Not Feeling Well? Perhaps You’re ‘Marijuana Deficient’

Scientists have begun speculating that the root cause of disease conditions such as migraines and irritable bowel syndrome may be endocannabinoid deficiency.
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Source: Alternet, 3.24.10

For several years I have postulated that marijuana is not, in the strict sense of the word, an intoxicant.

As I wrote in the book Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? (Chelsea Green, 2009), the word ‘intoxicant’ is derived from the Latin noun toxicum (poison). It’s an appropriate term for alcohol, as ethanol (the psychoactive ingredient in booze) in moderate to high doses is toxic (read: poisonous) to healthy cells and organs.

Of course, booze is hardly the only commonly ingested intoxicant. Take the over-the-counter painkiller acetaminophen (Tylenol). According to the Merck online medical library, acetaminophen poisoning and overdose is “common,” and can result in gastroenteritis (inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract) “within hours” and hepatotoxicity (liver damage) “within one to three days after ingestion.” In fact, less than one year ago the U.S. Food and Drug Administration called for tougher standards and warnings governing the drug’s use because “recent studies indicate that unintentional and intentional overdoses leading to severe hepatotoxicity continue to occur.”

By contrast, the therapeutically active components in marijuana — the cannabinoids — appear to be remarkably non-toxic to healthy cells and organs. This notable lack of toxicity is arguably because cannabinoids mimic compounds our bodies naturally produce — so-called endocannabinoids — that are pivotal for maintaining proper health and homeostasis.

In fact, in recent years scientists have discovered that the production of endocannabinoids (and their interaction with the cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body) play a key role in the regulation of proper appetite, anxiety control, blood pressure, bone mass, reproduction, and motor coordination, among other biological functions.

Just how important is this system in maintaining our health? Here’s a clue: In studies of mice genetically bred to lack a proper endocannabinoid system the most common result is premature death.

Armed with these findings, a handful of scientists have speculated that the root cause of certain disease conditions — including migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and other functional conditions alleviated by clinical cannabis — may be an underlying endocannabinoid deficiency.

Now, much to my pleasant surprise, Fox News Health columnist Chris Kilham has weighed in on this important theory.

Are You Cannabis Deficient?
via Fox News

If the idea of having a marijuana deficiency sounds laughable to you, a growing body of science points at exactly such a possibility.

… [Endocannabinoids] also play 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 [endocannabinoids]?

… 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.

Perhaps. Or maybe at the very least society will cease classifying cannabis as a ‘toxic’ substance when its more appropriate role would appear to more like that of a supplement.

See Also:
Are You Cannabis Deficient?

Cannabinoids: Some bodies like them, some bodies need them



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2 thoughts on “Not Feeling Well? Perhaps You’re ‘Marijuana Deficient’

  1. This is a thought I was pondering not long ago to myself. Not only for those matters you state but also a thought that occurred to me as I watched a video called ‘Cannabis – The Evil Weed’. In the video they reveal that cannabis sativa developed THC as a way of protecting the plant from the sun’s rays way up in the mountains where it is first thought to have been cultivated. I was thinking that perhaps some of those cases of melanoma might also have been prevented if its use were still permitted today just as one more example of what it can do but is forbidden to be used for.

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  2. Now that cannabis is legal in Colorado for recreational use I can walk into a store the same as I can walk into a vitamin store and buy the various healing herbs. My first selection was Blue Dream, an Indica strain. My BP started at 172 over 106. It kept going down over a period of hours to 126 over 73.

    Within 3 days it cured my Ulcerative Colitis. First 2 doses made it flare up, but then by the 3rd day it was cured. Bloating, acid pain, blood in stool, all gone, everything back to normal where pharmaceuticals were doing more harm than good.

    An indica is known to cause “Couch Lock” You feel so good and relaxed you literally feel locked to the couch.

    I have ADHD and the Blue Dream calmed the hyperactivity in my brain where I over think things to the point of overload, then causing, mental fatigue and total shut down. One plant can cure so many ailments and do much better than pharmaceuticals.

    Now I’m trying a Sativa strain that can provide energy and creativity, called Jack Herer 3. There are so many variations I could spend most of the rest of my life sampling them all.

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