Endocannabinoid System

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Medical Marijuana Blog

The endocannabinoid system can be explained as the body’s internal network of physiological processes governed by signaling molecules that resemble those found in the cannabis plant. These molecules in turn bind to special receptors throughout the human body to regulate a broad range of biological function.​

The “Key and Lock”

  • Every lock has its own key
  • If the key is not precise, the lock does not open
  • The endo-cannabinoid is the key that has to fit the target cell specifically and productively

The “Keys”

Endo-cannabinoids

Endocannabinoids are endogenous compounds produced naturally in the body that bind to cannabinoid receptors. In 1992, researchers detected the first known endocannabinoid. This compound, known as anandamide, comes from the Sanskrit word “Ananda” for bliss and “amide” due to its chemical structure.

Phyto-cannabinoids

Phytocannabinoids, on the other hand, are exogenous compounds that are found in the oily resin of the buds and leaves of plants such as cannabis. The word cannabinoid is used interchangeably for these compounds which work to mimic or counteract the effects of the naturally occurring endocannabinoids.

CBD “Non-Psychoactive” or “Non-Intoxicating”

Cannabidiol has been clinically shown to:

  • Act centrally on the nervous system to reduce seizure frequency
  • Alleviate symptoms of opioid withdrawal
  • Alleviate symptoms of anxiety
  • Elevate mode to lessen symptoms of depression

Therefore, non-psychoactive is by definition misleading because it DOES function within the central nervous system to influence our “psyche.”​

On the other hand, it DOESN’T produce symptoms of impairment or intoxication.

The Entourage Effect

The enhancing, synergistic effect that occurs when the whole plant including cannabinoids, terpenes, and botanical compounds are consumed together.

Routes of Administration

Inhalation

  • Onset of action is rapid, usually within minutes
  • It results in 10%-35% absorption of available THC and other cannabinoids
  • Peak plasma concentration occurs within 8 minutes

Ingestion

  • Onset generally occurs within 1-3 hours but is unpredictable
  • Only 5%-20% is absorbed due to stomach acid content and metabolism
  • Metabolism of Delta 9-THC results in a metabolite, 11 Hydroxy THC that has presumably 5 times the potency and efficacy
  • Peak levels occur 2-6 hours after ingestion

Cannabinoids & Terpenes

There are over 100 known Cannabinoids and over 200 known Terpenes

Cannabidiol CBD Linalool
Tetrahydrocannabinol THC Caryophyllene
Cannabigerol CBG Limonene
Cannabinol CBN Terpineol
Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid THC-A Eucalyptol
Cannabidiolic Acid CBD-A Pinene
Here’s a list of medical conditions that potentially qualify Missourians to get a medical marijuana card from the state.
Medical conditions not found on the official MO list may still qualify as the state left it up to the doctors judgement.
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