The Importance of Homeostasis (The Milieu Interieur)
The importance of maintaining your milieu interieur, what is now referred to as homeostasis, was pointed out in the 19th century by Claude Bernard. It was his view that all living organisms, from plants to humans, to insects must maintain a specific internal environment in order to survive, function and thrive. Modern research now supports this perspective and establishes homeostasis as a critical element of health and wellness.
What is Homeostasis?
In simple terms, homeostasis is your body’s ability to maintain internal balance when confronted with external stress. Just like a car uses internal signals to make sure that it doesn’t overheat or run out of gas, your body uses internal signals to make sure your not too hot, too cold, or running out of fuel. When these signals are functioning optimally, so are you.
In the absence of homeostasis, your body is unable to overcome challenges and prevent damage from occurring: resulting in what we recognize as inflammatory disease. However, when your body is in a state of equilibrium, or homeostasis, it is able to properly mitigate the challenges that arise.
Homeostasis & The Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, plays a significant role in helping your body maintain homeostasis. Via cannabinoid receptors (CB1 in the central nervous system and CB2 in the peripheral nervous system), the ECS helps to regulate bodily functions such as immunity, mood, appetite, sleep, memory, digestion and inflammation.
Are you too hot or too cold? Do you need energy or rest? Are your hormones levels where they should be? If something is off-balance, the ECS jumps in to mitigate it.
How CBD supports the Endocannabinoid System
Recent research shows that CBD may support the biological activity of the endocannabinoid system by supporting cannabinoids signaling and their interaction with cannabinoid receptors. Depending on the concentration, CBD can activate, antagonize or inhibit cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). This is significant because CB2 activation can reduce oxidative stress and inflammation – internal conditions that can negatively impact cell function and survival.
Homeostasis & CBD
While our bodies naturally produce a compound similar to CBD called endocannabinoids, supplementing your natural reserves with CBD may help to keep your endocannabinoid system functioning optimally. Just as you would take an iron supplement if you were iron deficient, you can take a CBD supplement to boost your natural reserves of endocannabinoids.
How To Take CBD
There are multiple ways to consume CBD. Because our bodies absorb and process CBD in different ways, it’s mostly a matter of personal preference.
Sublingual (Tinctures & Oils):
CBD Tinctures & CBD Oils come with measured droppers and thus allow for a very consistent dose. While CBD tinctures are generally alcohol-based, CBD Oils are generally oil-based as their name suggests. To use either an oil or a tincture, you simply squeeze the desired amount under your tongue. For optimal absorption, try to hold the liquid under your tongue for 60 seconds. While both tinctures and oils can also be used topically, CBD oil is generally easier to apply and less irritating.
Topical (roll-ons or balms):
To use a CBD topically, apply the rollerball or balm on the desired area of application. Used topically, CBD operates as a local anti-inflammatory, rather than being absorbed into the bloodstream. Many topical products contain additional therapeutic oils that work together for an optimal soothing experience.