Introduction to the Endocannabinoid System
The therapeutic potential of Cannabis is traced back to its effect on the Endocannabinoid System. This ubiquitous system is involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain sensation, mood and memory. It is the homeostatic regulator of the cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine, excretory, immunological, nervous, musculoskeletal, reproductive and respiratory systems.
Humans and animals naturally synthesize endocannabinoids, a chemical compound that activate the same receptors as cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant. These endocannabiniods act like messengers between the cells of the body, and in the brain they attach to receptors located on neurons to modify the way the neuron communicates.
Therapeutic Applications of Cannabis
Different strains of medical marijuana help different types of medical conditions and their symptoms. However, the primary properties of medical marijuana that makes cannabis useful in the treatment of chronic illness are:
- Analgesic (pain relief)
- Anti-emetic (relives nausea and vomiting)
- Appetite stimulant (induces hunger)
Cannabis has a wide variety of therapeutic applications including but not limited to the reduction of muscle spasms, relief from chronic pain, relief from nausea and increase of appetite.
Medical marijuana is often used to treat an array of illness such as arthritis, cancer, crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, migraines, multiple sclerosis, spinal cold injuries and spinal cord disease. It is also used to treat alcohol and opiate addictions and with none of the dangerous addictive side effects.
+ Learn more about cannabinoids.