Updated: May 11
We have all heard about the benefits of Cannabis oil (CBD) oil for people with chronic pain and disease, but we may not fully understand why it is such a miracle supplement. What is all the hype about? Well, let me tell you.
It works because it is able to stimulate the body's 'endocannabinoid' system (see below), and in doing so, has far-reaching benefits for pain management, mood, inflammation, and chronic disease. But CBD oil isn't the only way to stimulate this system; we now have access to a natural cannabinoid that works through this pathway in a similar way, but in contrast to CBD oil, it is legal, safe, more accessible, substantially cheaper and doesn't carry the side-effects that CBD oil does.
New to a practitioner's toolkit is PEA - Palmitolylethanolamide - a substance made from sustainable, organic palm oil; a substance that is also naturally produced in the body. Having access to this natural supplement enables us to increase the body's access to PEA, and to up-regulate the natural Endocannabinoid system in a way similar to CBD oil, without the undesirable effects. For people with chronic pain, this is wonderful!
WHAT IS PEA (PALMITOYLETHANOLAMIDE)?
PEA is a natural, protective, fatty molecule that has an anti-inflammatory effect which leads to positive results in clinical trials for a broad range of conditions from osteoarthritis, shingles, peripheral neuropathy, low back pain, fibromyalgia, depression, and autism through to cold and flu management and allergy control.
Discovered by Nobel Prize winner Levi-Montalcini, who identified PEA as a naturally occurring molecule, describing its value in treating chronic infections and pain. Since her discovery, hundreds of scientific studies have demonstrated its effective and safe use across a myriad of conditions and illnesses. PEA is described in scientific writings as a "natural painkiller".
PEA stimulates the production of endo-cannibinoids enhancing and supporting the pathways it naturally works through.
PEA works in four key areas
1. Reduces inflammatory processes
2. Enhances the Endo-cannabinoid system
3. Reduces mast cell activation (allergies, neuro-inflammation)
4. Activates unique cellular receptors and works at the level of gene expression
PEA reduces inflammation by calming inflammatory gene expression (PPAR, FAAH, TRP1, GPR55, GPR119), and stimulates a 'holistic entourage effect', supporting the system through a biofeedback loop to further reduce inflammation and restore homeostasis in the body. It is a versatile and diverse supplement that enhances the endocannabinoid system. It has been researched for 80 years with over 340 PubMed citations and studied in over 50 human clinical trials.
PEA is a molecule made by the body that can become depleted when there is a strain on the system, such as when a person is under stress or suffering from a chronic inflammatory condition. Supplementation fills the gap and supports the body's self-healing processes. It has an excellent safety profile and demonstrates no known drug interactions.
What conditions can PEA be used for?
PEA is used clinically for:
1. Immune Regulation - preventing and treating colds, reducing fever, coughs, colds, malaise, and reducing lost days off work or school in studies, with nil side effects. Studied in children and adults.
2. Inflammation Management - across multiple systems
3. Pain Alleviation- across all types of pain, including sciatica, abdominal pain, diabetic neuropathy, oncology pain, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, low-back pain, failed back surgery syndrome, dental pain, post-surgical pain, nerve pain in stroke and multiple sclerosis, chronic regional pain syndrome, chronic pelvic pain, post-herpetic neuralgia (after shingles), and vaginal pains. Nerve impingement /inflammation, nociceptive pain (rheumatoid arthritis, gout, neck and back pain with structural abnormalities, tendonitis, bursitis etc), hypersensitivity (fibromyalgia, tension, regional pain syndrome, restless legs, myofascial pain, TMJ pain ...
4. Mood Regulation- depression, stress, anxiety, PTSD - 600mg PEA twice daily (alongside antidepressants or herbals is also fine - eg: omega 3 plus hypericum plus PEA)
5. Management of neurological pain and inflammation – as in MS, Parkinson's, dementia, MND, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, migraine etc.
6. Post Stroke Pain and Nerve Function - improves neurological values from cognition, pain, degree of spasticity and QoL Together with the flavonoid Luteolin (antioxidant).<