The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex system that connects every single organ in our bodies. It is essentially the molecular system that regulates and balances many processes in the body, including immune response, communication between cells, appetite and metabolism, memory, and more. It is not like any other system in that it is not isolated like the other biological systems in the body, like the pulmonary system or lymphatic system, and so on.
The ECS is most famously known for being the “regulator” of our bodies or creating homeostasis within all of us mammals, including dogs and cats. With that tidbit of knowledge, in this issue of MONTROSE STAR, we will explore how ECS acts on the immune system.
Cannabinoid receptors in the body bind with cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, CBG, and others (there are many cannabinoids). This action of binding is where homeostasis is created. Homeostasis is the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment. With this binding, our bodies begin to self-regulate and balance a plethora of physiological functions by essentially influencing conditions that help aid digestion, improve appetite, center one’s mood, and alleviate stress in the body. It influences the nervous system and the immune system, as well.
Cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body. They are present in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. In each tissue, the cannabinoid system performs an array of different tasks, but the end goal is always the same: to create homeostasis.
One of the most important effects the ECH has on the body is that it also regulates the body’s anti-inflammatory response. People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), lupus, irritable bowel syndrome, and other autoimmune diseases may know that the body is way off balance when they experience flair-ups or other irregularities as a result of these conditions. Cannabis has been shown to return the body to a balanced state after consumption and with regular usage, resulting in fewer flair-ups and less inflammation that damage the body. This alone, for me, has been a blessing as I have RA, and have found enormous relief in cannabis use to keep my flair-ups in check.
There is much, much research that remains to be done on how cannabis helps aid the immune system — it’s not completely understood yet. Research does exist to some extent and, to many with autoimmune diseases, it looks promising. The United States has had ongoing research into many issues regarding cannabis and how it works in our bodies for over 50 years now. Although the research here in the U.S. has been limited and stunted, the U.S. has funded research conducted in Israel for many years; I suggest reading further into their documentations of findings.
Hopefully one day soon we will all be able to have the freedom of choice of what we use to heal our bodies. Even cannabis.
Rena McCain is a cannabis activist and humanitarian. She is active in the cannabis community to bring awareness and education about cannabis and works to affect legislation in the state of Texas and elsewhere. She is also co-owner of KM420Radio.com and spends her time promoting local artists all over the globe. Find her on Facebook at ganjagrrrl420 or visit KM420Radio.com.