Endo·dna https://endodna.com Cannabis is personal. Sun, 12 Jul 2020 22:48:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 https://endodna.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/cropped-endo_dna_favicon-32x32.png Endo·dna https://endodna.com 32 32 Why some cannabis wellness-seekers are breaking up with strains. https://endodna.com/2020/07/12/why-some-cannabis-wellness-seekers-are-breaking-up-with-strains/ https://endodna.com/2020/07/12/why-some-cannabis-wellness-seekers-are-breaking-up-with-strains/#respond Sun, 12 Jul 2020 21:24:49 +0000 https://endodna.com/?p=209340 Formulations offer a consistent, predictable cannabis experience for health outcomes like pain management or anxiety relief.

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Formulations offer a consistent, predictable cannabis experience for health outcomes like pain management or anxiety relief.

Finding cannabis these days is easy. The hard part is finding the right cannabis product for you. On average, a cannabis consumer will try 6 to 8 different products before settling on one that works for them and their desired outcomes.

There now seems to be a product for every possible scenario, but how do you know what will work for your pain or anxiety? Or for your chronic knee inflammation? Your insomnia? The right product is probably out there, but finding it is another story.

To complicate matters, there isn’t just plain cannabis on offer, but a whole range of butters, oils, tinctures and edibles, all of which boast different terpene profiles, cannabinoid concentrations and expected outcomes. How do you choose between the seemingly endless options? 

A first (or second) trip to a dispensary can be daunting, especially when you’re likely to run into what appears to be a long list of classic rock bands.Those would be the strains, varieties of cannabis with names like Purple Haze, Blue Dream, Durban Poison and White Widow. Each strain is meant to have unique qualities and promote different therapeutic effects.

The alternative to strains are formulations, which are combinations of cannabis compounds that have been extracted from plants and combined in very specific ratios. Formulations are designed and manufactured for specific effects, whereas strains are grown, either from seed or through a cloning process. 

Even though strains are selectively cultivated for certain characteristics, there will always be some variation in the end product. Formulations solve this random variation problem by creating ratios that stay constant, affording you a more precise, replicable cannabis experience.

Whether the products you choose are derived from a strain or a formulation, your genetics and physiology are still the keys to finding the best product match for your own unique needs. 

cannabinoid formulations vs strains

Photo by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash.

What’s in a strain name?

There are literally thousands of different strains of cannabis on the market, offering different terpene profiles and varying levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD (cannabidiol). Strains are selected and cultivated for these particular characteristics.

Terpenes, the aroma molecules in cannabis, give each strain its special scent. Recent research has also shown that terpenes play an important role in the overall effect and efficacy of cannabinoids.

Differences in cannabinoid and terpene ratios will occur naturally, even within strains. These variations can be attributed to things like strain selection and cloning methods, or growing and harvesting conditions. This makes it nearly impossible to consistently replicate the precise ratio of all the components in a strain from plant to plant and season to season. Different producers, even if they cultivate strains of the same name, will generally produce cannabis with different concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes.

Versions of a strain from different purveyors, or even different plants of the same strain from the same source, can have at least slightly different cannabinoid and terpene ratios.

Research has found significant differences in chemical composition of strains of the same name, which could have “serious implications for patients relying on strains that alleviate specific medical symptoms.” [1]

Key takeaway:

  • Strain names are not a good measure of the exact levels of compounds in cannabis.
  • As a source of cannabinoids for medical or therapeutic purposes, strains can be unreliable. 
  • CBD, THC, and terpene ratio will vary from plant to plant, which can alter its effects and have a different impact on your pain management, inflammation, or working memory.

Cannabis compounds and the entourage effect.

The experience from smoking or ingesting a product made with full flower cannabis will be a product of the dozens (if not hundreds) of compounds contained in that plant. The result is what is known as the entourage effect, a phenomenon where the compounds in cannabis work synergistically to affect you physiologically. They play off each other, producing an effect that is specific to the complex combination of compounds in that particular cannabis plant. [2]

This effect comes from the whole spectrum of a cannabis plant’s compounds together. More than 500 different compounds have been isolated in cannabis, and the presence of unknown components could lead to unpredictable results.

Instead of experiencing the effects of the entire entourage of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other molecules present in a strain, the individual compounds can be combined into a formulation of complementary components. These formulations offer a reliable option for consumers to avoid adverse events and achieve more consistent therapeutic outcomes.

Important reasons why strains are not the answer.

Unfortunately, strains are an unreliable source of cannabis for medicinal or therapeutic purposes. First of all, strains are inconsistent. Its cannabinoid ratios and terpene profile will vary from producer to producer, year to year, and even plant to plant.  

Selective breeding and the growing environment can further impact the plant’s characteristics and be a source of variations in strength and efficacy of the product. Cloning, rather than growing the plants from seed, can cause genetic drift, where the composition of each new copy of a strain can become less and less like the original.

In a strain, you consume all of the potentially hundreds of different compounds, while only a few of them may be desired for  a specific therapeutic outcome. [3]

Finally, controlling the dosage of individual cannabinoids is difficult when consuming full flower products. [4]

Why? Because the presence and level of these compounds is variable, it’s easy to consume the wrong dosage or combination of cannabinoids and terpenes. 

For therapeutic applications or simply for a consistent cannabis experience, strains don’t offer predictability or .

What exactly is a cannabinoid formulation?

Simply put, formulations are ratios of cannabis components that complement each other. For our purposes, the terms formulation and ratio can be used interchangeably.

For example, a ratio of 3:1 CBD to THC in a formulation means that you always get 3 times the CBD as THC, regardless of the quantity consumed. The actual dose depends on how much you take, but the ratio stays constant. Much like doubling a recipe, if you double the dose, you will get twice as much of each of the components, but their relative strength doesn’t change. 

Many formulations also incorporate the terpenes (aromatic compounds naturally found in cannabis) that can serve to support and complement the efficacy of cannabinoids in a formulation.

Key takeaway:

  • Formulations are precise ratios of cannabinoids, terpenes and other compounds that complement each other for targeted therapeutic effects.
  • Formulations can be targeted and personalized for your specific needs.

Why cannabinoid formulations could be your answer.

Formulations offer consistency, with none of the natural variation found in strains. They can be aligned to an individual’s unique genetics and health conditions, and there is nothing in a formulation that isn’t designed to be there.

Instead of a full entourage effect from the multitude of compounds in a strain of cannabis, the formulation’s recipe is carefully calculated for a targeted outcome.

Ratios are replicable, which means that once you know the ratio that works for you, you can continue to take that exact formulation for the same effects again and again. Formulations can also be designed for strictly therapeutic outcomes without psychoactive effects, which is unlikely if not impossible when cultivating a plant. Furthermore, because the ratio of components in a formulation stays constant, dosing is precise and easier to control.

Ultimately, personalized medicine works best with formulations because they can be reliably matched with an individual’s unique characteristics for consistent, replicable health outcomes.

Are cannabinoid formulations right for you?

Most people will try numerous different different cannabis products before finding a match for their desired outcomes. If the product has a combination of cannabinoids and terpenes that doesn’t align with an individual’s genetics and health conditions, consuming that cannabinoid product can lead to an adverse event.

These negative experiences can result from consuming cannabis products that interact with unknown genetic predispositions or personal health issues.

Our DNA can lead us to the right formulations.

