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

Comments from an earlier version of this article:
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29 thoughts on “Not feeling well? Perhaps you’re ‘marijuana deficient’

  1. I am also a patient in Colorado with a severe back injury. Chronic pain has been my life for many years. Now I Make my own coconut oil soothing salves, wow what a miracle. My favorite is OgKush.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have been diagnosed with Crohns disease for 8 years now and through the recreational use of cannabis I have been able to, alleviate myself of pain (during flare ups), return my appetite, actually gain a few pounds, and most importantly my stress levels no longer cause me to burst ulcers. I’m not saying cannabis is the cure. I’m not saying it isn’t either. What I am saying is that with cannabis my quality of life has improved and I on less medications because of it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am also a Colorado Red card holder. Thru the years I have quit smoking Cannabis for long periods due to locations or jobs. During those times, my Crohns flares up, my back pain increases, and my stress level goes thru the roof. Thank goodness I live in a compassionate state.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve witnessed my immediate family deal with MS, Glaucoma, and Cancer. Our United States government has a patent on it, through the NIH, and they’ve known the medicinal value of it since 1974. Quote: “The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuro-protectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke or trauma, or the treatment of neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia.” So, I’m done debating about it. The people have to speak up for their rights.

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  5. My husband has been have having headache since 14 yrs, no doctors are able to rule out the cause and just treating him with depression medication. Moreover all his reports are normal, he is very much frustrated with this pain. I read about cannabis can anyone please help me how can i get that and help him out.

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  6. I believe endocannabinoid deficiency is the primary reason folks smoke marijuana. Subconsciously, the resulting healthful feeling they get is associated with the “high” (the change they are conscious of). Since the law also associates pot smoking with the act of getting “high,” the result is that we lock up people for (unconsciously) self-medicating. I would like to see a large study that compares the cancer rate of incarcerated pot smokers with that of users “in the wild,” if that were possible. If, in fact, people jailed for pot were smoking to (unconsciously) suppress cancer, this group should be developing the disease in prison, and thus have a higher cancer rate than the general inmate population as well as their unprosecuted peers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • An interesting note, according to Tommy Chong, he developed cancer whilst in jail – he believes the fact that he had to quit smoking is the reason cancer appeared, that it would have remained suppressed had hebeen able to continue using the herb. He also notes that the prison was built on top of the most polluted land around, and that is a common theme. So any look at cancer rates of prison populations and non would have to account for the increased toxins found in prisons and the surrounding land/air.

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  7. Many years ago, when the first cannabinoid was discovered and named “Anandamide” (inner bliss), I invented the word “anandapenia” to mean deficiency of anandamide (or deficiency of bliss). I must suffer from this deficiency, because the first time I smoked it, at the age of 42, I felt normal foor the first time in my life.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The author has obviously failed to do the most obvious research. Simply read all.the available abstracts, patents and research reports. NIH has over 40,000 abstracts and reports. I’ve read over 38,000. I’ve seen enougb. I saw enough at 4,000 to make me.start looking and by 5,000 I KNEW what I was seeing was true. The 49 essential nutrients USDA claims are what we need are NOT inclusive the nutritive requirements of the massive endocannabinoid system. It is responsible for 100’s if not 1000s of specific functions across all 210 human cell types and other organisms within the human body, most of which are beneficial bacteria. All of these systems, cells and more are dependent and interdependent to the 532 compounds in cannabis. That’s 20 times MORE.nutrients and THAT IS WHY WE DISEASE AT ALL. NIH announced backn around June 2015, the on review of all the available research, their senior scientists determined that the endocannabinoid system is actively involved in every disease they’ve tested so far. Problem is, they neglected to follow up with the fact that they have tested almost every disease and certainly every disease classification. It’s a multifunctional system set up, too. You have the short lived, on demand only, first line, limited.scope endocannabaianoids and then you have the real complimentary fat cell cohabitants, the phenolic terpenoids, the phytocannabinoids and their sister branch of terpenoids the terpenes. A total of over 320 compounds with multiple symbiotic relationships. Those stored in the fat cells are called on in scenarios the endocannabinoids cannot handle thus we always are supposed to have.reserves. those compoundsnalso evacuate and eliminate bad fats and sugars, therefore a more enhanced metabolism and it doesn’t stop there. Everywhere you look there they work. 2,5 times faster and stronger bone growth and healing. Brain cell production, repair and inflammatory relief. In every step of reproduction. You name it the endocannabinoid regulates and makes sit possible. It’s truly mind.boggling what this.plants compounds are responsible for but is either compromised or completely absent. It also.explains over.95% of disease is preventable and curable. Effectively ending pharma and much of modern medicine. A lot of misguided wasted efforts and industries that in effect are actually not.practicing medicine at all. It’s all in those reports and I wish more people would read these. They’re fascinating. Lets.put it this way. You will learn more.than any local doctor knows not just about this plant, but the real.working of the human body, capabilities we often didn’t even know was possible ir pharma has tried for decades to replicate and failed. This plant is THAT Powerful, but don’t believe me, I dare you to spend the next 40 months of your free time and read this material. You will see the world differently and cannabis for sure. In fact, the entire set of debate points will look insane to even suggest once it’s understood.by everyone the health power as nutrients this single.plant has. Oh, there’s more, both in medicine and in other areas, too..they are equally profound. That high? SO WHAT!! Period. So what.

