The endogenous (internal) cannabinoid system or endocannabinoid system is perhaps the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health.
In his report, titled Introduction to The Endocannabinoid System, Dr. Dustin Sulak summarizes his view of cannabis as medicine. “As a physician, I am naturally wary of any medicine that purports to cure-all. Panaceas, snake-oil remedies, and expensive fads often come and go, with big claims but little scientific or clinical evidence to support their efficacy. As I explore the therapeutic potential of cannabis, however, I find no lack of evidence.
In fact, I find an explosion of scientific research on the potential of cannabis, more evidence than one can find on some of the most widely used therapies of conventional medicine. How can one herb help so many different conditions? How can it provide both palliative and curative actions? How can it be so safe while offering such powerful effects? The search to answer these questions has led scientists to the discovery of a previously unknown physiologic system, a central component of the health and healing of every human and almost every animal.
The endogenous cannabinoid system, named after the plant that led to its discovery, is perhaps the most important system involved in establishing/maintaining health. In each part of the body, the cannabinoid system performs different tasks, but the goal is always the same: homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment. Endocannabinoids are also found at the intersection of the body's various systems, allowing communication and coordination between different cell types.” writes Dr. Sulak.
“Cannabinoids fit perfectly into receptors found throughout the nervous and immune systems, serving to enhance, or improve upon, the body’s own ability to maintain homeostasis and health,” says Dr. Ethan Russo.
The “simplest” accurate description of the effects of cannabis in humans is that it modulates the regulation of homeostasis. Homeostasis is what Goldilocks seeks in the children’s story: not too hot; not too cold; just right. More than just heat and cold, the human body contains many systems which must be held in relative balance. The balance between inhibition and excitation, bone formation and resorption, inflammatory/anti-inflammatory signaling, fat storage and release, blood sugar, blood pressure, hormone levels; all these systems are held in balance by the endocannabinoid system. This system, though involved in maintaining nearly every biological process in all humans, has only received scientific study for roughly the past 20 years, and it was discovered because it’s the site of action for cannabis.
Cannabis does not simply activate this system. In addition to full cannabinoid agonists (chemicals which stimulate receptors), it also contains partial agonists, antagonists (Thomas, 2007), reuptake and transport inhibitors, enzyme modulators and much else besides, (Russo, 2011) including an assortment of terpenoids and flavonoids; all of which appear to be pharmacologically active in humans.
The most studied receptors in the endocannabinoid system are called CB1 and CB2, both of which inhibit the other (Callén et al 2012), and both of which are stimulated by THC and antagonized by CBD (Thomas et al, 2007). There are also believed to be numerous other receptors involved (Petrocellis, 2009). Far from a single chemical with a single mode of action, cannabis has an entourage effect: many chemicals working together to produce effects not reducible to the action of only one or two of its constituents. Summary: it rebalances almost every system in the body through multiple inter-related effects which move in several directions at once and which compensate for each other’s effects (confused yet?)
It is by interacting with these receptors that cannabinoids exert many of their pharmacological effects. The discovery of the cannabinoid receptor system has sparked renewed interest in the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids by providing important new targets for drugs. There are at least two types of cannabinoid receptors in mammalian tissues, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are present in the brain and spinal cord and in certain peripheral tissues. CB2 receptors are expressed primarily in immune tissues. There is preliminary evidence to suggest that additional cannabinoid receptor types may exist.
CB1 receptors are widely distributed but are particularly abundant in some areas of the brain including those concerned with movement and postural control, pain and sensory perception, memory, cognition, emotion, autonomic and endocrine functions. They are also found in appetite regulating areas such as the hypothalamus as well as reward centres such as the lymbic system. More recently, CB1 has been isolated in tissues that are important for energy metabolism such as the liver, adipose (fat) tissue and skeletal muscle. The second type of receptor, the CB2 receptor, can mediate regulation of cytokine release from immune cells and of immune cell migration.
The endocannabinoid system interacts with many neurotransmitter/neuromodulator systems, but it is important to note that phytocannabinoids have the ability to interact with all sorts of ancillary cellular pathways implicated in a range of diseases such as cancer and metabolic syndrome. Although the phytocannabinoids all have similar structures, they display a remarkably wide array of actions at each of the different receptors that are now thought to contribute to the endocannabinoid system (such as cannabinoid receptors, transient receptor potential [TRP] channels, melatonin and serotonin receptors, the PPARs and a host of orphan G-coupled receptors). - Michael Vipperman
Any extract containing cannabinoids (constituents of cannabis found only in cannabis and the human body) such as THC or CBD is beneficial, but there are over 400 components that most extractions leave out. Cannabinoids work in synergy, and all are needed to produce the best medicine and effectively achieve results. For an exponentially more effective approach, we recommend using properly/safely made and full analysis lab tested full extract cannabis oil.
Health food stores sell oil that is made from hemp seed. Hemp seed oil has little if any effect on cancer and other serious illnesses.