Humans share 99.9% of our DNA, and it’s that 0.1% of difference that accounts for all the genetic variations between individuals. Clearly, 0.1% is a lot. It contributes to our obvious physical differences, like hair and eye color, and our more subtle physiological differences, like predispositions to diseases or our metabolic characteristics. Your endocannabinoid system, through which the body and brain process cannabinoids, is also unique and will have its own particular relationship with cannabis.

Strains, however carefully selected, will always have variation. Targeted, personalized formulations that cater to your genetic characteristics are both more consistent and more effective for supporting your individual health and wellness outcomes.

Endocanna Health have created 14 different formulations of carefully paired cannabinoid and terpene ratios that align to different genotypes and phenotypes. Our formulations are evidence-based and underpinned by peer-reviewed scientific research.

We leverage our unique technology to determine how your genotype aligns with our formulations. This information, combined with your health survey, will lead you to the formulations that can best help you achieve your health and wellness goals.

Endocanna Health is a biotechnology company committed to helping consumers find the right cannabinoid products to enhance their health and wellness. Using our breakthrough DNA test, Endo·dna, we empower you to take control of your health with access to over 55 different health reports that include suggestions for the best CBD and cannabis products that match your unique genetic code. Visit us here to find out more!

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Meet Dr. Mike Tagen https://endodna.com/2020/07/02/meet-dr-mike-tagen/ https://endodna.com/2020/07/02/meet-dr-mike-tagen/#respond Thu, 02 Jul 2020 10:45:00 +0000 https://endodna.com/?p=209135 Get to know Dr. Mike Tagen, Endocanna Health Science Board member, co-founder of Verdient Science consulting, pharmacogenomic specialist, and expert on the science of cannabis and cannabinoids.

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An interview with Dr. Mike Tagen, Endocanna Health Science Board Member.

At Endocanna Health, cannabis is personal®.

Our team is passionate about empowering individuals on their own wellness journeys, which means having the utmost confidence in the science behind Endo·dna and our Endo·Aligned formulations.

Below, get to know Dr. Mike Tagen, Endocanna Health Science Board member, co-founder of Verdient Science consulting, pharmacogenomic specialist, and expert on the science of cannabis and cannabinoids.

His diverse science background has prepared him well for his role of general science guy, sounding board, and research review expert at Endocanna Health.

THC adverse events quiz

Always the “science guy” at heart.

Dr. Tagen remembers always being interested in science, even as a kid, when sharks and archaeology captured his imagination.

When asked about his biggest influences, he remembers the tenth grade in high school as the real turning point for setting him on his path towards a career in the sciences.

“I was always into science ever since I can remember, a little kid reading about all these cool topics that were always about science. I always had this interest, but I think it was probably my 10th grade science class and science teacher where I said ‘Wow, this isn’t just an interest, but this is something that I want to spend my life doing.’”

He found the brain and all things related to it particularly intriguing, so he majored in Neuroscience for his undergraduate degree, later moving into Pharmacology for his PhD.

A neuroscientist goes dancing.

Knowing better than most how important a healthy body is for a healthy mind, Dr. Tagen stays active in his downtime, connecting with people and getting outside.

Living in Miami, he’s able to get outside to go biking and paddle-boarding most of the year, and he especially enjoys dancing salsa and bachata.

A thirst for knowledge across disciplines.

Dr. Tagen says that what keeps him motivated in his work is knowing that he can wake up every day and read the latest research, and knowing that as scientists they are “all contributing to new knowledge in the world.”

The fact that that knowledge can help develop therapies to treat sick people or to just help improve people’s lives keeps him going.

After working in cancer and immunology research, Dr. Tagen spent 8 years researching for biopharmaceutical companies, and his research and consulting work for cannabis and cannabinoid-related endeavours include product development, clinical testing and pharmacogenetics.

About his varied scientific background, Dr. Tagen says,

“A lot of people working in science really focus just on one area for their entire career, but I’ve worked in a lot of different areas a lot more than most people and have had probably a wider diversity of experience than a lot of scientists.”

That diversity has helped him keep an open mind and train a keen eye for evaluating the potential of new research.

“[D]ifferent people are going to have different interests in Endo·dna. For me personally, I would say one of the things that would be most interesting is really just helping understand myself and how the genetics of the endocannabinoid system have an influence on me, to help understand my own biology or my own brain better.”

Dr. Mike Tagen

Science Board Member, Endocanna Health

Taking the leap from the lab to clinical research.

Dr. Tagen didn’t want to let himself get pigeonholed too early, and he managed to move out of lab research and into more hands-on clinical research. At the time, however, it seemed unusual for a research scientist to make that change.

He had to face:

“the classic problem for anybody who wants to switch from one area to another: If you don’t already have those skills, people don’t want to hire you, but the only way to get those skills is to work in that area.”

For a time, it seemed like a change in direction might be out of reach, but after multiple rejections, Dr. Tagen found a position where he was able to start the next stage of his professional journey.

He is now one of the few scientists that have contributed to research in multiple different fields, from neuroscience and pharmacology to immunology, cancer research, and plant medicine.

Becoming the Prof of Pot.

The endocannabinoid system always held a particular fascination for Dr. Tagen, in large part because it was discovered so recently, so there’s always new research happening and new things to learn about it. 

In 2016, with the beginning of cannabis legalization in the United States, he was able to dive even more deeply into cannabinoid research and the newly-minted cannabis industry.

Dr. Tagen and his alias, The Prof of Pot, have made significant contributions to the body of research on the endocannabinoid system, cannabinoid science and plant medicine.

He has been producing approachable scientific content about cannabis and cannabinoid therapeutics for years, helping empower people to learn more about their health and how it can be affected by their own endocannabinoid system.

Science needs patience and communication

If there’s one message that Dr. Tagen would like to get out there, it’s that science is a slow process and it takes patience. For meaningful results, you can’t rush or jump to conclusions before the science is ready.

In an area like cannabinoid science, it’s easy to get drawn into all the new information coming out. Dr. Tagen is constantly combing through new research to see whether studies have a strong enough foundation to rely on, or if there still needs to be more work done to have full confidence in the results.

ECS THC adverse events

Always looking to the next step in the science journey.

When asked about what he’s most proud of, Dr. Tagen has a hard time, because he’s rarely looking back at what he’s accomplished, but rather is always looking to what comes next.

He says this is:

“[b]ecause science is very iterative. Once you get an answer to one question or a result, you always have another experiment to run or another study to run. I guess I’ve just always been so focused on what’s the next step. “

Advocating for cannabis research in the U.S.

In Dr. Tagen’s experience, regulations around cannabis research in the U.S. have remained strict, and getting approval for studies can be frustratingly difficult.

Of the research clinical trial approval process, he says that:

“it’s not always an easy task here. There’s a lot of examples where certain groups have had a study ready to go and yet they’ve had to wait years to get all the right approvals from different government agencies. So being able to get some clinical trials set up relatively quickly, is something that I’m proud of.”

Dr. Tagen has had a hand in moving U.S. research forward, helping ensure that a number of different studies took place in a timely manner, rather than languishing in limbo.

Teaming up with Len May and Endocanna Health.

Dr. Tagen’s connection with Endocanna Health originally came about after he got in touch with CEO Len May. Dr. Tagen had written a number of articles on pharmacogenomics and realized that no one was really writing about cannabis science in terms that non-scientists could understand.

He says that, at the time, if you Googled ‘pharmacogenomics’ or ‘cannabinoid science’, you got a bunch of links to research studies, but no articles written for the layperson.

When Len realized that Dr. Tagen was as excited about the topic of cannabinoid science as he was, and was also interested in explaining that science to regular people, they began working together and have been collaborating ever since.

