There is a growing crowd of scientific researchers who are in an attempt to figure out the link between common pollutants and the disruption of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The link, as it is being established, can help to answer the significant factor as to why exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals can be extremely harmful to our health and well-being.
These are a diverse range of chemicals that are not defined based on how they are used, but more so on the effect that they have on the human body. similar to the endocannabinoid system, the endocrine system directs a range of biological processes such as reproductive function, energy and rate of metabolism. Some of the common disruptors are Bisphenol A (BPA) and its various substitutes like BPF and BPS; polyflouralkyl substances (PFASs), of which there are nearly 5,000; parabens and organophosphates like chlorpyrifos and malathion.
By means of mimicking, interfering and otherwise blocking the naturally occurring hormones, like estrogen and androgen, the effect of endocrine disruptors end up throwing the body off balance and cause a cascading downward spiral of health. It may weaken the ability of the body to ward off diseases, new and old.
It Is A Highly Sensitive System
Researchers have been asking the question of how these chemicals interfere with health. How does the exposure increase the endocrine-disrupting chemicals like diabetes risk? How sensitive are these chemicals across various stages of life, from the womb to old age?
A team of scientists from Italy has been studying this niche field; the link between ECS and endocrine disruptors. When you look at it from afar, it does make sense, as they are both connected in more ways than one. Both of them regulate the internal balance and chemical homeostasis of the various body systems. Both of them incorporate parts of various organs.
When looked at it in the context of traditional toxicology, both are highly sensitive systems that exhibit a nonlinear dose-response curve- this means that high doses don’t necessarily need to have a greater effect than low doses. Both of them can be influenced by exogenous compounds, synthetic and plant-based. CBD is an example of a potent natural supplement that does just that.
Tying Them Together
The study briefly mentioned earlier was led by Oliana Canevali, a professor of developmental biology at the Italy’s Polytechnic University of Marche and a leading expert in the field of endocrinology. She has published 5 papers investigating the part that ECS plays in mediating some of the effects of endocrine disruptors.
The studies were performed in two species of fish- the freshwater zebrafish and marine gilthead sea bream- so it is taken with a pinch of salt as these experiences are not directly related to the human experience. The researchers exposed the adult fishes to two endocrine disruptors—the plastic additive, BPA and Di-isononyl phthalate (DiNP). True to their hypothesis and as per their findings, it was concluded that the ECS was indeed regulating the endocrine disruption.
The researchers found that chronic exposure of the two chemicals over the 21 days—at levels that were in tandem with the natural environment—found that it was enough to alter the ECS in both of the animals. These contaminants alter the very organs and susceptible tissues such as the gonads, liver and brain. The changes they determined were across 3 levels: endocannabinoid levels, enzymatic activity and gene expression.
They concluded that over the 3 decades, the endocannabinoid system has emerged as a new cell-signaling mechanism, much like a hormone, that plays a paramount role in maintaining healthy human functioning and possibly life itself. When the endocannabinoid system is de-stabilized and de-regulated, it starts to create many health disorders.
Nowadays, ECS has been treated as a therapeutic target, and its alterations of the endocrine-disrupting chemicals help us to hypothesis the negative effects that it can have on both animals and humans.
Bringing Order To Chaos
CBD interacts with endocannabinoid system by means of the various receptors and target sites that make up the central and peripheral nervous system. Since the ECS works in close connection with many of the key systems of the body—such as the cardiovascular system, endocrine system, immune system and so on—an imbalance on the part of the ECS can turn the body on its head. Homeostasis can be introduced by means of introducing the body to full-spectrum CBD.
The CBD binds with two of the key ECS receptors, namely CB1 and CB2. These have a tie-in with pain signaling, control of cytokines- these are the protein groups responsible for swelling and inflammation, circadian rhythm and so on. This is the reason why the use of CBD helps to treat a wide range of ailments and disorders; why everyone has something or the other to gain from the introduction of CBD to their lives…