Cannabis Medicines & the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
Cannabis has helped millions of people around the world for thousands of years. Every human has an Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
We didn’t learn about this in medical school because of prohibition, but the ECS helps regulates homeostasis.
This system consists of CB1 and CB2 receptors keyed to both the endocannabinoids that our body naturally produces, and phytocannabinoids (plant-based) like THC and CBD.
Our bodies produce endocannabinoids similar to how our body produces narcotic-like endorphins.
CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain, and the central channel. Current research shows that THC is specifically keyed to the CB1 site, and modulates the perception of pain. The intensity of pain is reduced when THC is present in the CB1 receptor site. Cannabis and Opioids are also co-agonists, which means that each of them magnifies the effect of the other. This can save lives, as 125 Americans die every day from pill overdoses. CB1 receptors are not present in the part of the brain that regulates heart rate and respiration, there is no lethal dosage of cannabis.
CB2 receptors are primarily found in the immune system and peripheral channel. CBD primarily assists the CB2 receptors in communication signaling, and is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory agents there is. CBD is also neuroprotective (the US Government has a patent) and helps repair damage from epilepsy, MS, ALS, and may even slow Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The benefits and future of CBD-rich medicine is one of the most exciting and promising areas of cannabis research.
Our own Endocannabinoid system produces cannabinoids, but gets deficient. This is why cannabis plant based supplements are medicine. From the pain-killing effects of THC to the anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties of CBD, we have just scratched the surface of a world of possibilities. People are waking up to the benefits of these medicines as more researchers are exploring this seemingly simple plant.