The endocannabinoid pathway is a pathway that the body does using naturally occurring endocannabinoids in the body. These endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that are made out of lipids that are present in the central nervous system (CNS) of the human body.
This system is important for energy intake, metabolism and nutrient transport. The receptor for this neurotransmitter is CB1 receptor. However these receptors are not on post synaptic membrane but instead work in a retrograde fashion. This means that the signal is sent from the postsynaptic membrane to the presynaptic membrane.
The endocannabinoids bind to receptor which in turn result in the decrease in neurotransmitter release due to a change in ion flow. After the endocannabinoids are broken down.
This inhibitory process is what gives endocannabinoids their healing properties. It’s the body’s ability to tell the brain to “chill out” and stop sending so many signals. Although cannabinoids occur naturally in the body. Medical cannabis is sometimes used to increase the amount of cannabinoids in one’s body, increasing the inhibition of other neurotransmitters such as glutamate.
The two subspecies of Cannabis (Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Satvia) are very complicated with over 300 chemical compounds and about 15% of those be cannabinoids.
Some of the more well know chemicals are:
- Cannibinol is the byproduct of when THC is exposed to light and oxygen. It seems to aid THC in its psycho-active effects. This chemical is also known for it’s anti-epileptic properties as well as its ability to relieve intraocular pressure.
- Cannabidiol which is known for it’s anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, anti-nausea and sedative properties
- Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is know for its pshyo-active effects as well as its ability to relax an individual and treat pain.
- Cannabichromene which helps give Cannabis it’s is an anti-inflammatory and anti-viral effects). It also has the potential to block the growth of cancerous tumors.
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