The Endocannabinoid System | High Times

Excerpt from Weeds: A Connoisseur’s Guide to Cannabis

Many traditional medical professionals are still aware of its important role in establishing the balance between the endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) and our body, as it is a relatively recent scientific discovery. not. The endocannabinoid system, which is present in all humans, as well as animals, plants, and fungi (essentially having a cellular structure with an enveloped nucleus), is a systemic signaling involving receptor sites CB1 and CB2. To a cannabinoid that is a network and is configured to respond. These receptors are located in the brain, organs, connective tissue, bones, glands, and immune cells, and the ultimate goal of their activation is to allow the body to achieve homeostasis, that is, to maintain stability. Is to prevent illness. A well-balanced endogenous cannabinoid system is critical to our health. The balance affects inflammation, pain, appetite and mood. In fact, a complete understanding of the endocannabinoid system can unleash the therapeutic potential of treating almost any disease. Cannabinoids exist in the early stages of our development: they are involved in fertility, are contained in breast milk, and continue to participate in many important roles in survival (regulating stress, anxiety, appetite, and illness). (Saves neurons to slow the progression of) throughout life. By communicating and coordinating between different cell types, ECS regulates our physiology and mood.

“How well we can apply our understanding of ECS has a huge impact on medicine and health as we continue to navigate the increasingly chaotic and stressful world,” said Jahan Marcu, Editor-in-Chief and Chief. .. American Journal of Endogenous Cannabinoid Medicine.. “Since the dawn of time, ECS has helped humans adapt and overcome seemingly insurmountable possibilities. The hope of modern scientific understanding of ECS is the ability to adapt to stress while maintaining good health. We continue to sharpen. The more we understand ECS, the more likely we are to prosper and survive. “

Cannabinoids act like neurotransmitters and are involved in transmitting chemical messages between nerve cells or neurons throughout the brain, nerves, and immune system. Two types of cannabinoids interact with the body’s internal receptors. Endocannabinoids produced internally and plant cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Scientists also create synthetic cannabinoids in laboratory settings.

History of cannabinoid science

Cannabis has helped humanity since ancient times, but the first insight into its chemistry came from the identification and isolation of cannabinol (CBN) in the 1930s. Another cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), was discovered and isolated in the 1940s, and scientists approached the isolation of the most well-known cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Join Raphael Mechoulam, the father of cannabis research. In 1963, Israeli biochemist Mekolam discovered more about the structure of CBD. By 1964, he and his colleagues had made breakthroughs by discovering THC, the rock star of all cannabinoids, in isolation.

By the 1980s, detailed pharmacological diagrams of plant cannabinoids had emerged, but it was still unclear how they worked to produce their effects. Scientists believed that the chemistry of cannabis must be linked to its receptors in our body, but only in the late 1980s and early 1990s did this receptor CB1, followed by. I was able to discover another CB2. CB1 receptors are found primarily in nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, and CB2 receptors are found primarily in the immune system. The discovery of CB1 receptors that interact with the psychoactive properties of THC was an important advance for cannabinoid science.

“Cannabinoid receptor cloning was very important,” wrote cannabis author Martin Lee. article For publications focused on medical marijuana O’Shaughnessy’s.. “It opened the door for scientists to engrave molecules that” fit “to these receptors, like the keys to slots. Some keys (“agonists”) turned on the receptor and others (“antagonists”) turned it off. “

“By tracking the metabolic pathways of THC, scientists have come across a unique, previously unknown molecular signaling system that is involved in the regulation of a wide range of biological functions,” explains Lee. increase.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an internal signaling system that exists in all animals except insects and has a long evolutionary history that helps explain its importance. In 1992, Mekolam worked with his colleagues to make another amazing discovery, the endocannabinoid, a cannabinoid produced inside the human body.Named Anandamide after Sanskrit AnandaThis discovery, which means “bliss,” was a revelation. It has been shown that internally produced cannabinoids function within the systemic system and help clarify how cannabinoids from plants can utilize these networks.

“I understand that there are over 100 plant cannabinoids,” Mechoulam tells me. “There are also a huge number of endogenous substances like anandamide. [internal] Cannabinoids in the body of animals. “

Blissful molecule

Anandamide was a surprising advance as it shows how our body regulates ECS internally. Whether you’re supplementing with cannabis or not, ECS plays an active role in our health. When anandamide interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the body, a sensation of bliss is created. When we exercise, the body produces anandamide, which is the cause of the exhilarating and euphoric “runner’s high.” Exercise-related euphoria indicates that our endogenous cannabinoid system interacts with elements of cannabis plants, but can also be boosted by other activities and plants. Exercise, massage, and eating leafy vegetables high in caryophyllene and foods high in omega 3 also activate ECS. After the discovery of anandamide, the second endogenous cannabinoid, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), was discovered. The full function of 2-AG is still unknown, but it is involved in the regulation of the circulatory system.

Aide effect

The aide effect is the idea that cannabinoids and terpenes work best synergistically with each other. This widely recognized theory is that the properties present in cannabis work together to produce effects, and single cannabinoids, such as the synthetic form of THC, malinol, do not work as well as drugs that incorporate other chemical elements in the plant. Suggests to explain the reason.

Turning this theory into a marketing tactic, many cannabis oils and tinctures advertise the provision of “full spectrum” extracts. This means that the product contains a variety of cannabinoids and terpenes. The idea is that these products maintain the complete profile of the plant and are therefore more beneficial.

Creating a new cannabinoid

Within cannabis plants, cannabinoids are concentrated in the small, fine mushroom-like heads (trichomes) found on flowers and leaves, such as resin. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley in 2019 publication They successfully produced cannabinoids in yeast, eliminating the need to treat plants altogether. By manipulating yeast to convert fatty acids to cannabinoids, researchers said they could create new types that didn’t exist before. The idea behind producing cannabinoids through the fermentation process was centered around enabling manufacturers to produce cannabinoids cheaper, more efficiently and more reliably than plant-based cultivation.

Clinical cannabinoid deficiency

The concept of significant cannabinoid deficiency was introduced in the early 2000s and assumes that cannabinoid deficiency triggers conditions such as migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and clinical depression. These general conditions lack objective signs and often overlap. The ideas behind clinical cannabinoid deficiency suggest that the body is not producing enough cannabinoids to keep the system in its natural balance. Therefore, cannabinoids need to be supplemented to maintain homeostasis.

End cannabidiol

The discovery of the endocannabinoid system was a complete game changer and spurred the creation of an organization dedicated to disseminating information about the early areas of endocannabinoid science. A group of activists called the Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics (founded in 1981) was already studying the efficacy of cannabis. A new organization called Patients out of Time evolved from the group and began holding regular meetings in 1995. Alongside that organization, there was another more exclusive group of the world’s most respected cannabinoid researchers. International Cannabinoid Study Group.. Founded in 1992, it is a consortium of about 650 botanists and scientists studying ECS. The mission of this group is to facilitate the exchange of scientific research surrounding cannabinoids and serve as a source of information on cannabis chemistry, pharmacology, and therapeutic uses. The organization hosts annual symposiums around the world and publishes official journals publishing a wide range of human and animal studies.

Medical professionals are also coming to cannabis treatment.Founded by a small group of dedicated nurses Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) In 2006, he represented professional nurses in a new area of ​​endocannabinoid treatment, providing tools to understand and advocate patient needs for the proper functioning of ECS. Nurses trained by ACNA learn about proper dosing and cannabinoid interactions with other medications.

Courtesy of the Quart Group

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