Most of us learn about the human body when we’re in school. But for the majority of the population, that only covers the basics. While you may remember the respiratory, circulatory, and nervous systems, the endocrine system is slightly more mysterious. But that doesn’t make this bodily system any less important. Let’s look at what the endocrine system is, what it does, and how you can use molecules like CBD to support its health.
What is the Endocrine System?
We’ve all heard about hormones before. These neurochemicals are responsible for various important tasks in your body. From maintaining mood to triggering menopause, hormones tackle some of the biggest jobs in the human system. The endocrine system is how your body creates, releases, and manages hormones.
As a result, the endocrine system has a huge role in homeostasis. Every second of every day, your endocrine system works tirelessly to take care of unconscious processes like:
- Sleep/wake cycles.
- Immune response.
- Blood sugar levels.
- Sex drive.
- Menstruation/sperm development.
- Stress levels and mood.
Parts of the Endocrine System
Okay, so we’ve covered what the endocrine system does. But how exactly does it do it?
The endocrine system has nine main glands that produce hormones. There are technically 10 of these glands, but each human body has only nine. Chances are, you’ve heard of some of these before but didn’t understand their broader context within the endocrine system. The ten glands are:
- Adrenal (2): Releases hormones that control your stress response, blood pressure, and metabolism. Also makes hormones that your body uses to produce sex hormones.
- Hypothalamus: If the endocrine system is a computer, the hypothalamus is the CPU. It releases hormones that tell other parts of the endocrine system what to do. As a result, it impacts everything from blood pressure to sleep quality.
- Pancreas: This gland is responsible for making and releasing insulin. Essential for managing blood sugar levels.
- Parathyroid: Regulates the body’s calcium levels.
- Pituitary: Located beneath the hypothalamus. The pituitary gland affects how your body grows and certain reproductive traits.
- Pineal: This gland manages your circadian rhythm by producing the sleep hormone melatonin. Located in the middle of your brain. The pineal gland plays an integral role in some psychedelic experiences, too.
- Thymus: Part of both the immune and endocrine systems, the Thymus produces all of the T cells in your body before you hit puberty. Then, it slowly starts to wither away into a fatty mass.
- Thyroid: This gland regulates metabolism, including hunger, thirst, and energy levels.
- Testes or Ovaries: depending on your sex assigned at birth, your body will either have testes or ovaries. Testes produce testosterone, while ovaries make estrogen and progesterone.
How Does CBD Affect the Endocrine System?
CBD affects your body by bonding at certain sites called “receptors.” Specifically, CBD connects with two different specialized receptors: CB1 and CB2. You can find CB1 receptors on peripheral nerve endings. CB2 receptors are located on peripheral nerve endings and immune system cells like white blood cells.
Collectively, scientists refer to cannabinoid receptors and certain neurochemicals as the “endocannabinoid system” or “ECS.” Your ECS interfaces directly with your endocrine system, meaning CBD can impact your endocrine system using your ECS. In practice, CBD does this by “hacking” your ECS.
Usually, your body creates its own molecules called “endocannabinoids” to trigger your ECS. However, CBD can “hack” your endocannabinoid system by impersonating an endocannabinoid. Humans aren’t the only ones who can do this, either. Every vertebrate has an ECS. That’s why CBD can affect dogs and cats, too.
After a cannabinoid or endocannabinoid triggers a receptor, special enzymes break them down. Then, your body can reuse the components to make other hormones. Some enzymes work in reverse, keeping these neurochemicals around in your ECS to increase the duration of their effects.
How Can CBD Promote Endocrine System Health?
By bonding with cannabinoid receptors, CBD can impact various bodily functions. For example, CBD can interact with your endocrine system to perform tasks like:
- Regulate food intake.
- Balance mood.
- Maintain energy levels.
- Trigger sex response.
- Boost your immune system.
- Synchronize sleep patterns.
- Manage blood sugar.
- Cause menstruation or generate sperm.
That’s far from a comprehensive list. It’s just a survey of how CBD may be able to promote endocrine system health.
Controlling these bodily responses means that CBD could hold much promise. According to some research, how CBD interacts with the endocrine system could lead to treatments and cures for various conditions like infertility, diabetes, obesity, and even some cardiovascular diseases.
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What are you waiting for? Check out our online store to discover the perfect CBD-infused products and boost your endocrine system’s health.