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October 4, 2018

The Endocannabinoid System: What does it do?

The endocannabinoid system: How can cannabis help me?

In part two of the endocannabinoid series we’re taking a look at how cannabinoids play a part in the nervous system. We’ll take a look at functions such as hunger, sleep, stress response and more. These are the functions being studied medically and the reason why cannabis is beginning to be viewed as a medical drug instead of an illegal recreational substance. Read part one here!

In this article, we’ll take a brief look at several ways cannabinoids are being used to treat health issues. From pain management to epilepsy and more – the research is continually showing that cannabis and the endocannabinoid system are truly amazing.

The endocannabinoid system: how can it help me?

Memory

“Mice treated with THC show suppression of long-term potentiation in the hippocampus, a process that is essential for the formation and storage of long-term memory.” (via Wikipedia)

It’s important to note that it is only THC that has been shown to hinder short-term memory, so if you are medicating with a high CBD and low THC strain, you are likely not going to experience the same effects. As more and more people are gravitating to the non-psychoactive CBD strains to remain alert and unimpaired throughout the day, sustained memory function is another benefit to add to the list.

Appetite

“We were surprised to find that the neurons we thought were responsible for shutting down eating, were suddenly being activated and promoting hunger, even when you are full. It fools the brain’s central feeding system.” (via PBS)

Many people correlate cannabis with “the munchies” and science is proving it! But don’t worry, you don’t have to pack on the pounds when you’re medicating with cannabis. If you’re concerned about munching too much, try eating a meal before medicating and reminding yourself that you are already nourished and don’t need any more snacks. Try keeping unhealthy snacks out of sight, and if you just have to munch on something, treat yourself to fresh fruits and veggies instead! Many people also like flavourful teas and sparkling water as super sensational treats while medicated.

Stress Response

“We found that THC at low doses reduced stress, while higher doses had the opposite effect, underscoring the importance of dose when it comes to THC and its effects.” (via University of Illinois)

So, keep this in mind if you’re medicating with cannabis for stress relief: maintain low doses of THC. Because CBD can counteract the effects of THC, many people will use a balanced strain or high CBD strain. Learn more about species here

Epilepsy

“CBD has been demonstrated as an effective treatment of epilepsy in several clinical trials.” (via World Health Organization)

The treatment of epilepsy with CBD has been widely known and reported for some time now – and now the WHO is confirming it! In the future, we hope to see more studies on other neurological conditions like tourettes, Parkinson’s, and some types of dementia.


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Immune Function & MS

“Evidence suggests that endocannabinoids … ameliorate muscle spasms, inflammation, and other symptoms of multiple sclerosis and skeletal muscle spasms” (Wikipedia)

Much like the treatment of epilepsy, people with MS are reporting experiencing a reduction in their symptoms.

Psychosis

“A single dose of cannabidiol, an non-intoxicating extract of the plant, reduced unusual patterns of neural behaviour linked to hallucinations, delusions, and other symptoms of psychosis, researchers found.”

“While high strength cannabis is suspected of raising the risk of mental health problems in some frequent cannabis users, CBD appears to have opposite, antipsychotic properties. In illicit cannabis, there is too little CBD to have much beneficial effect, but researchers have long wondered whether doses of pure CBD may help to protect against psychosis.” (via The Guardian)

And many more!

There are many other neurological and physiological functions that the endocannabinoid system regulates. Even the female reproductive system! Stay tuned for future articles about cannabis and sexual health, cannabis and migraines, and more!

 


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Stay tuned for the rest of Cannabis Supply Co.’s educational series on all things cannabis!

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