The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) has its origins deep in the vertebrate branch of the tree of life. All vertebrates, including humans, have an ECS. The ECS utilises endocannabinoids to stabilise health, longevity and fight illness.
The fact that analogs of these endocannabinoids are naturally replicated by the phytocannabinoids present in Cannabis may merely be an evolutionary coincidence. However, humanities use of Cannabis for spiritual, recreational and medicinal purposes throughout history has been called an evolutionary phenomenon.
Under the modern climate of prohibition the benefits of Cannabis medicine have been largely ignored and widely unknown. In fact, even among the medical community the ECS is a relatively unexamined system. However, many Cannabinoid science breakthroughs can be attributed to Israeli Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. His work with Cannabinoids and the identification of the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the 1960’s, and the phyto-cannabinoids Anandamine and 2-AG, pioneered modern research into this Medicine.
Neurological links have been found between the ECS and a large number of homeostatic, immunological and cognitive functions in the human body. Studies ranging from simple observational to double blind and placebo based clinical testing have found that endo-cannabinoids mimic the functions of phyto-cannabinoids and can assist in the management of a variety of diseases and conditions. THC and CBD are just two of the 60+ cannabinoids that are present in Cannabis.
One of the ECS’s functions is the inhibition regulation of synaptic impulses. When a neuron in the brain fires a synapse that cell degrades slightly. This can eventually lead to cell death (apoptosis) if the ECS is not functioning properly. The post-synaptic nerve responds by producing and releasing Anandamine and 2-AG from its cellular membrame. These phyto-cannabinoids activate receptors in the pre-synaptic nerve, a biological pathway which results in the closing of calcium channels, which allow the release of neurotransmitters. This leads to a decrease in synaptic activity, allowing the neurons to regenerate. This has massive implication for diseases like epilepsy.
Searching google scholar for key words such as ‘cancer Cannabinoid’, ‘multiple sclerosis Cannabinoid’, or even ‘HIV cannabinoid’ provides results including experimental reports, literature reviews and the findings of a wide variety of studies into the use of Cannabinoids. These cases range from directly treating a disease to alleviating the symptoms and/or side effects of other medications via stimulation of the ECS through the administration of endocannabinoids.
Basically – cannabinoid compounds our bodies create naturally and need to fight disease and live longer are also found in the Cannabis plant.
It is important to understand that an incorrect profile of Cannabinoids and turpenes in the plant can cause an adverse reaction, similar to other medicines. For instance, when giving titrating antibiotics to treat a viral sickness, patients require the correct amount & type of medicine.