Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency: A Brief Overview Of CECD

Article by Josh Alb, Woah Stork

Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency: A Brief Overview Of CECD

Cannabis has been with us since the dawn of man. The plant was cultivated and used for not only food, fiber, but of course for its essential cannabinoids. The primary focus of these cannabinoids was not so much for their psychotropic effects but for the medicinal benefit these cannabinoids provided for people. These cannabinoids would heal the sick and wounded and were used in treatments to heal not only the body but the mind as well.

During the 1800’s and very early 1900’s cannabis medicine was sold in local pharmacies, but ended when prohibition came about. We are now on the brink of the emergence of cannabinoid-based medication once again, this time with clinical studies proving their medical use. These molecules will put us years ahead of where we currently are and have the ability to treat multiple unknown medical ailments such as anxiety, schizophrenia, migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and other treatment-resistant conditions. Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency, a spectrum disorder that can cause all of these conditions, can be treated with the cannabinoids present in marijuana.

What Is CECD?

Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency  (CECD) is a condition in which the body has a lack of production or overproduction of endogenous cannabinoids. In 2001, the term was coined by Dr. Ethan Russo in two initial studies and was revisited again in 2004 and 2012. He discovered that treatment conditions such as migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and may be treated using cannabinoid therapy without any adverse side effects.  Endocannabinoids regulate homeostasis within the body via the endocannabinoid system, which balances our body to the right equilibrium temperature of 98.6 °F.

The endocannabinoids produced naturally in our bodies are anandamide (AEA) and arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG).  Too many or too few endocannabinoids can cause an imbalance within our bodies. While it was previously thought that conditions caused by this were “treatment resistant”, we now understand that CBD can help if there are either too many or too few endocannabinoids.

What are the symptoms of CECD?

Think of the endocannabinoids as yin and yang; an imbalance of one causes an imbalance of the other. All things in nature are biphasic, meaning more is not always better and having too much of anything can cause adverse effects.

Think of it as being similar to Goldilocks and The Three Bears. Papa Bear’s porridge was too hot and burned her tongue. Mama Bear’s porridge was too cold and tasted horrible, but Baby Bear’s porridge was just right and could be eaten perfectly.

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