Does endocannabinoid deficiency cause Parkinson’s Disease?

Research analyzing connections between Parkinson’s Disease and the endocannabinoid system, has noted disruptions in the ECS. While this has been expanded upon, a deeper causative link between Parkinson’s Disease and an endocannabinoid deficiency has not been fully elicudated. Beyond a dopamine deficiency Parkinson’s Disease is a movement disorder that affects dopamine and can cause neurons […]

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Is Cannabis Safe for Dogs? Yes, But…

The first president in more than a century to not have an official First Dog at the White House—and maybe the first to have an (in)famous thing with canines—Donald Trump nonetheless did more than any other president to ensure your dog can get weed—and, in an accidental and roundabout way, to ensure that your dog can access a cannabis-based treatment safely. But, the question remains: Is cannabis safe for dogs and, if so, at what levels?

Pet owners for years have been experimenting with medical cannabis to solve maladies in their pets, including pain, seizures, anxiety and inflammation—in other words, treating them like tiny people who suffer from the same ravages of life and aging. 

Though the issue is still under-studied, it turns out dogs can indeed be given cannabis-based treatments, and dog owners can enjoy the comfort and security of knowing that the cannabis can be given both safely and effectively, as recent research published May 5 in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research confirmed.

However, there’s one significant caveat: That cannabis you give your dog had better be high in CBD, and with low or no THC. That means many products derived from hemp—legalized federally under the most recent Farm Bill, which Trump signed into law in December 2018—are good and proper to be shared with both man and man’s best friend.

Dogs Best Weed

Among the tasty treats enjoyed by humans that are problematic or potentially harmful for your dog, cannabis ranks somewhere between avocado, onions and cooked chicken bones. Beware when it comes to weed and pets: With 30 times more CB1 receptors in a dog’s endocannabinoid system than a human’s, THC and dogs don’t mix, as canines are extremely sensitive to THC. In fact, if you could choose between accidentally letting your dog eat your edibles and leaving them out where your kid could get them, for least harm, you’d give your weed candy to a baby. (Note: Don’t do that either, please.)

Well before Trump triggered the CBD boom by encouraging US farmers to grow hemp—which, for a while, was converted almost exclusively into CBD, the cannabinoid that doesn’t intoxicate like THC and is instead associated with beneficial health effects—certain cannabis-product makers followed some bold pet-owners’ experimentation, and marketed cannabis-based oils and tinctures for pets.

As a team of Brazilian researchers conducting a review of the science found, there’s a scientific basis for this, if the cannabis-based concoction is CBD forward. As they found, in addition to assisting with pain and anxiety, two common afflictions in older as well as urban dogs, “products rich in cannabidiol (CBD), free or with low concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol” can “potentially promote improved quality of life and reduce pain perception in animals affected by canine osteoarthritis.”

Since the Farm Bill legalized cannabis (CBD) with 0.3 percent of THC or less, Farm Bill-legal cannabis is the right concoction for a dog—though you might not have much luck getting solid advice or product recommendations from your veterinarian.

Dont Ask Your Vet

One thing the Farm Bill didn’t legalize was “medical hemp.” As the American Veterinary Medical Association notes, neither that bill nor any state-level medical cannabis bill extended legal protections to pet owners or vets who might want to prescribe cannabis. And under Food and Drug Administration Rules, a product can’t be marketed as a medicine or having medical benefits until after a rigorous scientific process is concluded.

That hasn’t happened for CBD and dogs. Thus, according to the AVMA, “the available scientific evidence pertaining to their use in animals is currently limited.”

“While findings from a few well-controlled studies have been published, much of what we know is related to anecdotal or case reports,” the AVMA noted, adding that to complicate factors, many commercially available CBD products are mislabeled. For these reasons, the AVMA can’t quite say that cannabis is safe for dogs, even if other research, such as the Brazilians’ review of data, concludes that doing so is generally safe and effective—and even if prominent veterinarians are frustrated by the AVMA’s understandable intransigence.

