Cannabinoids: The Ultimate Guide to Cannabis Medicine
The Endocannabinoid System:
Endocanabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body in the brain, organs, connective tissue, glands and immune cells. In each tissue, the cannabinoid system performs different tasks, but the goal is always the same—homeostasis (maintain stable internal environment regardless of fluctuations in the external environment).
Cannabinoid receptors are present throughout the body, but primarily in the brain where they regulate things like hunger, pain and mood. Embedded in cell membranes, they are believed to be more numerous than any other receptor system. Two cannabinoid receptors in the brain have been identified and are known as CB1 and CB2. There is speculation that there is a third cannabinoid receptor that is yet to be determined.
– CB1 is mostly found in the nervous system, connective tissue, glands and organs
– CB2 is mostly found in the immune system and associated structures.
How Do Cannabinoids Help Me?
Cannabinoids treat the central component of the the Endocannabinoid System in humans and many animals. Cannabinoids promote homeostasis at every level of biological life. And because they don’t contain the psychoactive components of THC, they don’t get you high.
When cannabinoids are applied externally through a topical product, they communicate directly with the CB2 receptors and can help a great deal with pain or inflammation. When taken internally, cannabinoids can communicate with the CB1 receptors to aid with sleep, blood sugar, appetite and reduce tremors or anxiety.
New cultivation and extraction methods have led to new products featuring an isolated cannabinoid, such as THCv found in Doug’s Varin strain. A breeder in Northern California found a half dozen strains with elevated levels of THCv. He proceeded to cross-breed and cross-breed again until he had a strain known as Doug’s Varin. For some, the medical benefits from Doug’s Varin include appetite suppression and bone regeneration. Doug’s Varin is now a product line available in Northern California featuring a 100% Doug’s Varin oil vape pens, a 50/50 Doug’s Varin and CBD oil vape pen along with a number of other offerings, including PAX pods from Jetty Extracts.
One of our favorite products is a Doug’s Varin ‘Harmony’ pre-roll. For about $12, patients in Northern California can buy a one gram pre-roll with eight beneficial cannabinoids including THCv, THC, CBGa, THCa and CBG.
We will continue to see more innovative products hitting the market isolating specific cannabinoids. Here, Dr. Jessica Knox of the American Cannabinoid Clinics shares her insights on cannabinoid receptors: