How diet boosts your cannabis and wellness experience

Canna oil isn’t the only oil that affects the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and boosts your health and wellness. Bad fats work against a good diet and can even have a mixed impact on your cannabis experience. Basically, nutrition and the endocannabinoid system go hand in hand. Wake and bake — A breakfast story A system […]

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How does depression affect the endocannabinoid system

Doctors are far too liberal with anti-depressants that target serotonin when so few of them understand cannabis and especially the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Serotonin and the ECS are tied tightly together. In fact, serotonin deficient depression can cause a host of effects on the mind and immune system by disengaging the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Connected […]

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Are magic mushrooms synergistic with cannabis and your ECS?

Sometimes depression can hurt, literally. Interestingly, this has a lot to do with our Endocannabinoid Systems (ECS)—a network that consists of a few receptors and two neurotransmitters. Pain and emotions are tied together through these messengers. And, it is through the ECS that magic mushrooms and cannabis can often, although counterintuitively, have therapeutic effects. (1) […]

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Plant Power: Everyday Plants That Activate the Endocannabinoid System

When people hear about cannabinoids, they automatically think of cannabis (which makes sense, given the name). What most have yet to realize is that many other plants make cannabinoids too – a lot of everyday flowers, vegetables, and spices that you probably wouldn’t expect.

This train of thought was not exclusive to consumers though; until recently, even scientists had only been able to identify cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. But current studies have found these compounds in a handful of common, day-to-day plants, including clove, black pepper, cocoa, echinacea, broccoli, ginseng, hops, and even carrots.

But no matter how much of these plants you consume, they won’t feel any type of psychedelic effects. This is because they don’t have the cannabinoids we’re all familiar with, like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), or cannabigerol (CBN). Rather, they have their own compounds that directly engage our Endocannabinoid Systems (ECS).

The ECS is itself only recently discovered, and understanding how different phytocannabinoids interact with this network of neurotransmitters in our bodies can lead to important medical innovations in the future. Ones that are natural, safer for patients, and more focused on plant-based healthcare.

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Pain-relieving drugs made from plants

­Chronic pain affects at least 10 percent of the global population, which is approximately 60 million people. However, experts estimate that figure to be closer to 20-25 percent on some countries and regions. Finding a solution that doesn’t put patients at risk for addiction and addition problems, is paramount.

As we humans have done since the dawn of time, we continue looking to the plant world for ways to improve our health and wellbeing. Cannabinoids might be the trendiest at the moment, but they’re certainly not the only plant-based compound that’s been utilized to help fight pain.


Opiates get a bad rap because of their high rate for addiction and abuse, but they do have an important place in the world of medicine. Very intense pain, post-surgical or from a broken bone for example, typically won’t respond to cannabinoids. Something stronger like morphine, codeine, and other opiate drugs are sometimes necessary. They have many added ingredients these days, but believe-it-or-not, these medicates have a natural element to them. Opiates are made from opium, which comes from the poppy plant. Just like cannabinoids, these pharmaceutical drugs interact with opiate receptors in the human brain, which is why they can be incredibly effective when used responsibly.


Dating back to ancient Egypt, tea made from the willow tree was used to manage pain and reduce fever. Fast forward a few centuries and scientists are looking at the willow tree yet again, this time isolating the active compound used in that ancient tea – salicylic acid – and used it to formulate numerous medications used to treat pain and inflammation; most notably, aspirin. Salicylic acid is also a very common active ingredient in acne medication.


Common anesthetics like lidocaine, used routinely by dentists to numb the mouth before initializing treatment, are also distantly related to wild plant – Coca. The leaves of the coca plant were used in the ancient Incan Empire in South America to treat many different levels of pain, from headaches to fractures. Eventually, the coca plant gave way to the drug cocaine, which is an illegal drug of abuse but also a very effective anesthetic.   

