Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency

Updated: May 7

In 2004, about 12 years following the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a theory regarding the existence of an endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome was published in a research paper entitled "Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD): Can This Concept Explain Therapeutic Benefits of Cannabis in Migraine, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and Other Treatment-Resistant Conditions?"

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In the study report, the study's authors theorized that major and common diseases, many of which are largely untreatable via conventional drugs and therapies, may result from a deficiency of cannabinoids in the endocannabinoid system. The study suggested that such a deficiency "could underlie the pathophysiology of migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and other functional conditions alleviated by clinical cannabis."


The study suggested that such a deficiency "could underlie the pathophysiology of migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and other functional conditions alleviated by clinical cannabis."

In 2016, a second research study was published regarding the topic of endocannabinoid deficiency called "Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Reconsidered: Current Research Supports the Theory in Migraine, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel, and Other Treatment-Resistant Syndromes."


In it, the scientists posited the idea that not only is supplementation of one's ECS via phytocannabinoids (such as CBD and CBG) helpful and health giving, but that optimal health necessarily involves pursuing lifestyle changes that cause an increase in production of endocannabinoids. Such lifestyle choices include exercise and healthy diet to produce 2-AG and anandamide.

The study cited a connection between exercise, the production of anandamide, and the overall health of the ECS. He reported that "low-impact aerobic regimens have demonstrated beneficial effects on endocannabinoid function."


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