ENDOCANNABINOID BASICS, Why should I care?
There is an abundance of scientific articles, opinion papers, and informative literature regarding cannabis and the endocannabinoid system.
But to the average person, it's all very confusing!
To get in on the increasing popular cannabis conversation though, you should at least have a simple understanding of how this system works and why it's relevant to you.
So, let's talk ENDOCANNABINOID basics:
* Endocannabinoid System (ECS) - the natural occurring system inside everything in the animal kingdom with a vertebrae that promotes healing. All toxins (physical and emotional) can potentially throw this system off balance, creating chaos that creates chronic conditions and leads to disease.
* Homeostasis - THIS is the job of the ECS, to achieve balance within the system. This is when healing takes place. When the ECS is off (balance) illness and disease creep in. When homeostasis is present, dis-ease is not!
* 5 main functions - pain sensation, cell function, appetite, mood and sleep. This system is considered the Master Regulator of regulations.
* Cannabinoids - 3 types: ENDO (produced by your body), PHYTO (produced by the cannabis plant), PHARMA (produced in the lab)
* Receptors - the sites of which cannabinoids interact and produce their effects. Named: CB1, CB2, GPR55, TRPV1 and PPARy. Cannabis, Hemp and Liverwort are unique in that they offer compounds that our CB1 and CB2 receptors respond to, very closely mimicking our bodies own natural endocannabinoids: Anandamide and 2-AG.
GPR55, TRPV1 and PPARy respond to the (phyto)cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, amino acids, and proteins.
These receptor sites are found throughout the entire body, except for the brain stem, hence the reason (fatal) overdose does not occur.
* Terpenes - oils found in numerous plants that contribute to healing. Terpenes are also what gives each plant their unique smell.
* Flavonoids - a diverse group of phytonutrients (plant chemicals) found in almost all fruits and vegetables. Along with carotenoids, they are responsible for the vivid colors in fruits and vegetables. With more than 6,000 types, they are the largest group of phytonutrients. These also play a unique role in healing.
* Entourage Effect - the unique chemical reaction that happens within the ECS when ALL cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids are present.
* Cannabis is unique in that it supplies certain compounds that no other plants offers. Additionally, each strain of cannabis also produces numerous terpenes and flavonoids that are found in other plants. This is why full spectrum products work best and are the number one recommendation. A nutritious and wholesome diet enhances cannabinoid therapy and vice versa.
* Cannabis can be used in raw, heated, and aged forms to supply different cannabinoids to the EC system.
* The ECS regulates all the molecules within us (dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, cortisol, insulin, GABA, etc.). Emotions can and do make us sick when they are over or under produced. EMOTIONAL HEALTH IS IMPERATIVE TO COMPLETE HEALTH and disease recovery.
* Cannabis helps the body breakdown sugars.
* All cells within the body inside and out are repairable! This means you can regrow bone, cartilage, skin, hair and muscle... you were so intelligently designed that you can literally (self) repair EVERYTHING! It is on the ECS "to-do" list to offer service to these tasks on a daily basis.
* When treating any chronic condition, focusing on balancing the ECS is a must. Attacking the "issue" is not the appropriate approach. Your body is always striving for balance (homeostasis). The ECS is responsible for this. When off kilter, we must give it support to function to bring optimal health in alignment.
* There are many methods of cannabis use. Contrary to popular belief, smoking *can* have medical benefits especially to certain lung conditions (relaxes the tissues) IF and ONLY IF it is done appropriately. My number one recommendation is CANNABIS OIL (oral and suppository forms).
---according to studies, smoking cannabis does not cause lung cancer! Just ask 'The National Cancer Institute' who has made this statement.
Once you understand the role and importance of the ECS, it is clear that one of the biggest contributing factors to developing a cancer diagnosis is an unstable and deficient EndoCannabinoid System.
Live your life the way you were designed to live: intentionally healthful and happy. Cannabis is part of making sure both of these are fulfilled ;)
The most powerful tool we have to ensure we make better health and wellness choices in the future is KNOWLEDGE.