We’ll try to break it down a little bit: the Endocannabinoid System refers to a collection of cell receptors that can receive different chemical molecules called agonists. The system has two kinds of receptors: Cannabinoid Receptor 1 and Cannabinoid Receptor 2. Endocannabinoids, which are naturally occurring within the body, are like an all-natural form of THC.
Otherwise known as echinacea, the coneflower contains phytocannabinoids but does not have any of the psychoactive component of THC. Because of this, you’re instead left with some medicinal properties that can treat coughs, colds, anxiety and arthritic pain.
Liverwort is native to New Zealand and contains a similar component to THC called perrottetinenic acid. It can be used to treat bronchitis as well as alleviate bladder problems, pain, and various disease symptoms.
Good news for all you chocolate lovers out there! Chocolate contains a few different compounds that interact with the Endocannabinoid System. More specifically, these compounds increase the amount of anandamide in the body, which is the natural version of THC. This makes us feel happier and more relaxed.
As if you needed another reason to eat more chocolate!
Who knew that a common household seasoning also contained therapeutic properties? Beta-caryophyllene (or BCP), which is found in pepper, has been discovered to function as a phtyocannabinoid and is effective in treating arthritis and osteoporosis. Some researchers have even found that it can make cancer-treatment drugs more effective.
This South African plant can be used as a natural antidepressant! It contains large amounts of cannabigerol (CBG), which is also found in cannabis. Its effects are mood-stabilization and decreased depression and anxiety.
Recent research on cannabinoids has looked pretty promising for medicine. For example, one study found that a few different types of cannabinoids could potentially benefit children and young adults with refractory epilepsy -- a very difficult disorder to manage.
Other studies have found that cannabinoids may be effective in slowing the progression of certain types of cancer, and even facilitate in the death of cancer cells. Cannabinoids have also been found to be effective in combating the side effects of chemotherapy, including nausea.
There are even topical cannabinoids, usually in the form of a balm, available for combating skin ailments including psoriasis, eczema or even skin cancer. All you have to do is apply it directly to the skin.
Cannabinoids are good at fighting skin conditions because of their anti-inflammatory properties.
Unfortunately, due to legislative restrictions and the stigma surrounding cannabinoids and cannabis, scientists often times have difficulty in obtaining proper funding and conducting clinical trials on cannabinoids.
However, due to the overwhelming evidence that researchers already have, society will come around soon enough to realize the huge benefits of cannabinoid research.
The study of cannabis initially helped researchers discover the Endocannabinoid System in the human body as well as health benefits associated with it, and we’re just getting started. Now that marijuana is steadily becoming less taboo in our culture, who knows what we’ll learn next about cannabinoids!