Plant cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system

Cannabis has been used medicinally for centuries, but it wasn’t until recently that science started to catch up with what our ancestors have been telling us. Ancient texts from China, Egypt, Tibet, and many other parts of the world hail cannabis as a natural remedy for numerous ailments including pain, inflammation, nausea, anxiety, epilepsy, and even sexual dysfunction. But how can one plant serve so many different functions in the human body? It all boils down to a network of receptors and neurotransmitters known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).

Unfortunately, the federally illegal status of cannabis and its use as a recreational drug has been a major hinderance on the ability of researchers to study the full capabilities of this plant. Until recently, most of the information we had came from scientists in Israel, where they had less restrictions when it came to using the plant compounds medicinally.

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is involved in multiple physiological processes including appetite regulation, pain threshold, sleep/wake cycles, memory, and mood. It plays a major role in allowing our bodies to achieve homeostasis, or internal balance. The discovery of the ECS shed new light on how and why plant-based cannabinoids, or phytocannabinoids, affect humans in the way they do. In cannabis alone, over 80 phytocannabinoids have been indexed and these compounds exist in many, many plants we consume regularly.

Other plants that engage the ECS

Like cannabis, many other plants have compounds that engage the endocannabinoid system, and with growing attention on this newly-discovered system, the more sources of phytocannabinoids we have the better. While these other plants don’t have cannabinoids as we know them, many of them contains Alkylamides, compounds that are structurally similar to endocannabinoids, and terpenes, that give plants their unique aromas – both of which effectively activate the ECS.

Plants of interest include (but not limited to):

  • Black pepper
  • Hops
  • Helichrysum
  • Oregano
  • Cinnamon
  • Carrots
  • Basil
  • Cloves
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Cocoa
  • Echinacea
  • Black truffles
  • Electric daisies
  • Liverwort
  • Kava

More about plant terpenes

Worth an additional mention since they often work synergistically with cannabinoids, in addition to activating the endocannabinoid system indirectly. Terpenes are a very large and diverse class of organic compounds that are produced by a wide variety of plants, including the ones listed above. In cannabis, they are secreted by the same glands that produce some of the more dominant cannabinoids including THC and CBD. Their role and effects are quite different, however.

Terpenes are aromatic plant oils that, when combined with other plant compounds, create a never-ending palate of scents and flavors. In nature, terps serve as a defense mechanism by deterring herbivores and by attracting predators and parasites that attack herbivores.

Chemically, terpenes are hydrocarbons, and they differ from terpenoids, which typically have added functional groups such as oxygen. The words “terpenes” and “terpenoids” are often used interchangeably but this is incorrect. Terpenes are also the major component of rosin, which a sap/waxy-like substance that is produced when cannabis buds are placed under high heat and pressure. Climate, weather, age and maturation, fertilizers, soil type, and light cycles can have an impact on the development of terpenes.

As far as cannabis goes, terpenes are the key to differentiating the effects and flavor of a strain. Some terpenes are relaxing, like those found in lavender, while others are energizing, like citrus. Some smell fruity, some are piney, others are musky, or even floral. There really is no limit to the variation. So far, over 100 different terpenes have been discovered in cannabis plants alone, and each strain typically has its own unique blend and composition of terps.

Terpenes have long been known to hold great therapeutic value, and some of the more common ones have been studied more extensively, considering they’re found in many different types of legal plants. More research is needed to determine the extent of their medicinal effects when combined with other cannabis plant compounds.


No matter how many veggies you munch on, or how many spices you add to your dish, you won’t get high from it like you would with actual cannabis. Our everyday plants don’t have THC, CBD, or any of the other major cannabinoids, but they have their own structurally similar compounds that engage with our Endocannabinoid Systems and can offer us natural, medicinal possibilities well beyond what science ever believed would be possible.

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Is it possible to boost your Endocannabinoid System without Cannabis?

