Health & Cannabis

Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains how marijuana affects the brain and how pot can be used to treat certain conditions.

Sound Design by Jonathan Tortora

Endocannabinoid system

The endocannabinoid system is a master control system that affects a wide range of biological processes (like sleep & appetite) through molecules known as cannabinoids (THC & CBD) and cannabinoid receptors (CB1 & CB2).

The body naturally produces a number of cannabinoids and receptors throughout the brain and spinal cord, cardiovascular, immune, gastrointestinal, urinary, reproductive, skeletal, and peripheral nervous systems.

Why is it important?

It regulates Homeostasis.

Homeostasis is the ability to maintain a stable internal environment that is necessary for survival. Disease occurs when the body does not accomplish homeostasis.

Recent research from the National Cancer Institute demonstrates a notable increase of cannabinoid receptors on tumor cells of various cancers (liver, breast, lung, & prostate). The increased number of receptors is a attempt from the endocannabinoid system to bring the body back to homeostasis. The study done on mice show evidence of decelerated and reversed tumor growth when cannabinoids are attached to those receptors. 

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the endocannabinoid system (when activated) regulates numerous diseases “ranging from mood and anxiety disorders, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s & Huntington’s disease, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, to cancer, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, strokes, hypertension, glaucoma, obesity/metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis, to name just a few…”

Pacher P., Batkai S., Kunos G. (2006). The endocannabinoid system as an emerging target of pharmacotherapy. Pharmacol. Rev 58,389-462. doi: 10.1124/pr.58.3.2.

Will I get high?

Not with CBD rich versions.

There are CBD rich versions that are legal in all 50 states and non-psychoactive (you won’t get high), but you will therapeutically benefit the from the high CBD count. CBD (Cannabidiol) is the molecule found in cannabis that contains therapeutic attributes when present with very low amounts of THC (.5-6%). 

This a safe and non-toxic way to ease symptoms for many diseases that would otherwise require dangerous and toxic pharmaceuticals.

 

Sources:

1. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/healthprofessional/page4

2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/22625422/

3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2241751/

4.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2430692/

5. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1361971-overview#a1

6. cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/health/2014/03/10/orig-brain-on-weed-sanjay-jr-jt.cnn.html