Living in Minnesota, cannabis is recreationally illegal, but I believe on it’s way as the rest of our nation leads by example in legalization. Case in point, states applying cannabis use for opiate addictions are seeing 30%+ in a reduction of overdoses and opiate abuse.
Medically, cannabis brings hundreds of health benefits to both the body and the mind. Studies share it can help quell anxiety, relieve pain, and decrease epileptic symptoms, and these are just a few possible cannabis perks. Cannabis isn’t for everyone, and it’s not a miracle drug. As a avid cannabis coach, the rewards is different for every consumer.
How Cannabis Effects on The Human Body
The reason why cannabis can seem like a magical healer has to do with the endocannabinoid system. This system is present in all mammals. I love the beautiful story of how we’ve existed and relied on plant medicine rapport for ions and ions.
Alright, let’s awaken beauty, here’s how the ECS works, and why it plays a major part in the way we process cannabis and CBD.
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
You’re probably familiar with the different organ systems of the human body—the skeletal, muscular, and circulatory systems, to name a few—but you might be less aware of the endocannabinoid system, also known as the ECS. Its main function is to ensure homeostasis in the human body, meaning it exists primarily to maintain balance. It was discovered in 1992 when researchers discovered that the body creates its own cannabinoid, called anandamide, which is the Sanskrit word for bliss. The ECS is made up of three different components: endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes.
Let’s dive into these biological relationships!
the first discovered naturally-occurring endocannabinoid, which attaches to the same mammalian brain-cell receptors as THC. Its name is derived from the Sanskrit word for “bliss.”
what makes the endocannabinoid system one of the most important systems in the body because its main function is to maintain balance and homeostasis.
sit on the surface of cells and transmit information to the inside of the cell, kick-starting the appropriate cellular response.
A Non-Scientist's Intro to the Endocannabinoid System
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that play a major part in ensuring that the body’s central nervous system functions correctly.
There are three different kinds: endocannabinoids, which are created naturally by our bodies; phytocannabinoids, which mimic the ones in our bodies and are also found in cannabis plants; and synthetic cannabinoids, which are lab-created. Endocannabinoids are known as our “Bliss Molecule,” representing anandamide, and 2-arachidonoylglycerol. These two receptors either bond or send a messaging signal to the ECS, signaling to the cells just what they need to do. (Best boss in town)!
The next aspects of the ECS are the cannabinoid receptors, otherwise known as CB1 and CB2. Many refer to these as the “locks” where the endocannabinoids are the “key.” CB1 receptors are located in the brain, particularly in the parts responsible for mental and physiological functions. CB2 is located throughout the immune system, peripheral nervous system (outside of the brain and spinal cord), and the digestive system. Signaling these receptors allows the body to regulate many important functions, such as digestion, appetite, immunity, inflammation, mood, sleep, fertility, memory, and more.
Once the messages are sent between the endocannabinoids and the receptors, enzymes enter the picture and break these messages down before the party gets out of sync and intuitively transitions the moving parts.
When we use cannabis and/or CBD, we’re inviting phytocannabinoids into our body, which mimic our natural endocannabinoids to help preserve homeostasis. If for some reason your body is out of whack and cannot bring itself to balance, this is where cannabis proves itself beneficial. It’s know that 20% of society has a ECS Genetic Deficiency, while sub-immune ailments are also now being linked to a sub-par ECS system.
It’s kinda like an adaptogen. Let’s say you’re in pain: cannabinoids will help modulate that pain; if you need help stimulating appetite, cannabinoids can make you hungry. Even beyond the ECS, cannabis effects multiple physiological processes and does what it is needed to get things on the right track.
So that’s the long and short of the KEY PLAYERS between cannabis, CBD and our biology!