CBD and eating disorders

CBD and eating disorders

Young people are becoming increasingly susceptible to eating disorders. There are few things that the young person can ultimately decide for themselves and sometimes the nausea breaks out in the things that are in their hands; for eating and moving. This article discusses eating disorders, looks at how the endocannabinoid system works behind them and finds out whether CBD oil could be helpful in supporting the treatment of eating disorders.

Eating disorders

 

Eating disorders that especially affect young and young adult women are sometimes even life-threatening, so-called spectrum disorders, the symptoms of which are diverse and often imperceptible at first. The symptoms are related to eating, movement and psychological challenges, the existence and severity of which the sufferer himself is not always willing to admit. (1)

According to estimates, by adulthood, every sixth woman and every 40 the man has had an eating disorder of some degree. The vast majority of these cases heal on their own without professional help, but sometimes ward treatment in a hospital is needed. (2)

Eating disorders are associated with a strong distortion of body image. The patient’s thoughts revolve largely around food, the body, for losing weight and in matters related to movement, and as a result, many other activities that normally fill everyday life, such as hobbies and social relationships, receive less attention. (3)

The most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder.

 

Many factors trigger an eating disorder

 

An eating disorder is the sum of many factors. Its onset is promoted by heredity as well as self-esteem and trauma. Social and environmental challenges and pressures are also behind the emergence of the disease. (2,3,4,5)

 

Symptoms of eating disorders

 

Eating disorders are all different from each other, but within each disease they cause common symptoms, on the basis of which the disease picture is formed. Common to all eating disorders is an excessive judgment of body image and the challenges associated with eating and exercise caused by it.

 

Eating disorder test

 

Whenever you suspect that you or a loved one has an eating disorder, it’s a good idea to talk to a professional. However, the Mielenterveystalo.fi site also has a test (eating disorder screen) that allows you to assess your own eating and exercise behavior with a low threshold in relation to your own body image and weight.

The test related to eating disorder can be found behind this link; Eating Disorder Screener (SCOFF) | Mielenterveystalo.fi .

 

Anorexia

 

Thinness disorder or anorexia (anorexia nervosa) is one of the most common eating disorders. It is estimated that about one percent of young people suffer from it and it can lead to serious malnutrition problems, sometimes even death. Anorexia is basically a mental illness that is easy to diagnose but challenging to notice. Unfortunately, the disease picture often includes secrecy and covering up of symptoms, which complicates both the diagnosis and the detection of the disease. (4)

Anorexia is associated with a strong body loathing, which most often has nothing to do with reality. In addition, the disease involves extreme control and monitoring of weight, and even complete lack of food, resulting in physical and psychological symptoms related to malnutrition, such as severe weight loss, lack of concentration, brain fog, etc. are due to. Often, those suffering from thinness disorder are successful young people who demand perfection from themselves!

At its worst, anorexia can cause osteoporosis, diseases caused by malnutrition, and sometimes even death.

Anorexia is a serious mental health challenge that takes a long time to recover from. The person suffering from it needs understanding, support, presence and stopping. A conversation with an experienced expert can be life-changing, and a meeting with one is recommended for both the patient and his close circle. There is always hope.

 

Bulimia

 

Binge eating disorder (bulimia nervosa) refers to an eating disorder, the most obvious symptom of which is binge eating of unhealthy foods and vomiting or vigorous exercise very soon after eating.

A person suffering from bulimia momentarily loses a sense of control over their own eating and tries to correct the situation by vomiting or exercise, sometimes both. An attack is often the result of feelings related to shame, failure, etc., and these feelings may not necessarily have anything to do with food.

Binge eating disorder usually starts later than eating disorder, but is also more common. Bulimia is more a disease of young women, but it also occurs to some extent among young men. (5)

Tape measure around the fork.

Eating disorders do not only affect young people, but it can also affect adults, causing intense shame and insecurity.

 

Adult eating disorder

 

Unfortunately, an adult eating disorder often goes unnoticed, especially if the disease only starts at an older age. It is true that eating disorders are largely diseases of young people, but sometimes adults also have symptoms related to a distorted body image, which cause challenges with eating. Eating disorders such as bulimia and binge eating disorder are significantly more common in adults, and these symptoms are often accompanied by strong shame, which is why the matter is hidden even from one’s own family.

