The Endocannabinoid System – you have one.
My most recent continuing education journey has been learning about the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Endo= endogenous. Cannabinoid = compounds classified as cannabinoid in structure. Animals with spines and plants all manufacture cannabinoids.
The Endocannabinoid system is responsible for balancing other body systems including the immune and nervous system. For example, if a nerve cell releases too many stimulating neurotransmitters, the receiving nerve cell will release endocannabinoids to dampen the 1stnerve cell’s output. Imbalanced nervous system responses (anxiety, PTSD) and imbalanced immune responses (autoimmune disease) may be due to a lack of an adequate endocannabinoid response.
When endocannabinoids are depleted due to excess stress, toxins, or genetic changes, plant based phytocannabinoids can be used to supplement the endocannabinoid system.
Because every person is genetically different, the amount of replacement phytocannabinoids needed may vary greatly.
Two well known phytocannabionoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Both act on endocannabinoid receptors and can exert different responses.
THC is known to provoke a psychoactive response (ie, “getting high”) when heated. When not heated, THC does NOT cause a psychoactive response: it does NOT make one “high.”
Phyocannabinoids have been shown useful in the treatment of epilepsy, diabetes type I, traumatic brain injury, post traumatic stress syndrome, anxiety, cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, and chronic pain (with the potential to avoid or reduce opioid use). Phytocannabinoids also have potential to treat autoimmune conditions, Alzheimer’s disease, autism and many other diseases.
*Dr. Rodgers does not prescribe cannabinoids in her practice.
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