If you are at all familiar with the medicinal Cannabis world, you have definitely heard of Cannabinoids. In this article I will break it down for you: What they are, the documented benefits of the most widely used and well-known Cannabinoids, a brief overview on how they work within your body, and how knowing about the different types can help you discern which type of Cannabis product will work best for relief from your ailments.
WHAT ARE CANNABINOIDS?
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring chemical compounds derived from the Cannabis plant. As of the time of this publication, there are between 85 and 113 known Cannabinoids, with a large portion of these having an array of effects that we have come to learn can relieve pain and discomfort for a massive amount of physical ailments. This is why the majority of medicine produced prior to 1883 was derived from Cannabis...we have receptors throughout our body specifically intended to interact with the Cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant.
WHAT IS THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM?
Throughout our body, we have an endocannabinoid system, which is a homeostatic regulatory system in our body that has receptors which Cannabinoids perfectly fit into, like a key in a lock. Endo is short for Endogenous meaning that it originates from inside of the body. This system is comprised of three elements:
Cannabinoid receptors found on the cell membranes of the Endocannabinoid Receptors
Endocannabinoids, which are produced inside the body, but that mimic Cannabinoids (molecules that bind to other molecules within the body.)
Metabolic enzymes that create and metabolize Endocannabinoids, which as we know, originate from within the body.
Interesting that we were never taught about this in school, hm? This is just the tip of the iceberg of information purposefully omitted from our public school systems...I digress.
WHAT DOES THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM DO?
Cannabinoid receptors are separated into categories called CB-1 (receptors mostly in the brain) and CB-2 (receptors throughout the body, mostly in the immune system.) Certain Cannabinoids bind to specific receptors on the surface of the cells of the Endocannabinoid system, which causes the consumer to receive specific forms of relief for scores of symptoms. The purpose of this important Endocannabinoid system is to maintain balance of the internal environment despite ever-changing conditions in the body, in regards to the secretion of hormones having to do with our response to stress and reproductive functions. This system is what helps mediate the psychoactive effects of Cannabis. It also regulates other physiological functions, such as appetite, mood, memory, sensations of pain, and sleep.
Here is a fantastic infographic from Leafly.com that outlines exactly which Cannabinoids help particular symptoms.
CANNABINOIDS BIND TO ENDOCANNABINOID RECEPTORS.
Cannabinoids mimic the Endocannabinoids, which as we just learned, are the chemicals already created within the body that bind to the Endocannabinoid Receptors. Cannabinoids have been documented to fit perfectly into the Endocannabinoid system, causing much relief and positive effects throughout the body, essentially proving what we already know when we take a hit and smile: that Cannabis exists to support the human body’s optimal functioning!
CANNABIS WAS MADE FOR YOU AND ME. *music note emojis*
Happy Herbal Medicine administering, my friends. Don’t allow the ignorance of those indoctrinated by the social conditioning of our omnipresent governing corporate body, (whose interest is to make money from your suffering, hence the thankfully-ending prohibition of this helpful plant) to deter you from trying out this powerful and beneficial herb to ease what ails you. Hopefully with the study of this information regarding the Endocannabinoid system, you can be a part of the growing number of educated people spreading the truth about how this plant fits perfectly into a healthful life, even if you don’t desire the psychoactive or recreational use of this medicinal herb. This life was meant to be enjoyed, and this is why I believe this beautiful healing plant that helps our bodies thrive, grows out of the ground.
Napa Valley, California