Updated: May 12, 2022
In our fast paced, perfection driven culture it is getting harder and harder for men to meet the sometimes-unrealistic expectations they and others put on themselves. It definitely is no coincidence that there are supplements targeting men’s stamina and energy issues as products that boost testosterone on every major channel and various advertising outlets. They know there is an interest, but, more importantly, there is a NEED!
As the world is changing with ever-increasing demands on time, there is less reserve for men’s bodies to feel optimized. As we have less time to exercise… As we make poor food choices because we are on the run… As we are running between work and going to kids’ practices and ball games at night or on the weekends… As we are answering emails late at night or first thing in the morning… You can fill in the scenarios for your particular stressors, but the end result is likely a system that is out of balance.
Nothing will take the place of the basics of self-care. This includes cleaner eating, prioritizing exercise, and learning about mindfulness and stress management. However, there are additional steps you can take beyond the basics to help restore proper balance, starting with optimizing the endocannabinoid system (ECS) as a foundation for this wellness focus. The endocannabinoid system plays a significant role in creating and maintaining homeostasis between various major systems in the human body.
Our bodies naturally produce endogenous cannabinoids that interact with the receptors in the brain and throughout the body. In addition to these naturally occurring compounds, phytocannabinoids – such as those found in the Cannabis sativa plant – can also beneficially interact with the ECS. By supplementing the endocannabinoid system with phytocannabinoids, like we recommend with other important supplements such as Vitamin D, we can further support its widespread homeostatic functions. Here are some of the common problems I encounter with patients in my practice, and how ECS support can help your patients find balance and relief:
Resetting the Sleep Cycle
As we age and the demands on our time and energy seem to only grow, truly restful nights can stretch few and far between. While diagnosed insomnia is an issue that millions of Americans deal with on a daily basis, there are tens of millions more who suffer from just “alright” sleep. Over time, repeated nights of not-quite-so-great sleep takes their toll. In fact, study participants with good quality sleep patterns “had a 15% lower risk of terminated health span” compared to other groups, underscoring the importance of healthy sleep behaviors. We can look to the endocannabinoid system for help balancing out the circadian rhythm. CBD has been shown to reduce the severity of insomnia symptoms in numerous studies, including an open label observational study performed by myself and my fellow board members last year, which demonstrated a 64.3% average decrease in insomnia severity. Additionally, a double blind study from 2018 revealed that CBD had no acute effects on the sleep-wake cycle of healthy individuals, indicating it is an excellent first-line option for treating even mild insomnia.
Anxiety and Stress
Anxiety and stress are no strangers to most men. For all of its joys, the daily wear and tear of life’s lower points can occasionally combine into more dangerous scenarios such as panic attacks or uncontrolled outbursts. Focusing on endocannabinoid system support can help to relieve much of that pressure, as shown by a wealth of peer-reviewed studies. One systematic review of CBD studies on anxiety and stress found that “…CBD was well-tolerated and associated with minimal adverse effects… [and] has a promising role as alternative therapy in the management of anxiety disorders.” Our own Formula30A observational study demonstrated a 72% decrease in anxiety scores after 8 weeks and statistically significant decreases after just 2 weeks.
Over half of men over the age of 40 report having moderate to extensive hair loss. It may just be the most common problem that no man wants to talk about. As I’m sure you are aware, there are an abundance of hair loss products promising the world (and hiding a paragraph of side effects at the end). Alternatively, recent studies have shown that the “ECS cannabinoid type one (CB1) receptors are well expressed in the hair follicle cells” indicating potential for hair loss treatment. Further investigation demonstrated a 93.5% increase in hair over 6 months with topical CBD application with no reported adverse effects. Additionally, the scientists reported that, “since the CBD works through novel mechanisms different from finasteride and minoxidil it can be used in conjunction with these current drugs and would be expected to have synergistic effects.”
Blood Pressure and Arterial Stiffness
Often a precursor to heart attacks, still the leading cause of death for American men, high blood pressure is one sign that men are constantly told to keep an eye on as they age. Studies show that CBD can help reduce blood pressure under stress, as well as reduce arterial stiffness. Cannabidiol causes vasorelaxation in the arteries and reduces inflammation throughout the cardiovascular system, thereby decreasing the long-term risks of encountering issues like cardiovascular disease.
Neuroprotectant Against Strokes
Strokes are one of the most common ways that years of inflammation can build up and become deadly over time. The first patented uses of CBD in the United States, however, was for its use as an antioxidant and neuroprotectant. Scientists have shown that “cannabinoids are found to have particular applications as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma…” A separate study from 2017 found that CBD also increased cerebral blood flow during strokes, which may increase the chances of recovery.
Daniel Melville, M.D.
Formula30A Medical Advisor
Dr. Melville has enjoyed a diverse and successful medical career in academic and private sectors, concierge services to conventional medical practices, and emergency room settings to outpatient clinics. Dr. Melville is a “Distinguished Graduate” of the United States Air Force Academy and went on to earn his Medical Degree from Louisiana State University in 2004. He became Board Certified in the American Academy of Family Medicine, after completing his residency in Family Medicine with emphasis in “Rural Medicine” in 2007. He owns and is the Medical Director of Melville Medicine, as well as maintaining full time credentialing as an emergency medicine physician at Texas Health Resources Hospital in Southlake, TX. Melville Medicine represents a dream opportunity to build upon his experiences to serve patients with an unparalleled thoroughness and availability. Dr. Melville’s work has been published in seven peer reviewed textbooks and journals.