This article comes from Fox New Health Blog – If the idea of having a marijuana deficiency sounds laughable to you, a growing body of science points at exactly such a possibility. Scientists have known that the active psychoactive compound in marijuana is THC, which is short for tetrahydrocannabinol.
In August 1990, researchers reported in the journal Nature the discovery of receptors in the brain that specifically accommodate the cannabinoids in pot. Cannabinoids bind to particular neurological sites in the brain, as though the brain was specifically designed to utilize this plant. Did nature toss cannabinoid receptors into the brain by random chance? Are cannabinoid receptors part of an intelligent design for deriving maximum benefit from cannabis? Is cannabis a divine elixir of sacred communion for which we are ideally suited? Actually, a more sober answer seems likely. When there are receptors in the brain for a particular type of compound, that compound is made in the brain. This is true of many important agents that work to transmit brain messages of all types. So a hunt began to find such a compound.
In that vein, in 1992 researchers in Israel isolated the cannabinoid anandamide in the human brain. Unlike THC, anandamide is manufactured in the brain, and is therefore an endogenous cannabinoid. This agent, anandamide, is the compound that attaches to the built-in cannabinoid receptors in our brains. The name anandamide is based on the Sanskrit word ananda, which means bliss. Anandamide is a bliss molecule, enhancing greater well being and emotional satisfaction.
Ever since the pioneering work of Dr. William O’Shaughnessy on cannabis and pain compiled in the 1840’s a growing body of science has shown that cannabis offers relief for various types of pain. In the brain, the endogenous agent anandamide also plays a role in mitigating inflammation and pain. So both cannabinoids from inside and outside the body play a role in pain reduction. More recent studies show pain relief among sufferers of multiple sclerosis when cannabis is consumed.
Anandamide also plays a role in proper appetite, feelings of pleasure and well-being, and memory. Interestingly, cannabis also affects these same functions. Cannabis has been used successfully to treat migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and glaucoma. So here is the seventy-four thousand dollar question. Does cannabis simply relieve these diseases to varying degrees, or is cannabis actually a medical replacement in cases of deficient anandamide?
At least one author, medical doctor Ethan Russo, believes in the possibility of endocanabinoid deficiency, and suggests that such a deficiency might actually be a significant cause of the types of health problems listed above. His paper “Clinical Cannabinoid Deficiency,” published in Neuroendocrinology Letters in 2004, delved deeply into the various ways that cannabinoids function in the body, and how a deficiency in cannabinoids can lead to a broad range of diseases. Since the publication of that paper, a number of studies have further confirmed the effectiveness of cannabis for many health disorders.
The idea of clinical cannabinoid deficiency opens the door to cannabis consumption as an effective medical approach to relief of various types of pain, restoration of appetite in cases in which appetite is compromised, improved visual health in cases of glaucoma, and improved sense of well being among patients suffering from a broad variety of mood disorders. As state and local laws mutate and change in favor of greater tolerance, perhaps cannabis will find it’s proper place in the home medicine chest.
Chris Kilham is a medicine hunter who researches natural remedies all over the world, from the Amazon to Siberia. He teaches ethnobotany courses at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he is Explorer In Residence. Chris advises herbal, cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies and is a regular guest on radio and TV programs worldwide. His field research is largely sponsored by Naturex of Avignon, France. Read more at MedicineHunter.com
Nice post. I learned something new today. Keep up the great work. I look forward to reading your previous posts.
Get your Minimum Daily Requirement of Cannabis.
Excellent article. Very logical.
Thank you for writing it and doing such a great job!
Actually this was found in Fox News’ Health blog! Can you believe it? Fox news! For some reason, they have been more forward with cannabis issues than any other mainstream news.
It is a great article, the first time i had heard of “cannabis deficiency syndrome”. We’ll have to do more investigation on this and see what we come up with.
Re: FOX NEWS
It is interesting, isn’t it? But here’s the thing: my husband (The Medicine Hunter) can do pretty much whatever he wants—and his producer, and Dr. Manny, have been fabulously open-minded about pretty much everything. So it is Chris who is doing this media outreach, and he’s rather well known in the natural medicines and natural product scene for coining new phrases such as “cannabis deficiency syndrome”, so that one’s his creation. Watch it get picked up! If you like what he’s doing, please join us on Facebook, or visit our site and send him a note via our contact us form. Your support matters, and we appreciate it. Ultimately, any Network is interested in audience interest.
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Oh dear! I made a mistake. Talked to Chris about this and he says that Ethan Russo came up with the term “cannabis deficiency syndrome”. Says so right there in the story. I’m just silly and missed it. Ooops!
i’m just so glad we met today. You are forgiven ;O)