Just Ask Your Dog

If you practice holistic medicine for your pets, you probably have a book written by Dr. Gary Richter. The former medical director of Montclair Veterinary Hospital in Oakland, CA, Richter is a certified practitioner of veterinary acupuncture and veterinary chiropractic techniques—and he’s also the co-founder of the Veterinary Cannabis Society.

Though the recent review of canine application of CBD “didn’t necessarily tell us anything we didn’t already know… any study that supports the safety and efficacy of cannabis is a plus,” he said. “There really aren’t that many, so we’ll take it where we can get it.”

While CBD’s value for pets in applications for seizures and arthritis has been studied most, for all applications where a human might want to try CBD, they can also carefully proceed giving man’s best friend a dose. Pet owners can rest assured that with CBD and dogs, “you’re talking about a product that’s very, very safe,” Richter said. “Clinical and anecdotal evidence would suggest that pretty much any application you know that it might be used in a person is also applicable for dogs.”

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Children with cancer and their misunderstood endocannabinoid system

Conventional cancer treatments, especially radio and chemotherapy are harsh on the body. But for children, conventional treatments can become unbearable. Hidden by prohibition is how the endocannabinoid system (ECS) behaves in children with cancer. Childhood and the ECS are sadly two subjects rarely explored in unison. Adolescent cancer is indeed a rare disease despite being […]

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Can EMF and 5G affect the endocannabinoid system?

5G conspiracy theories run a little off the radar from science. Unlike 4G, high-band 5G does disperse energy into the upper layers of the skin according to Health Canada. Neither electromagnetic frequency (EMF) range can, however, induce ionizing radiation or damage DNA. Interestingly, lower-range EMF promotes an environment that helps to produce endocannabinoids. This means […]

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Oxidative stress affects cannabinoid receptors and mental health

Oxygen and carbon dioxide are two well-known gasses constantly exchanged in and out of our blood. And while oxidation is one dubious cause of inflammation and various chronic illnesses. Oxidative stress induced by nitric oxide, a third gas vital for encouraging inflammation where it is needed, affects cannabinoid (CB) receptors and mental health. The endocannabinoid […]

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Can Cannabis Treat Autism?

Fewer and fewer places in the US remain where it’s still a criminal act for adults 21 and older to use cannabis. Even fewer places deny sick Americans (with the right sickness to qualify them as medical marijuana patients) some accommodation to use cannabis lawfully. But even these 14 cannabis legalization holdouts agree that it’s OK to give marijuana extracts to kids, as long as those kids have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. And with good reason. Miraculous stories are all over the internet, such as children speaking their first words after using cannabis oil, or autistic adults with severe anxiety and near-total social isolation rejoining society after smoking cannabis. So, this begs the question, “Can cannabis ‘treat’ autism?”

A definitive final answer is elusive. However, as a review authored by researchers led by Mariana Babayeva, a professor at the Touro College of Pharmacy in New York and recently published in the scientific journal Frontiers in Bioscience found, a growing number of “clinical studies have shown promising results of cannabis treatment in” autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

How Cannabis Helps Autism

This makes practical and scientific sense. CBD and THC activate the network of receptors called the endocannabinoid system. “Due to its vital role in regulating emotion and social behaviors, the endocannabinoid system represents a potential target for the development of a novel autism therapy,” the study states.

Cannabis does help autism, as this latest review, prior studies and loads of compelling, convincing anecdotal stories say. But what cannabis treatment would work best for each individual case of autism, and how much cannabis should be given in those instances?

“It’s too early for anyone to recommend cannabis as a validated, well-studied type of a substance,” said Dr. Nathan Call, director of clinical operations at the Marcus Autism Center in North Druid Hills, Georgia, in a recent interview.

That’s the final word on cannabis and autism that’s yet to be spelled out. In the meantime, autism and cannabis suffer from the same knowledge gaps plaguing the rest of cannabis-based medicine.

Defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain,” autism has several known risk factors, but lacks a clearly identifiable cause. Treatments generally involve the off-label use of pharmaceutical drugs as a last and final desperate intervention to prevent behavior dangerous to the person or to others, as well as careful education—and plenty of coping skills.