Eating disorder treatment

 

Healing from an eating disorder is a long process. The more serious the condition, the longer it takes to recover and usually the treatment is very much focused on therapy and rehabilitation. A multiprofessional team should be involved in the treatment, in addition to awakening the patient’s own desire for treatment and desire to heal. The most common reason for treatment failure is the patient’s own reluctance to accept help.

 

The endocannabinoid system behind eating disorders

 

The endocannabinoid system is behind all the body’s processes, making sure that everything works perfectly. The overall function of the endocannabinoid system is to take care of survival, i.e. the so-called survival of life. about basic things such as sleeping, eating and the processes behind them. One of the most important functions of the endocannabinoid system is to monitor functions related to energy intake, such as energy storage.

The underlying factor behind eating disorders is an imbalance in the signaling of the hormone leptin, which affects appetite and energy balance. The activity of this hormone is regulated by the brain’s hypothalamus, whose endocannabinoids are part of the nervous system that controls energy and leptin. (6,7)

 

The body’s own cannabinoids

 

The body itself produces cannabinoids when needed, where they are needed, and they are not stored goods. Several endocannabinoids work in the body, two of which are better known, anandamide and 2-AG .

Endocannabinoids have been found to regulate appetite in many different ways (6,7) and they affect the response in the background of eating disorders, the purpose of which is to increase appetite (8). On the other hand, among people who suffer from binge eating, endocannabinoids may also be involved in the factors that increase eating.

According to research, the anandamide levels in the blood of people suffering from anorexia are slightly elevated while the 2-AG levels are normal, but the endocannabinoid levels in the blood of people suffering from bulimia are normal compared to healthy blood. (7)

 

Cannabinoid receptors

 

Two cannabinoid receptors are currently known, but there are a few more candidates for these receptors, about which we will get more information as research progresses. The most well-known, CB1 and CB2 receptors, are receptors found throughout the body, to which endocannabinoids respond.

In eating disorders, there is no significant deviation in receptor function, but a slight increase in the CB1 receptor has been observed in both anorexia and bulimia. (7)

A happy woman eats porridge with blueberries from a bowl.

Healing from an eating disorder takes a long time and e.g. therapy, CBD oil and family support are a major contributor to the healing process.

 

CBD for an eating disorder

 

CBD (cannabidiol) is a natural compound found in the hemp plant, a cannabinoid that, according to research, has numerous health-promoting effects. Hemp and the compounds it contains have been studied for a long time and quite a number of them have already been identified. Cannabinoids alone, the most famous of which are THC and CBD, more than 120 different compounds have been found and other compounds such as terpenes, flavonoids etc. more than 450. CBD has been studied extensively for decades and has been found in several studies to be a safe and well-tolerated natural product.

To support the treatment of eating disorders, CBD oil is mainly used for its appetite-regulating effects, but CBD has other properties that may be useful for the patient. CBD has been researched to relieve anxiety and depression symptoms, helps to think outside the box and also improves appetite. It might have positive effect on sleep quality and it calms both the nervous system and the inflammatory state of the body .

Eating disorders are strongly associated with a sense of power, which stems from controlling one’s own eating and appetite. CBD also affects reward behavior, which is an underlying process related to the satisfaction of the basic needs associated with eating.

 

Cannabigerol (CBG) is an appetite-stimulating cannabinoid

 

One of the numerous cannabinoids is CBG (cannabigerol) and it has been found in animal experiments to increase appetite as effectively as THC, but without any psychoactive effect. There has been some research into the use of CBG to treat anorexia and other eating disorders, and it appears to be a potential cannabinoid to both prevent anorexia and even promote the recovery process. (8)

 

Summary

 

Eating disorders are a serious mental health-based illness, the recovery of which can be a struggle of years, even for the rest of your life. These diseases are largely completely treatable and the earlier the disease is noticed, the easier it is to restore physical health. According to studies, CBD is a natural product with numerous health-supporting properties and may also have a beneficial effect on various eating disorders through various mechanisms of action. More studies are needed, but it seems that CBD oil could very well be a form of support for future eating disorder treatments!