Endo-dna is a powerful tool for learning.

What Dr. Tagen appreciates most about Endo·dna is that it puts the information in the hands of the individual. The information empowers the individual to get what they need, or what they want, out of their own personal Endo·Decoded report.

As Dr. Tagen points out,

“[D]ifferent people are going to have different interests in Endo·dna for me personally, I would say one of the things that would be most interesting is really just helping understand myself and how the genetics of the endocannabinoid system have an influence on me, to help understand my own biology or my own brain better.”

To start your own journey with Endo·dna’s breakthrough DNA test visit our website.

Endocanna Health is a biotechnology company committed to helping consumers find the right cannabinoid products to enhance their health and wellness. Using our breakthrough DNA test, Endo·dna, we empower you to take control of your health with access to over 55 different health reports that include suggestions for the best CBD and cannabis products that match your unique genetic code. Visit us here to find out more!

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What you can do to stay healthy and manage anxiety during Covid-19. https://endodna.com/2020/06/30/what-you-can-do-to-stay-healthy-and-manage-anxiety-during-covid-19/ https://endodna.com/2020/06/30/what-you-can-do-to-stay-healthy-and-manage-anxiety-during-covid-19/#respond Tue, 30 Jun 2020 01:06:00 +0000 https://endodna.com/?p=208904 Staying healthy, managing anxiety and finding ways to cope with Covid-19. Keeping it real in the age of the pandemic and info-demic.

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Key questions:

  • What can I do to stay healthy and not get consumed with anxiety over Covid-19?
  • How can we make the best of this situation?

Key takeaways: 

  • Despite the stressors that have come with Covid-19, the silver lining may be the chance it offers us to slow down and re-evaluate how we take care of ourselves and each other.
  • Today’s technology allows us to stay connected, even with physical distancing.
  • Managing our stress can involve cannabis, but other things, like spending time outdoors, exercising and eating well can help us stay healthy and relaxed during these strange times.
  • Covid-19 and how it spreads is emphasizing our Interconnectedness and how our actions could endanger or protect others.
  • Watch the video to learn more.

Coping with the stress and anxiety during the pandemic. 

Covid-19, and the restrictions and uncertainties that go with it, have added a new layer of  stress and anxiety to our lives, but there may well be a silver lining. This crisis is affording many people the time and social space to slow down, look inward, and gain a new perspective on work, friends, family and society.

Dr. Spooner talks about his entry into holistic medicine and into the cannabis space, finding an analogy between its recent commercialization and our high levels of stress and expectation,, and seeing in this crisis the potential for it to get back to its person-oriented roots.

Trying to address lifestyle and how it affects our health is interesting right now, because there has been a drastic change in lifestyle for most people. We’re stressed about different things, like losing work, trying to keep social distance, and missing our sense of community. 

Free Immune Function Genetics Report

Fortunately, the pandemic has come at a time when technology can keep us connected, both socially and professionally. Many companies and social groups alike are positioned to continue to interact and work together.

Covid-19 is reminding us of the interconnectedness of our society, how what you do affects others, and what they do affects you. CBD and cannabinoids can be tools to help manage stress and anxiety, but it’s important to look at the whole picture and at what other things we can do with our limited mobility to improve health, relax, and stay grounded.

Len May, CEO of Endocanna Health and naturopathic specialist Dr. Chris Spooner discuss  how to stay grounded and manage stress during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Learn more about Dr. Chris Spooner here.

Learn more about CEO Len May here.

Visit our website to learn more about our breakthrough DNA test that can help match you with the right CBD or cannabis products to enhance your health and wellness.

Endocanna Health is a biotechnology company committed to helping consumers find the right cannabinoid products to enhance their health and wellness. Using our breakthrough DNA test, Endo·dna, we empower you to take control of your health with access to over 55 different health reports that include suggestions for the best CBD and cannabis products that match your unique genetic code. Visit us here to find out more!

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Genetics, Cannabis, and CBD Consumption https://endodna.com/2020/06/29/genetics-cannabis-and-cbd-consumption/ Mon, 29 Jun 2020 00:53:00 +0000 https://endodna.com/?p=208895 Wondering about your genetic predispositions and how that may impact your use of cannabis for stress or anxiousness?

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Because you asked:

  • How can my genetics help direct my cannabis and CBD consumption?
  • Can your genotype guide you in a direction for consuming CBD and cannabis?
  • If someone finds that they have a genetic predisposition towards having an adverse event, should they potentially look at consuming less cannabis or more or less CBD?

Key takeaways: 

  • Variations in gene expression, especially of the FAAH and COMT genes, have a strong correlation with your CBD and cannabis experience.
  • FAAH controls your absorption of the neurotransmitter anandamide, which affects inflammation.
  • COMT regulates the neurotransmitter dopamine, which affects things like mood, energy levels, pleasure, and concentration.
  • DNA can tell you whether you have a “Warrior” or a “Worrier” phenotype, which can help you better understand your experience with stress.
  • Watch the video here.

Warrior, worrier and dopamine: your genetic predispositions give you away.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us are sustaining unusually high levels of stress. Studies show that CBD and cannabinoids can help manage stress and anxiety, but it is also important to look at genetic predispositions and how they influence the personal cannabis experience.

The FAAH gene, for example, controls the enzymes responsible for breaking down anandamide, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate inflammation. CBD and cannabinoids can influence how your FAAH enzymes metabolize anandamide and how long it stays in the body. Understanding how your own genetic variations affect the FAAH gene can help you predict which cannabis formulations are most likely to give you a positive outcome.

COMT is another important gene for regulating neurotransmitters, and it is also affected by CBD and cannabis. COMT enzymes modulate hormones like estrogen and neurotransmitters like epinephrine and dopamine. Dopamine is particularly important, affecting things like mood, pleasure, and concentration.

The COMT gene variation can also tell you whether you have a “Worrier” or a “Warrior” phenotype. When the someone who has a warrior phenotype experiences stress, it gets flushed out of the system quickly and doesn’t linger. The Worrier phenotype is slower to process stress, so it can build up and hang around in the system longer.

According to Dr. Spooner,

“you can use those combinations of those pathways to start to tailor in on some of your strain selection and cannabinoid formulation and also help manage some of that stress.”

Learning your genotype could help figure out where you fall on the warrior-worrier continuum, and whether a stimulating or calming type of cannabinoid-terpene combination might work best for you.

Watch Len May, CEO of Endocanna Health, chat with naturopathic specialist Dr. Chris Spooner about how gene variations affect how we process neurotransmitters, and how our DNA can help us find the most compatible personal CBD or cannabis solutions.

Learn more about Dr. Chris Spooner here.

Learn more about CEO Len May here.
Visit our website to learn more about our breakthrough DNA test that can help match you with the right CBD or cannabis products to enhance your health and wellness.

Endocanna Health is a biotechnology company committed to helping consumers find the right cannabinoid products to enhance their health and wellness. Using our breakthrough DNA test, Endo·dna, we empower you to take control of your health with access to over 55 different health reports that include suggestions for the best CBD and cannabis products that match your unique genetic code. Visit us here to find out more!

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What you need to know about cannabis and liver disease https://endodna.com/2020/06/26/what-you-need-to-know-about-cannabis-and-liver-disease/ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 00:52:00 +0000 https://endodna.com/?p=208886 CBD does not appear to cause liver disease and is found to reduce inflammation in the liver and prevent liver fibrosis.

