We are facing a rather stressful time, with uncertainty about both our physical and financial health. It may surprise you to learn that emotions like anxiety and stress can have a negative impact on our immune system. This happens because they cause chemical changes in the body that can cause the system that fights against foreign particles, like bacteria and viruses, to either under- or over- perform; and neither is beneficial.
The Endocannabinoid and Immune Systems
The endocannabinoid system regulates emotion, sleep, memory, appetite, pain, how we react to stress, and almost every other system in the body, including the autoimmune system. Its purpose is to maintain homeostasis, or balance. When it’s working well, we are able to face life’s challenges without becoming sick or overwhelmed.
When it’s not functioning as it should, we can be overwhelmed by anxiety or get “stuck” in a stress response that can lead to chronic disease or cause our immune system to either under- or over-react to infection. Both are damaging and interfere with our ability to protect and heal.
The Importance of Sleep
Conditions like anxiety and stress also make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Our bodies need seven to nine hours of quality sleep to heal, restore, and refresh. Lack of sleep leads to poor concentration and difficulty focusing. It can also increase pain as well. Studies show that people who sleep less than seven hours are at increased risk of developing obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. So not surprisingly, insomnia can negatively impact the body’s ability to fight infection.
Fortunately, techniques like deep breathing, mindfulness, massage, and meditation can reduce stress and anxiety. They can also be used to manage pain. Eastern practices like yoga, tai chi and qi gong do all that and also increase flexibility, improve balance, and strengthen muscles and all of these can be done at home. There is evidence to suggest that these practices can lead to improved sleep, decreased pain, lower blood pressure, and many other health benefits, in part, by activating receptors in the endocannabinoid system.
Combining mind-body techniques with other healthy habits like adequate sleep, hydration, moderate exercise, and plant-based nutrition, will result in tremendous benefits to your health and overall wellbeing.
Native to southern Asia, turmeric is a relative of the ginger plant. It has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine. Studies show that turmeric contains compounds that block the formation of amyloid proteins, the hallmark of Alzheimer's...
Acupuncture is the use of needle insertions along key points of energy flow. The point of the insertions just below the skin’s surface is to unblock energy (called “chi” or “qi”).
Cannabis works best at low to moderate doses and when doses are limited to just enough to alleviate symptoms, addiction is very unlikely to occur.
Cannabis is a complex plant with about 400 compounds that make it medicinally beneficial. THC is just one of them. While it is important, there are other components in the plant that also have
Cannabinoids are substances found only in the cannabis plant. They interact with receptors in the body that are part of the endocannabinoid system.
In order to purchase medical cannabis from a medical cannabis dispensary, patients must be evaluated by a health care provider for a recommendation – or certification.
Cannabis can affect mood in a variety of ways. By alleviating pain, spasms, and insomnia, patients generally feel better because their mood improves as their suffering diminishes. But what you may not realize is that cannabis can positively...
Yes, cannabis treats both inflammatory and neuropathic chronic pain.
Both CBD and THC are potent anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, and protect the nerves from further damage.
Cannabis can benefit patients with opioid addiction by reducing cravings and alleviating the symptoms typically experienced when opioids are reduced – anxiety, pain, muscle spasticity, and nausea.
The endocannabinoid system is a regulating system designed to keep our bodily systems in homeostasis – or balance.
It consists of receptors that are present throughout the body and substances that activate the receptors.