Before we look into the specific interaction of CBD and Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) on your health, it's crucial to have a basic understanding of hormones themselves, the hormone steroid Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and the relationship between CBD and hormones.
Hormones are essentially chemical messengers. They are involved in numerous bodily processes, including growth and development, metabolism and appetite, sexual function, reproduction, and mood.
Hormones are produced by a system of glands known as the endocrine system, and this system comprises various glands, such as the thyroid, pancreas, pineal gland, and others. The hormones produced by these glands are particularly powerful chemicals that can sustain significant effects on the body, even in small amounts.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a naturally occurring steroid hormone in the human body. The hormone is the highest-circulating steroid produced by the body in the adrenal gland and has cholesterol as its main building block.
Popular opinion suggests that DHEA holds the key to a more youthful life and overall better health.
But how true is this assertion?
Since dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) was first discovered in 1934, scientists have been probing its metabolism to determine what it's about and how it affects the human body.
As a natural hormone and supplement, DHEA can affect the levels of other hormones in your body. According to medical science, DHEA helps produce other hormones in the adrenal gland, including a wide range of androgens and estrogens like testosterone and estradiol.
Much of DHEA production occurs in the adrenal glands, with small amounts produced in the intestinal tract and the brain. Across various parts of the body, the hormone occurs as DHEA and DHEA Sulphate (DHEAS).
Besides naturally occurring DHEA in the body, scientists have synthesized the hormone and offer it as a supplement to athletes and others who desire to improve their health and wellness. DHEA supplement provides immense benefits for users, old and young.
Although there isn't sufficient information to prove some of DHEA supplements' claims, some research studies indicate that it plays a critical role in performance enhancement, anti-aging, muscle development, cognitive functions, and body composition.
Recommend dosing for men is between 50-100mg daily and for women between 25-50mg, but these ranges can vary from person to person based on their personal needs. This is why it is smart to have some sort of idea where your levels are at before you start any new supplementation. Best advice is to smart with a lower dose and build it up as needs be.
Benefits of DHEA
Anti-Aging: From birth, our bodies produce DHEA, with production levels peaking between the ages of 20 and 30, after which there is a steady decline at the rate of about 5% per year. For this reason, amongst others, scientists have been able to draw a connection between aging and the decline in DHEA levels.
As the effects of aging kicks in, DHEA supplements can help reverse the natural aging process.
Performance enhancement: DHEA supports the production of hormones, testosterone, estradiol, and cortisol, which are the primary hormones responsible for athletic performance.
Naturally, DHEA in the body helps with the production of these power hormones as needed, but with declining age, your body may require some extra support, which DHEA supplements can provide.
Depression: Clinical trials on the effect of DHEA on patients with severe depression have shown some promise. In a control group experiment involving 22 patients in 1999, 90 mg of DHEA was administered to 11 patients, and the others were given placebos. At the end of six weeks, 5 of the 11 patients who received DHEA improved, but none of the 11 who received a placebo did.
Osteoporosis: Research suggests DHEA might improve bone mineral density in older adults with low DHEA, counteracting the effects of plummeting muscle mass and porous bones.
Vaginal atrophy: Research suggests that DHEA might improve vaginal dryness in postmenopausal women.
Cognitive function: About 7% of Americans develop cognitive impairment by the age of 65, and by 85, the number is up to 40%.
Older adults run the risk of developing cognitive conditions like Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia as they age, and their DHEA levels decline.
Increased levels of DHEA can increase cognitive support and reverse the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid substance gotten from the cannabis plant. The oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant, then diluting it with carrier oil. The result of the procedure is called CBD oil.
CBD is a phytocannabinoid, similar to the endocannabinoids produced within the body. Phytocannabinoids interact with cannabinoid receptors to create a series of therapeutic effects. Unlike Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not create a high when consumed. Instead, it helps the body to build natural efforts towards wellness.
CBD Oil and DHEA
Looking at the medical influence spectrum of both supplements, you would find a similarity of function. Recall, DHEA is all about boosting hormone support, and CBD is about enabling the endocannabinoid system's ECS efficiency to balance out the body.
The ECS controls most of the bodily functions, including functions of the endocrine system. CBD supports the ECS to perform it’s primary responsibility of maintaining homeostasis.
Studies have shown that cannabinoids like CBD can, directly and indirectly, influence the production and secretion of hormones like cortisol, insulin, melatonin, and others. Therefore, cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system must sustain some influence on homeostasis.
Homeostasis refers to the internal balance needed for organisms to function properly. In humans, homeostasis ensures we are in correct working order. Some examples of the variables that must maintain homeostatic balance include:
- Body temperature
- Heart rate
- Blood pressure
- Sleep cycle
One of the key areas responsible for regulating these variables is the hypothalamus, a region of the brain composed of nerve cell clusters located just above the brainstem. The hypothalamus is one of the main parts of the endocrine system.
Just like other regions of the brain, the hypothalamus contains cannabinoid receptors. Research suggests that targeting these receptors and stimulating them with cannabinoids like CBD, for example, can help manage the many processes required for homeostasis.
As we've seen, CBD and the endocannabinoid system are very intertwined with endocrine system functioning and hormone production in the body. For those looking to bring a feeling of homeostasis back to their body, it may be worth experimenting with sophisticated CBD formulations.