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Because you asked:

  • Does using cannabis cause liver disease?
  • In terms of drug interactions, what’s the importance of metabolic function and are there certain genetic markers that you should be aware of when you’re consuming cannabinoids in general?
  • If you’re taking a large amount of a medication like Epidiolex, is it important to know if you’re a good metabolizer, genetically, so that it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach?

Key takeaways: 

  • CBD does not appear to cause liver disease and is found to reduce inflammation in the liver and prevent liver fibrosis.
  • Our livers metabolize CBD and other chemicals, escorting them out of the body through particular pathways which can become blocked if there are competing medications trying to leave the system at the same time.
  • When taking CBD and other cannabinoids, it’s important to look at all the medications you’re taking to avoid drug interactions.
  • In order to safely take large doses of CBD, you need to work with a health professional to monitor liver your function
  • Pharmacogenomics is proving how important DNA can be in helping identify and target medications that are beneficial to you specifically.
  • Watch the video to learn more.

Cannabinoids and your liver.

Our livers are responsible for processing chemicals and sending them out of the body. How well the liver can metabolize different chemicals varies with genetics and with what different medications the liver is trying to metabolize at the same time.

CBD has been found to help calm inflammation and prevent fibrosis in the liver, but taking high doses of CBD, in something like Epidiolex, can be hard on the liver when combined with other medications like antiepileptics. If you’re taking high dosages of a CBD product, you need to look at what other medications you’re taking, and work with a health professional to monitor your liver enzymes.

Everything goes through the liver.

Dr. Spooner uses the analogy of exit doorways when explaining how these chemicals leave the body. Many chemicals need to use the same “exit,” like the cytochrome P450 family of enzymes. The doorway can get bottlenecked, or blocked with one chemical going out so another one can’t.

“These chemicals come into your body, they do their job, and now they need to be escorted out of the body because they don’t want to hang around forever… Your liver processes these [chemicals] and filters them out.”

Cannabinoids and other medications, like some antidepressants, antibiotics, and antifungals, use the same pathways to metabolize out of your system. When one medication is using the pathway, another can back up inside the body. Fortunately, this type of potential conflict can now be identified with DNA analysis, which can help target medications that work best for you specifically.

Pharmacogenomics, how a person’s genetics affect their response to drugs, is helping the medical field steer away from the “one-size-fits-all” approach to medication. The best example of pharmacogenomics is with antidepressants, which often work for one person and not well or not at all for another. 

Endocanna CEO Len May and naturopathic specialist Dr. Chris Spooner discuss the liver, cannabis, and how important DNA is to our medical treatment and overall health.

Learn more about Dr. Chris Spooner here.

Learn more about CEO Len May here.

Visit our website to learn more about our breakthrough DNA test that can help match you with the right CBD or cannabis products to enhance your health and wellness.

Endocanna Health is a biotechnology company committed to helping consumers find the right cannabinoid products to enhance their health and wellness. Using our breakthrough DNA test, Endo·dna, we empower you to take control of your health with access to over 55 different health reports that include suggestions for the best CBD and cannabis products that match your unique genetic code. Visit us here to find out more!

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Cannabis and the Immune System https://endodna.com/2020/06/24/cannabis-and-the-immune-system/ Wed, 24 Jun 2020 07:38:00 +0000 https://endodna.com/?p=208876 What if you haven’t been impacted by Covid-19 and you’re not fighting an influenza infection, can cannabis and hemp positively impact your immune system?

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What if you haven’t been impacted by Covid-19 and you’re not fighting an influenza infection, can cannabis and hemp positively impact your immune system?

Key takeaways: 

  • CBD helps control inflammation, which is especially helpful for managing chronic conditions like arthritis, autoimmune disorders and even mood disorders.
  • Stress releases hormones which suppress the immune system. Chronic stress can be damaging in the long term, and CBD and cannabis can help manage the stress response.
  • Cannabinoids are promiscuous, interacting with the body’s inflammatory pathways, sodium channels, and neurotransmitters.
  • Cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are all different components of cannabis, and how you experience their specific effects or benefits is likely related to your epigenetics and your DNA.
  • Watch the video to learn more.

CBD, inflammation and stress biology.

CBD (cannabidiol) provides inflammation control and stress management by regulating our inflammatory pathways. Inflammation is tied to chronic conditions like arthritis and autoimmune disorders, and inflammation of the brain is associated with mood disorders and dementia.

When you get stressed, your body releases hormones like cortisol that induce “fight or flight” mode. In an acute situation, stress hormones rise, suppressing your immune system for a short time, and then they fall and your hormones and immune system rebalance. 

Chronic stress, on the other hand, keeps your immune system dampened, which is a problem over the long term, so stress modulation is important to your overall immune health.

The body’s inflammatory response is modified through various types of cell-to-cell communicators like TNFA, interleukin, and interferons. As cannabinoids modify this cell communication, they can have a balancing, calming and stabilizing effect.

Cannabinoids are promiscuous.

As Dr. Spooner says,

 “Cannabinoids are very promiscuous in terms of they like to interact with a lot of different types of receptors and different functions.”

They interact not just with our inflammatory pathways, but also with neurotransmitters like serotonin, GABA (a calming neurotransmitter) and even our sodium channels. Some of these “spinoff effects” from cannabis can be helpful in managing the stress response.

The many components of cannabis and how they affect immune health

There is still much to explore about the components of cannabis and how all its different cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes impact the immune system. Some components like quercetin, a flavonoid which prevents mast cells from releasing histamine, or hemp oil which contains the same fatty acids that control inflammation signals in the body, are known to impact inflammatory processes related to  immune response .

Terpenes  like beta-caryophyllene, limonene (found in citrus fruits, mangos, etc.), linalool, and myrcene, all have the potential to interact positively with immune regulation, and Dr Spooner suspects that their precise functions and how they change our stress response is strongly related to epigenetics.

Watch Len May, CEO of Endocanna Health, and naturopathic specialist Dr. Chris Spooner, discuss how the different components of cannabis can impact overall immune health.

Learn more about Dr. Chris Spooner here.

Learn more about CEO Len May here.

Visit our website to learn more about our breakthrough DNA test that can help match you with the right CBD or cannabis products to enhance your health and wellness. 

Endocanna Health is a biotechnology company committed to helping consumers find the right cannabinoid products to enhance their health and wellness. Using our breakthrough DNA test, Endo·dna, we empower you to take control of your health with access to over 55 different health reports that include suggestions for the best CBD and cannabis products that match your unique genetic code. Visit us here to find out more!

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Do Immunoglobulin Levels make a difference in my ability to fight Covid-19? https://endodna.com/2020/06/22/do-immunoglobulin-levels-make-a-difference-in-my-ability-to-fight-covid-19/ Mon, 22 Jun 2020 12:24:00 +0000 https://endodna.com/?p=208867 Cannabinoids seem to lower the response of some classes of immunoglobulins because they generally dampen down the immune system. Cannabis could also switch the body’s immune response from one class of antibody to another.

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Key takeaways: 

  • Immunoglobulins are responsible for finding and locking on to a foreign agent, like a virus, until it can be destroyed by white blood cell.
  • Cannabinoids seem to either lower the body’s immune response or cause the body’s immunoglobulin response to switch from one class to another. 
  • Cannabinoids are most closely associated with immunoglobulin type E, which is connected to our allergic response.
  • Immunoglobulin is another word for antibody.

What is immunoglobulin?

