What’s a Cannabinoid?

cannabinoid, medical cannabisCannabinoid.  Funny word, right?  To me, the amazing thing about cannabinoids is how long it took for us to discover them…  which doesn’t mean humanity didn’t make use of their healing properties throughout history… nope.  The cultures who used cannabinoid medicine through thousands of years of history just didn’t know what it was in the cannabis–that’s where you find most cannabinoids not made in the body–that evoked healing.

Cannabinoids, both those made inside the body (endo-cannabinoids) and those made outside the body (exo-cannabinoids) were discovered in the late 1960’s by a team of scientists in Israel–by accident.  That’s right.  What they thought they were studying was how THC from cannabis (an exo-cannabinoid) interacted with the brain.  Instead, they stumbled upon an entire physiological system in the body which they titled the Endo Cannabinoid System… or ECS.  Their research went down the cannabinoid rabbit hole.

Over 120 cannabinoids have been discovered so far, and all of them appear to target specific systems in the body to evoke homeostasis.  What does that mean?  Well, for example, CBD (an exo-cannabinoid) attaches to the T-cells that are signaling too many immune responses (aka auto-immune conditions,) and down-regulates the T-cell to stop signaling.  CBD, in the nervous system, attaches to nerve synapses and down-regulates the neurotransmitters that agitate the brain and muscles tissue, relieving anxiety and muscle spasms or seizure activity.  Many cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory properties.

cannabinoid, medical cannabisThe two most well known cannabinoids are THC and CBD, and they have gotten both the most research into benefits as well as the most hype to sort through.  But other, less well known cannabinoids show promising relief to many conditions.  The key is balancing the right blend of cannabinoids with the right mix of terpenes AND getting the dosage right.  Currently, these three factors are the wild frontier with much more study to be done.  An exciting time, right?

So, here we are.  The discovery that every mammal has an Endo Cannabinoid System that maintains homeostasis in the physical systems and between the physical system in the body took health and healing into new opportunities of possiblity.  The realization that phyto-cannabinoids from the cannabis plant act in the body the same way our endo-cannabinoids do opened the door to exploring ways to recalibrate homeostasis in bodies out of balance by developing targeted blends of cannabinoids and terpenes.  A body in homeostasis is the definition of a healthy body.

spiritual healing, meditationResearch is showing that, at the most foundational level, every biochemical imbalance in the body started with an endocannabinoid system that was out of whack and let cellular homeostasis slide until it became a noticeable symptom.  Think about that for a moment.

Think about it in terms of your own body and its systems.  How’s your endocannabinoid system?  Maybe you’d like to learn more about cannabinoids?


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