However, as the authors of the Frontiers in Bioscience review noted, “several studies have suggested that dysfunctions in the components of the endocannabinoid system may contribute to the behavioral deficits and neuroinflammation observed in autism.”

Other studies have associated autism with problems with the body’s immune system. And there are endocannabinoid receptors found in immune cells that could “control the movement of inflammatory cells,” meaning if the receptors can be given the right amount of cannabis to generate the right response, that, too, might soothe the symptoms sufficiently to allow the sufferer to enjoy something closer to a “normal” life.

Given the knowledge gaps, studies investigating cannabis’ potential in treating autism have, by necessity, taken a shotgun approach, trying concoctions with low THC, no THC, high THC or ratios of CBD to THC including 20:1.

The 20:1 concoction, hit on by researchers in Israel, seemed to consistently present good results for most participants, with self-injury and rage improving in 67.6% of children in one 53-person study—but worsening in 8.8% of participants. And using cannabis in children is, of course, particularly delicate work.

What We Know, What We Don’t

But despite knowing this much, we still don’t know enough. As Babayeva and her co-authors stated, “there are very limited clinical data on the impact of cannabis on autism”—which, like cannabis, has many different phenotypes. And what works for someone with behavioral outbursts might not work for someone with severe anxiety.

“While cannabis might be beneficial in persons with one phenotype, it may have no effect or severe adverse outcomes in persons with other phenotypes,” the researchers wrote in their review.

Simply put, there isn’t enough data yet on specific cannabis concoctions for specific phenotypes of autism, leading parents and practitioners to grope around in the dark, hoping to stumble onto the winning formula.

“More clinical investigations are needed to discover the efficacy, safety and dosing of the therapy,” the report states. “This would be a significant advance in the treatment of autism and could lead to improved functioning and quality of life for the patients and their families.”

Cannabis and Autism: The Final Word, For Now

Dale Jackson lives in Georgia, one of the states where adults can’t use cannabis without risking arrest, but where children with autism—like Jackson’s nine-year-old son Colin—are supposed to be able to access the drug. Without cannabis oil, Colin engages in the kind of self-harm associated with an autism spectrum disorder. Jackson wakes up at night hearing a thumping sound from his child’s room: the sound of Colin knocking his own head against the bedroom wall.

Cannabis has helped, but the problem, as Jackson said recently, is that Georgia’s nice-sounding law is unworkable. There’s “nowhere to buy it in Georgia,” Jackson recently told WALB, which means Jackson must resort to illicit means: underground medicine-makers in Georgia, or legally obtaining cannabis oil in other states and then illegally transporting it across state lines.

These are reasonable acts for a desperate parent with a child in distress, but both are unlawful.

“When you’re a caregiver of a child who’s hurting you every day or hurting themselves every day, you’re willing to try a lot of things to try to make your life a little bit better,” Dr. Call told The Atlanta Jewish Times.

At the present time, seven studies investigating cannabis in autism are in various stages of completion at universities across the US and Israel. Once the new data is presented, more, larger and longer-term studies will be required to present a definitive answer on how much CBD or THC is needed for the exact autism spectrum disorder. Until then, the final word on cannabis and autism is that it seems to help—it may even be a miracle cure. But finding the right mix is a shot in the dark.

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How inflammation and pain affect the endocannabinoid system

Cannabis, and the endocannabinoid system found in all vertebrae, act through countless mechanisms. And typically topping lists of cannabinoid effects is anti-inflammation. Less known is a vicious cycle that occurs when inflammation and pain negatively affect the endocannabinoid system, or how to stop its degradation. Dear doctor: Ibuprofen affects endocannabinoid metabolism Anti-inflammatory drugs are a […]

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Can’t Get Enough: Why Does Weed Cause the Munchies?

We’ve all been there. Several joints deep into the night and that painful hole in the stomach won’t go away. In fact, it just grows bigger and bigger, with a starvation like feel which doesn’t make sense given your standard eating habits. But there it is, a tremendous hunger you can’t ignore, and which can’t be satiated. Why does weed cause the munchies, that undeniable feeling of inexplicable hunger? And is there a way around them?

