You’re not imagining those “butterflies” in your stomach—that is your microbiome working away. To find out how your microbes influence endocannabinoid levels, continue reading.
What Is Your Gut Microbiome?
Don’t freak out—but trillions of microbes (bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microscopic living things) exist inside your intestine and on your skin. The majority of these microbes are tucked away in a “pocket” of your large intestine that is called the cecum but is often referred to as the gut microbiome.
Out of the many different microbes that live within your body, the most studied and understood is bacteria. Studies show that there are more bacterial cells in your body than human cells—with roughly 40 trillion bacterial cells and only 30 trillion human cells.
With over 1,000 species of bacteria in the human gut microbiome, it’s important to understand that each of them plays a different role in your body. Together, they function as an extra organ in your body and play a large role in your overall health.
What Is The Endocannabinoid System?
Endocannabinoids are molecules that bind to and activate cannabinoid receptors within your body.
The Endocannabinoid System is comprised of 3 parts:
- Receptors in the nervous system and around your body that endocannabinoids and cannabinoids bond with
- Enzymes that help break down endocannabinoids and cannabinoids
Within the endocannabinoid system (ECS) there are two major cannabinoid receptors called anandamide and 2-AG. These receptors are made up of fat-like molecules within cell membranes and are synthesized on demand. Your body produces these exactly when it needs them, unlike other biological molecules that are made then packaged and stored for later.
Some things to know:
The endocannabinoid system is involved in multiple physiological processes that affect mood, pain sensation, appetite, metabolism, memory, sleep, bone development, and immune function.
CBD + Your Gut
Interactions between gut microbiota and the endocannabinoid system were first explored 10 years ago, in 2010.
Though research has been conducted over the last 10 years, scientists are still trying to understand all of the details regarding the relationship between CBD and your gut. Evidence is accumulating that the ECS interacts directly with bacteria in the gut, which can alter the activity and makeup of the microbiome while also working to communicate its messages to both the body and the brain.
As mentioned above, the cannabinoid receptors can help with mobility, hunger signaling, inflammation, and stomach permeability. Because of this, CBD is believed to be an excellent help to improve your gut health.
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