CPM Spring 2019 - 22

daup h i n cm s .org



Past the Stigma
of Marijuana,
The Science Behind
the Cannabinoids


he British Journal of Anaesthesia
We have CB receptors throughout our
published an article on-line in body including our central nervous system.
March of this year describing At least two variants have been isolated:
a woman from Scotland with CB1 (mainly in the central nervous system)
significant pain insensitivity. Chromosomal and CB2 (mainly throughout the immune
analysis demonstrated that she had an abnor- system). Stimulation of CB receptors
mality on chromosome 1 causing reduced produce "homeostasis" or balance within
function of a substance called fatty acid our bodies.
amide hydrolase or FAAH. FAAH degrades
a group of lipids including anandamide.
So, how does higher levels of anandamide
The name anandamide is derived from the and the endocannabinoid system explain
Sanskrit word ananda, which means bliss. the patient's symptoms? 1) The endocanAnandamide binds to cannabinoid (CB) nabinoids based on a negative feedback
receptors; in essence, it is an endogenous mechanism, decrease nociceptive (pain)
cannabis, or CBD. Since it is made within signals traveling to the brain, therefore,
our bodies, it is called an endocannabinoid. making the individual minimally sensitive to
painful stimuli. 2) The endocannabinoids
The woman described above feels little enhance mood and create a sense of "bliss"
pain even with injuries that usually cause due to the alteration of levels of neurotranssevere pain in most people. Even eating hot mitters in the brain. 3) In the periphery, the
peppers produces only a "tingly" sensation. endocannabinoids decrease the formation
Interestingly but not surprisingly based on of pro-inflammatory mediators and boost
our knowledge of cannabinoids, she heals the immune system leading to reduced
quickly, has no signs of depression, never inflammation and increased healing. 4)
panics, and has episodes of memory loss. Also, due to the change in the balance of
22 Spring 2019 Central PA Medicine

neurotransmitters, the endocannabinoids
cause memory lapses.
And, how does all of this produce homeostasis? When in a stressful situation such
as a battle, frequently, when injury occurs
it produces pain, creates stress and panic,
causes increased inflammation and creates
terrible memories causing a continuation of
the stress (post traumatic stress disorder or
PTSD). Furthermore, endocannabinoids
increase appetite for high calorie foods
because with battle, there is an increased
utilization of energy stores.
With this knowledge, we may be able to
make significant advances in the treatment
of pain, depression, anxiety, inflammatory
disease, poor wound healing and lack of
appetite from diseases such as cancer and
other chronic ailments. So, get past the
marijuana cigarette and the psychoactive
effects of THC, and open your minds to
the benefits of CBD.


CPM Spring 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CPM Spring 2019

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