THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
The use of medical marijuana has been well documented for over eight thousand years. Ancient civilizations have evolved and thrived around the marijuana plant. The marijuana plant has commercial, industrial, medical, nutritional and recreational benefits. All you need is weed.
After several decades of research, scientists studying the effects of marijuana made several important discoveries. Not only did they identify the active ingredients in marijuana, they also discovered where and how they work in the brain, via a system called the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system is a communications network located in the brain and body that affects important functions, including how a person feels, think, and behave.
The natural chemicals produced by the body that interact with the endocannabinoid system are called cannabinoids and like THC and CBD, they interact with receptors to regulate these bodily functions.
How Cannabinoids and Neurotransmitters work.
Brain cells (neurons) communicate with each other and with your body by sending chemical messages. These messages coordinate and regulate everything we feel, think and do. Typically, the chemicals (called neurotransmitters) are released from a neuron (a presynaptic cell), travel across a small gap (the synapse), and then attach to receptors located on a nearby neuron (postsynaptic cell). This triggers the receiving neuron into action, triggering a set of events that passes the message along.
The endocannabinoid system communicates in a different way because it doesn’t just transmit chemical messages it also receives chemical messages. When the postsynaptic neuron is activated, cannabinoids (chemical messengers of the enndocannabinoid system) are made on demand from lipid precursors (fat cells) already present in the neuron. Then they are released from that cell and travel back and forth to the presynaptic neuron, where they attach to cannabinoid receptors.
Since cannabinoids act on presynaptic cells, they can control what happens next when these cells are activated. In general, cannabinoids function like a regulator for presynaptic neurons, regulating the amount of neurotransmitter (e.g., dopamine) that is released, which affects how messages are sent, received, and processed by the cell.
Medicinal marijuana feeds our endocannabinoid system, whether we like it or not, we are all hard wired to thrive on cannabinoids.
The body naturally produces cannabinoids, but with the onslaught of the industrial revolution, the fast food industry, chemical insecticides and pharmaceutical drugs have overwhelmed our immune system. Our bodies can’t keep up with the constant exposure of toxins that don’t belong in our body.
Fortunately the marijuana plant produces abundant amounts of cannabinoids that our endocannabinoid system thrives on. The brain will begin to communicate and begin to holistically restore physiological balance. The body begins to heal and will prevent as well as cure dis-ease.
There is substantial research by many scientists who can prove that medical marijuana can alleviate many different diseases.
We are learning from these scientists, but when it comes down to it, marijuana does not treat the disease, marijuana treats the body. The body treats the disease, naturally, as nature intended.
Cannabinoids treat our symptoms by identifying the problems and fixing it.
Isolating marijuana compounds and marketing them as medications is not very effective. Like most pharmaceuticals they have harmful side effects that could result in death.
Marijuana compounds interact and respond to your bodies needs. Isolating compounds is like creating a symphony orchestra with one instrument, or trying to ride a bike with just one wheel.
Marijuana in its natural form is a very powerful herbal medicine with no known harmful side effects.