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What happens to you when I begin talking about your Endocannabinoid System??? Does it make you squirm? Or does it bore you? What is it about the word balance that gives you such a powerful thrill? Is it because its familiar? We all know balance. It is our life. Everything has balance – even crooked things can remain balanced … look at any drunkard staggering. The body still stays upright albeit crookedly!
*More on this later but the spine is important here. Without a spine, there is no Endocannabinoid System but that is a topic for another time. Let us continue …
Your Endocannabinoid System in shortcut lingo – it’s known as the ECS. And that my friend is the drunkard staggering. It keeps your body within from falling apart and disrupting your systems of life because of the careless care you give it. Your physical and mental body has balance due to the ECS functions. Have I lost you yet?
Allow me to continue to confuse you further. You know your body changes as you get older right? So does your ECS and … your gender … your race … the meds you take or drugs you enjoy. All have an impact on your homeostasis as managed by your ECS.
How blessed we are to benefit from our ECS – and do you know that the functions you take for granted are impacted by the ECs? Yes indeed! It protects you, relaxes you, makes you hunger, makes you forget and helps you sleep.
Seriously, allow Mrs. Conaway to guess … you did not even know you had a Endocannabinoid System now did you? No one did until it was discovered in 1992. It’s so new that when told about it, it is immediately tossed aside as if it’s a useless bit of body trivia. Sad to say it’s not useless. In fact, once the discovery of it was made, all hell broke loose.
For people these days to admit that thousands of years of cannabis use was actually beneficial to our health in more ways than imaginable was surely a kick in the ass to the DEA of America. You see, the crime of life was learning that cannabis is a medicine masqueraded as a drug for the last 80 years or so and an evil drug at that! It never did and never will have the murderous effect of the opioids given out like Halloween candy, but it suffers as if it kills. There is no death certificate in the world that lists killed by cannabis.
Mrs. Conaway – when given the opportunity – breaks it down gently to the listener like this.
Pupil: What is a e-ennn – doe- c c ca- na bin-o -i- d?
Mrs. Conaway: Divide the word my dear.
Pupil: E-n-d-o …
Mrs. Conaway: That means inside. Like internal bleeding or bleeding inside. What else?
Pupil: c-a-n-n-a …
Mrs. Conaway: That’s a short cut word for cannabis
Pupil: b-i-n-o-i-d …
Mrs. Conaway: That’s the end of the whole word which is cannabinoid – which is the chemical compounds in cannabis that are active meaning they do things internally or in endo to your body.
Pupil: You mean the cannabinoid is inside of me?
Mrs. Conaway: Precisely!
It is unknown how plants, meats, drugs, injuries affect us until we see repeated patterns resulting from the use or coming into contact with them. Cannabis is one. What was most noticeable in people was one of two things or maybe both.
The first one is people would become weakened mentally and physically and just want to sit and smile or eat and smile or sleep well.
The second one is people would become agitated or calm with no sleepiness or relaxation to it and actually become energetic instead … and happy.
More things happen but these two were most noticeable. It was unknown why this plant managed to bring on these effects. Even more importantly, many noticed for centuries that differing amounts and different versions of the cannabis plant did strange things like helped stop menstrual cramps or helped a pain in the ass like an over worked muscle stop hurting. They noticed that it could be cooked, eaten raw, chewed on and miraculous results would happen.
So, all these reactions and millions more have happened throughout time and how it happened was anyone’s guess – but no one knew. Until the Endocannabinoid System was discovered. And that is amazing. Without the wonders of modern research, we would still be in the dark.
Pupil: So, how did it happen?
Mrs. Conaway: Mrs. Conaway is so glad you asked! First Dr. Mechoulam discovered two plant compounds in 1964 and they were cannabidiol known today as CBD and tetrahydrcannabinol known today by THC. Then they found out what the plant compounds would attach to and it was receptors they named or called CB1 and CB2.
Pupil: Then what happened?
Mrs. Conaway: Someone on the research team in 1992 discovered for the first time a cannabinoid in the body! They named it Anandamide. This Anandamide does “stuff” to the CB1 Receptor! Again, they came up with another one and they named it 2-AG. It’s a very long name but for speediness let’s just leave it at that. So, this one likes the CB2 receptor.
Pupil: But that’s not the Endocannabinoid System!
Mrs. Conaway: No, it is not, but does lead to it. You see, the ECS has no parts. It was noticed when they found that as signals went from receptors to receptors, it would return and inform the receptor about what was going on. This is called retrograde signaling.
To make a long – long story truly short I will tell you the rest of the story. Two evil partners in crime called enzymes caused the body to not feel the effects of the do-good cannabinoids and receptors. When this happens, the body feels awful unpleasant. It gets out of balance and adding to the unbalance it also makes our body super sensitive to inflammation and pains.
Remember that retrograde signaling? As a component of the ECS and it enables the homeostasis to occur because the receptors call for more or less cannabinoids in the body where it’s need or not needed. What makes the enzymes destroy balance within is the lifestyle we lead like stress, anxiety, depression, poor diet, overwork etc.
The bodies’ inability to make more cannabinoids is what weakens the ECS ability to maintain homeostasis. Now don’t forget that the other organs and tissues of the body are always working to help with the homeostasis. It’s not like they do nothing. The immune system is directing traffic as the ECS tells it to.
Humans learned that the plant made changes. Dr. Mechoulam and his team learned how that was happening. The big surprise in maintaining homeostasis is that if you bring cannabinoids from outside the body to inside, you will prop up the ECS and that makes it all come back to full throttle balanced function in the magnificent body you love so much!
Dear pupils, keep in mind that we are at the beginning of the oldest medicine being accepted in its rightful place for everyone to enjoy optimum health if they can only get over the bullshit demonization created by our government back in the “day.”
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