Hormones play an essential role in the body and when they go out of balance, the consequences can be serious. These natural regulators are produced by glands in the endocrine system, such as the pineal gland, pancreas, thyroid, pituitary, ovaries and testicles.
The hormones they release include cortisol, insulin, melatonin, testosterone, glucagon and numerous others. These hormones travel through the bloodstream and deliver messages to the organs and tissues.
Hormones regulate numerous bodily functions, including metabolism, heart rate, sleep cycles, body temperature, mood and productive cycles. For example, cortisol manages the response to stress and anxiety and melatonin indicates when it is time to go to sleep or wake up.
Internal or external factors can cause hormonal imbalances. Aging, stress, poor diet, hyperglycemia and being overweight are just some of the causes. Hormonal fluctuations occur naturally throughout a person’s life but they can also be caused by an unbalanced lifestyle or toxins.
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
Symptoms depend on which hormones are out of balance and there are too many to mention here. Just a few of the symptoms associated with common hormonal imbalances include:
- Unexplained weight loss or gain;
- Excessive sweating;
- Increased thirst;
- Reduced sex drive;
- Changes in heart rate;
- Very dry skin or skin rashes;
- Thinning hair;
- Irritability and anxiety;
- Brittle bones;
- Fatigue; and/or
Why CBD may help with Treatment
Treatment for hormonal imbalances varies considerably as it depends on which hormone is involved. Every person may require a different type of treatment.
The reason CBD may help with treatment of hormonal imbalances is because the endocannabinoid system of the human body is closely linked to the endocrine system. Studies have shown the cannabinoid receptors are found in different endocrine glands. CBD can interact with these receptors and impact the endocrine glands and hormone levels in a positive way by bringing balance in the body.
- This is known as the “stress hormone”.
- It is produced by the adrenal glands when the body goes into fight-or-flight mode.
- Too much stress results in the over-production of cortisol, which can lead to depression, anxiety, weight gain and heart disease.
- Clinical research shows that CBD may help lower cortisol levels.
- This is known as the “sleep hormone”.
- It is not known exactly how CBD affects melatonin but there is some research showing that the receptors that regulate sleep stability may respond to CBD.
- This is technically a neurotransmitter but it acts as a hormone outside of the brain and is responsible for a sense of well being.
- Researchers reviewing a broad range of CBD research concluded that CBD interacts with serotonin receptors, offering the potential to help with anxiety.
- CBD and Metabolic Hormones:
- Diabetes is a common endocrine disease that results from reduced production of insulin in the pancreas.
- A number of studies have explored the relationship between CBD and diabetes and some of them have shown that CBD appears to influence insulin production.
One of the many challenges facing researchers today is to understand the role of endocannabinoids in endocrine regulation and energy balance. Finding out that CBD could help to maintain healthy insulin levels would be a major breakthrough.
Supplementing a Healthy Diet
Based on what we know already, CBD might be able to restore hormonal balance and improve the symptoms of endocrine problems. However, the healing effects are not clear yet, despite some promising research. More research is still needed before it is possible to tailor cannabinoid therapy and provide people with a natural alternative to current drugs.
However, it is safe to say that daily intake of CBD can be beneficial for the endocrine system. Together with a healthy diet, it can help support hormonal homeostasis. Hemp-based CBD products are also full of omega fatty acids and gamma-linolenic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, known to help regulate hormones.
You can see CBD as working like a tool to help restore the body to a state of balance and then assisting in maintaining that balance. Combined with a shift to a healthier lifestyle, it could be just what’s needed to bring about an improvement.
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