What do you and marijuana (weed, pot, grass, ganga, dope, herb, joint, blunt, cannabis, reefer, mary jane, buds, stinkweed) have in common?
Both the marijuana plant and the human body contain cannabinoid chemicals that affect well-being. Our bodies have a cannabinoid system (named after the active compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa). This system may work similarly to the traditional eastern philosophy of yin and yang where opposite forces are complimentary and create balance because cannabinoids seem to act as a “bridge” between mind and body, http://norml.org/library/item/introduction-to-the-endocannabinoid-system.
The cannabinoid system (CS) which includes natural chemicals (THC, CBD), receptors (CB1 and CB2) and fat cells work to maintain harmony for health via 4 main routes, through:
- presynaptic neuronal (a neuron from the axon terminal of which an electrical impulse is transmitted across a synaptic cleft to the cell body or one or more dendrites of a postsynaptic neuron by the release of a chemical neurotransmitter.) chemical messages responsible for communication between cells that affect organs like the heart, the brain and consciousness, the gut and appetite; how we feel emotion and sense pain, how we sleep, move and even exercise, http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/38/5/536.full, as it may play a role in “the runners high” and “the body’s response to exercise” due to its relationship with dopamine.
- its complex role affecting a cells life in its entirety; maintaining a steady balance in all stages of cellular development (synthesis, degradation and recycling of cellular products).
- the endocannabinoid system itself with its intricate involvement in the helping to “bridge” the gap between consciousness and physical health.
- neurogenesis (the growth and development of nervous tissue) and neuronal plasticity (allows the nerve cells in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in the environment) enabling one to overcome trauma or push past physical limitations for example.
Twenty states have legalized the medical use of marijuana. According to The Business Insider, http://www.businessinsider.com/health-benefits-of-medical-marijuana-2014-4, there are over 20 medical benefits to smoking pot including:
- Lung capacity
- Gut function
- Immune responses
- Combination drug therapies
- Auto immune disorders
- Pain relief
- Parkinson’s disease
- Chron’s disease
- Alzheimers’ disease
One of the most important findings for health, it seems, may be that marijuana has been shown to help kill certain types of cancer cells and reduce the size of others, http://mct.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2014/11/12/1535-7163.MCT-14-0402.abstract or just read, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141114085629.htm.
In fact the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) holds patents on two drugs in pill form containing cannabinoids that act to stimulate appetite for AIDS patients and help prevent nausea related to cancer treatments. An oil form is also currently under investigation for pediatric epilepsy.
While I do believe that marijuana may help to balance an unhealthy or an “in need of repair” health condition, there can be negative side effects especially if it is overused or abused by someone who does not have this similar “need”.
Smoking too much grass can be addictive and have negative mental health and societal consequences.
Marijuana has potential to be a safe, effective and powerful solution to illness that will aid in fighting against disease and promote the bodies’ own natural healing abilities.