Endocannabinoids & The Human Body
Research shows cannabinoids could be the bridge between our minds and physical health. How can chiropractors help their patients--and society--leverage this long overlooked and potentially powerful healing resource?
The endogenous cannabinoid system—named for the plant that led to its discovery—is one of the most important physiologic systems involved in establishing and maintaining human health. Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. With its complex actions in our immune system, nervous system, and virtually all of the body’s organs, the endocannabinoids are literally a bridge between body and mind. By understanding this system, we begin to see a mechanism that could connect brain activity and states of physical health and disease.1
In another insightful and forward-thinking article for this month’s Chiropractic Economics magazine, our longtime sponsor and friend of the association Joe Kryszak dives into the existing body of knowledge as well as the forefront of innovation and research happening currently into the relationship between cannabinoid compounds and the human body. With its legal status shifting across the United States, and a myriad selection of CBD and CBG products available nationwide, cannabis and its active constituent compounds are the subject of more attention and study than ever before. Reasonable people can continue the debates over marijuana’s legal status and societal influence as a recreational psychoactive product within similar categories as alcohol; But as time passes and relevant studies conclude, the potential for cannabis and its constituent compounds to provide relatively safe and effective alternatives to things such as opiate pain relief and a range of maladies affecting sleep, anxiety, muscle spasticity, and nausea can no longer be denied.
The exact relationship between its psychoactive ingredients and its physiological effects are still being determined. The fact is we have only known about the intercellular signal pathways and receptors in the body that facilitate these effects for approximately 30 years, so the area is ripe for discovery, and the more we learn the more appealing the potential for cannabis becomes as a clearly healthier alternative to things like opioids, SSRI’s, muscle relaxers, and sedatives. For most chiropractors, this revelation is very likely to be rather unsurprising. Chiropractic has long been aware of the body’s innate ability to heal and sustain a healthy life. The human body’s endocannabinoid system, only just discovered in 1992, is comprised endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors, and cannabinoid receptor proteins that are expressed throughout the vertebrate central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. The relative simplicity of cannabis-derived products that stimulate and regulate the body’s own endocannabinoid network to produce the desired relief and treatments while offering minimal negative side effects and/or potential for addiction, especially when prepared in ways that promote non-psychoactive beneficial compounds.
As president of Stirling Oils, a leading provider of cannabis-derived products manufactured specifically for chiropractors, Joe Kryszak’s most recent article makes a timely and cogent argument for how chiropractic can take on a leading role in helping our society grow out of the multiple crises in healthcare that “mainstream” medicine has saddled it with. Carolina Chiropractors believes this argument is well worth consideration, and if you have not already incorporated all-natural CBD treatments into your practice, we also recommend reaching out to Stirling Oils and learning how they can help you provide a wider range of options for treating patients effectively and safely.