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Wholeness & Wellness Journal
of Saskatchewan Since 1995
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Volume 30 Issue 1
May/June 2024

Blessing the Trees with Love: Introducing the Saskatoon Forest Chaplaincy

Welcome Spring … Rise and Shine!

Join the Campaign to Protect Canada’s Natural Health Products

The Endocannabinoid System and Women’s Health

Pseudo Grains: Exotic and Ancient

Honouring Our Circle

Have Fun BEing YOU :-)


The Endocannabinoid System and Women’s Health
by Dana Clay
Kira Judge

Who has heard the term “endocannabinoid system?” Anyone, anyone? Yes, me neither, until I enrolled in the Holistic Cannabis Nurse course through the CIINDE (Canadian Institute of Integrative Nursing Development and Education), providing education about the medicinal benefits of the Cannabis plant. I never heard nor was taught about the endocannabinoid system in nursing school, or in my 20 years as a nurse.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is considered the Master Regulator, as it influences every single system in our body. We all have one, in fact, all animals, except insects, have an ECS. Currently, the research is indicating that any health issue or disease can be looked at as endocannabinoid system dysfunction.

ECS Fast Facts:

  • Develops at seven-weeks gestation.
  • The active isolate of Cannabis, THC, was discovered in 1942, which led to the discovery of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), and later the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the 1980s and 1990s.
  • Called a “dome” because the receptors are so extensive in the body.
  • The ECS is known as the “Master Regulator” because it helps regulate homeostasis, or sense of balance, in the body including appetite, digestion, mood, pain, sleep, and helps to file memories.
  • Dysregulation in the ECS contributes to pain, inflammation, psychiatric disorders, and neuro-degenerative diseases.
  • Influenced by phytocannabinoids or plant-based cannabinoids (found in many plants such as blackberries, broccoli, black pepper, turmeric, raw cacao, teas, Echinacea, and of course, Cannabis, to name a few).
  • The endocannabinoid system is essential to life—it is there to support relaxation, eating, sleeping, forgetting, and protecting (Goldstein, 2020).

How We Disrupt the ECS: Decreasing the Bliss Molecule

Factors such as poor sleep, shift work, multiple medications that influence the brain and nervous system, older age, poor food choices (processed food, fast food, sugars, pesticides), alcohol intake (chronic or binging decreases the CB1 receptors), high caffeine intake (4-8 cups/day), smoking, perimenopause/menopause (decrease in estrogen) cause a decrease in anandamide.

Supporting Your ECS

Stress management (play, laugh, love)
Restorative sleep
Exercise—but LOVE how you exercise
Eat the rainbow and incorporate omega 3-6 fatty acids
Healthy and supportive relationships
Holistic modalities: massage, acupuncture, osteopathy, cranial sacral therapy, Reiki, BodyTalk, etc.

As women moving through various stages of life, hormones fluctuate and our endocannabinoid system is often in a state of disruption. Women have depended upon prescribed medicines to support their hormone health for decades. Prior to this, we used Mother Nature’s medicines to treat maladies, and create tonics to strengthen our bodies. It is time to reconnect to Mother Nature and utilize the evidence-based medicinal gift of the Cannabis plant to help support our body’s natural rhythms and cycles, through our endocannabinoid system. Therefore, by understanding more about the ECS, we can make lifestyle choices to nourish our system—consuming medicinal cannabinoids is one way to support our bodies to support our health (Clark, 2021, Sulak, 2021).

Cannabis may help with such health concerns as sleep disruption and insomnia, perimenopause and menopausal symptoms, menstrual and endometriosis pain, anxiety and depression, libido or lack thereof, mood dysregulation, bladder issues, and joint pain. Speak with your healthcare provider or a certified Cannabis Nurse for evidence-based information.

It’s time to remove the stigma attached to this amazing plant. She is to be consumed mindfully and with respect, to embrace the truly holistic benefit to our body, mind, and spirit.

Clark, C.S. (2021). Cannabis: A Handbook for Nurses, Wolters Kuwer. New York, NY.
Goldstein, B. (2020). Cannabis is Medicine: How Medical Cannabis and CBD are Healing Everything from Anxiety to Chronic Pain. Little, Brown Spark Co, New York, NY.
Sulak, D. (2021). Handbook of Cannabis for Clinicians: Principles and Practice, W.W. Norton & Company Led., New York, NY.

Dana Clay is an independent licensed RN/NP with Stepping Stones Health and Wellness located in Fillmore, SK, as well as mobile offices in Carlyle and Windthorst. She offers virtual and in-person appointments for anyone interested in looking at health through the lens of Functional Medicine and Nutrition, Holistic Cannabis Care, and energy-based modalities of BodyTalk, Silvers Healing, and Reiki. For more information, please see the website www.steppingstoneshealthandwellness.com, and for further details, education, or consultation, email danaclay111@gmail.com.


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