Cannabis and Our Body
You could say that we humans are naturally programmed to receive cannabis chemicals into our bodies—perhaps our “god-given right” to imbibe of the sacred flower?
Even the U.S .National Institutes of Health admitted, ”Chemical components of cannabis, called cannabinoids, activate specific receptors throughout the body to produce pharmacologic effects, particularly in the central nervous system and the immune system (May 2016)”.
These chemicals are called endocannabinoids. “Endo” is Greek for “within,” or ‘inner.” “Cannabinoids” are chemical compounds found in marijuana, commonly THC and CBD, which affect different biological systems, more or less. You understand that there is a bit of a crossover to much good medical effect. Endocannabinoid receptors naturally occur in our bodies. Ha!
Endocannabinoids foster and enhance communication between cells, and maintains homeostasis and health. It is thought that a deficiency leads to unpleasant symptoms.
Talking about different systems, endocannabinoids that affect brain cells are known as CB-1 receptors. The cannabinoids that affect predominately body cells are known as CB-2 receptors. One must remember that these systems are tied together by biological processes so depending on which receptors these bind to, the results may be different for each person.
Generally speaking, THC binds to CB-1 receptors and CBD binds to CB-2 receptors. Therefore, THC affects functions like nausea, sleep, appetite loss, fatigue, apnea and asthma. It does this by penetrating the brain, deep, deep, to the basal ganglia, hippocampus and cerebellum. These “old” brain components are responsible for the most basic of functions, both body and brain. See the crossover now? I won’t bore you guys about the stuff in the “old” brain, suffice it to say that it affects a myriad of functions including, immune function, intra-ocular pressure, cognition, thermoregulation and muscle control.
CBDs, on the other hand, as it primarily fixes upon the CB-2 receptors, tends to have a calming effect. This can lead to couch-lock with especially potent weed. It counteracts anxiety, MS spasms, epilepsy, pain and inflammation.
Combinations of THC and CBD are helpful for anorexia, migraines, phantom pain, cramps and spinal injuries. There are also hypotheses floating around that this may be a good remedy for drug dependency and withdrawal. It has been called a “gateway drug back.”
Also, psychologically speaking, it can be effective in treating depression, especially in the AIDS, PTSD and cancer populations.
And lastly, but not finally, cannabinoids are great against chronic neuropathic pain and pain associated with MS.
So for those of you who didn’t want to slog through this story, I will encapsulate this information because in my humble opinion, medical cannabis is the most important drug of the 21st century.
Medical cannabis may help govern the following processes:
- Immune function
- Appetite reward
- Thermoregulation (maintaining internal body temperature)
- Inflammation regulation, and
- Pain modulation.
So, yo! Information is power and your power reserves just went up two levels. Aloha!