The world is facing some pretty big problems right now and it’s hard to think about little else. At a time like this, why should anyone turn their attention to their endocannabinoid system? There are so many reasons! Not only does it help regulate your immune system, but it also helps to manage stress, pain, […]

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GPR55 – How CBD prevents THC-induced inflammation

Certain ailments are not sequential and require dynamic therapy. The vascular functions of migraine attacks are a prime example. Thankfully though, cannabis‘ flexibility allows it to adapt to shifting stresses within blood vessels and peripheral tissues. We have explained how the body’s own endogenous cannabinoids, as well as the plants, blend their actions to keep […]

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Migraines and our need for cannabinoids

We recently explored different ways that diet can cause and prevent migraines. A debilitating neurological condition resulting in unbearable pounding headaches that come with a variety of personalities. Some can be accompanied by aura or symptoms such as nausea. Stats Canada claimed 8.3% of Canadians experience migraines, with females suffering three times more often than […]

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Cannabis-Induced Psychosis Unravelled

Substantial claims, mistargeted research, and biased studies. These are characteristics of the muddy waters comprising cannabis research, but one tale remains stuck. Cannabis induced psychosis seems to be discussed without a proper analysis time and time again. So what is really going on? Refer madness – or awareness? Before answering that, let’s look at what […]

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Lo que los expertos tienen que decir sobre el sistema endocannabinoide

“Durante décadas, los científicos y los médicos de salud mental intentaron descubrir cómo funcionaba el THC en el cerebro y el cuerpo”, explicó el Dr. Paul Song, Director Médico de Calyx Peak Companies a través de un correo electrónico. Un avance significativo se produjo con el descubrimiento del sistema endocannabinoide (ECS) a finales de los 80 y principios de los 90.

Investigaciones adicionales han identificado desde entonces a los endocannabinoides como los cannabinoides producidos dentro de nuestros propios cuerpos. El sistema endocannabinoide regula e interpreta una serie de procesos en el cuerpo, que incluyen la memoria, el dolor, la reproducción, el apetito, la función inmunológica y muchos otros. Los dos endocannabinoides principales que se identificarán hoy en día son la anandamida y el 2-AG, o aracidonoilglicerol.

En un correo electrónico a High Times, Katie Stem, CEO de Peak Extracts, ofreció una breve descripción del sistema endocannabinoide. “El sistema consta de dos tipos principales de receptores: CB1 y CB2. Los endocannabinoides son neurotransmisores basados ​​en lípidos que provocan efectos en todo el sistema nervioso, desde tu cerebro hasta la punta de tus dedos “.

Stem agregó: “Aunque todavía tenemos mucho que aprender, parece que en algunas situaciones, el ECS actúa como un control de volumen para una variedad de procesos y factores, modulando la forma en que nuestro cuerpo interpreta las señales, ya sea dolor, hambre, emoción. , etc. ”

El Dr. Song agregó otro beneficio significativo de la ECS. “Tener esta base biológica de los efectos terapéuticos de los cannabinoides ha proporcionado más credibilidad y justificación para el uso medicinal del cannabis”.

Cómo el THC y el CBD interactúan con el ECS

Esta puede ser la parte donde las personas entienden el sistema endocannabinoide más de lo que podrían haber imaginado. La razón por la cual una persona siente los efectos de un nivel alto cuando consume THC es porque se une a los receptores CB1 y CB2, lo que le da un efecto en todo el cuerpo y la cabeza. Por otro lado, el CBD no tiene el mismo efecto en los receptores, pero sí tiene un efecto al activar otros receptores en el cuerpo.

Stem elaboró el CBD, que considera el más fascinante de los fitocannabinoides que tienen afinidad por el ECS, que también incluye THC, CBN, 11-Hydroxy THC, THC-V. “[CBD] actúa sobre los receptores de serotonina y los miembros de la familia de receptores acoplados a la proteína G, que están completamente separados del ECS. “Hay evidencia de que actúa como un modulador de la forma en que otros cannabinoides actúan en el ECS, por ejemplo, bloqueando la actividad del THC, o modulando los efectos de otros estimulantes del ECS”.

El cannabis está lejos de ser el único factor de influencia en el sistema endocannabinoide. Otros medicamentos interactúan con él, así como una serie de acciones diarias y opciones de estilo de vida que van desde el sueño y la dieta, al ejercicio, el sexo y la terapia de acupuntura. Sin embargo, está lejos de ser una talla única para todo tipo de evaluación.

