WRITTEN BY DR. SWATHI
Let’s face it, these times are tough. What can we do to relieve our stress?
As an Integrative Health Pharmacist, I am passionate about combining cannabis with other modalities of health, like nutrition and meditation, to improve patients’ wellbeing.
Our endocannabinoid systems are all wired a bit differently which makes the way we respond to cannabis different as well. This underscores the importance of individualized therapies and explains the dosing ranges and patient preferences for certain formulations; for example, some patients benefit from what are referred to as ‘microdoses’ of cannabinoids while other patients require much higher dosing and frequency for efficacious treatment.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, let’s talk about strategies to boost our immune systems. Cannabis has been shown to be a plant with much medicinal value, especially for easing anxiety, relieving stress and improving sleep quality. In addition, although the mechanism is uncertain, there is promising research demonstrating its immunosupportive effects. In particular, one of the two most commonly discussed cannabis receptors, cannabis receptor type 2 (CB 2 ) is associated with the body’s immune system. Other diagnosed conditions and susceptibility to infection are two of the many variables in this equation that could influence the therapeutic impact of cannabinoid therapy.
In particular, studies show that CBD could have anti-inflammatory activity. However, the dosing recommendations are inconclusive as some clinicians recommend high doses of CBD for maximum preventative and/or acute benefit, while others do not agree. Apart from CBD, our body also produces its own cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids, that are created on demand in response to changes in our lives, much like the shift in our lives a few months ago since the beginning of shelter-in-place. One of the most commonly discussed endocannabinoids is anandamide, named from the sanskrit word, “ananda” for bliss, which has also been shown to be a profound modulator of inflammation. Working in concert with other neurotransmitter systems in the body like dopamine, serotonin and mu opioid receptors, anandamide and other endocannabinoids can alleviate stress and maintain homeostasis, or balance.
Apart from cannabinoids themselves, cannabimimetics, defined as herbs, foods and activities that influence endocannabinoid system function, could improve our immunity; from the matcha or coffee in your morning caffeine boost, to your afternoon yoga session and your evening baked salmon fillet, we impact our endocannabinoid systems without even knowing it with so many of our daily practices; in combination, this is just another way we can support our overall physical and emotional health.
As the Chief Scientific Officer at Element Apothec , we want to hear how you are doing. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions regarding cannabis and integrative wellness, so that we can help you feel like the best version of you.