Immunoglobulin is another term for antibody, and their job is to seek out and attach to cell invaders like viruses, bacteria and other harmful agents. There are five different classes of antibodies (immunoglobulins), which each have different characteristics and different roles to play in the body’s defense system.

Dr. Spooner uses a military analogy to compare the role antibodies in the body to the role of the canine corps in a mission:

“Basically, the dogs are trained to go after something specific. They track it down, latch on to it, and then hold it in place until the MP’s come and grab it.”

Antibodies act the same way, going after a specific target, like a virus in a cell, and locking on to it until a white blood cell can arrive to destroy it. Antibody classes each have different targets and display different levels of behavior and aggression.

Cannabis and Immunoglobulin levels

Cannabinoids seem to lower the response of some classes of immunoglobulins because they generally dampen down the immune system. Cannabis could also switch the body’s immune response from one class of antibody to another. The class of antibody that seems to ramp up with cannabis is type E (IgE), which is associated with allergies. 

On the whole, it looks like cannabis

  • Suppresses immune function,
  • Lowers some immunoglobulin levels, and
  • May be involved in switching the class of immunoglobulin, which could be helpful or problematic, depending on the situation.

Cannabinoids may affect immunoglobulin levels, but that depends on the class of immunoglobulin and your own unique genetics.

Watch Len May, CEO of Endocanna Health, chat with naturopathic specialist Dr. Chris Spooner to pick his brain about how cannabis affects our immunoglobulins. 

Learn more about Dr. Chris Spooner here.

Learn more about CEO Len May here.

Visit our website to learn more about our breakthrough DNA test that can help match you with the right CBD or cannabis products to enhance your health and wellness. 

Endocanna Health is a biotechnology company committed to helping consumers find the right cannabinoid products to enhance their health and wellness. Using our breakthrough DNA test, Endo·dna, we empower you to take control of your health with access to over 55 different health reports that include suggestions for the best CBD and cannabis products that match your unique genetic code. Visit us here to find out more!

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Is your cannabis getting you too high? Use your DNA to manage THC side effects. https://endodna.com/2020/06/22/is-your-cannabis-getting-you-too-high-use-your-dna-to-manage-thc-side-effects/ Mon, 22 Jun 2020 01:07:53 +0000 https://endodna.com/?p=208967 Discover how your genetics can alert you to your risks for adverse events with THC.

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Discover how your genetics can alert you to your risks for adverse events with THC.  

As states continue to legalize cannabis for medical and recreational use, people are flocking to cannabis for its therapeutic effects. Currently, 12% of Americans and 15% of Canadians report using cannabis for either medical or nonmedical reasons.[1][2]

And these numbers are steadily rising.

The number of adults 65 years and older who report using cannabis has nearly doubled from 2015 to 2018, according to a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.[3]

Among new users are groups including women, adults with high family incomes, and those who reported receiving mental health and chronic disease treatments.

“Cannabis use was very stigmatized in the past but now we have all these new laws passing about the medical use of cannabis, so people are curious to see if it is something that can be used to treat their chronic disease,” said Dr. Benjamin Han, a leading author of the study.

Cannabis therapy can help people suffering from anxiety, insomnia, post traumatic stress disorder, or a number of other disruptive disorders. It’s also used to help adults who suffer from serious medical conditions like chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, and symptoms associated with aggressive cancers.

But, while many people swear by the therapeutic effects of cannabis, you might find that cannabis gets you too high. In other words, you might experience adverse events with THC. This happens because THC is a psychoactive substance that interacts with your endocannabinoid system, which can lead to negative events like forgetfulness, impulsivity, or even hallucinations.

Adverse THC side effects can be strong enough to discourage you from using cannabis therapy altogether. Or, at the very least, adverse events can cause anxiety around choosing an optimal therapy product.

Don’t let adverse events with THC keep you from cannabis therapy. Instead, use science to help you manage adverse events and find the optimal cannabis experience for your therapeutic needs.

So, where do you start? Your DNA.

The science behind adverse THC side effects.

Approximately 31% of the population will experience some form of moderate to acute THC side effects.

Adverse events can often include:

  • Aggression,
  • Impulsivity,
  • Psychomotor control impairment,
  • Psychotomimetic effects (also known as symptoms of psychosis),
  • Schizophrenia after chronic use,
  • THC dependence, and
  • Working memory impairment.

But THC side effects don’t occur at random. In fact, they’re quite predictable when you consider the science of genetics and endocompatibility.

Everyone is outfitted with their own unique set of genes that have both expressed and unexpressed components. These are determined by genetic parts called alleles (or variants). Under certain conditions, an unexpressed trait can be triggered and become an expressed trait. In other words, if you are predisposed to an adverse side effect of THC (like impulsivity or dependence), then taking THC can express the given adverse effect.

For example, nearly 53% of the general population has a CC genotype with an accompanying rs324420 marker. If you carry this genetic arrangement and take the wrong amount of THC, you could experience an adverse side effect of increased anxiety. This can manifest as an elevated heart rate, erratic breathing, or hyper alertness.

Key takeaway:

  • Depending on your genetics, you may be predisposed to a particular behavior, impairment, or even disease. Given the right circumstances, the unexpressed gene (or predisposition) can become expressed.
  • Knowing which adverse events you’re predisposed to will help you make smarter choices about your THC use and cannabis therapy.

Potential adverse events with THC.

Chances are you or someone you know has experienced at least one of the following THC side effects.

Aggression after THC use.

Everyone has different aggressive tendencies that depend on a host of factors including genetic makeup and environmental influence.

Serotonin is the most prominent neurotransmitter involved in aggressive behavior. Since the endocannabinoid system is closely connected to the serotonin system (and several other neurotransmitter systems), it’s possible that THC can influence aggression.[4]

Aggression after THC use is rare, and there is no scientific evidence that THC use alone causes aggression. There have been studies, however, that show an association between THC use and aggression, although these results have not always been replicated. Studies have also shown that aggression with THC use is more common in individuals who have aggressive tendencies without cannabis use. [5][6]

Impulsivity after THC use.

Impulsivity is the tendency to act prematurely without fully considering the consequences of a given choice. If you make choices quickly that you are prone to question or regret later, you may be acting impulsively.

Impulsive behavior is determined by a host of genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors. It can be exacerbated by stimulant drugs and certain prescription medications, and it can be more common in people who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder or past traumas.

Genetically speaking, some people are more predisposed to impulsivity than others. For example, genetic variants in the DBH gene, which is responsible for metabolizing dopamine, can predispose you to impulsive behavior.[7]

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter involved in impulse behavior. Since THC can activate neurons that release dopamine, it’s possible that THC can influence impulsivity.

Psychomotor control impairment after THC use.

Psychomotor control is commonly referred to as coordination. It involves the careful alignment of both thinking and physical movement. You use psychomotor control in many everyday tasks, like driving, walking, and chewing.

While THC’s effect on psychomotor control can vary, it often slows control, which is why driving or operating heavy machinery under the influence of THC is highly dangerous.

Approximaltely 42% of the general population are predisposed to impairment in psychomotor control after THC use. This is due to the AKT gene that transmits dopamine, an important neurotransmitter involved in psychomotor functioning. Variations in the AKT protein may explain why some individuals are more susceptible to psychomotor impairment than others.[8]

Psychotomimetic effects with THC use.

Psychotomimetic effects are symptoms of psychosis. They’re usually characterized by positive symptoms like delusions or hallucinations.

