Homeostasis: Keeping it Together
It’s highly sought-after, but also pretty elusive don’t you think?
We strive for work-life balance, healthy-weight balance, balanced checkbooks… just a balanced life in general.
But how many of us actually feel like we’ve attained it? Between this stressor and that one, plus all of life’s distractions… Finding inner balance can be tough.
We have good news — your endocannabinoid system wants to help, mostly by keeping you in something called homeostasis. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at what homeostasis is, what it does, and how it applies to you.
What is Homeostasis?
Homeostasis refers to the type of balance that occurs between moving parts, especially in a living being. When everything is flowing well and staying in sync with everything else...that’s homeostasis.
The healthier a person is, the more homeostatic their body will be. The mind will be able to communicate quickly and effortlessly with the body — that’s how the nervous system promotes homeostasis. The gut’s microbiome will stay in close communication, too, ensuring that this hypothetical person maintains a healthy body weight.
Homeostasis may require internal communication, but it practically guarantees good health. Virtually every biomarker, from insulin to leptin to blood sugar, can be normalized and kept in check by the body that stays in homeostasis.
What about Adaptation?
When your body’s in homeostasis, good things happen! Think of homeostasis as the firm foundation upon which things like endurance, strength, and mental conditioning can develop. If your body is in that goldilocks zone, it’ll be quick to overcome and adapt.
Paradoxically, the best way to stay healthy and homeostatic is to subject yourself to things that throw you out of homeostasis occasionally. Things like fasting, intense exercise, cold exposure — these are called hormetic stressors. What doesn’t kill you really can make you stronger!
When done right, these activities test one’s body just enough as it tries to pull itself back into homeostasis. You might even think of healthy stressors as a litmus test for a healthy endocannabinoid system. If you adapt fast to new challenges, consider yourself endocannabinoid-replete.
On a related note: in theory, things like eating right and exercising should benefit everyone. So if you’re not seeing the results you want...if attempts at change have you feeling thrown out of whack...there could be a deeper problem. The system that maintains homeostasis and keeps it all together could be struggling.
Is CBD an Adaptogen?
That’s where CBD comes to the rescue. Like many plant compounds, CBD seems to gently help the body pull itself back into homeostasis. On the deepest level possible, it may help its users adapt to new things, learn from them, and overcome them.
According to Dr. Bob Melamede, cannabinoids are essentially the oils of life — they facilitate suppleness and flow. They also help us deal with complexity by encouraging the brain to look forward, not back.
In scientific terms, this mental framework relies on something called neuroplasticity. In basic terms, just know that flexible thinking is an important part of keeping yourself in balance!
What does CBD have to do with this?
How does CBD do all this?
We’re glad you asked — we’ve covered the topic before. Check out CBD’s impact on the endocannabinoid system here, how it uplifts mood here, and the role of cannabinoids in general here.
Overall, CBD-powered homeostasis signals that it’s time to awaken and live in the now. Homeostasis provides a baseline from which to strive, struggle, and then begin again.
You can experience homeostasis, too, if you’re not already. Full-body balance may only be a few drops of CBD oil away.