Medical Cannabis is a treatment for patients suffering from chronic conditions for hundreds of years. The question is; how does Cannabis work?
The active ingredient in medical Cannabis is cannabinoids, one type in particular — cannabidiol (CBD). CBD doesn’t produce the psychoactive effects associated with THC. However, it does have benefits in terms of reducing pain and inflammation.
Medical Cannabis helps treat conditions such as epilepsy, depression and anxiety, cancer, and many others. Medical Cannabis contains nearly 100 different chemicals that all work together to get rid of the disease.
When ingested or inhaled, marijuana stimulates specific receptors within the brain. Which alters normal neurotransmitter release to affect appetite, memory, sensation, and movement coordination. Marijuana can reduce muscle spasticity & stiffness, help with chronic pain, and reduce anxiety. It can and even make your brain release more chemicals to improve your mood.
How Does Cannabis Work In The Human Body?
There is a lot of evidence to suggest that endocannabinoid signaling systems are in the brain. Which control a wide range of physiological processes. These include appetite, immune response, pain sensation, and mood. It is believed phytocannabinoids such as those contained in Cannabis sativa (THC) can interact with the endocannabinoid system and stimulate their activity. So, how does Cannabis work in the body?
In humans, the body’s own Cannabis-like chemicals are endocannabinoids. The most well-known of these substances are anandamide (which comes from a Sanskrit word for bliss). Which binds to cannabinoid receptors in cells throughout the brain and body.
Cannabinoid receptors, or CB1 receptors as they are commonly known, are located throughout the human brain and body. When THC from Cannabis starts its work with CB1 receptors it triggers a response in cells. They change how these cells function but also release endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol.
Scientists and The Endocannabinoid System Of How Cannabis Works
The endocannabinoid system is in a variety of brain processes, including pleasure, memory, thinking, and concentration; and the immune system. It has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects (see below). Again it’s not clear exactly how THC interacts with the endocannabinoid system.
What is proof, however, is that THC binds with a number of different cells. And, surface receptors in the nervous system including those for GABA. Which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that calms brain activity – and glutamate, another excitatory neurotransmitter that stimulates brain activity. The body produces its own cannabinoids called endocannabinoids. They are similar to THC, the active ingredient in Cannabis, and work on the same receptors. THC works by causing the euphoric feelings Cannabis users experience.
What Happens When You Use Cannabis? How Does It Work?
The effect of Cannabis on a person depends on how much they have smoked, vaporized, or orally ingested. Generally, the more consumed the greater the effect. Whether they are new to Cannabis or not; their age and general health; and, most importantly, how their brain is reacting at that particular moment when the Cannabis chemicals start to work.
To understand how THC works we need to understand more about neurotransmitters in our brains. 60-70% of our brain’s activity comes from neurotransmitters. They are chemicals that move from one neuron to the next. These neurons trigger electrical impulses to send information to different parts of the body. Most neurotransmitters work quickly and aren’t inside the spaces between neurons (they are ‘recycled’ and broken down). Endocannabinoids, however, are different. They synthesize on-demand by the body (outside of the brain and spinal column) and are stationary in these spaces between neurons.
When THC the Cannabis compound consumption it works by stimulating cannabinoid receptors in our brains. And the receptors have been found to involve in a variety of processes. The processes include memory, thinking, concentration, regulating our appetites, nausea/vomiting control, and other bodily functions. The most important of the cannabinoid receptors are CB1 receptors. They are located throughout the human brain and body, including in organs like the heart or lungs. The endocannabinoids serve as messages between cells.
CB1 receptors have also in our immune cells: together with endocannabinoids, they form the ECS. An important part of the body’s natural defense against infection. The breakdown products of these receptors are also in embryos (where they believe play a role in cell differentiation). And even sperm where their role is not yet fully understood.
In conclusion, medical Cannabis contains cannabinoids that have medicinal purposes when consumed. Cannabis works because it helps with a wide variety of conditions in which other treatments don’t work so well. Marijuana’s cannabinoids bind to certain cells found in all parts of the brain and body. Which produces many psychological and physical effects that can vary from person to person.
Medical Cannabis is a legal form of treatment that works for patients who suffer from debilitating conditions. Like chronic pain, seizures, muscle spasms nausea caused by chemotherapy treatments, and thousands more ailments. It is cultivated over the years for its medicinal purposes to help patients with these ailments. The herb produces mind-altering effects when consumed. Which was discovered thousands of years ago. People would consume it in order to get relief from their uncontrollable muscle movements among other things.
Cannabis should not be a cure-all or an alternative to prescription medication alone. Rather as another tool for physicians and patients to use during treatment plans. More studies need to be available for medical marijuana so we can better understand the potential benefits, side effects, and medical uses of cannabis.