| Medical

Cannabinoids & the Endocannabinoid System 

In order to understand how CBD (Cannabidiol) effects the body, we must first learn about cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a physiological process that we all have inside of us that maintains our body’s balance at a cellular level.

Israeli scientist — Dr Raphael Mechoulam (Ma-shoo-lem) — identified a neuro transmitter called a cannabinoid, while investigating the body’s response to cannabis. A cannabinoid is a compound that acts on and stimulates cannabinoid receptors called CB1 & CB2 receptors.

CB1 receptors

The CB1 receptors are primarily located on nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Because of where the CB1 receptors are found in the brain, the cannabinoids can influence memory processing, the regulation of pain, and motor control. CB1 receptors are also found in some peripheral organs and tissues. These organs include the spleen, white blood cells, endocrine gland and parts of the reproductive, gastrointestinal and urinary tracts.

CB2 receptors

The CB2 receptors are mainly found on white blood cells, in the tonsils and in the spleen. In the immune system, one important function of the cannabinoid receptors is the regulation of systemic inflammation caused by cytokine release.

Endocannabinoid System and Cannabinoids

There are 3 types of cannabinoids:

1. Synthetic ones which are made in the lab and are often used for research.

2. Phytocannabinoids which come from plants: primarily — but not exclusively — cannabis.

3. Endocannabinoids which are manufactured by the body, but can be deficient within the body.

CBD from industrial hemp is therefore a phytocannabinoid. CBD is one of more than 85 identified cannabinoids. There are 9 “primary” ones.

The 9 major cannabinoids are:

THC

— which is psychoactive. It is useful for pain management, reducing inflammation, reducing nausea and vomiting, and stimulating appetite. It also aids sleep, manages glaucoma, reduces muscle spasms, and protects the nervous system.

CBD

— which is non psychoactive in the typically-used sense of the word. In actuality, it is psychoactive because it promotes relaxation and anxiety relief. However, it is non-psychotropic in that it doesn’t produce a high. In addition to having anti-anxiety effects, it is also an antipsychotic agent. Other applications are as an anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, and analgesic. Finally, CBD protects the nervous system, even more than does THC. This makes it a great tool for managing Parkinson’s Disease, seizures, autism, dementia, and for post-stroke therapy.

THCA

— which is non psychoactive. It is useful for reducing nausea, seizures, muscle spasms, and fighting tumor and cancer cells.

CBDA

— which is non psychoactive. It is also useful for reducing nausea, seizures, muscle spasms, and fighting tumor and cancer cells.

CBN

— which is a breakdown product of THC. Great for aiding sleep, and for reducing pain and muscle spasms.

CBGA

— which is found only in tiny amounts in a mature plant because it is the precursor molecule that is turned into THCA and CBDA as the cannabis plant develops.

CBG

— which is useful as an antidepressant, a muscle relaxant, an antibiotic and anti fungal agent, and as a blood pressure reducer.

CBC

— which is also found in only tiny amounts. It is good for reducing pain and inflammation, and having antibiotic, anti fungal and anti cancer effects.

THCV

— which is psychoactive, but less so than THC. It suppresses appetite and can aid in weight loss. It also has anti-seizure effects.

Cannabinoids & Our Bodies

Our bodies are making these — and other — cannabinoids constantly. Cannabinoids are made by the system to keep you in balance and healthy. If your body isn’t producing the necessary cannabinoids naturally, then phytocannabinoids — like those found in hemp — are extremely helpful. Whether it is phytocannabinoids or endocannabinoids doing the job, the cannabinoids in question can help regulate mood, appetite, sleep, stress, blood pressure, cognition, motor control, motivation, pain and other functions.

The US Patent

What is truly fascinating, is that while the US has designated CBD (Cannabidiol) as a Schedule I drug, they also own a patent on it as a medical product. Patent 6,630,507 covers the potential medical uses of non-psychoactive cannabinoids. 

The US Patent covers the following potential medical applications of CBD:

  • Antioxidant properties: treatment and prevention of stroke, age-related, inflammatory, and autoimmune diseases.
  • Neuroprotectants: limiting neurological damage after stroke and trauma or in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and HIV dementia.

Don’t you find it peculiar that the US government classifies CBD as a Schedule I drug — claiming that it has no medicinal value — while holding a patent on its medical uses?

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