The Science Behind Cannabis
The cannabis plant has been growing in the wild all over the world for nearly 37 million years, yet its cultivation holds a historical record of only 8,000 years. It’s sad and – at the same time – shocking that only a 100 years of the dark propaganda was enough to destroy the once-thriving culture, with so much fake news that set the dark mist of lies over the God’s Plant.
As the truth about marijuana is being unveiled before our very eyes, the best favour we can do to the society is to help people understand the science behind cannabis – and how it impacts our body.
Cannabinoids and The Endocannabinoid System
Source: Fundation Canna
Cannabinoids are described as a set of chemical compounds that bind to specific receptors in the human body. They build the endocannabinoid system, which can be depicted by the “key and lock” metaphor”. The human body is equipped with specific “locks” on the surface of its numerous cells. The body produces some “keys” (endocannabinoids) that unlock these cannabinoid receptors by binding to them. The first cannabinoid that binds to receptors was discovered by researchers in 1992, and it’s known today as anandamide. The second one, 2-arachidonoyglycerol (2-AG), was revealed to the world of science in 1995. Although these two endocannabinoids are the best examined so far, it’s believed that over 200 related substances are yet to be studied.
You may wonder what is the link between marijuana and the endocannabinoids that exist in the human body. Well, the answer is very simple – cannabinoids in the cannabis plant tend to counteract or mimic the effects of some endocannabinoids in the human body. Simply put, by consuming marijuana, you can activate the cannabinoid receptors, which explains why the plant affects our bodies in so many different ways.
THC and Anandamide
Source: SOHAM Happiness Program
This most popular constituent of the cannabis plant is meant to work as a defense mechanism for the herb. Nonetheless, it appears that THC also mimics the effects of the already-present neurotransmitters in our brain. It causes various areas of the brain, especially those that are responsible for dealing with thoughts and perception, to elevate.
In fact, THC acts like the aforementioned Anandamide whose function is to regulate hunger and other functions of the central nervous system. Anandamide is also responsible for stopping the progression of breast cancer cells, as well as for regulating the work of the immune system.
This is why THC is particularly effective in treating eating disorders, HIV symptoms, and even the most aggressive forms of cancer.
CBD and Cannabinoid Receptors
Source: The LEAF online
Unlike THC, cannabidiol doesn’t fit directly into any type of cannabinoid receptor. What it does, though, is stimulate the activity of CB2 and CB2 receptors without binding to them, resulting in the systemic effects of the substance on the human body. Cannabidiol has also proven to inhibit the psychoactive effects of THC by reducing its influence on CB1 receptors.
According to the studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health, CBD causes the human body to release an increased amount of one of the endogenous cannabinoids, 2-AG. Furthermore, cannabidiol slows the degradation of anandamide, which is why this particular phytocannabinoid is super-effective when combined with THC.
Because CBD promotes neurogenesis, it’s way more potent than chemotherapy in treating cancer. While THC kills the cancer cells, CBD helps in creating the new, healthy cells, which causes an improved health regeneration of patients who use the medical cannabis as their treatment.
The Final Note
Where conventional treatment methods fail, marijuana appears to work wonders in a wide range of medical conditions. The key, however, is to know the science behind the cannabis plant and base your judgment on facts – not on the claims of biased politicians or people who have a special interest in undermining the healing power of cannabinoids.