These days, CBD is largely being proclaimed a “cure-all”, it positively impacts a plethora of issues, yet many people are in the dark as to why. Why does CBD seem to help with so many different, seemingly unrelated problems? Enter the endocrine system.
The endocrine system consists of glands that make and control hormones, which act as the body’s messengers – carrying information from cell to cell. This system influences nearly everything in our body, including organs and functions. The hormones produced regulate development and growth, metabolism, tissue function, reproduction, mood, sexual function, sleep and more.
What Makes Up the Endocrine System?
According to the Mayo Clinic, the endocrine system is made up of the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands, pancreas, ovaries (female), and testicles (male). What the heck do these things do? In fact, where are they located? I’m glad you asked.
Located at the base of the brain, the small “master” gland is no bigger than a pea (how’s that for a pea-sized brain?!). This is the master because it creates hormones which control other endocrine glands.
For example, it creates the growth hormone which stimulates the growth of bone and other body tissues, and helps with the handling of nutrients and minerals. Another example is the creation of prolactin, which activates milk production in breastfeeding women. There are many other important hormones created by the pituitary gland, and delivered to the proper endocrine glands.
Located at the front of the lower neck, it creates hormones that control the rate at which cells convert food to fuel for energy (metabolism). These hormones also play a role in bone growth and development, as well as the brain and nervous system.
These four glands are attached to the thyroid and work together to create parathyroid hormone – which controls the level of calcium in the blood. They are helped by calcitonin (created by the thyroid).
Sitting on top of each kidney, the adrenal glands are made up of 2 different parts. The outer adrenal cortex creates hormones which help control the salt and water balance in the body, stress, metabolism, sexual development, and the immune system. The adrenal medulla makes hormones like epinephrine (adrenaline), which increases blood pressure and heart rate when the body is under stress.
The pancreas makes insulin and glucagon hormones, which control the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Insulin regulates the body’s stores of energy, which is used for exercise. The energy stores also help to regulate organs, and make sure they are performing properly.
Located in a female’s pelvis, the ovaries secrete estrogen and progesterone, and make eggs. Estrogen and progesterone help to stimulate the start of puberty, and later regulate the menstrual cycle, and play a role in pregnancy.
Found in a male’s scrotum, testicles are the main source of sex and reproduction hormones. Testicles secrete androgens, such as testosterone, which stimulate the start of puberty. Later, testosterone will work with hormones from the pituitary gland to notify the testicles when it’s time for sperm production.
CBD and the Endocrine System
Now that you are familiar with the functions of the endocrine system – you may be wondering what the heck CBD has to do with it? The endocrine system is linked to the endocannabinoid system, which exists in us all. In fact, according to research,, the endocannabinoid system controls and regulates the endocrine system through CB1 and CB2 receptors, which can be activated with CBD and other cannabinoids.
Because CBD stimulates and regulates the endocannabinoid system, hormones produced by the endocrine system are impacted in a positive way. These hormones are balanced out, which activates receptors in the brain and body that have an impact on all the endocrine glands. This is why CBD seems to work for a myriad of issues, with more being discovered all the time.
Metaphorically speaking, regularly using CBD is like oiling up a machine (your body) to work properly.
Here are just a few examples of how CBD can influence specific hormones:
We know this as the sleep hormone, and initial research has shown that CBD may elicit a positive response for regulating sleep stability.
“The Stress Hormone” is responsible for the fight-or-flight response, and controls functions such as blood pressure, blood-sugar levels, and metabolism. Too much cortisol (due to stress) can lead to anxiety, heart disease, weight gain, and depression. Studies have shown promise in CBD lowering cortisol levels.
Serotonin impacts mood, well-being, and anxiety. Researchers have made the conclusion that CBD “demonstrated a good interaction” with serotonin receptors, and can potentially help with issues of anxiety, depression, and more.
The examples above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the possibilities of CBD and the endocrine system, and potential fight against endocrine disorders and symptoms.
To be clear, every single one of us has an endocrine system, and an endocannabinoid system. While we do not have to take CBD or other cannabinoids in order to function, they can help to regulate and control hormones responsible for a myriad of issues.
Because the endocrine system is such a large part of how our body functions, regularly using CBD has the potential to help boost your overall health and well-being, and can assist in negating major, or minor, symptoms of endocrine disorders.