Sources

  1. A working group set up by Duodecim of the Finnish Medical Society, the Finnish Children’s Psychiatry Association and the Finnish Psychiatry Association. 2014. Valid treatment recommendation. Eating disorders. https://www.kaypahoito.fi/hoi50101. Referred on 12/19/2022.
  2. Ruuska J.. 2022. Doctor’s book Duodecim. Eating disorders. https://www.terveyskirjasto.fi/dlk01320. Referred on 12/19/2022
  3. Information about eating disorders. Eating Disorder Association. https://syomishairioliitto.fi/tietoa/tietoa-syomishairioista. Referred on 12/19/2022.
  4. Ruuska J.. 2021. Duodecim health library. Anorexia nervosa. https://www.terveyskirjasto.fi/dlk00111. Referred on 12/19/2022.
  5. Ruuska J.. 2021. Duodecim health library. Binge eating disorder (Bulimia nervosa).
  6. Monteleone P., Matias I., Martiadis V., De Petrocelis L., Maj M. and Di Marzo V.. 2005. Neuropsychopharmacology. Blood Levels of the Endocannabinoid Anandamide are Increased in Anorexia Nervosa and in Binge-Eating Disorder, but not in Bulimia Nervosa. https://www.nature.com/articles/1300695#auth-Palmiero-Monteleone. Referred on 12/19/2022.
  7. Marco ME, Romero-Zerbo SY, Vivero MP. and Bermudez-Silva FJ. 2012. Behavioral Pharmacology. The role of the endocannabinoid system in eating disorders: Pharmacological implications. https://www.bloomble.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/The-role-of-the-endocannabinoid-system-in-eating-disorders-pharmacological-implications.pdf. Referred on 12/19/2022.
  8. https://fi.cannabis-mag.com/cbg-tehokas-luonnollinen-korjaus-lanorexiaa-vastaan/. Referred on 12/19/2022
ADHD and CBD

ADHD and CBD

ADHD is a neurological disorder that causes hyperactivity, especially among children. It becomes common rapidly, and the symptoms do not necessarily subside even in adulthood. In this article, we find out what ADHD is and whether CBD oil could be helpful in alleviating the symptoms.

 

What is ADHD?

 

ADHD is short for attention deficit disorder. Today, almost every tenth child suffers from it. In adults, ADHD occurs in just under five percent, being more common in men and boys compared to the female population. Childhood ADHD sometimes calms down by adulthood, but approx. 70% have some level of symptoms throughout life. (1)

The background of ADHD is a disturbance in the development of the neural networks that regulate the brain’s attention and alertness. It is a partly hereditary syndrome, the origin of which is affected by certain genes, but its onset is not dependent on them (1). It has also been noticed that there is some degree of disturbance in dopamine production.

Although diet is hardly the sole cause of the onset of ADHD, deficiencies of certain nutrients have been observed in diagnosed children. Zinc, iron, magnesium and vitamin B6 deficiencies and an imbalance in omega fatty acids are typical. (2,3)

The Huminiqum product is a well-researched, high-quality and well-absorbed supplement that, in addition to its versatile vitamin content, contains fulvic and humic acids. You can familiarize yourself with the product and more detailed nutrient content better from here .

 

Symptoms of ADHD

 

The symptoms of ADHD are related to attention, concentration and vivacity. Some find it difficult to focus on lessons, storybooks or games, others do not learn things such as reading, and others have challenges related to an impulsive way of reacting to things. The symptoms can be really strong and really make life difficult for the sufferer. Often there are few of these symptoms in each area and sometimes only some of them occur. The spectrum of symptoms is wide and each ADHD patient is an individual entity. (1)

The child’s challenges often appear in kindergarten or at the latest in school, where one should remain quietly during the lesson, listen to instructions and still act according to them. Non-existent ability to concentrate can be seen in school grades and in the behavior of a restless troublemaker in lessons.

In adults, ADHD manifests as inner restlessness, perhaps a challenge in memory, concentration and planning, not so much as hyperactivity and behavioral disorders as in children. Maarit Virta and Anita Salakari have written a survival guide for adults with ADHD, which according to readers is a useful guide for adults suffering from ADHD symptoms!

 

Side effects

 

In addition to the typical symptoms of ADHD, both adults and children have side symptoms, e.g. insomnia, anxiety and challenges in social relationships. Problematic substance use is typical for adults and young adults.

with CBD oil has researched positive effects on the most common side symptoms of ADHD. CBD’s effect on sleep challenges can read here. You can read about anxiety, depression and the effect of CBD oil on them from here. There is an article on addictions and CBD from here .

