The human brain is home to a network of Cannabinoid receptors which play a key role in modulating a wide range of bodily and non-bodily functions. Cannabinoid ( CBD ) products act on these Cannabinoid receptors to control many of the diverse dysfunctions within the body.
The Cannabinoid System is involved in a number of homeostatic and non-bodily functions, such as modulation of inflammation and pain. This article will give the reader the basic clinical and fundamental science connecting the Cannabinoid System to the various phytocannulosantic (phytocannulus) products with their potential therapeutic utility in the management of severe chronic pain due to the actions of the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system (also referred to as the Neuromuscular Network) is located in the brain’s mid-brain and includes multiple synapses. Some of its key functions include controlling the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and acetylcholine; orchestrating communication between different parts of the human body; and coordinating the firing of neurons across the synapse.
Several recent studies have shown that the human body responds to the endocannabinoid system in the same way it does to natural marijuana and/or cannabis plant endocannabinoid ligands, namely THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). These studies suggest that the THC present in marijuana may act on neurons in a similar fashion to the way it would mimic the actions of an actual marijuana plant.
In humans, several inflammatory diseases including arthritis, cancer, MS, Crohn’s disease, and others are characterized by dysfunctional activity of the endocannabinoid system. Some researchers theorize that this system may also be responsible for the increased risk of certain cancers, particularly those involving the colon and lungs.
Animal research indicates that the chronic administration of certain cannabinoids causes an inflammatory response in the animals’ systems. Additionally, some recent studies have suggested that certain non-psychotropic agents may be able to modulate the inflammatory response and therefore reduce the risk of certain diseases. For example, immunosuppression has been shown to be effective in preventing the development of autism in children.
Research suggests that there is a genetic component to the regulation of the endocannabinoid system. This system seems to function more strongly in people who have suffered from childhood cancer or other life-threatening illnesses. This system has also been linked to the metabolic syndrome, which is a series of health problems that include obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. In rodents, genetic regulation has been shown to be responsible for the establishment of resistance to diet-induced obesity. In addition, the regulation of the endocannabinoid system may be affected by environmental factors such as chronic exposure to tobacco smoke.