Why does weed cause the munchies? It’s a question as old as time itself, with research from the past decade shedding light on this subject. And though no answer for the munchies exists, perhaps in the future, one will be found. We cover everything weed-related, so subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter to keep up with all the stories going on in the industry, and to get exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and many other products! We also offer great deals on cannabinoids like HHC-O, Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC, which you can find in our “Best-of” lists!


What are the munchies?

We’ll get to some science in a minute, but first, let’s take a non-scientific look at the munchies. To simply call it a ‘hunger’ downplays the intensity of what’s being spoken about, at least in my experience. It’s not just a hunger, it’s the most intense hunger you’ve ever felt. Akin to times when you really had to go without food for whatever reason. Maybe you were fasting for a surgery, or a holiday, or were at the end of a long workout and needed sustenance. These real versions of hunger make sense. Your body is being deprived, and you can feel it.

So why does weed cause the same thing? Why does smoking something that resembles a cigarette cause such a painful and outright hunger? This hunger is way less related to standard eating habits, since it doesn’t matter if you just sucked down a huge meal. Whether or not you’ve actually eaten, smoking a joint can bring that hunger on at any time.

And in my experience it’s not just that it can come after a meal, but it can’t be satiated easily. Eat a snack and it’s back in 15 minutes. Smoke a new joint, and there it is again. I spend evenings where apart from being high, the only thing I can think about is food. And I admit, I can pack it in. I’m not saying that like it’s a good thing, or that the overeating that such an intense hunger can lead to, is healthy at all. It’s not. I’m sometimes surprised and amazed by my own food choices and ability to eat, especially when thinking back the next day of the previous day’s eating exploits.

It’s a conundrum that many smokers are faced with. The high is great, but that pesky hunger is a real pain to deal with, and doesn’t necessarily help us keep to our planned eating habits, or diets. In fact, it can blow a diet right out of the water. And while this exact attribute is often used medically for those who can’t eat due to sickness, for the rest of us, we’d all probably be a bit happier if we could smoke without initiating that gnawing hunger.

Why does weed cause the munchies?

There has been research into this topic, which does help to explain the intense cannabis hunger that smoking causes. Back in 2014, this study was put out: A Scientific Explanation of How Marijuana Causes the Munchies, in which it was found that in mice, hunger had much to do with odor processing, and that this was related to the CB1 receptors promoting food intake, by increasing odor detection. It was found that endocannabinoids and exogenous cannabinoids were able to increase this odor detection, and therefore food intake, by way of decreasing the excitatory drive from the olfactory cortex to the main olfactory bulb.

Researchers concluded that their “data indicate that cortical feedback projections to the MOB crucially regulate food intake via CB1 receptor signaling, linking the feeling of hunger to stronger odor processing. Thus, CB1 receptor–dependent control of cortical feedback projections in olfactory circuits couples internal states to perception and behavior.”

In this case, the reason for this stimulation of CB1 comes from the cannabinoid THC, which allows users to taste and smell their food more intensely. As part of the study, the mice were first made to smell both banana and almond oils to gage their sensitivity. Generally, the mice sniffed a lot at first, and then decreased their interest due to olfactory habituation – or essentially, getting used to it. This was not true for mice given THC, which continued to sniff the oils without habituation. This implies a continued sensitivity, which was backed up by these mice eating way more when given the chance.

The scientists did something else interesting. In some mice, they engineered the animals not to have a certain cannabinoid receptor in their olfactory bulbs. These mice were put in the same experiment of smelling oils first to test sensitivity. In these mice, they habituated to the scents whether given THC or not. These mice also didn’t feel the need to overeat when presented with food. All of which points to THC receptors in the olfactory bulb being a main factor for why weed can cause the munchies. However, this is not the only theory of why the munchies exist.

Another theory of why weed can cause the munchies

Sometimes there is more than one factor to consider in something. Sometimes we just don’t fully understand. While the above-mentioned research is certain compelling, there are other answers found through research for why weed can cause the munchies. And one has to do with an interaction between THC, and the hunger-inducing hormone ghrelin.

