Believe in Science? Cannabis medicine creates homeostasis in body and mind
By Chela Fiorini-Coennen
through balancing chemistry
It’s impossible to understand that cannabis is medicine without knowing that our bodies have an Endocannabinoid system (ECS; eCB). A vital system that is maintained by cannabinoids we make on-demand in our bodies. By eating leafy greens and a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and reducing stress we help balance our ECS. We can also nourish our ECS by consuming phytocannabinoids like those found in cannabis and other plants. Sounds a little like crunchy-granola-hippie-talk, but it’s actually science. The first cannabinoid receptor was discovered in 1988 and further research over the next decade, led to understanding of the network that came to be known as the “endocannabinoid system.”
All vertebrates have an endocannabinoid system. It’s essential in maintaining balance in our body and brain. Our ECS keeps us steady. If it’s not working properly, we experience dis-ease.
There are a number of systems in the human body including: the circulatory, digestive and excretory, endocrine, integumentary/exocrine, immune and lymphatic, muscular, nervous, renal and urinary, reproductive, respiratory, skeletal and the endocannabinoid system.
The existence of the ECS is well-established in scientific literature. Although more needs to be learned about it, the existence of the ECS is currently only taught in 10 US medical schools. And in my home state of California, where Medical Cannabis has been legal since 1996, it’s not required for healthcare providers to learn about it at all. What if the nervous system or skeletal system were only taught in a handful of medical schools? Would you be comfortable seeing a doctor that didn’t know about all the systems of the human body? Has your doctor studied the importance and role of the endocannabinoid system?
In her incredibly accessible and illuminating 2020 book, “Cannabis is Medicine,” Dr. Bonni Goldstein writes, “The endocannabinoid system is the most widespread receptor system in the human body. It regulates many of the most important physiologic pathways, including:
- Gastrointestinal activity
- Cardiovascular activity
- Pain perception
- Maintenance of bone mass
- Metabolism control
- Immune function
- Inflammatory reactions
- Inhibition of tumor cells
As you can see, your endocannabinoid system is involved in just about every chemical process in your body!” (p.30)
In a 2013 study published in Cerebrum, Bradley E. Alger, Ph.D. writes, “…Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. With its complex actions in our immune system, nervous system, and virtually all of the body’s organs, the endocannabinoids are literally a bridge between body and mind…”
So, the question is, if most healthcare professionals aren’t getting the complete picture because of outdated policy and lagging professional requirements, how can we get symptom relief or even hope for a cure to so many illusive illnesses?
World-renowned neurologist, researcher and psychopharmacologist, Dr. Ethan Russo theorized that a deficiency in the endocannabinoid system could be the cause of many hard to treat issues “…that lack objective signs and remain treatment resistant. Foremost among these are migraine, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome…with possible common underlying pathophysiology suggests that a clinical endocannabinoid deficiency might characterize their origin…”
Dr. Russo has also proposed that Alzheimer’s and other intractable conditions may be related to endocannabinoid deficiency. More studies are obviously needed.
On the subject of Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome, Dr. Goldstein writes, “…Chronic stress, poor diet, poor sleep, and chronic pain have all been shown to negatively impact endocannabinoid system functioning and can lead to endocannabinoid dysfunction…” (p.38)
It’s well established that endocannabinoid dysregulation leads to anxiety, depression and many other disorders. So, be sure to tone your endocannabinoid system. Eat your greens, get regular exercise, quality sleep and reduce stress. Consider cannabinoid therapy if you’re having trouble. Science is real.
#cannabisismedicine #scienceisreal #endocannabinoidsystem #ecs #cbd #thc
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5812699/ CB1 & CB2 Receptor Pharmacology Drs. Allyn C. Howlett and Mary E. Abood
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3997295/#:~:text=Endocannabinoids%2 0and%20their%20receptors%20are,bridge%20between%20body%20and%20mind. Getting High on the Endocannabinoid System Bradley E. Alger, Ph.D.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28861491/ Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Reconsidered: Current Research Supports the Theory in Migraine, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel, and Other Treatment-Resistant Syndromes by Dr.Ethan B Russo
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30405366/ Cannabis Therapeutics and the Future of Neurology by Dr.Ethan B Russo
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21916860/ Endocannabinoid system dysfunction in mood and related disorders by Drs. C H Ashton, P B Moore
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3808114/ Role of Endocannabinoid Signaling in Anxiety and Depression by Drs. Sachin Patel and Cecilia J. Hillard
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22123166/ Contributions of endocannabinoid signaling to psychiatric disorders in humans: genetic and biochemical evidence by Drs. C J Hillard, K M Weinlander, K L Stuhr
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22804774/ The endocannabinoid system and the brain by Drs. Raphael Mechoulam, Linda A Parker