Full extract cannabis oil is a FULL spectrum organic extraction (as opposed to more common isolation extractions available for recreational use in most dispensaries) of high-grade cannabis indica buds only. It is made with polar, organic and food grade solvent only.
You can be sure you have this only with verifiable full composition analysis test results from a reputable and long-established laboratory. Full composition analysis results include values and percentages of major cannabinoids, potential residual solvent screening, chemicals/nutrients/pests encountered during growing process, potential organic and inorganic contaminant ppm screening, moisture and acidity levels in relation to a designated intake sample, and often much more.
When making it yourself, it is just as important to full composition analysis test your own oil. Test results should show sufficient cannabinoid content and proper ratio of cannabinoids for each respective ailment, full decarboxylation, and no contaminants or residuals.
Acidic Cannabinoids - It has been found that acidic cannabinoids hold great medicinal value. However, in the sense of full extract cannabis oil, we believe from our experience that they are desired in their naturally occurring amounts AFTER decarboxylation. Though this process greatly reduces the quantity of acidic cannabinoids by converting them into non-acidic cannabinoids, we believe this is the far MORE medicinal approach.
We surmise this due to the fact that more than 85% of endocannabinoid system function (including most primary pathways for inducing apoptosis and autophagy) in all mammals is regulated by CB1 and CB2 receptors. For THCA to fit the CB1 receptor it has to be heated (decarboxylated) to burn off the carboxyl group (COOH). Once the cannabinoid hits a CB1 or CB2 receptor, a large number of primary core healing processes are invoked. – Dennis Hill
Specifically raw (non-decarboxylated) or "acidic" cannabinoids should only be used as a separate supplemental therapy in conjunction with other delivery methods.
Though we encourage everyone to make this amazing medicine at home, our recommendation is to thoroughly research (from a scientific and common sense standpoint) how to make this oil correctly and be sure you're completely comfortable with the steps before risking expensive raw high grade cannabis and food grade solvent and attempting to make this yourself. The science behind healing with cannabis medicine is advancing each and every day.
It’s important to keep in mind that there are thousands of cases of spontaneous regression in serious ailments that do not involve cannabinoids. Medical researchers have documented these cases and seek to understand common factors linked to these examples of spontaneous healing, which often occur in the absence of anti-cancer treatments. Dr. Kelly Turner identified these 9 factors common to most of the cases she evaluated:
radical diet change
taking control of their health
following their intuition
using herbs and supplements
releasing suppressed emotions
increasing positive emotions
embracing social support
deepening their spiritual connection
having strong reasons for living
Cannabis and its constituents have an excellent safety profile. The Drug Awareness Warning Network Annual Report, published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), contains a statistical compilation of all drug deaths which occur in the United States. According to this report, there has never been a death recorded from the use of cannabis. Cannabis is non-addictive and does not cause your body to crave more.
DEA Chief Administrative Law Judge, Francis Young, in response to a petition to reschedule cannabis under federal law concluded in 1988 that, “In strict medical terms cannabis is far safer than many foods we commonly consume.... Cannabis in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis cannabis can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care.” Research on the long-term effects of smoking cannabis that studied thousands of users over decades has shown that smoking moderate amounts of cannabis (equivalent to a joint a day) has no negative effects on lung function, even in those who have consumed more than 10,000 joints. Cannabis has an extraordinarily high estimated lethal dose, equivalent to smoking approximately 1,500 pounds in 15 minutes, a physical impossibility. Scientists have had to estimate the LD50, or Lethal Dose for 50% of the human population, because it has never been demonstrated.
This puts cannabis in a class of its own, since even relatively safe medications such as aspirin have a lethal dose. Dr. Grinspoon had this to say in a 1995 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association: "One of marihuana's greatest advantages as a medicine is its remarkable safety. It has little effect on major physiological functions. There is no known case of a lethal overdose; on the basis of animal models, the ratio of lethal to effective dose is estimated as 40,000 to 1. By comparison, the ratio is between 3 and 50 to 1 for secobarbital and between 4 and 10 to 1 for ethanol."
"Cannabis medicine has been used for over five thousand years; longer than any other form of medicine. Industrial and government profiteering have motivated countless negative stigmas and alternative industries have even successfully passed laws making cannabis illegal to study for any purpose. Information currently available about medical properties of cannabis is about as much fiction as fact. Cannabis has many hundreds of uses including but not limited to medicine, sustainable energy, and multifaceted natural resources. Cannabis is quickly re-surfacing as one of the top most effective and completely natural forms of medicine known. New research and studies are coming to light each and every day, proving cannabis' prohibition was nothing short of a huge, immoral detriment to society.” - Alex Gellanor (CMM Editor)
ASA, the nation’s largest medical cannabis patient advocacy organization; American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the principal U.S. trade association and voice of the herbal products industry since 1982; the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP), an organization that has developed qualitative and therapeutic monographs on Western herbs since 1994; and many similar organizations have laid in place rigorous quality control standards for the industry. We strive to bring awareness to and increase adoption of and coordinate further new industry standards.