Endocannabinoid System, or ECS for short.

Endocannabinoid System, or ECS for short.

Endocannabinoid System, Or ECS For Short.

Today, I get to tell you a secret. It's a secret that's been well kept for almost 30 years. And I want to start by sharing with you a quick story about a revolutionary t's because there's a secret system in your body that no one like no one is talking about. 

Now we know these systems really well, right? They're taught in every health anatomy and physiology class between elementary and high school and medical school. You guys know these? Yeah, we have our circulatory and our pulmonary systems, our skeletal and muscular systems, just to name a few. And we all know about our nervous system, which we once that controlled the mall. But today I'm going to talk to you about the system. It's a system totally unlike supreme to and in control of all the rest. And it was completely left out of every single medical textbook I read.

So yes, ladies and gentlemen, this secret system is what's known as the endocannabinoid system, or ECS for short. So if I say that you know what I mean. And now we get to really nerd out as I explained what it is and how it works. So the endocannabinoid system resides within all animals except the insect. It's a 600 million year old messenger and receptor system, integral to homeostasis, or the management of balance within your body. From embryonic development immunosurveillance there is not a single function in your bodies that is not somehow influenced or modulated by the ACS. You can think of it as a switchboard functioning in and across all physiologic processes and organs, acting and reacting to internal and external stimuli to direct, correct and overall manage your health. Although a gross simplification, the endocannabinoid system can be broken down into four core components. 

First up, we have the cannabinoid receptors, like CB one, and CB two in counting. Next, we have the ligands that bind to those receptors and initiate an action called endocannabinoids. Or body made cannabinoids like inanda, mine and to ag. And we have the synthesizing enzymes that make these endocannabinoids on demand when they're needed, and the degradative enzymes that break them down after they're used, and it works through something called retrograde signaling.

Endocannabinoid System

So illustrated in this diagram is the route of an Endocannabinoid that's made in a postsynaptic neuron in response to neurotransmitter stimulation, it then travels backwards or retrograde across the synapse, where it binds to cannabinoid receptor on the presynaptic membrane to initiate an action, in this case, blocking the release of neurotransmitter. So let me break it down a little bit simpler. It's an analogy. So let's say the endocannabinoid system is your dormitory or your apartment building. And your neighbor across the hall is making a lot of noise and they're getting really loud. You just walk across the hall, and you politely ask them to turn the volume down. So you can imagine how important this function is. When cells are sending signals of stress, pain, or inflammation, like your noisy neighbor, these processes need to be checked. And it's through this mechanism that the endocannabinoid system checks these processes back into balance so that your body can relax. 

The Endocannabinoid System

Remember to eat, fall asleep, forget traumatic experiences and protect itself along with a host of other mediating and restorative processes. The endocannabinoid system keeps your body in balance. Now Up to now, you guys probably thought the brain was the boss, right? We all did. But the brain is not the boss. The endocannabinoid system is and we had it wrong. So with all that said, You guys might be confused why this really awesome system was kept secret for so long. Well, I'd say but it probably has something to do with the plant that they used to discover it. So back in the 80s, researchers wanted to know how THC worked in THC is a plant made cannabinoid or Phyto cannabinoid found in cannabis. 

Endocannabinoid System

And it's responsible for the intoxicating and euphoric genic properties that cannabis is so infamous for. And using radio tagged THC, the endocannabinoid system was discovered as THC locked into and unveiled this extensive receptor network concentrated throughout the brain. And throughout the rest of the body. In THC did this because they found out it's a direct analog or mimicker of our own Endocannabinoid Amanda mine. And as an aside, Amanda mine also known as the bliss molecule, it's what's really responsible for the runner's high, not endorphins, right? So if any of you have ever experienced the euphoria that's come with exercising, that's your endocannabinoid system, that's an end of mine. And we're finding more each day about over 100 other Phyto cannabinoids found in cannabis and other plants that mimic our endocannabinoids and have the potential to supplement or meet or modulate the endocannabinoid system in therapeutic and healing ways. So this is where we're at. We have this incredibly mind blowing system. And we have this plant, a plant that works on this system and therapeutic and healing waste. So what I really hope you're wondering right now is what's wrong with that?


