Serotonin is a neurotransmitter associated, among other things, with the control of emotions.Some studies indicate a close link between this hormone and the endocannabinoid system.
In this post, we will explain how cannabinoids can influence the production of serotonin.
What is serotonin?
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter produced by the human body and responsible for transmitting signals between nerves. It is also known as the “happiness hormone” because it helps to regulate mood. Low levels of serotonin can be associated with mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, or various obsessive-compulsive disorders. However, this neurotransmitter will also influence other functions, such as :
- The pain
- The libido
- Perception and cognitive functions
- The regulation of other hormones such as melatonin, responsible for the regulation of circadian rhythms and sleep.
- The development and maintenance of bones in the vascular system.
How do you raise his serotonin levels?
You can raise your serotonin levels in different ways and quite easily.
Diet: To produce serotonin, your body will need an amino acid called tryptophan, which can be obtained from a variety of foods:
- Dairy products
- Sunlight: Several studies have shown a direct link between the number of hours of sun exposure and a person’s mood or vitality.
- Exercise: especially cardiovascular exercise, such as cycling or running.
What is the link between serotonin and cannabinoids?
Several studies indicate that the body’s endocannabinoid system and the serotonin system are closely related. Some consider that they work together to maintain the homeostasis of the human body, i.e. the balance of all the body’s functions. Specifically, the endocannabinoid system appears to be connected to neurotransmitters of monoamines, including dopamine, norepinephrine (or norepinephrine) and serotonin. Indeed, many of the effects of CBD and THC would not be possible without this interaction.
How do cannabinoids and serotonin interact?
Several studies indicate that THC has the potential to inhibit both serotonin-metabolizing activity and serotonin-recovery activity. What does this mean? Depending on the dosage, THC may be able to reduce or increase the production of serotonin. However, there would be gender differences, as men would appear to produce 50% more serotonin than women, so they would be more sensitive to a reduction in this hormone. Therefore, a health care professional needs to determine the dose and frequency of cannabinoid treatment if you wish to treat a certain condition that affects your condition and emotional management.
According to some studies, one of the reasons cannabinoids affect serotonin levels is that they activate the CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. These receptors are visibly expressed in certain serotonergic neurons, as well as in the GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons responsible for activating serotonin neurons. These studies have shown that endocannabinoids (from the body) and phytocannabinoids (from the plant) promote the activation of serotonergic neurons in animals.
However, studies in this area show contradictory results, since the two-phase effect of cannabinoids (opposite effects depending on the dosage), will make the dosage a determining factor.
Cannabis, serotonin, and depression
A study in laboratory rats suggests that cannabinoids have a potential effect on the treatment of depression. It would appear to be similar to common antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). However, this is not to say that long-term use of cannabis in large amounts helps in the treatment of depression, but rather the opposite. Chronic stress (for more than 40 days) is linked to a disturbance in serotonin levels that can lead to depression. The worse your mood is, the more likely you are to suffer from stress… this is the real vicious circle.
CBD has been shown to have an anxiolytic effect and to help reduce stress, preventing the cycle from coming full circle. It should be noted, however, that despite the benefits of CBD in breaking the stress-depression cycle, this does not mean that you should use it for a long time, as the effects on the body will be different. The human body is a perfect machine with its self-regulating mechanisms. Cannabinoids may nevertheless provide the necessary boost to allow the mechanisms to regain their balance, without having to consume them permanently and over a long period.