 

Making a diagnosis of ADHD with the help of tests and examinations.

ADHD diagnosis is made with the help of various tests and examinations for both adults and children.

 

ADHD test, examination and diagnosis

 

In children, ADHD studies usually start based on the observations of parents or persons involved in education, such as teachers. Adults can take an indicative ADHD test online, and apply to a doctor’s office for further examinations based on the results and symptoms. You can find an ADHD test on the Internet from here (4).

Getting a diagnosis is a lengthy process, which ensures that there are enough symptoms and that they correspond to a large enough extent to the diverse symptom picture of ADHD. Since ADHD does not show up in blood tests or any other physical measure, making a diagnosis is based on various behavioral tests, tasks and conversations with a health history in mind. (1)

 

ADHD treatment and medications

 

According to Valvira, children’s ADHD is always treated non-medically first, and adults are also tried to be helped outside of medicine. The drugs used to treat ADHD are really strong and often cause strong side effects, and therefore they are mainly used to control the most difficult symptoms. (5) ADHD cannot be cured by drugs, but natural treatments such as diet, CBD oil and occupational therapy together, or without drugs, can get the symptoms well under control.

ADHD is therefore also treated with diet. In the case of ADHD, functional nutritional therapy focuses on the well-being of the intestines and digestion and ensuring that the body gets all the fatty and amino acids and nutrients it needs. A healthy, vigorous body is able to heal even difficult diseases by itself, and therefore supporting general well-being for all diseases and syndromes is of primary importance!

 

The endocannabinoid system and ADHD

 

The body of all mammals is balanced by an almost identical system. The endocannabinoid system is an ingenious system that influences the background of all body functions. It controls and monitors individual events with the help of endogenous cannabinoids, i.e. endocannabinoids. These endocannabinoids, as well as exocannabinoids from outside the body, respond to different receptors in the body. This system has its own receptors, the most studied of which are CB1 and CB2, but they also respond to other receptors in the body.

The endocannabinoid system closely interacts with dopamine production, which is one factor behind ADHD (6). Dopamine affects e.g. to the reward system and the feeling of motivation, and the challenges in experiencing these feelings significantly decrease a person’s willingness to do tasks, learn new things, etc., which usually results in feelings of success and pleasure.

The endocannabinoid system also plays a significant role in stress reactions, nervous system function , learning and memory.

 

Endocannabinoids

 

Endocannabinoids are produced in the body as needed and are everywhere in the body. Endocannabinoids are special in that they can be too little in one part of the body and too much in another. In the case of ADHD, the anandamide concentration in the blood is high compared to a healthy person, but in the brain, where dopamine production takes place, there is too little anandamide (6).

Anandamide is another of the most well-known endocannabinoids and one of its functions is to release dopamine and enhance its production. The underlying cause of the dysfunction of the dopamine system is thought to be too low anandamide concentration in the brain. Certain phytocannabinoids obtained from plants such as CBD increase the production of anandamide and prevent their breakdown.

A clinical dysfunction of the endocannabinoid system, which is thought to be at the root of all diseases, can be a system disorder just like this, where the body’s internal cannabinoid concentrations are out of balance.

 

Receptors

 

CB receptors have been found in every corner of the body, but they have their own specific areas of action. The CB1 receptor is mainly found in the brain and nervous system, and thus it is also largely involved in the functions underlying ADHD.

 

Does CBD help those diagnosed with ADHD?

 

There are still many opinions on the matter without consensus. It seems that there are effects associated with cannabinoids that can make symptoms worse for some. On the other hand, CBD oil soothes and is especially effective in controlling side symptoms.

Hemp has a huge number of different active substances. More than 120 different types of cannabinoids are known, and there are more than 450 active compounds in total. The effect of hemp is based on synergy, i.e. when all the effective active ingredients of hemp are used, the benefit is more complete than using only an isolate, i.e. using one or a few isolated cannabinoids. More about joint effects, i.e. the so-called The Entourage effect can read here .