Interestingly, as much as 50% of the general population is predisposed to experiencing psychosis-like symptoms. These experiences aren’t as widely reported with THC as other common THC side effects, likely because the general population doesn’t know how to identify or characterize psychotomimetic symptoms.

Drugs like hallucinogens and stimulants can also elicit psychotomimetic effects. These effects are related to increased dopamine signaling in a part of the brain called the striatum. Though not true for all drugs, psychotomimetic effects caused by THC use are not permanent and will eventually wear off as THC is metabolized and dopamine stores return to normal.

Usually, experiencing psychotomimetic effects is dependent on THC dose. At a high enough dose, virtually everyone will experience these effects. Some people, however, are more predisposed to psychotomimetic effects than others, since unique genetic variants are responsible for signalling dopamine in the striatum.[9]

Schizophrenia after chronic THC use.

Schizophrenia is a psychiatric condition associated with breaks in reality. Symptoms often include hallucinations, delusions, emotional withdrawal, and memory impairments. They usually begin in adolescence or early adulthood.

It’s important to note that there is no scientific evidence that suggests THC causes schizophrenia. There are scientific studies, however, that prove a correlation between chronic THC use and development of some psychotic disorders. There are many factors that contribute to the development of schizophrenia, including genetic and environmental factors.

Even if you are genetically predisposed to a psychotic disorder, consuming THC does not in any way guarantee that you’ll develop schizophrenia. That being said, THC use is riskiest in adolescence, since the brain is still developing. The key to safe THC use is to be aware of your genetic predispositions and dose safely.[10]

THC dependence.

Most people who use cannabis don’t develop THC dependence. Genetic variants, though, can make some people more predisposed to dependence than others. This is true for a number of substances including opioids, stimulants, and alcohol.

When THC becomes a priority over important life events like school, work, or participating in social activities, you may be at risk for developing dependence. THC dependence may occur from repeated or chronic use over a significant period of time.

Genetic variation in endocannabinoid receptors, also known as CB1 or CNR1, may predispose individuals to substance dependence.

Working memory impairment.

Working memory requires the brain to temporarily store and use information. It’s used in all kinds of daily tasks. For example, working memory is used to perform mental arithmetic and read. The prefrontal cortex is the primary part of the brain involved in working memory, although there are other parts of the brain involved, too.

 

In approximately 50% of the general population, genetic variants predispose folks to working memory impairment. When THC is involved, factors like genetics and tolerance can contribute to side effects.

If THC is used chronically, it can lead to decreased cognitive abilities, even if you’re not intoxicated. This, however, is not permanent and cognitive abilities can be fully restored after chronic use is stopped.[11]

Your genes help identify your predispositions to adverse THC side effects.

Cannabis and cannabinoid products may be able to help you with anxiety, depression, chronic pain, sleep disturbances, or serious medical conditions.

You don’t have to give up cannabis therapy for wellness or recreation because of adverse THC side effects. With the right information, adverse events with THC are totally manageable.

Take a DNA test and uncover your unique endocompatibility and genetic predispositions for adverse events. When you know your predispositions, you can find cannabinoid and terpene formulations to manage your symptoms and optimize your experience.

Download your free Endo·Decoded Report sample here.

Not sure if you’ve experienced adverse events from cannabinoids in the past? Take this quick 10 question quiz to determine if you may be genetically predisposed to adverse events with THC. 

Endocanna Health is a biotechnology company committed to helping consumers find the right cannabinoid products to enhance their health and wellness. Using our breakthrough DNA test, Endo·dna, we empower you to take control of your health with access to over 55 different health reports that include suggestions for the best CBD and cannabis products that match your unique genetic code. Visit us here to find out more!

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Immunity is in your genes: What your DNA can tell you about your immune health. https://endodna.com/2020/06/21/immunity-is-in-your-genes-what-your-dna-can-tell-you-about-your-immune-health/ Sun, 21 Jun 2020 14:17:00 +0000 https://endodna.com/?p=208912 What your DNA can tell you about your immune health and why you should have your DNA analyzed.

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Use your DNA to get insight into your unique immune response.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare topics like immunity and immune health have taken center stage.  

To date, nearly 4 million people worldwide have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.[1] Additionally, on average millions of people per year suffer from the common cold, and nearly 40,000 Americans reported cases of the flu in 2020.[2][3]

As you adjust to the pandemic conditions and consider the potentially harmful pathogens lurking in your environment, it’s natural to feel helpless and overwhelmed. It’s important to remember, though, that there are quite a few things you can do to prime your immune response and support your immune health so you’re in tip-top shape to ward off invaders if they come knocking. 

To take the best precautions and stay safe, you’ll want to both support and understand your immune system. 

Interestingly, your genetic profile consists of unique variants and markers that hold information about your own immune responses. In fact, your DNA can even help determine your predisposition to certain infectious diseases like influenza and acute respiratory infections.[4] 

Below, you’ll discover what the immune system is, how it works, and how scientists have proven the link between immune response and genetics.

What is the immune system and how does it work?

The immune system is the body’s biological defense system. It’s a whole army of defenders, and, just like any dedicated fleet, it’s hard at work all day and night. It’s your immune system’s job to protect you. It identifies, destroys, and expels viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, and other pathogens that pose a risk to your system. 

In some cases, the immune system identifies the body’s own proteins as foreign invaders and mistakenly attacks them. This is called an autoimmune disorder.

While the immune system is made up of many complex parts, it has two main lines of defense that work together. They’re called the innate immune response and the adaptive immune response. 

Innate immune response.

The innate (or non-specific) immune response is the first line of defense against pathogen invaders. It’s a multilayered system made up of numerous barriers, and its purpose is to immediately block pathogens from entering the body. 

The innate immune response consists of physical barriers like skin, the gastrointestinal tract, and hair follicles (like eyelashes and body hair). It also contains other defense mechanisms like mucous, gastric acid, sweat, and tears. General immune responses such as inflammation are considered innate or non-specific immune responses, too. They’re called non-specific responses since they are catch-all defense strategies meant to keep all external threats from infecting the body. 

Without the innate immune system, pathogens would easily infect your internal tissues and organs. 

For example, if you touch the handle on a grocery store cart and accidentally pick up the flu virus, your skin stops the virus from reaching your bloodstream and getting you sick. But if there’s a breach in your skin, like a cut, then the virus can bypass the innate immune defense and get inside your body where it’s a higher threat and may cause damage.

Free Immune Genetics Report

Adaptive immune response.

The adaptive (or acquired) immune response is the second line of defense against pathogen invaders. The adaptive immune response is unique because it’s only found in vertebrates, and it’s specific to the invasive pathogen. In other words, the adaptive immune response targets each unique invader and deploys lymphocytes (also known as T and B cells) to begin the process of attacking the pathogen and disposing of it. 

Unlike the innate immune response, the adaptive immune response is not immediate. This line of defense can take a few days to fully respond. Nonetheless, it’s an effective and efficient line of defense. 

Once the adaptive immune system identifies, attacks, and fights off an invader, it stores memory of that invader in proteins called antibodies. When antibodies are present, the immune system is fully prepared to fight the invader again—and even more quickly and efficiently next time. This is an advanced and profound function, since it means the body is working dynamically and proactively to protect itself. 

Immunological memory and vaccines.

Vaccination is possible because of the unique features of the adaptive immune response. A vaccine contains small parts of a pathogen, which allows the body to make antibodies specific to the invader and store memory of it. 

