network.
CBD and Estrogen
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal imbalance in women at a reproductive age, with about 5 million Americans affected. Common signs of this disorder are infrequent or prolonged menstruation among other symptoms. There may also be high levels of androgen, the male hormone. As a result, the ovaries can develop follicles over time and are unable to produce eggs regularly.
Hormones are small, powerful chemical messengers within the endocrine system that control these functions. The hormonal messages are sent and received through endocrine glands to receptors in our organs and tissues. These glands are located throughout our bodies, forming a communication network to maintain efficient bodily functions. The major endocrine glands are:
Hormones and CBD
Two important kinds of cannabinoid receptors in the ECS are the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are found on major glands located throughout the body, and are activated by endocannabinoids. CB1 receptors are located in the central nervous system, primarily in the brain and spinal cord, as well as some organs and tissues.
CBD operates as a constraint on THC’s effects (see CBD versus THC).
One note…full spectrum products (CBD or THC) may have some plant materials that promote or mimic estrogen. Terpenes and other plant chemicals can have this effect (similar to soy). That’s why we focus on CBD isolate which does not affect estrogen or progesterone.
Feedback control is the key there as we find throughout the literature.
CBD’s effect on cancer is fascinating and speaks to its role in supporting balance in other key systems.
CBD and estrogen-positive cancer
Agonist just means that it promotes (as opposed to blocks) activity.
The effects of CBD and cannabinoids may be more about the birth/death cycle of cells than the actual impact on hormonal pathways.
Guess what cannabinoid can imitate anandamide in the body?
Although CBD was found to reduce the formation of ROS and NO in various cell lines and animal models of inflammation, there are also reports showing that CBD can induce ROS formation in cancer cells, leading to cytotoxicity.
In fact, THC interferes with the process at the very top of the chain. pregnenolone.
We prefer newer research since the techniques are so much more sophisticated now.