A closer look at what hemp oil does inside the human body
Hemp oil, an extract taken from the hemp plant (sometimes called industrial hemp), has been recently gaining widespread acclaim across the United States for its ability to alleviate a variety of symptoms that are seemingly unrelated. The question that begs to be asked is, “How can one chemical compound have such a wide range of health benefits?” It almost seems hard to believe that this “miracle extract,” as it is coming to be known, can genuinely be as miraculous as it is made out to be.
After doing extensive research to resolve this very dilemma, we came to the conclusion that hemp oil really does deserve the miracle title it has been given. The reason that many people find it hard to believe in hemp oil’s many varied healing properties actually stems from a misunderstanding of the true meaning of health.
The True Definition of Health
Many people believe that the definition of health is the absence of disease. However, health is a much more subtle and delicate phenomenon. At its very core, health is the state of homeostasis, or balance, within all of the different systems in the body. The body’s state of greatest vitality is reached when the correct point of balance between opposing properties within the body’s systems is achieved.
Let’s look at the immune system as an example. The immune system creates two distinct and opposite reactions - inflammation and anti-inflammation. When a foreign entity is introduced into the body, the immune system must be able to create an inflammatory response to fight that entity. However, the immune system must also be able to create an anti-inflammatory response when there is unnecessary inflammation occurring in the body. It is when the immune system is in perfect balance between its inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses that it is considered to be in optimal harmony, symmetry, and health.
This is the way that every system of our physiology functions, whether it is the central nervous system, endocrine system, immune system, or oxidation system. The stronger and more robust the body’s ability is to maintain homeostasis in all of its different systems, the healthier it is and the more effectively it functions.
The Intricate Interconnectedness of the Human Body
Every system in our body is a unit with intricate layers of signals, receptors, cells, tissues, and organs. All of these different components work together, and every slight shift that occurs in one part of the system immediately influences every other element as well. This concept is similar to a line of dominoes - every movement exerted on one domino effects the others in a chain reaction. In short, anything affects everything.
When an individual is suffering from physical symptoms and receives a pharmaceutical drug, the purpose of that drug is to inhibit the symptoms the person is experiencing. However, the reason that pharmaceutical medications often come along with so many side effects is that they work only at the symptom level, instead of working to heal the system which is out of balance.
According to a 2011 article published in AARP, prescription drugs can cause other health issues that are unrelated to the original health problems they were meant to treat. Two scientists from Washington conducted a study that showed how prescription drugs can have debilitating side effects and drug-to-drug interactions. When the side effects of the drug arise as symptoms, new drugs are introduced and the cycle continues, ushering in increasingly higher amounts of imbalance to the system.
The Alarming Increase in Toxicity
With the ever-increasing amounts of toxicity found in our environment today, the need to restore balance at the system level is a priority that is rapidly increasing in importance. According to scientists from the University of Nebraska Lincoln, toxic chemicals can cause serious short or long term effects which are extremely detrimental to our health. The environmental toxins and biological infections we are exposed to, combined with our inflammatory diets, contribute to the alarming increase in toxicity that humankind is now experiencing.
All of these factors create an enormous amount of tension in the human body. According to a 2017 study conducted by Iranian scientists, a high amount of stress in the body can pose a significant health risk. When the body is under such a tremendous amount of strain, anything that goes wrong can have magnified effects, while if the body were otherwise in homeostasis, it would have been able to deal efficiently with the complication. The measure of internal stress our society experiences creates a corresponding global need for a method of regaining holistic balance.
The Unique Effect of Hemp Oil on the Body: Homeostasis
This is where hemp oil comes in. Hemp oil is not just another nutritional supplement. According to research, it is a fundamentally unique and specific compound that works on a molecular level to restore homeostasis to the systems of our bodies.
As opposed to pharmaceutical drugs, hemp oil works on the system level to reduce or relieve symptoms by targeting the underlying cause of those symptoms. Hemp oil causes a cascade of homeostasis that begins all the way at the beginning point of the system and travels down its many pathways, restoring inner balance to any point that is out of alignment along the way. Because hemp oil has so many far-reaching effects, it is important to use one that is organic, pure, and of the highest quality available.
The Endocannabinoid System and Hemp Oil
How does hemp oil accomplish this? The endocannabinoid system, which was only recently discovered in 1992 by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam of the Hebrew University in Israel, is the system in our bodies responsible for maintaining internal balance. According to the National Institutes of Health, the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) has been shown to play a role in numerous physiological processes and therefore has widespread influence on the wellbeing of the entire body.
The endocannabinoid system has two components - cannabinoids and receptors. Cannabinoids are beneficial compounds that have a role in many bodily processes, and the receptors interact with these cannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system produces its own cannabinoids, such as Anandamide and 2AG. As researchers documented in the Scientific American in 2015, these cannabinoids are responsible for increasing the feeling of well-being and decreasing the sensation of pain. The endocannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, bind with these cannabinoids. Together, these cannabinoids and their receptors control the inner balance of many bodily systems.
However, plant-extracted cannabinoids also have the ability to effect endocannabinoid signaling. Research done by Israeli scientists indicated that the cannabinoids contained in hemp oil are unique to other cannabinoids in that they do not exactly fit into either the CB1 or CB2 receptors. Instead, the cannabinoids in hemp oil exert their influence in a more far-reaching manner. Hemp oil increases the density of CB1, reduces the effects of some harmful compounds on CB2, and boosts the effectiveness of how other cannabinoids interact beneficially with these receptors. In this way, hemp oil creates a formidable impact on the internal balance of every bodily system.
Hemp Oil on a Nuclear Level
On a nuclear level, hemp oil affects change in the smallest part of the cell, the nucleus, where chromosomes create proteins that affect every bodily process. Some notable examples of these proteins are the neurotransmitters that are contained in the nervous system, the hormones that make up the endocrine system, and the cytokines, which are part of the immune system. What all of these proteins have in common is the fact that they are signaling molecules, which means that they are responsible for sending information throughout the body. Hemp oil, therefore, is an essential component of all of the thousands of messages that get sent through your body every second of your life.
Hemp Oil, the “Miracle Extract”
The way hemp oil works on a molecular level explains why it has so many “miracle” effects on various ailments and illnesses. Because hemp oil does not directly target specific symptoms but instead works to restore homeostasis, the far-reaching ramifications of hemp oil can be felt all throughout the body as the different manifestations of this sense of restored harmony. According to a 2015 study, the state of a person’s homeostasis affects bodily processes from the moment of conception throughout his or her entire life.
It is, after all, no wonder that hemp oil has rightfully earned its title as a “miracle extract.”
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