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  9. I recently returned from a canna-cation in Colorado where I experimented with many forms of cannabis. I was simply unable to get high even in a tour bus full of smoke, joints being passed around like candy.

    If everyone has an endocannabinoid and I can’t get high, does that mean I’m “broken” and even medicinally it won’t work for me?

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  10. No. Though each person can react differently, the euphoria from Cannabis is not like morphine. some people come to Colorado and think they are going to be zombied out, or in a catatonic state. That is not the case at all, Cannabis can just make you relaxed, chatty, even sleepy and definitely in no pain. It is not alcohol where you lose all control.

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  11. The endo-canabinoid system connects every organ together with the brain. Canabinoid deficiency is the root of many brain related issues as well , Alzheimer’s , Dementia are the only 2 I know come from this . Remember Hemp has the same CBD properties as cannabis, that is why big pharma pushed for them both to be outlawed many years ago ! Check the Cost for meds prescribed for either of these disorders . $$$$$ is the root of all EVIL …

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    • I kinda doubt Big Pharma had anything to do with it. Hemp has been illegal since 1937. (“Marijuana” is simply hemp that’s been hybridized to boost THC content.) THC, and presumably CBD, weren’t discovered until the ’60s. “Endocannabinoids” (cannabinoids made by the human body) were discovered in the ’80s. Big Pharma didn’t know the threat it faced until then — most medicines are derived from plant compounds that have a human analog, such as endocannabinoids.

      More likely, Harry Anslinger, the psycho federal cop who pushed pot prohibition through, was looking to keep his cushy job after alcohol prohibition came to an end; of course, booze smugglers were also looking for another source of revenue. Both had plenty of political clout. Prohibition is great fun and highly profitable for cops and crooks. It was also a political weapon. Nixon aide John Ehrlichman admitted in a 1992 interview that the “war on drugs” was really a way to go after Vietnam protesters and other leftists whom Nixon despised. During the Reagan and Clinton I administrations, the “war on drugs” was used to ameliorate the unemployment problem: young black males were taken out of the labor pool and put in jail.

      Few people suspected that cannabis was a medicine until the ’90s, and it’s taken 25 years for that suspicion to become a widespread belief. Big Pharma, like “Big” everything, was behind the curve. The recent flurry of anti-marijuana “studies” shows Big Pharma is waking up to the threat. (The DEA’s recent decision to keep pot on Schedule 1 may seem like a psychotic break, but it’s completely rational: the war on weed comprises at least half the agency’s workload. There simply aren’t enough heroin junkies and speed freaks to justify DEA’s current staffing level.)

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  12. https://www.sciencedaily.com/news/mind_brain/marijuana/
    Science Daily
    Smoking marijuana provides more pain relief for men than women

    Posted: 18 Aug 2016 01:59 PM PDT
    Men had greater pain relief than women after smoking marijuana, a new study has found. Despite differences in pain relief, men and women did not report differences in how intoxicated they felt or how much they liked the effect of the active cannabis.

    Like

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