For example, if you receive a vaccine for smallpox, your immune system responds by stimulating antibody-producing cells that make a fleet of smallpox antibodies. As a result, your body is immune and primed to fight if it encounters the smallpox pathogen. Ultimately, this lessens the threat of the pathogen.

Some pathogens are prone to variation and mutation, like the flu virus. Unfortunately, antibodies are extremely pathogen specific and cannot recognize pathogen mutations. This is why you have to get the flu shot every year. Each flu vaccine is engineered for the latest and most wide-spread influenza mutation of the given season. 

Key takeaway:

  • The immune system is made up of two main layers: the innate (or non-specific) immune response and the adaptive (or acquired) immune response.
  • These defenses are responsible for preventing pathogens from entering the body, and destroying them if they do. Antibodies are pathogen-specific proteins that are produced naturally by the body when it’s exposed to an invader.
  • Because of the unique abilities of the adaptive immune response and antibody production, the body is able to be vaccinated against (and become immune to) harmful diseases.

Your genetics can determine your immune response.

Like most biological structures in your body, your immune system and its responsiveness is partially determined by your genetic makeup. This is especially true when we consider the adaptive immune response and how our internal defenders interact with and react to pathogens.[5]

A few years ago, Dr. Vinod Kumar, assistant professor of functional genomics and infectious diseases at University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands, conducted a study to determine if genetic differences accounted for variable immune response in tested individuals. His team’s findings suggest that genetic components are indeed responsible for different immune responses across individuals. Dr. Kumar’s study helped determine that genetics play a big role in why two people can become infected with the same virus but only one falls seriously ill while the other recovers quickly.[6]

In 2013, a team of international researchers led by Franceso Cucca, director of the National Research Council’s Institute of Genetic and Biomedical Research in Italy, discovered 89 independent gene variants that were linked to the genome associated with regulating the production of immune system cells. In other words, your genetic profile can impact how many fighters your body makes, which will in turn affect how capable and prepared you are to fight pathogen invaders.[7]

In another study, this one conducted in 2017, Professor Tim Spector, Director of the Twins UK Registry at King’s College London, found that adaptive immune traits are mostly influenced by genetics. Of his findings, Professor Spector said: “Our results surprisingly showed how most immune responses are genetic, very personalized, and finely tuned. What this means is that we are likely to respond in a very individualized way to an infection (such as a virus) or an allergen (such as a house dust mite) that causes asthma. This may have big implications for future personalized therapy.”[8]

Key takeaway:

  • DNA variations are linked to different immune responses, according to scientific studies.

  • Depending on your unique genotype, you could be predisposed to infectious diseases like influenza or acute respiratory infections.

  • These findings could form the basis of further research into treatments for various immune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

Protecting yourself and keeping your immune system healthy.

We encounter pathogens on a daily basis, but we don’t all defend ourselves against invaders in the same way. Some people experience mild symptoms, while others may become violently ill or need to be hospitalized.

Analyzing your DNA for markers that indicate immune response can alert you to your unique predispositions. For example, your DNA analysis may reveal that your genotype is associated with developing severe flu symptoms. This may encourage you to get the flu shot or double-up on supporting your immune system during flu season.

Of course, genetic markers are not the sole determinant of susceptibility. There are many factors that determine your unique ability to ward off pathogen invaders, including your environment, lifestyle choices, and exposure to pathogens.

When you know your unique genetic predispositions, you can support your immune system in the best way possible. In the meantime, be sure to eat nutrient-dense foods, get plenty of sleep, and stay hydrated.

For more tips on how to support your immune system, click here.

Key takeaway:

  • Your immune system is impacted by both genetic and environmental factors.

  • Your DNA profile may indicate your predisposition to infectious disease.

  • When you know your genetic predispositions, you can make informed decisions about how to best support your immune system so you’re prepared to fight off invaders and stay healthy. 

Knowledge is power. Get your FREE immune function report today.

It’s up to each of us to educate ourselves so that we can make empowered decisions about our health. Analyzing your DNA is the only way to uncover your unique immune system vulnerabilities. Let your genetics give you the information you need to protect yourself.

There are a number of free immune reports available online—and we’ve looked at them all. Endocanna Health’s immune function report is the most comprehensive report available to you, and it’s completely free.

The information in your report can help you take control of your health and make necessary changes to your lifestyle to mitigate any possible threats or risks to your immune system function.

In each of your individual Trait Reports, you’ll find:

  • Identification of any relevant genotype you may possess that indicates predisposition to infectious disease,
  • A summary of the relevant and critical research as it relates to your genetic predisposition,
  • Assessment of your genetic variants based on relevant research, and
  • Relevant Next Steps to support your immune strength and personal wellness goals.

It is possible to reclaim control and take back your power. Get actionable information you can use to protect yourself today.

To get your FREE immune function report, click here.

Be sure to share this link with your friends and loved ones so they can arm themselves with knowledge about their genetic predispositions and stay safe, too.  

Endocanna Health is a biotechnology company committed to helping consumers find the right cannabinoid products to enhance their health and wellness. Using our breakthrough DNA test, Endo·dna, we empower you to take control of your health with access to over 55 different health reports that include suggestions for the best CBD and cannabis products that match your unique genetic code. Visit us here to find out more!

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Follow these 7 science-backed tips to keep your immune system healthy. https://endodna.com/2020/06/21/follow-these-7-science-backed-tips-to-keep-your-immune-system-healthy/ Sun, 21 Jun 2020 09:57:00 +0000 https://endodna.com/?p=208949 Stay healthy all year long with these immune-boosting tips. Plus, get your free immune function report below.

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Stay healthy all year long with these immune-boosting tips. Plus, get your free immune function report below.

The coronavirus pandemic has drawn our attention to immune health more than ever. The United States has reported over 1.3 million COVID-19 cases, while Canada has reported nearly 75,000 cases to date. According to some projections, social distancing guidelines will need to remain intact for at least 18 months to significantly slow the spread of infection.[1][2]

But the coronavirus isn’t the only pathogen we must protect ourselves against. On average, adults catch 2-3 colds per year, while children catch between 7-8 colds.[3] And during the 2020 flu season alone, nearly 40,000 Americans reported suffering from mild to severe flu symptoms.[4] 

According to the CDC, older adults, people who have chronic medical conditions, and people who are immunocompromised can be at risk for more severe outcomes when they come in contact with a pathogen. The primary risk of a weak immune system is susceptibility to infection.[5]  For example, someone with an autoimmune disorder may find that they get sick frequently and they cannot recover as quickly as their immune-healthy friends.

Immune health is vital to combating the ravages of the common cold, the flu, COVID-19, and any other harmful pathogens. Whether you feel particularly at risk or you’re just being safe, you may be considering precautionary measures to stay healthy and boost your immune system. Luckily, there are actionable steps you can take today to support your immune system so you’re prepared to fight off the pathogens lurking in your environment.

Below, you can find 7 research-backed tips for supporting your immune system. (Plus a bonus tip that includes a free immune function report to give you powerful information about your own genetically unique immune system).