In the case of ADHD, it has been noticed that the positive effect of CBD oil on the symptoms is a result of the action of several cannabinoids. Hemp terpenes have also been found to have an effect on alleviating ADHD symptoms. CBD (cannabidiol), CBN (cannabinol) and CBG (cannabigerol) affect the production of dopamine and CBD in turn helps the production of serotonin. (6,7)

Part of CBD oil’s effectiveness in treating ADHD is related to balancing the nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for e.g. from the emergence of a stress reaction, while the parasympathetic nervous system restores the body to balance after a stress reaction. CBD balances these two nervous systems, reducing hyperactivity and sympathetic overstimulation by calming and alleviating impulsivity.

According to user experiences, CBD oil is used with good results to manage the side symptoms of ADHD, such as insomnia, substance addictions and depression.

Peanuts, which contain Biochanin A, which can help with ADHD symptoms.

Disturbances in dopamine production have been observed in ADHD patients. Getting Biochanin A flavone from food can optimize dopamine production and help with ADHD symptoms. The flavone in question is found especially in peanuts, chickpeas and soybeans.

 

Other health balancing treatment

 

Since ADHD is a neurological challenge, its symptoms can and should be alleviated with ordinary health-supporting means. Both adults and parents of ADHD children have noticed that minimizing screen time alleviates symptoms. Computer games and violent programs seem to increase problematic behavior, while exercise, staying in the forest and a good long night’s sleep improve concentration and calm a restless mind.

The diet takes care of the condition of the intestines and digestion and improves nutrient levels in the body so that the body can function as optimally as possible. Biochan’s isoflavone A is a natural FAAH inhibitor, which in turn is a molecule that breaks down the endocannabinoid anandamide. Adding this flavone to the diet may improve dopamine production by preventing the breakdown of anandamide. Biochanin A is especially found in peanuts, chickpeas, red clover and alfalfa sprouts (8).

At home, you should get rid of all harmful chemicals such as laundry detergents, detergents and cosmetics and replace them with natural, non-toxic alternatives. The substances in chemicals are harmful to both people and the environment, and their negative effects on health have been studied for a long time.

 

In summary

 

ADHD is a growing syndrome for which there is currently no cure. The symptoms continue well into adulthood, and when drug treatment is the last resort, or at least that’s what is recommended, along with drug treatment, usual health-supporting measures such as diet, outdoor activities and minimizing screen time have been recommended. More research is still needed on the use of CBD oil for ADHD symptoms, but according to the current information, CBD oil can be effective in treating at least some of the underlying causes of ADHD, such as enhancing dopamine production and balancing the nervous system.

 

Sources

 

  1. Huttunen M. and Socada L.. 2019. Duodecim health library. ADHD (activity and attention deficit disorder). https://www.terveyskirjasto.fi/dlk00353. Referred on 9/8/2022.
  2. Riikka Torniainen and Noora Holopainen. 2014. Jam. Thesis. Consideration of nutrition in the occupational therapy of children with ADHD symptoms. https://www.theseus.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/79515/Holopainen_Noora%20Torniainen_Riina.pdf;jsessionid=2F2CB6A7E31F41925E6E9A6199C34623?sequence=1. Referred on 9/8/2022
  3. https://suomenravintoterapia.fi/adhdn-paras-vaihtoehtoinen-hoito-ravitsemus/. Referred on 9/8/2022
  4. Klaus Karkia. ADHD test. http://karkia.me/adhd/. Referred on 9/8/2022
  5. Valvira. Health care. ADHD and drug prescribing. https://www.valvira.fi/terveydenhuolto/hyva-ammatinharjoittaminen/laakehoidon-erityistilanteita/adhd-ja-laakkeiden-maaraaminen. Referred on 9/8/2022
  6. Dawson D. and Persad C.. Targeting the Endocannabinoid System in the Treatment of ADHD. https://scivisionpub.com/pdfs/targeting-the-endocannabinoid-system-in-the-treatment-of-adhd-1604.pdf. Referred on 9/8/2022
  7. Hergenrather JY, Aviram J., Vyotski Y., Campisi-pinto S., Lewitus GM and Meiri D.. 2020. Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal. Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Doses are Associated with Adult ADHD Status of Medical Cannabis Patients. https://www.rmmj.org.il/userimages/1036/1/PublishFiles/1038Article.pdf. Referred on 9/8/2022
  8. Manach C. 2018. FoodComex. Biochanin A (PC001057). https://foodcomex.org/foodcomex_compounds/PC001057. Referred on 28/08/2022
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