The Endocannabinoid System

Cannabis has been at the center of one of the most exciting developments in modern science. Research on the effects of marijuana led to the discovery of a communication system in the human body now referred to as the Endocannabinoid System, which plays a critical role in regulating our physiology, our mood, and everyday experience.

"The first recorded use of cannabis as a drug was about 2,700 B.C., in China. The Chinese called it “the drug that takes away the mind” – they also used it for neurologic diseases and in religious rites. Cannabis was understood to have medical value for pain relief, as well as for gastrointestinal disorders, insomnia, blood clots and parasites." -Newswise

However, the actual Endocannabinoid System (en·​do·​can·​na·​bi·​noid) was first discovered in 1988 at St. Louis University School of Medicine by Dr. Allyn Howlett and Dr. William Devane. They determined that mammals had a receptor in their brain that responded to compounds found in cannabis. In 1992 Dr. William Devane and Dr.Lumir Hanus at Hebrew University in Jerulsalem isolated the first Endocannabinoid molecule and identified it as a CB1 receptor.

This Endocannabinoid System or ECS for short is the largest receptor system in our body. It receives CBD into its receptors that act as a lock and key. These receptors are found all over our body and continued research indicates there are CB1 and CB2 (probably more) receptors that target different parts of our bodies as shown in the image above.

The ECS works to provide or regulate homeostasis in our bodies. If any of our body's functions are overstimulated, overheated or even moving too slow, the ECS steps in to balance our system out, thus evening out the firing of our biological functions. Endocannabinoids naturally occur in our bodies. CBD and THC work by imitating the body's naturally occurring Endocannabinoids. For whatever reason, the naturally occurring Endocannabinoids can become depleted. It's thought that they decrease in response to stress, inflammation of the modern diet, environmental toxins, etc. So, if the endocannabinoid system doesn’t function properly, we have disease.

"Cutting-edge science has shown that the endocannabinoid system is flawed in almost all pathological conditions. So it stands to reason that “modulating endocannabinoid system activity may have therapeutic potential in almost all diseases affecting humans,” U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH)

By modulating the endocannabinoid system, CBD and THC can slow – or in some cases stop – disease progression. For example, if my hormones are out of sync to the far left and your hormones re out of sync to the far right, Cannibis is able to take action in both of our bodies to provide homeostasis. It is smart because it is organic, meaning it is a living plant made by God vs a synthetic "dead" chemical made by man. Because its smart, it knows how to act perfectly on our bodies. This is clinically amazing because we currently have only one pharmacological drug approved that will modulate the ECS. And that drug is only approved by the FDA for specific seizure activity. Until then, big Pharma was not involved at all. It’s no longer a matter of debating whether or not cannabis works. This is NOT "snake oil". The challenge is discerning how to use cannabis for the maximum therapeutic benefit for all mammals.