Endocannabinoids are natural occurring enzymes that 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, 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 receptorss 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 mediating 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.
CB-1 receptor stimulation controls glucose metabolism and CB-2 stimulation controls Lipid metabolism. ThiS generalization is due to feedback control between the two systems. The control of metabolism also determines all other functions of the cell including cell division and cell differentiation. By altering and controlling metabolism, you can alter how the cell differentiates into any of the three tissue layers of the body. (Endoderm, Mesoderm, Ectoderm)
Nerve cells have more CB-1 receptors because they use glucose metabolism exclusively and don’t rely on fatty metabolism. The heart lacks significant numbers of CB-1 receptors because it burns fat as a primary fuel source. Hematopoietic cells or bloodline cells have more CB-2 receptors and lower metabolic requirements.
Cannabinoids like THC and CBD are the chemical compounds produced by cannabis flowers that provide the relief for the various symptoms and conditions that have made medical marijuana so useful. These active ingredients work by imitating compounds our bodies naturally produce, called endocannabinoids, which activate to maintain internal stability and health. They mediate communication between cells, In total there are OVER 66 compounds in cannabis classified as cannabinoids with 100’s more to be discovered.
MOST PREDOMINANT CANNABINOIDS
CBD – NON-PHYSCOACTIVE
A derivative of HEMP, which has a wide scope of medical applications, such as:
- Epilepsy / Convulsions / Muscle spasms / Parkinson’s / Multiple sclerosis / Alzheimer’s
- Anti-Anxiety / Anti-Depressant
- Bipolar / Schizophrenia / ADHD / OCD
- Anti-nausea / Gastrointestinal Disorders (Chorn’s, IBS, Diverticulitis)
- Neuroprotective (acute neuronal injury / ischemic stroke / traumatic brain injury)
- Inflammation / Arthritis / Chronic Pain
- Antioxidant / Antitumor
THC – PHYSCOACTIVE
The most recognized ingredient in cannabis. Best known for causing the high that you get from using marijuana
- Acute and Chronic Pain,
- Fibromyalgia / Peripheral Neuropathy
- Bronchodilation / Hypotensive / Anti-Depressant
- Insomnia / Sleep Deprivation / Sleep Apnea,
- Tourette Syndrome, ALS, Huntington’s Disease,
SATIVA STRAINS – DAYTIME
- Mind Dominant (Cerebral High)
- Uplifting / Euphoric / Stimulating
- Increase Alertness / Energy / Sociability
- Enhance Creativity / Focus
- Fights Depression
- Flavors range from earthy to earthy, floral, woodsy and musty
INDICA STRAINS – NIGHT TIME
- Body Dominant (Body High)
- Sleep Aid / Muscle Relaxant
- Chronic and Acute Pain
- Relieves Headaches and Migraines
- Increase Appetite and Reduce Nausea
- flavors and aromas ranging from pungent, skunk, citrusy and fruity
HYBRIDS – BALANCED
There are a wide range of cannabis strains in between Indica and Sativa. These strains are known as “Hybrids” and show traits directly related to the genetics in its lineage. Hybrids can be broken down into three basic categories:
Sativa-dominant Hybrids: Cerebral high with a relaxing body effect. Provides physical and mental relief.
Even Hybrids (50/50): Ideal strains for people seeking a perfect balance of head and body.
Indica-dominant Hybrids: These strains provide a full-body pain relief, with a relaxing head high. Recommended for nighttime use to go to sleep, or daytime relief from minor pain. These strains are perfect for patients who suffer from all types of autoimmune diseases as well as insomnia or depression
As with anything in medicine, caution is given in assuming that indicas and sativas always perform this way – Meaning that indicas don’t always produce a body-stone effect, and sativas don’t always deliver an uplifting, cerebral high.
Terpenes are classified as organic compounds. Different strains of cannabis have a wide variety of smells and tastes. Many terpenes affect the aroma and flavor profile of your bud. By mapping out the terpene profiles, we can predict and manipulate them. Changing the smell and flavor is pretty cool, but it’s not even the most exciting part about terpene research. Some terpenes have been found to have medicinal benefits. That means, there are non-psychoactive compounds that can be used to safely treat an array of medical conditions. There are a ton of different terpenes in cannabis, but here are 11 profiles you should know about.
Flavor / Aroma – Citrus.
Medicinal Uses – Limonene can be used to help promote weight loss, prevent and treat cancer, and treat bronchitis. It can also be used to make ointments and medicinal creams that penetrate the skin better.
Flavor / Aroma – Earthy and musky with a hint of fruity flavors.
Medicinal Uses – Myrcene has been shown to be an effective anti inflammatory. It also works as a sedative and muscle relaxer. This could possible contribute to the tired/stoney feeling often attributed to indicas.
Flavor / Aroma – Floral with a hint of spice. In addition to cannabis, linalool can be found in an array of flowers,mint, cinnamon, and even some fungi.
Medicinal Uses – Can be used as an anti inflammatory. It also helps to modulate motor movements. Another study found that Linalool could be used to help treat liver cancer.
- Alpha Bisabolol
Flavor / Aroma – Floral. Alpha bisabolol is also found in chamomile.
Medicinal Uses – Can be used to heal wounds, fights bacteria, and can be used a deodorizer. Research suggests alpha bisabolol has been effective in treating a variety of inflammations..
- Delta 3 Carene
Flavor / Aroma – Piney / earthy.
Medicinal Uses – Studies have found Delta 3 Carene to be an effective anti-inflammatory. It is also known to dry fluids like tears, running noses, and menstrual flows.
Flavor / Aroma – Earthy and camphor.
Medicinal Uses – Borneol can be used as an analgesic, anti-insomnia, anti-septic, and bronchodilator.
- Alpha-Pinene / Beta-Pinene
Flavor / Aroma – Pine. This is, of course, partially where pine trees get their scent from.
Medicinal Uses – Pinene has been shown to have anti inflammatory properties.
Flavor / Aroma – Spicy. Eucalyptol is used as a cooking spice and fragrance.
Medicinal Uses – Eucalyptol is used in a variety of productsincluding cough suppressants, mouthwash, and body powder.
Flavor / Aroma – Pine, clove.
Medicinal Uses – Studies suggest cannabis-extracted terpineol contains antioxidant properties.
Flavor / Aroma – Hoppy. Cannabis and hops are basically cousins.
Medicinal Uses – Studies suggest that caryophyllene may help treat anxiety and depression..
Flavor / Aroma – Herbal.
Medicinal Uses – Cineole is all about anti – anti inflammatory, antibiotic, antiviral, antinociceptive.