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The Endocannabinoid System and Its Effect on Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

New and exciting research by Navarini et al. soon to be published in the journal Biochemistry & Cell Biology in September 2018, discusses the importance of the Endocannabinoid System (eCB) and the disease Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).  The study will be titled ‘Endocannabinoid system in systemic lupus erythematosus: first evidence for a deranged 2-arachidonoylglycerol metabolism.

Whereas we have known for some time that CBD may help with knocking down inflammation and pain through activation of the CB2 receptors, this study is the first ever to study the levels of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in relationship to the disease.   

For some background, 2-AG is one of the two cannabinoids that the body makes.  The other is Anandamide.  Whereas Anandamide has an affinity for CB1 receptors, 2-AG has an affinity for both.  It is generally accepted that 2-AG activates CB2 receptors (those responsible for helping to reduce pain and inflammation).  These two endocannabinoids act as neurotransmitters to activate  your eCB.  Being our bodies tend to make too much of two particular enzymes (FAAH and MAGL), our eCB tends to be dysfunctional or all together nonfunctional.  CBD  eats away at FAAH and MAGL so that your body’s Anandamide and 2-AG work as they should, helping to restore balance to your neurological system.

In this study, the authors were able to show an alteration in the eCB with SLE patients.  What they found was that 2-AG levels were significantly increased in SLE patients vs. those who did not have SLE.  The levels were highest with those with the lowest disease activity (was the 2-AG helping the condition?).  No changes were noticed with Anandamide levels between the different groups.  The study validated that with those who have SLE have deranged 2-AG metabolism.  This means that 2-AG could be used as a biomarker of SLE.

Wow!  Keep that eCB functioning at an optimal level…you never know what positive benefits will be discovered next!

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