Stem explicó cómo el sistema endocannabinoide de cada persona es único. Escribió: “Los cannabinoides, u otras cosas que afectan la ECS, tendrán diferentes efectos en diferentes personas según sus fisiologías individuales. Por lo tanto, no existe una “bala mágica”, y las personas experimentarán diversos beneficios del consumo de cannabis en función de su sistema ECS”.

Ian Jenkins, director general de Frelii, un proveedor de secuenciación de ADN y análisis del genoma, escribió cómo alimentar la ECS puede extenderse mucho más allá de los dos cannabinoides más populares. “Aunque la mayor parte de la investigación se basa en el THC y el CDB, casi todos los cannabinoides pueden considerarse nutritivos”.

Amplió su punto: “Son ligandos que se unen a un receptor que crea reacciones fisiológicas nutritivas, aunque ellos mismos no necesariamente” nutren “el sistema. Todo se reduce a la homeostasis y la salud, y no necesariamente a la nutrición o la nutrición en el sentido clásico “.

Quedan todavia múltiples ideas erróneas
La información que rodea al sistema endocannabinoide continúa desarrollándose y expandiéndose. Como tal, a menudo surgen ideas erróneas. El Dr. Song mencionó varios, entre ellos que el ECS no evolucionó debido al consumo de cannabis. Jenkins estuvo de acuerdo con esta opinión. “Aunque puede haber habido coevolución, la ECS es una parte esencial del cuerpo humano, y tanto los cannabinoides como los terpenos se encuentran en más plantas que solo cannabis … Sin embargo, es probable que tengamos una relación a largo plazo con todos Las plantas que tienen cannabinoides debido al beneficio que tienen en el cuerpo “.

El Dr. Song también señaló que los cannabinoides se pueden encontrar en plantas distintas al cannabis. También reconoció los conceptos erróneos acerca de cómo el CDB y el THC se unen a los receptores del cuerpo. Jenkins discutió un punto similar con respecto a la ubicación de los receptores críticos. “Aunque las concentraciones más altas de CB1 están en el cerebro y CB2 están en el sistema nervioso periférico, ambos receptores CB1 y CB2 se encuentran en todo el cuerpo”.

Últimos desarrollos
El Dr. Song notó el cambio en el sentimiento en torno al cannabis como un factor principal para entender mejor cómo funciona el sistema en la prevención, el desarrollo y el tratamiento de diversas enfermedades. Agregó que “también se está haciendo un gran trabajo para desarrollar cannabinoides sintéticos altamente específicos para fines farmacéuticos, y se están desarrollando cepas de cannabis altamente personalizadas para proporcionar una respuesta terapéutica aún mayor”.

Stem discutió el aumento en las discusiones sobre el síndrome de deficiencia de ECS, dijo que el síndrome “podría ser la etiología de una variedad de enfermedades graves como la esclerosis múltiple y la enfermedad inflamatoria intestinal”. La creencia es que la falta de cannabinoides endógenos puede llevar a que el sistema inmunológico se salga de control. Como una víctima de más de 20 años de la enfermedad de Crohn, los desarrollos la golpearon cerca de casa.

Además de los desarrollos, Stem está en un equipo de investigación que tiene como objetivo estudiar diferentes métodos de consumo y cómo se absorben y metabolizan. Con el tiempo, esperan comenzar a explorar los diferentes perfiles terpénicos de varias cepas y cómo afectan a la ECS en concierto con los fitocannabinoides.

Jenkins reconoció las mejoras en la inteligencia artificial, un espacio con el que su compañía trabaja en estrecha colaboración. Al hablar sobre el alcance más amplio del espacio de ECS, dijo: “Independientemente de si cree o no en la teoría de la evolución conjunta, existe una interacción increíble entre los seres humanos y el cannabis”. Añadió: “Acabamos de comenzar a desbloquear los beneficios. . ”

The post Lo que los expertos tienen que decir sobre el sistema endocannabinoide appeared first on High Times.