Medical marijuana benefits the following illnesses, but not limited to:
- Alzheimer's Disease
- Anxiety Disorders
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Autoimmune Disorders
- Cachexia and Appetite Disorders
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Gastrointestinal Disorders
- Hepatitis C
- Insomnia and Sleep Disorders (including Sleep Apnea)
- Migraine and Headache
- Multiple Sclerosis and Movement Disorders
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Parkinson's Disease
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
- Seizure Disorders
- Skin Conditions
Due to the fact that today's physicians are not taught that cannabis can be an effective medicine medical marijuana patients typically know more about what cannabis can or can't help. The problem stems from the difficulty of conducting peer-reviewed medical research on the medical uses of cannabis when the primary US government agency supervising that research is dedicated to the proposition that cannabis is a dangerous drug of abuse with no accepted medical use. However, this situation is changing with 23 legal states and more to come this next election season.
We do know how cannabis works in the body and there is much research being done on the endocannabanoid system in our body that mimics the chemicals in marijuana. In order to understand medical marijuana and how it can be beneficial for your health, it's good to understand the endocannbanoid system.
The endocannabinoid system consists of a network of endocannabinoid receptors, which are distributed throughout the body. They system is a very complex regulatory system, board in its function, and found within all complex animals, from fish to humans. The endocannabinoid system supports such diverse functions as memory, digestion, motor function, immune response, appetite, pain, blood pressure, bone growth, and the protection of neural tissues. Many researchers believe that there are even more physiological processes with which the enocannabinoid system is involved, still yet to be discovered.
Endocannabinoids serve as the primary messenger across synapses (the gaps between nerve cells. They signal neurons to communicate with each other through the release of neurotransmitters, keeping our nervous system running smoothly. Endocannabinoids are produced on demand, released back across the synapse, then taken into the cells and rapidly metabolized. They appear to be profoundly connected with the concept of homeostasis, helping redress specific imbalances presented by disease or injury. Their role in pain signaling has lead to the hypothesis that endocannabinoid levels may be responsible for the baseline of pain throughout the body. This could mean that the constant release of the body's own endocannabinoids could have a tonic effect on muscle tightness in multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, inflammation and even baseline appetite.
The CB1 receptor is expressed throughout the brain, where endocannabinoids and CB1 combine to form a circuit breaker, which modulates the release of neurotransmitters. The brain functions affected by the endocannabinoid system are decision making, cognition, emotions, learning, memory, regulation of body movement, anxiety, stress, fear, pain, body temperature, appetite, reward center, motor control and much more. The brain stem is one region where the CB1 receptors don't work and that's the area in control of respiration and circulation which is why cannabis overdoses are not fatal. One thing to note here is that the CB1 receptor that is responsible for modulating neurotransmitters is also the one that is responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis.
The CB2 receptors control the release of cytokines (immunoregulatory proteins) linked to inflammation and general immune function throughout the body.
Watch "The Endocannabinoid System" Video.
While there are over 100 cannabanoids, they can be categorized into 10 different types with these being the primary forms.
- THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the primary psychoactive constituent of cannabis and interacts with both the CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoid receptors.
- CBD (cannabidiolic acid) is mildly psychoactive and is produced mainly from hemp.
- CBG (cannabigerol) is an analgesic non-psychoactive cannabinoid with antiseptic, antibiotic, and anti-tumor agents.
- CBC (cannabichromenic acid) has anti-depressant, antibiotic and anti fungal properties.
- CBN (oxidation byproduct of THC) is not found in the cannabis plant, but in resin or oil.
When the cannabis is heated and consumed, the endocannabinoid receptors are activated. Now that you understand the complexities of how the endocannbanoid system and medical marijuana works together, our next step to understand how it can help YOU is to help you understand how to consume it.
This has been a post from "31 Days to Free Your Mind about Cannabis".