What is homeostasis? The definition of homeostasis states that biological systems in an organism maintain stability while adjusting to changing external conditions.
The concept of homeostasis is traced back to ancient Greeks; with Greek physician Alcmaeon of Croton using the term homeostasis to explain health and disease. Hippocrates of Kos, expanded the definition of homeostasis by stating that health is a product of balance and a blend of four body fluids or humors such as phlegm, blood, yellow and black bile (10).
Homeostasis is a self-regulating process, where cells, organs or any other part of the body maintain an optimal internal environment, such as temperature, pH, or any other aspect required for their functioning. Stress is a key factor that threatens homeostasis. The disruption of homeostasis leads to disease, where effective therapy is required towards establishing a homeostatic environment.
What is the endocannabinoid system?
The endocannabinoid system is a system involved in regulating and balancing numerous functions and processes in the human body, including brain plasticity, learning and memory, stress, and emotions. The endocannabinoid system is also involved in the immune response, inflammation, appetite, bone and muscle health, digestion, and metabolism. An endocannabinoid imbalance, which indicates changes in the function of cannabinoid receptors, can adversely affect health. The endocannabinoid system has been associated with pathological conditions such as metabolic syndrome, inflammation, insulin resistance and obesity . Endocannabinoid overstimulation can lead to conditions such as fibromyalgia, migraines, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome and depression. More specifically, migraines, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and inflammatory bowel disease are associated with clinical endocannabinoid deficiency .
The relationship of the endocannabinoid system and homeostasis?
Endocannabinoids are found in various cannabinoid receptors in our body, such as in the brain, connective tissues, and immune cells. The goal of the endocannabinoid is homeostasis *, i.e., the body is in balance. The endocannabinoid system helps regulate stress signals, immune responses, and relieve pain and inflammation.
4. Racz, I., Nadal, X., Alferink, J., Baños, J. E., Rehnelt, J., Martín, M., Pintado, B., Gutierrez-Adan, A., Sanguino, E., Manzanares, J., Zimmer, A., & Maldonado, R. (2008). Crucial role of CB(2) cannabinoid receptor in the regulation of central immune responses during neuropathic pain. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 28(46), 12125–12135.
5. Xiong, W., Cui, T., Cheng, K., Yang, F., Chen, S. R., Willenbring, D., Guan, Y., Pan, H. L., Ren, K., Xu, Y., & Zhang, L. (2012). Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors. The Journal of experimental medicine, 209(6), 1121–1134.
12. Chang CS, Sun HL, Lii CK, Chen HW, Chen PY, Liu KL. Gamma-linolenic acid inhibits inflammatory responses by regulating NF-kappaB and AP-1 activationin lipopolysaccharide-induced RAW 264.7 macrophages. Inflammation. 2010;33:46–57.
13. Tang, C.-H., Ten, Z., Wang, X.-S., & Yang, X.-Q. (2006). Physicochemical and Functional Properties of Hemp (Cannabis sativaL.) Protein Isolate. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 54(23), 8945–8950.