1. Get enough sleep to support your immune system.

When you sleep, your immune system does its best work. That’s because when you’re sleeping, your body can use extra energy and resources to support important immune functions. During sleep, the body produces additional proteins called cytokines, which are needed to fight infection and inflammation.[6]

Just as getting good sleep is good for a healthy immune system, a lack of sleep can adversely affect your immune capabilities. Clinical studies prove that disruptive sleep habits or lack of sleep can weaken the body’s ability to effectively fight off invaders. It can also result in increased inflammation which may hinder immune efficiency. When you don’t get enough rest, all your systems suffer.[7]

Getting adequate sleep can be tough. Here are a few tips to achieving a restful night’s sleep: 

  • Stick to a sleep schedule. Consistency is key here.
  • Avoid caffeine before bed.
  • Avoid eating a large meal late at night.
  • Give yourself time to wind down before going to sleep.
  • Take all screens out of your bedroom. Lights from screens can be disruptive. 
  • Consider a CBD product to promote quality sleep.  
  • Consult your healthcare provider if you suffer from chronic insomnia or consistently disruptive sleep patterns. 

2. Reduce stress so your immune system can thrive.

Overall, there is strong clinical evidence that stress can have an impact on the immune system. Stress stimulates the production of cortisol, epinephrine, and other hormones which are known to influence immune system cells.[8]

Especially during actively stressful times, trying to get a handle on your stress levels can feel nearly impossible.

Though it sounds unlikely, commitment to small stress-relieving activities can actually have a big impact on your ability to relax.

Here are a few practical tips to help you relax and de-stress:

  • Try a meditation app. Here’s a great list. Most include free trials!
  • Unplug from your media and screens.
  • Find a playlist of soothing music.
  • Spend some time doing something creative like writing, painting, or gardening.
  • Enjoy a warm caffeine-free drink, a bath, or some quiet time.
  • Eat a well balanced and nutritious diet.

For more unique tips to care for your mental health when you’re stressed, click here.

3. Nourish your immune system with nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods.

Of course, a well-balanced diet is a pillar of good overall health. Nutrient-dense food supports your immune system’s ability to respond efficiently and effectively. Sometimes, micro- and macro-nutrient deficiencies can lead to compromised immunity or slow immune responses. Be sure to stock up on foods rich in vitamins A, C, D, and Zinc, as they’re important for immune defenses.[9]

To nourish your immune system, you’ll also want to avoid inflammatory foods. The body functions by breaking down and using the nutrients from the food you eat. Inflammatory foods actually cause immune responses since they irritate the body. Make sure you’re providing your body with the best nutrients to support immunity and overall health.

Folks with autoimmune challenges will want to be particularly careful to avoid reactive foods.

Though dietary needs will vary from person to person, avoidance of some of following inflammatory foods is common:

  • Grains that contain gluten like wheat, rye, and barely.
  • Processed or refined carbohydrates.
  • Processed sugars.
  • Nightshades like tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers.
  • Trans fats and hydrogenated oils.

In some cases, a low-FODMAP diet may be appropriate to mitigate digestive dysfunction or immune disorders.

4. Quit smoking to improve immune functionality.

By now, the evidence is overwhelming that tobacco smoke is damaging to the body. Among a host of serious diseases and disorders, smoking can lead to an increased risk of cancers and respiratory disease.

Tobacco, hemp, and cannabis smoking can also lead to increased risk of influenza-like illnesses progressing to acute respiratory distress. This is proven for both smokers and those exposed to second-hand smoke, usually within the same home.[10][11]

But just because smoking is harmful doesn’t mean quitting is easy. If you’re ready to support your immune function, here are some actionable tips to help you quit:

  • Make a plan and set a date to quit. Stick to it.
  • Find an accountability partner to lean on for support.
  • Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine.
  • Knowledge is power. Learn about nicotine addiction and its effects on your body, mind, and health.
  • Consider using smoking cessation tools, like gum or nicotine patches.
  • Spend the money you’d usually use to buy tobacco products on self-care items instead.
  • Give yourself credit! Being proud of yourself is key to committing and following through.

If you need additional help, here’s a list of resources, including hotlines and organizations dedicated to seeing you succeed.

5. Create an exercise routine to promote whole-body health.

It’s amazing what even small changes to your physical movement routines can do for your immune function.

Just like a healthy diet, exercise is a pillar of good health and can contribute to a strong immune system. Exercise can improve circulation, which may allow the cells and components of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.

There are many ways to get started exercising, most of which do not require a gym membership or expensive equipment. 

Here are some ideas to get you moving:

  • Workout apps for yoga sessions.
  • YouTube videos for cardio or resistance training.
  • Calisthenics and body weight-based exercises like push-ups or planks.
  • Going for a walk.
  • Take up golfing.
  • Dancing to your favorite upbeat playlist.

If you’d like more tips for change and access to free resources available to you, click here.

6. Reduce air pollution in your home.

Back in 2006, researchers found that air pollution exposure suppressed the immune system’s regulatory T cells, which in turn was linked to greater severity of asthma symptoms and lower lung capacity. Since then, there have been countless scientific studies warning of the effects of air pollution on the immune system—specifically respiratory-related illnesses and infections.[12]

While you can’t always control the air quality where you live (especially in urban areas with high pollution rates), you can take some simple steps to make sure the air quality in your home is filtered and largely pollutant-free.

Here are some steps you can take to make your house clean-air-friendly:

  • Use environmentally friendly household cleaners. Harsh chemicals from traditional cleaning products can damage your respiratory tract.
  • Use an air filter and regularly ensure your HVAC system is in tip-top shape.
  • Use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture in the air. This can help get rid of microscopic toxins like mold.
  • Reduce or eliminate fragrance products that might irritate your airway passages, like perfumes, scented candles, or air fresheners.

7. Take a trustworthy probiotic to support healthy immunity.

Probiotics have received a lot of attention recently. They’re known for providing benefits to gut function by regulating GI activity and the absorption of nutrients. Probiotics, however, also support healthy immune functioning.

Studies suggest that taking probiotic supplements may be beneficial to both disease treatment and prevention.[13]

Additionally, certain types of bacteria present in probiotics have been shown to reduce inflammation, a known risk factor for many diseases.[14]

Since probiotics are living colonies of bacteria, it’s important to buy products that you can trust. Unfortunately, the probiotic industry isn’t well regulated, and some companies disregard proper storing and transporting procedures that ensure product quality.

If you’d like to get probiotics from a food source, try adding these foods to your diet:

  • Yogurt,
  • Kefir,
  • Sauerkraut, or
  • Kimchi.

Bonus tip:

Get a DNA analysis and an immune function report

You may not realize that your DNA holds important clues about your immune function. In many ways, your DNA is a blueprint to supporting immune health. You can use your unique genetics to make smarter decisions about your health.

When you sign up for Endocanna Health’s FREE immune function report, you’ll uncover your unique predispositions to infectious diseases based on your own DNA.

The information in your report can help you take control of your health by making necessary changes to your lifestyle to mitigate any possible threats or risks to your immune system function.

In each of your individual Trait Reports, you’ll find:

  • Identification of any relevant genotype you may possess that indicates predisposition to infectious disease,
  • A summary of the relevant and critical research as it relates to your genetic predisposition,
  • Assessment of your genetic variants based on relevant research, and
  • Relevant Next Steps to support your immune strength and personal wellness goals.

Information is power. Get actionable information you can use to protect yourself today. For your FREE immune function report, click here.

Be sure to share this link with your friends and loved ones so they can arm themselves with knowledge about their genetic predispositions and stay safe, too.

Endocanna Health is a biotechnology company committed to helping consumers find the right cannabinoid products to enhance their health and wellness. Using our breakthrough DNA test, Endo·dna, we empower you to take control of your health with access to over 55 different health reports that include suggestions for the best CBD and cannabis products that match your unique genetic code. Visit us here to find out more!

The post Follow these 7 science-backed tips to keep your immune system healthy. appeared first on Endo·dna.

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