The Endocannabinoid System

Cannabis has an amazing influence on the human body and this is because of our endocannabinoid system. This system consists of a series of receptors that are configured  to accept only cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids are a group of chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. Two examples of cannabinoids would be THC and CBD. Cannabinoids found naturally in the body are called endocannabinoids. ‘Endo’ stands for endogenous, meaning within the body.

The two known cannabinoid receptors we have are called Cannabinoid Receptor 1 (CB1) and Cannabinoid Receptor 2 (CB2). Both are found throughout the body. When cannabinoids activate CB1 or CB2 receptors, they change the way the body functions.

Research shows that THC is specifically keyed to the CB1 receptor so this means it is responsible for the psychoactive effects. Its most important effect is its ability to moderate the perception of pain. The Intensity of the pain feelings is reduced when THC is present in the CB1 site.

The CB2 receptors are keyed to CBD which has anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic qualities. Another effect of CBD is that it reduces the effects of THC. It actually cancels the THC from the CB1 receptor. This is a good way to help anyone that suffers the short term side effects of THC like paranoia or anxiety. Some CBD will help calm those unwanted feelings.

 

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The main job of the endocannabinoid system is to promote homeostasis. Homeostasis is the body’s attempt to maintain a constant and balanced internal environment. It controls and regulates pain, appetite, inflammation, sleep and cell metabolism. When the body does not produce enough endocannabinoids or cannot regulate them properly this can cause disruption to multiple systems in the body leading to illness.

The fact that we have a system in our body that produces cannabinoids, and is specifically designed to accept them, should be more than enough proof that cannabis is medicine yet medical schools don’t teach it and most doctors have never heard of our endocannabinoid system. Natural cannabinoids keep you healthy and happy. This piece of information doesnt even scratch the surface on the abilities of the cannabis plant and our endocannabinoid system.   To find out more click here.

 

The Irish Cannabis Movement Continues

The HPRA report on medical cannabis has finally been released and it is very disappointing to say the least. While we appreciate this is a step in the right direction for Ireland, it is only a baby step and nowhere near enough.

“ The HPRA advises that cannabis should only be made available for the treatment of patients with specified medical conditions which have failed to respond to all other previous treatments, and where there is at least modest evidence that cannabis may be effective. Such patients should be under the direct supervision of an appropriately trained and experienced medical consultant. The specified medical conditions (medical indications) are:

1. Spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis resistant to all standard therapies and interventions whilst under expert medical supervision;
2. Intractable nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, despite the use of standard anti-emetic regimes whilst under expert medical supervision;
3. Severe, refractory (treatment-resistant) epilepsy that has failed to respond to standard anti-convulsant medications whilst under expert medical supervision”.

The government have now announced that you may be able to have access to medical cannabis, BUT only after you are pumped full of pharmaceutical drugs first and only if you fit into their criteria. The government will decide if you are sick enough to try this safe, effective medicine. Thousands of people in Ireland die every year from prescription medication while cannabis has been used safely for thousands of years. Ever since mankind has known cannabis not one single death or overdose has been recorded. Why is this fact being ignored?

Our hearts go out to the people that already know cannabis works and are having success illegally healing themselves. They will remain “criminals” because those we are supposed to rely on for our health and welfare haven’t done their jobs properly. Medical cannabis has not been legalised in Ireland. Patients will still be punished for using cannabis and they still face the worry of their homes being raided by authorities. They will still have to face court, convictions, fines and punishments just because of their health and lifestyle choices.

Countries that have legalised cannabis have seen a drop in prescription drug deaths, suicide rates have dropped and they have generated billions in tax. Youth usage has not increased and crime rates have also fallen. Treating cannabis users like criminals creates more problems for the individual and their families.

If you feel cannabis will or already does improve your quality of life then It is your fundamental human right to have safe access. It is down to the adult or patient to use cannabis responsibly. Talk to your doctor. Education is key for the cannabis movement.