What if I told you that you had a major medical system that you probably did not even know about..AND..you developed it before you developed a brain…AND..if you have heard of it, you have pre-judged it!
Welcome to your ”endocannabinoid system”. These words have nothing to do cannabis or marijuana and describes an internal system that all humans and many other animals share. While cannabis effects this system, so does food! Yes, research is now showing that plant components have effects in many areas of neurology including the endocannabinoid system..
So..how long have we had one and when did we develop it?
“A cannabinoid receptor orthologue (CiCBR) has been described in the sea squirt Ciona intestinalis. Here we report that CiCBR mRNA expression is highest in cerebral ganglion, branchial pharynx, heart and testis of C. intestinalis, and that this organism also contains cannabinoid receptor ligands and some of the enzymes for ligand biosynthesis and inactivation.”
Translation: Before we developed a brain, or a spine, or a nervous system..we developed an endocannabinoid system. We share this system with most life on the planet.
What if I told you that physicians, Phd’s, and current researchers are in the dark about this same system?
A brief history of the endocannabinoid system: In 1988, the first cannabinoid receptor was found in the brain of a rat. Initially found by Allyn Howlett and William Devane these cannabinoid receptors turned out to be plentiful in the brain as well as thought the body. In 1990 Lisa Matsuda announced at the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine that she and her colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health had managed to pinpoint the DNA sequence that defines a THC-sensitive receptor in a rat’s brain. Not long after this announcement they were able to successfully clone that receptor, allowing them to create molecules that “fit” or “activate” the receptors. In 1992, the first endocannabinoid was discovered. Anandamide was the first, naturally occurring endogenous cannabinoid, or endocannabinoid. It was found by Raphael Mechoulam as well as NIMH researchers William Devane and Dr. Lumir Hanus. A second endocannabinoid was identified in 1995, discovered by none other than Mechoulam’s group yet again. This second major endocannabinoid was dubbed 2-arachidonoylglycerol or “2-AG” to keep it simple. This particular endocannabinoid attaches to both CB1 and CB2 receptors.
It was these discoveries, working backwards, tracing the metabolic pathways of THC, which allowed scientists to discover an entirely unknown molecular signaling system that resides within us as well as most other life on the planet. Due to the role cannabis played in discovering this system it was rightfully named the endocannabinoid system.
So..it is taught in every medical school now right?
Wrong! I’ll give you a personal experience. I was recently asked to teach a graduate level class on the endocannabinoid system at a major university. I had the opportunity to meet with the Director of Curriculum for the Pharmacy graduate program. I asked him why the endocannabinoid system was not taught (it is also not taught in the med school). He gave me a very practical answer which was..”no time..”. He said it is all they can do to teach all the medical classes they can. Even “nutrition” is an elective. Shocking, but true.
So..consider..unless your physician has been self motivated to learn about this important system, he does even know it exists.
So what does this system do?
Thru the eyes of most experts, the ECS is the bodies master regulator. Intelligence, for the most part, lies with the hypothalamus. We work like a sophisticated vehicle, intelligence provided by the hypothalamus, but sensory array and management system provided by the ECS. Why do researchers think this? Lets look at two different cited examples:
First lets consider your immune response in a restricted scenario. Lets say you accidentally bang your thumb with a hammer..well several things could happen all under your immune response. You may have a pain response which says “drop the hammer idiot…” or “move away from the fire…”. Then your inflammation response should kick in and the injured area will begin to fill with protective fluid. Next, stem cells may be queued so that repair will begin. When repair is complete the area de-flames and returns to normal function.
At a high level that is the elegance of the human immune response. Current ECS research is indicating we perhaps work a bit differently. Lets look at the same scenario using current ECS research back knowledge.
When we experience an injury we may be queued by the pain response. Thru the ECS, the hypothalamus appears to gain feedback on the injury and begin inflammation. Inflammation occurs by direct ECS stimulation of the area by the hypothalamus. A determination of injury and repair is theoretically made by the hypothalamus. Stem cells are queued and tasked by the hypothalamus thru the ECS. Repair is determined to be complete by the hypothalamus and the area is de-flamed using the ECS (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3044336/). In the current medical model, no intelligence is even specified.
Now lets consider how you eat…
Current established science would have us think this…some how our bodies determine we have resource needs. When this happens, our bodies release a chemical called gherlin which causes hunger pains. When we have eaten enough (how is this determined??) we release another chemical called leptin. This is modern science’s explanation of feeding and craving.
Lets consider this under the established research about the ECS. Your hypothalamus is always monitoring your body..in most cases down to the cellular level. As cells have resource needs, they communicate these to the hypothalamus. When a certain threshold is reached, the hypothalamus thru the ECS queues the pituitary to release gherlin. The ECS then has receptors it uses to monitor nutrients passing thru and being absorbed by the gut. When the hypothalamus has determined that enough nutrients have been absorbed to meet the cellular demand, it queues the pituitary thru the ECS to release leptin which shuts down the process. This is also almost exactly how addiction works. Your body is just demanding a resources it thinks it needs. (https://search.proquest.com/openview/82bc93185fbb7108affcd1a218f166f2/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=38864 http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/j069v23n03_02http://journals.lww.com/behaviouralpharm/Abstract/2005/09000/Endocannabinoids_in_the_regulation_of_appetite_and.4.aspx https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-540-88955-7_9 )
So, what does this all have to do with nutrition and a health crisis?
The ECS needs resources to function properly. It is laughably naive to think that these only come from cannabis. How many cannabis smoking reptiles or fish do you see?
So what are these resources and where do we get them? It turns out that the ECS is heavily influenced by food! That is right, simple food. One major University has currently mapped over 4000 different plants and plant compounds against effects on the ECS…I did not stutter…4000…
So why a crisis?
It turns out that the resources that the ECS wants and uses most readily come from plant based flavonoids. Many many herbs contain very beneficial ECS pre-cursors and resources…but….
Plant flavonoids are stored in a lipid or “fat” sack within plants. This sack is somewhat delicate and heat sensitive. When you heat plants these sacks have a tendency to rupture and much of the needed resources are lost to vaporization. This is the very reason foods “smell”..the smell is the release of plant based flavonoids.
In our current diets where are we getting needed ECS resources? Well..we are not. Further, the things we eat are also not. Our sources of beef and chicken are also not being feed proper amounts of ECS resources that they need (ALL mammals need these resources). We cook our food and in most cases loss valuable resources.
What happens without ECS resources?
Without ECS resources the body will begin to suffer in multiple ways. The biggest being inflammation and inflammation control and immune failures. The gut would suffer and be dis-regulated. The heart would suffer. This would result in the very things we see prevalent in our society today. Issues with auto-immunes, inflammation, diabetes, allergies, hormones dis regulations, weight issues, heart issues…all of these things, at least thru GnuPharma eyes are issues of simple malnutrition.
But..can it be fixed?
Yes! Very easily! We first need to be better educated about the ECS.
Your body is an amazing machine that wants very badly to heal itself and reach homeostasis or “perfect regulation”. It can when provided the proper resources! Most malnutrition issues will begin to heal immediately when proper resources are presented.
As we develop, we will continue to put resources on our website and also at on our Facebook page to educate.