In the 2013 study Ghrelin and cannabinoids require the ghrelin receptor to affect cellular energy metabolism, it was shown that both ghrelin, an appetite stimulating hormone, and cannabinoids, interact with GHS-R (ghrelin receptors) to produce “effects on AMPK activity in the hypothalamus, liver and visceral fat.” AMPK is involved with cellular homeostasis, and is a big factor in helping cells right themselves when running low on energy.

Study authors previously showed that “ghrelin and cannabinoids stimulate hypothalamic AMPK activity while inhibiting it in the liver and adipose tissue, suggesting that AMPK mediates both the central appetite-inducing and peripheral effects of ghrelin and cannabinoids.” This study adds to that, with the main conclusion that “Ghrelin requires GHS-R1a for its effect on hypothalamic, liver and adipose tissue AMPK activity. An intact ghrelin signalling pathway is necessary for the effects of cannabinoids on AMPK activity.”

And more about how weed can cause the munchies?

Even this doesn’t fully answer the question, and alternate research still points in other directions. Like this study from 2015 called Hypothalamic POMC neurons promote cannabinoid-induced feeding, which works to explain the insatiability that comes with cannabis munchies. The study does this by showing that the brain produces chemicals as a result of cannabis exposure, that take away the feeling of fullness which is usually experienced after eating, and replace it with hunger.

According to study researcher Tamas L. Horvath, “By observing how the appetite centre of the brain responds to marijuana, we were able to see what drives the hunger brought about by cannabis and how that same mechanism that normally turns off feeding becomes a driver of eating. It’s like pressing a car’s brakes and accelerating instead.”

The study used mice to see which neurons cannabinoids effected in the brain when injected into it. The unexpected answer came in the form of activity boosted in a group of nerve cells called POMC (pro-opiomelanocortin) neurons, which are normally responsible for allowing us to feel full after eating. Instead, it was found that these neurons were being further activated, promoting an ongoing feeling of hunger. Essentially, fooling the brain’s general loop of hunger and satiation.

How was this done? Cannabis subverted these neurons, or overrode their natural response, instead causing them to release chemicals to stimulate hunger, rather than suppress it. While exactly how and why this happens was not established, the researchers speculate that it has to do with binding to mitochondria inside the cell, along with neurons on the cell’s surface.

Said the scientists: “These processes involve mitochondrial adaptations that, when blocked, abolish CB1R-induced cellular responses and feeding.” The results of the study in general “uncover a previously unsuspected role of POMC neurons in the promotion of feeding by cannabinoids.”

So why aren’t stoners fat?

All of this would indicate that those who smoke, should also expand out due to this extra hunger and extra food intake. But, weirdly, this is not the case. In fact, it tends to be the opposite, with stoners showing less BMI, fewer issues with obesity, and better metabolic function. In a 2018 study called Theoretical Explanation for Reduced Body Mass Index and Obesity Rates in Cannabis Users, it was found that a long-lasting downregulation of CB1 can be seen after cannabis use, which reduces energy storage and increases metabolic rates, thereby reversing the impact of a bad omega-6/omega-3 ratio on body mass, and keeping a person skinnier.

The issue was also investigated in 2017, in the study Overactivation of the endocannabinoid system alters the antilipolytic action of insulin in mouse adipose tissue, where it was found there’s a link between obesity and the over-functioning of the endocannabinoid system. According to investigators, the study “indicates the existence of a functional interaction between CB1R and lipolysis regulation in AT (fat tissue).”

They went on to say: “Further investigation is needed to test if the elevation of ECS tone encountered in obesity is associated with excess fat mobilization contributing to ectopic fat deposition and related metabolic disorders.”

Conclusion

Munchies and cannabis go together like peanut butter and jelly. And, honestly, if you’re a stoner, you probably already love that combination. While the question of how to control it has not been as well established, there do seem to be possibly several mechanisms making the phenomenon happen in the first place. My advice? Just be prepared with some healthy smacking, if you don’t want to go overboard on…peanut butter and jelly.

Welcome readers! Thanks for joining us at CBDtesters.co, your #1 internet location for the most important and thought-provoking cannabis and psychedelics-related news relevant to today. Stop by regularly to stay up-to-date on the always-in-flux landscape of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and head over to The THC Weekly Newsletter, so you never miss a single story.

