Processes of Homeostasis
- Clear set points are established
- Deviations in balance are detected
- Behavioral and physiological responses work to restore the body to its set points
Temperature isn’t the only point maintained by homeostasis. Virtually every system in the body has a perfect spot for optimal performance and health. When this balance is off, so is the body’s ability to protect itself, recover, heal and generally function.
The cardiovascular system relies on adequate blood pressure in order to deliver blood to all of the organs and tissues in the body. If blood pressure is too low, an insufficient amount of nutrients are delivered. If it is too high, the lining of blood vessels can be impacted. This could result in potential heart disease or stroke. Receptor cells within blood vessels help to monitor and regulate blood pressure.
When exercising or during any movement-based activity, the muscles being used require additional oxygen. A release of hormones signals a heart rate increase. Oxygenated blood is delivered where needed. Without this regulatory process, we would not be able to engage in any sort of active lifestyle. Activity level usually determines a person’s individual heart rate. Athletes or people who intentionally increase their heart rate frequently tend to have lower resting heart rates.
The balance between sleeping and waking is generated by the amount of time since the last adequate sleep cycle, and thus the body’s need for rest. Hormones build up during the day and pressure is relieved by sleep. Sleep deprivation can negatively affect many areas of daily life. Because it is so important, the regulatory components will force sleep homeostasis by slowing the body to a point where it has to rest.
The average adult human body contains 50 to 65 percent water. This is the reason that staying hydrated is extremely important. Without adequate fluid in the body, it becomes much more difficult to maintain temperature and blood volume. Lack or overabundance of fluid can affect muscle strength, endurance, alertness, cause overheating and ultimately have serious consequences.
Respiration controls the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the bloodstream. Breathing is both voluntary and involuntary. It is rare that you “forget” to breathe because the body is naturally adjusting to maintain a proper level of both compounds. When receptors sense a higher influx of carbon dioxide, the body begins to breathe faster or deeper to compensate. Lack of oxygen can result in cramps, fatigue, and numbness.
Thermoregulation is the body’s method of balancing heat that is produced and heat that is lost. As mentioned earlier, the body already has a set thermostat. The setpoint is generally around 98.6 degrees for humans. When temperature drops or rises above this level, the body works to get back to that stable point. Hypothermia and hyperthermia are the results of an inability to restore homeostasis.
Stress can be defined as a state in which homeostasis is threatened or perceived to be threatened. Hormones that affect stress and anxiety are controlled by receptors that determine the proper balance to stabilize mood. Likewise, when this system is overrun, the disruption can cause an anxiety attack. An anxiety attack is essentially a massive attempt by the body to address a threat that is not real. All of the previously mentioned components of biological homeostasis kick into action, which accounts for hyperventilation, heart palpitations, hot flashes and more.
CBD and Homeostasis
The endocannabinoid system works to maintain homeostasis by using cannabinoid receptors to monitor reactions in the body. When a discrepancy is detected, cannabinoids are synthesized to interact with receptors. Then they stimulate a chemical response to address the issue. The difference between cannabinoid receptors and other receptors in the body is that they incite two-way communication. This means that cannabinoid molecules can exchange information to achieve the desired result and balance. The introduction of CBD oil into this system can increase the effectiveness of the endocannabinoid system. Thus, your body’s ability to remain in balance and achieve optimal health is enhanced.
CBD is a natural compound derived from hemp. Unlike some other plant-derived cannabinoids, CBD doesn’t actually fit into any of the cannabinoid receptors in the body. However, it is still able to stimulate activity in the receptors without directly binding to them.
Instead of binding either to CB1 or CB2 receptors, CBD has 2 very unique effects on the body. First, it promotes the synthesis of 2-AG which, in turn, stimulates activity in the receptors. Secondly, studies show that CBD also inhibits the activity of FAAH, the enzyme responsible for breaking down anandamide.
CBD has been shown to bind another G-protein coupled receptor known as TRPV-1. This receptor is known to play an active role in regulating body temperature as well as pain and inflammation.
By interacting with TRPV-1 and provoking an increase in both anandamide and 2-AG, CBD indirectly promotes healthy endocannabinoid activity. And since the endocannabinoid system is directly involved in so many homeostatic processes, CBD may help give your system the boost it needs in order to continue functioning properly.