The Endocannabinoid System Explained

Modern science is experiencing a renaissance of sorts and cannabis is at the center of it all. This is an exciting development to say the least and it’s also not being talked about as much as it should be. In fact, the latest research has uncovered a system of biochemical communication within the body recently dubbed the Endocannabinoid System. This system of bodily chemicals plays a huge role in the regulation of our mood, physiology, and our day-to-day experiences.

What is the Endocannabinoid System?

The gist of the discovery is simple: certain brain receptors respond to cannabis in ways previously unknown. The cannabinoid compounds within cannabis have been identified and we now know that they bind to certain receptors, which has enhanced our understanding of disease, health, and human anatomy.

Science has established with certainty that cannabinoids and other forms of cannabis components can have a modulation effect on the body, brain, and other physiological systems. The cannabinoids act as a chemical compound that triggers cell receptors as well as the previously established cannabinoid receptors. In the marijuana plant alone, scientists have identified over 100 cannabinoids and continue to discover more with each passing day.

The most well-known cannabinoids include CBD (a.k.a. cannabidiol) and THC (a.k.a. tetrahydrocannabinol), and these compounds have been studied extensively at this point. Additional cannabinoids are being studied regularly and the endogenuos cannabinoids already produced naturally within the body and brain are now being studied and created synthetically by researchers in the pharmaceutical field.

The US government has taken it upon themselves to fund and sponsor extensive preclinical research. The initial discoveries all indicate that CBD contains powerful and potent neuroprotective, anti-convulsive, antispasmodic, antipsychotic, antioxidant, and antitumor properties, which is an exciting development for the future of medicine.

Why is CBD so effective? It has the ability to activate multiple receptors to create a positive impact on the body and mind. In fact, it can directly activate serotonin receptors within the body and brain, which is powerful because it has an anti-anxiety effect that can alleviate the mental pain and suffering of those struggling with this condition.

Recently, scientists from the ICRS (International Cannabinoid Research Society) have exposed pathways that will experience a therapeutic impact from CBD. As an example, Doctor Sean McAllister and his California Pacific Medical Center colleagues have determined that CBD can down regulate the ID-1 gene, which allows the compound to destroy cancer in a number of different aggressive forms. By turning off the ID-1 gene with CBD, we now have another very effective treatment strategy for breast cancer.

According to Doctor McAllister, “Cannabidiol offers hope of a non-toxic therapy that could treat aggressive forms of cancer without any of the painful side effects of chemotherapy.”

The Synergy between THC and CBD

Studies performed in McAllister’s lab determined that the combination of THC and CBD provide the best treatment results. Combining THC and CBD provides therapeutic advantages, in particular when treating peripheral neuropathy, a neurodegenerative element. GW Pharmaceuticals’ research also shows that CBD acts effectively as an analgesic when it’s combined and administered with THC.