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

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Turns Out Cannabinoids Are Responsible for Our Runner’s High

Recently, a group of scientists found out that our body’s natural cannabinoids are responsible for our runner’s high. For the longest time, we thought that endorphins caused “runner’s high” — that feeling of bliss when we run. But research in the past two decades revealed that endocannabinoids might be the primary cause of this high instead. A […]

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How 15 Minutes of Strength Training Can Reduce Pain Via Endocannabinoid System

We all know working out is good, even if we don’t like doing it. Now, new research sheds light on just how strength training effects the endocannabinoid system, and how this in turn can help reduce pain and inflammation. And it brings several implications with it.

Let’s be honest, exercise is good and we should all be doing it. If 15 minutes of daily strength training can activate the endocannabinoid system, and lower inflammation and pain, this could be a great answer for many people. For those who want to stimulate their endocannabinoid system in other ways, there are tons of cannabis compound out there to help. Remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter for deals on legal cannabis products, as well as all the latest news and industry stories. Also save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!


What’s the news?

In a recent study through the University of Nottingham, in England (The anti-inflammatory effect of bacterial short chain fatty acids is partially mediated by endocannabinoids), it was found that short daily strength training periods of approximately 15 minutes, are enough to reduce the pain of people suffering from arthritis, as well as lower inflammation, while increasing endocannabinoid levels in the endocannabinoid system.

The overall purpose of the study was to “explore the functional interactions between the endocannabinoid system and the gut microbiome in modulating inflammatory markers”. To do this, 78 participants were used in the study, all with arthritis. The group was split into two, with 38 participants engaging in 15 minutes of muscle strengthening exercises, on a daily basis for six weeks. The remaining 40 participants did no strength training exercise in that time period. After six weeks, the groups were compared.

It was found that the group which engaged in strength training exercise had a reduction in pain, lower levels of cytokines which cause inflammation, and higher levels of endocannabinoids in the endocannabinoid system. It was also found that this exercising group had a higher level of gut microbes which are known to produce anti-inflammatory compounds.

endocannabinoid system

These microbes are also linked to the higher levels of endocannabinoids (2-arachidonoylglycerol [2-AG] and anandamide [AEA]), in that the gut microbes produced – SCFAs, seem to be related to endocannabinoid levels. The scientists measured that about 1/3 of the anti-inflammation changes in the gut, were due to increases in endocannabinoids.

According to the researchers, “Our data show that the anti-inflammatory effects of SCFAs are partly mediated by the EC system suggesting that there may be other pathways involved in the modulation of the immune system via the gut microbiome.” They went on to say: “Our study clearly shows that exercise increases the body’s own cannabis-type substances. Which can have a positive impact on many conditions.”

What is the endocannabinoid system?

Basically, the endocannabinoid system is a system within the body made up of endocannabinoids, which are lipid-based neurotransmitters that bind to receptors to produce a response, as well as the receptor proteins they bind to, which can be found all throughout both the central and peripheral nervous systems. This system is incredibly important for CNS function, as well as aiding in synaptic plasticity (changes in synaptic behavior), and in how our bodies respond to relevant stimuli from within the body or outside.

Though the endocannabinoid system is still under much investigation, with many question marks attached, research has pointed to it being related to cognitive function, along with physiological processes like fertility and pregnancy, and natal and early growth and development.

Research also shows it likely playing a part in immune function, mood regulation, emotion, motivation, learning and memory, appetite, pain sensitivity and modulation, addiction behaviors, motor coordination and control, and of course, for providing us the psychoactive effects of cannabis cannabinoids like delta-9 THC.

The endocannabinoid system has several receptors of interest when it comes to cannabis, like CB1, CB2, and the more newly discovered GPR55, sometimes referred to as CB3. CB1 and CB2 receptors can be found in the brain, nervous system, immune system, and gastrointestinal system. CB1 receptors are known for regulating neural transmissions and peripheral aspects, while CB2 receptors are more known for the regulation of immune and inflammatory pathways.

