RESEARCH ON THE FUNCTIONING OF THE ECS
A frequently returning topic in my blogs about CBD in sports is the endo cannabinoid system (ECS). That makes sense, because that is where I often find the "scientific" explanation why the use of supplements with CBD can have certain benefits for athletes. There is a lot to do about making claims by CBD supplement brands and that has a reason. For example, without results from scientific research, you simply cannot and should not claim that CBD always works with reducing muscle soreness after a workout, preventing joint swelling up or fighting diseases such as fibromyalgia. Research on the functioning of the ECS and its influence on your sports performance is still limited. The functioning of the endo (body's own) cannabinoids anandamide and 2-AG in combination with the phyto (from plants) cannabinoids such as CBD in our body is simply not taught at the medical universities, and whether that is because of an unfortunate association with the word ' cannabis' is unclear. “The vast majority of physicians just don't have a background in the ECS,” “Despite being discovered nearly 30 years ago, very little use has been made of it in medical study curricula,” said Dr. Ethan Russo, a licensed neurologist, psychopharmacology researcher and author. He is the founder and CEO of credo-science.com.
There is clearly a lack of knowledge regarding the functioning of the ECS, although more and more is known about it nowadays due to an increase in scientific studies.
While writing this blog, a message in a dutch national newspaper (NRC) today caught my eye. "Scientists cheat with results is common in the Netherlands, integrity survey shows." "One out of two scientists in the Netherlands has tampered with research results," says the headline.
That again shows that it is almost impossible to make a 100% backed up choice whether you should start using CBD supplements, supplements in general or maybe even medication.
Do you start with the "if it doesn't help, it won't hurt" idea with a particular supplement, or will you choose not to take anything that you're not sure of if it will actually help you? By sharing as much information as possible, I try to contribute to making your own choice whether or not to use a CBD supplement. The choice remains yours.
DOES A CANNABINOID DEFICIENCY CAUSE A SLOWER RECOVERY, INCREASED MUSCLE soreness AND POOR QUALITY SLEEP?
Cannabis products are a godsend for many who suffer from chronic diseases. They can solve multiple problems, from digestive problems to chronic pain. But how does that work? Some say it may be because cannabis can compensate for a cannabinoid deficiency known as clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CED).
The theory was first published by Dr. Ethan Russo in 2001. At the time, he argued that the endocannabinoid system is involved in neurodevelopment, neuroplasticity, and immunity among other physiological aspects. Thus, any dysfunction of the system can lead to a variety of health problems. These problems are, for example, fibromyalgia and migraine.
In a 2016 study, Dr. Russo and others concluded that supports the possibility that CED leads to a variety of health problems. For example, studies have shown that people with fibromyalgia and migraines have statistically significant differences in anandamide levels (a cannabinoid produced in the body) in their cerebrospinal fluid. Decreased endocannabinoid function was also recorded in people with PTSD.
In addition, studies have shown that cannabinoid treatment and lifestyle changes that promote the health of the endocannabinoid system are associated with less pain, better sleep and other health benefits. This is interesting for athletes. In particular, less pain and better sleep contribute to a faster recovery, so that the training intensity can be increased.
“If endocannabinoid function were to decline, a lowered pain threshold would be effective, along with disruptions to digestion, mood, and sleep between the near-universal physiological systems supported by the endocannabinoid system (ECS).” says dr. Ruso in 2016.
The origins of cannabinoid deficiencies are still unknown, although Russo has suggested they could be due to genetic reasons, disease or injury. However, due to the limited research to date on the endocannabinoid system, the validity of Russo's findings is still up for debate.
That's why Dr. Russo is currently conducting more studies to further explore the system, especially looking at its relationship to the gut microbiome.
HOW to KEEP YOUR ENDOCANNOBINOID SYSTEM HEALTHY?
We can now safely assume that a well-functioning ECS is important for active people and especially for the athletes.
There are six ways you to let your ECS function optimally:
There are many micro-organisms such as bacterias, viruses and yeasts in and on our body. Together they are called the microbiome. Also known as microbiota or microflora. Important functions of the microbiome are protection against pathogens and the digestion of fibers.
2. Sport and or an active lifestyle
Exercise reduces the risk of chronic diseases and keeps the body fit. Regular exercise reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and depressive symptoms. Regular exercise is also associated with a lower risk of breast and colorectal cancer and a lower risk of premature death.
All sleep related studies show that ; a good night's sleep is essential for a healthy mind. Although we generally sleep long enough, unfortunately we are not always good quality sleepers. Young people also often sleep too short and poorly, which affects their brain development. Worrying, sleeping late because of homework, and media use are the main causes. Those who sleep well and soundly wake up rested, feel fitter and are more productive.
4. Eat Healthy
Eat vegetables frequently every week, such as kidney beans, soybeans, lentils or chickpeas. Vegetables contain protein, a lot of dietary fiber, iron and other useful nutrients. Choose products with healthy (unsaturated) fats more often. Such as olive oil, low-fat margarine, oily fish and nuts.
Meditation is an important part of mindfulness. Meditation helps against stress, depression and insomnia. It's not just for monks, anyone can do it.
6. CBD SPORTS Supplements
By taking the plant-derived cannabinoids, such as CBD, but also CBG and CBN in supplements on a daily basis, your body's own cannabinoids break down anandamide and 2-AG less rapidly.
You can watch this information again in the video below.
Roald Tromp aka OPA CBD is the founder of CBD SPORTS, Public Speaker with a background in Sports Leadership (CIOS Overveen), Sports Nutrition, Professional and Home Fitness Equipment and Education, Master in Sales & Marketing, Ex-Baseballer, Soccer player, Alpine Skier , Skate- and Snowboarder, Tennis & Ski teacher and CrossFit and MMA addict.
Copyright OPA CBD July 2021.
Publication of this article or parts thereof is only permitted with the express permission of the author.