All right, well, the answer lies within the annals of American medical history, starting with two guys who really wanted to sell a lot of prescription drugs. And in their heyday at the turn of the 20th century, American medicine was based on homeopathy and herbal medicine and natural passing chiropractors weren't getting down. Patent drugs. So with the millions of dollars in their pocket book, a document called the flexner report and the full force of state governments, American medical training was consolidated and standardized in accordance with pharmaceutical drug science, to the exclusion of holistic care practices, natural substances and remedies and natural cures. And this created a system that made patentable pharmaceutical drugs that treated symptoms easy to sell. And that made natural holistic care and practices and unpatentable plant medicine like cannabis fringe quackery and illegal. What's surprising to most is that us physicians prescribe cannabis routinely to their patients. Well into the 20th century. Cannabis was once a top three most commonly prescribed medicines dwindling out of use, due to heavy taxation, the prosecution of the doctors who prescribed it And finally, it being written out of American pharmacopoeia in 1942. You see big business, wrote my textbook, and I can only speculate that the endocannabinoid system was kept secret for so long, because its science validated the use of unpatentable plant medicine like cannabis, and other natural practices. But the pharmaceutical industry wasn't the only big business disrupting the ones free market of health. We Americans spend multiples of billions of dollars annually on unhealthy and low quality foods. In addition to the prescription drugs we reflexively depend upon, both of which are directly linked to endocannabinoid system dysfunction, which we now know is the precipitant to most chronic diseases. And as a result, Americans are getting sicker and sicker. riding around around on a ferris wheel of big interest that we pay to ride doesn't make any sense. We're outsourcing the responsibility of our health to the bigs and they're cashing in at our expense. Staying on this ride, is a losing battle. But this can be the past. If we reimagine our future, and in the future, all we need is love.


But the type of love that I'm talking about is selfless. Because in the battle with the bigs, self love is the revolution of one. Not until we start taking good care of ourselves do we opt out of the big business of disease, and the revolution of when is you choosing to live in balance, and the endocannabinoid system is your on ramp. Now as powerful and resilient as the endocannabinoid system is it is not immune to aging, or the assaults of modern living like those unhealthy foods and chronic use of prescription drugs, environmental pollutants and toxins, emotional stress and how all of those things interplay on our genetics. Now I just looked at listed the top five contributors to ECS dysfunction and disease and they should be avoided. But caring for yourself and your endocannabinoid system requires a bit of understanding of what nurtures it, and what restores it. And here are your tools eat real food because it provides the body with what it needs for healthy cells and the raw materials for building those endocannabinoids supplement with adaptogenic herbs and spices because it's they soothe and tone the endocannabinoid system, aiding and balance restoration. detox because it cleanses the body it reduce inflammation and rid of harmful toxins that abet endocannabinoid system dysfunction. Incorporate Phyto cannabinoids and canavalia meta practices Phyto cannabinoids like CBD and THC. When taken as whole plant cannabis have shown helpful in diseases of endocannabinoid system dysfunction and wellness overall, and canavalia mimetic practices I know that's another fancy word, like sleeping and exercise, yoga and meditation. Deep breathing in prayer soothing tone the endocannabinoid system as though they were supplements themselves. And lastly, maintain healthy relationships. 

Now, as we're nearing the end of my talk, I know I've given you a mouthful of information and it might be a little overwhelming, but I really hope that piqued your curiosity and maybe spark some inspiration, as it did for me. And I in my family have been so compelled by the physiology of the endocannabinoid system, and the care requires that we're pioneering the nascent fields of endocrinology and cannabinoid medicine with many other scientists and clinicians worldwide. This is our calling. And effecting systemic change with this system is what gets us up and going every morning and we're not going to stop until This information is in the textbook.

Thank you.

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