GPR55 is less well understood, but is expected to be responsible for how many different cannabinoids effect the body, with receptor action being identified in the nervous system, in the frontal cortex, cerebellum, striatum, hypothalamus, and brain stem of the brain, in dorsal root ganglia neurons, in the spleen, tonsils, adrenals, bones, endothelial cells, intestines, lungs, kidneys, and fat tissue. It is thought GPR55 is involved in the experience of neuropathic pain, and inflammation.

receptor sites

What other implications does the study have?

The first thing to remember is that the Nottingham University study was conducted on arthritics. This means that the results shown, a reduction in inflammation and pain, are not related to a healthy person, but one who has a specific disorder which increase both inflammation, and the experience of pain. The study showed that strength training exercise was able to decrease the inflammation and pain in people with arthritis, at least partially by way of activation of the endocannabinoid system.

This implies that a healthy person who undergoes the same exercise regimen should also be able to reduce inflammation, and that such exercise could therefore help regulate standard inflammation issues not related to a specific illness.

Healthy people also suffer inflammation from injuries, from stress, and from other environment factors, so understanding what exercise can do for those with a specific issue, also sheds light on what can be expected for those who only deal with standard problems.

It also implies the ability to help with other medical issues that involve pain and inflammation, like asthma and allergies, autoimmune disorders, IBS, coeliac disease, and hepatitis. Does it mean exercising 15 minutes a day will cure these things? Or even arthritis? No, but it does show a possible ability to help. And for people suffering ailments specifically related to bad lifestyles and faulty health, simply adding in such an exercise regimen might actually be capable of completely reversing some problems.

Can the endocannabinoid system be overly-activated?

The answer to this seems to be yes, based on previous research. While the topic hasn’t been 100% flushed out, there is good indication that those with obesity have an overactivated endocannabinoid system and elevated endocannabinoid levels.

In fact, in the study Overactivation of the endocannabinoid system alters the antilipolytic action of insulin in mouse adipose tissue, researchers specifically looked into whether “obesity-related metabolic dysregulation is associated with overactivation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which involves cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R), in peripheral tissues, including adipose tissue (AT).” Adipose tissue is fat tissue.

over-active endocannabinoid system

The researchers found a link between obesity and the endocannabinoid system over-functioning, drawing the conclusion that their “study indicates the existence of a functional interaction between CB1R and lipolysis regulation in AT. Further investigation is needed to test if the elevation of ECS tone encountered in obesity is associated with excess fat mobilization contributing to ectopic fat deposition and related metabolic disorders.”

This is a good time to remind that too much of anything tends to be bad, even good things. For example, fruit is good for you, but eating too much means the overconsumption of sugar. Or, eating carrots is good for your eyes, but eat too many and you’ll turn orange. So, it suffices to say that there is a point at which too much function in the endocannabinoid system could be a bad thing too.

Weirdly enough, though cannabis is so often associated with the munchies and being hungry, a strange fact can often be missed: regular cannabis users tend to have lower BMIs, suffer less obesity, and tend to have better metabolic health, than others who consume less calories but don’t smoke cannabis.

In the study Theoretical Explanation for Reduced Body Mass Index and Obesity Rates in Cannabis Users, it’s posited by researchers: “We provide for the first time a causative explanation for this paradox, in which rapid and long-lasting downregulation of CB1R following acute Cannabis consumption reduces energy storage and increases metabolic rates, thus reversing the impact on body mass index of elevated dietary omega-6/omega-3 ratios.”

Conclusion

With some things in life, its hard to know if they’re necessary or not. Maybe taking vitamins helps, maybe they never get absorbed. Maybe eating meat helps, and maybe it leads to other health issues. But I never see anyone say anything bad about exercise, especially in the 15-minutes-a-day range.

Sometimes it really is hard to know what’s good for you, and what’s not. However, sometimes there isn’t an argument at all. Whether a person exercises to stay in shape physically, as a form of stress-release, or to regulate a health issue, the one thing that seems to be a general fact, is that exercise is good. That 15 minutes of strength training a day could have such positive benefits for the endocannabinoid systems of arthritics patients, to the point of decreasing pain and inflammation, says a whole lot about what we should all be doing every day to stay healthy.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

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