Boone Goddard, medical cannabis user and reporter for The Valley Journal explains what he’s learned from research into cannabinoids and why they’re believed to work for such a wide range of illnesses. Goddard has been using hemp oil medicine for an unspecified illness and says it works. He was curious to find out why this should be so. Here’s what he discovered.
Goddard begins by citing a long list of ailments that seem to be unrelated except for one thing: those who suffer from these illnesses are reporting hemp oil medicine benefits. How on earth could any single substance do all that?
The human endocannabinoid system
We’ve long known about most of the systems that support our bodies: the skeletal system, the digestive system, the endocrine system, the respiratory system and so on. But the human endocannabinoid system was only discovered in 1988, and although its functions are only broadly understood, it seems to have an important role to play in maintaining our health.
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What we know about the endocannabinoid system in brief
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) consists of receptors known as CB1 and CB2 receptors that are found on cells in the brain and throughout the body. CB1 receptors are mainly concentrated in the brain, while CB2 receptors occur everywhere else. CB1 receptors occur in all areas of the brain except the brain stem. Goddard says that this lack of receptors in the brain stem means there’s no chance of overdosing.
Once the receptors were found, scientists wondered what on earth would bind with them, and in 1992, the answer was published. Our bodies produce substances very similar to the cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. They’re called endocannabinoids and they act as neurotransmitters that regulate things like how our appetite and metabolism works, how pain is felt, how we sleep, how we remember things and how our bodies achieve a healthy balance.
Plant molecules work just like the ones our bodies secrete
Endocannabinoids obviously have an important role to play. But here’s the weird and wonderful thing: plant cannabinoids fit just as neatly with our receptors as the ones our bodies produce. As far as Goddard was able to discover in his research of accepted knowledge, the endocannabinoid system is believed to play a role in homeostasis – a balance within the body that keeps us healthy.
Could ‘balance’ be what we need to solve our health problems?
Goddard explains what an ‘imbalance’ might consist of. In cancer, for example, abnormal cells divide in an uncontrolled way. Apoptosis is a process in which cells “commit suicide”. If abnormal cells don’t do this, they multiply, resulting in cancer. Goddard says that cannabinoids play a role in persuading abnormal cells to kill themselves off. And if that’s the case, that would explain why cannabis is said to cause cancer cells to die off.
He notes that neurons sometimes fire too rapidly, causing epilepsy, another condition that cannabinoids are believed to be effective in treating. PTSD, on the other hand, is a condition in which the brain is unable to go through the normal process of forgetting or blunting memories, and he believes that cannabinoids can restore that ability. The list goes on…
What Goddard says he’s learned: hemp oil is medicine
Goddard says he’s learned three things about cannabis. Firstly, it’s a medicine. Secondly, it helps the body to maintain a natural balance, and thirdly, more research is needed so that we can fully understand hemp oil medicine and how it works.