Most of us today can’t remember a time when Cannabis was not a prohibited substance but few of us really understand why.Â It is surprising to learn that business leaders of the 1930âs such asÂ William Randolph Hearst and DupontÂ employed propaganda campaigns vilifying Cannabis that, on the surface, appeared to protect public morals, but were, in fact, nothing more than an effort to protect their own fiber, timber and petroleum interests.
It is hard to imagine that millions of patients around the world were been denied their medicine and turned into criminals so that moguls like Hearst and Dupont could increase their profits.
For the last 80 years we have been sold and propagandized the big lie – that marijuana holds no medicinal value despite the fact that history is filled with examples of cannabis being used successfully for the preceding 5000 years.Â Research on the benefits of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) in isolation is well established. THC demonstrates analgesic, anti-emetic and anti-inflammatory properties, whereas CBD possesses anti-psychotic, anti-seizure and anti-anxiety properties.
But in 2016, theÂ veil is now lifted on the truth about cannabis. And there is important new research on the bodyâs endocannabinoid systemÂ that is bringing to light the many medicinal benefits of Cannabis.
EMERGING CLINICAL APPLICATIONS FOR CANNABIS AND CANNABINOIDS
So far, there are over 20,000 published studies or reviews in the scientific literature referencing the cannabis plant and its cannabinoids, nearly half of which were published within the last five years. While much of the renewed interest in cannabinoid therapeutics is a result of the discovery of the endocannabinoid regulatory system in 1988, some of this increased attention is also due to the growing body of testimonials from medical cannabis patients and their physicians.
10 MEDICINAL BENEFITS OF CANNABIS:
- Inhibits Tumor growth
- Effective treatment for Seizures
- Effective treatment for Migraines
- Effective treatment for Glaucoma
- PMS symptoms
- Treatment for ADD and ADHD
- Helps with symptoms from IBS and Crohn’s Disease
- Helps to prevent Alzheimers
- Aids with the management of MS
- Reduces stress and promotes relaxation
The Endocannabinoid system, named after the plant that led to its discovery, is perhaps the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health.
Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. In each tissue, the cannabinoid system performs different tasks, but the goal is always the same:Â homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment.
Cannabinoids promote homeostasis at every level of biological life, from the sub-cellular, to the organism, and perhaps to the community and beyond. Here’s one example: autophagy, a process in which a cell sequesters part of its contents to be self-digested and recycled, is mediated by the cannabinoid system. While this process keeps normal cells alive, allowing them to maintain a balance between the synthesis, degradation, and subsequent recycling of cellular products, it has a deadly effect on malignant tumor cells, causing them to consume themselves in a programmed cellular suicide. The death of cancer cells, of course, promotes homeostasis and survival at the level of the entire organism.
Endocannabinoids and cannabinoids are also found at the intersection of the body’s various systems, allowing communication and coordination between different cell types. At the site of an injury, for example, cannabinoids can be found decreasing the release of activators and sensitizers from the injured tissue, stabilizing the nerve cell to prevent excessive firing, and calming nearby immune cells to prevent release of pro-inflammatory substances. Three different mechanisms of action on three different cell types for a single purpose: minimize the pain and damage caused by the injury.
The endocannabinoid system, with its complex actions in our immune system, nervous system, and all of the body’s organs, is literally a bridge between body and mind. By understanding this system we begin to see a mechanism that explains how states of consciousness can promote health or disease.
In addition to regulating our internal and cellular homeostasis, cannabinoids influence a person’s relationship with the external environment. Socially, the administration of cannabinoids clearly alters human behavior, often promoting sharing, humor, and creativity. By mediatingÂ neurogenesis, neuronal plasticity, and learning, cannabinoids may directly influence a person’s open-mindedness and ability to move beyond limiting patterns of thought and behavior from past situations. Reformatting these old patterns is an essential part of health in our quickly changing environment.
For those who desire simply the benefits of cannabidiol, without the effects of THC, we have the the hemp plant where levels of THC is verified by the FDA in most cases as “not detectable”. Â This “zero THC” strain of cannabinoid is the focus of my attention on this blog. Â Over the coming months, I will highlight relevant research and demonstrate the effects of CBD oil on anxiety, relaxation and heart palpitations.