Cannabis for Patients

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A brief overview of how cannabis interacts and works within our bodies

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is responsible for eat, sleep, relax, forget, and protect responses. The ECS is made of three main components; two cannabinoid receptors, cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and Cannabinoid 2 (CB2). Endocannabinoids interact with these receptors, regulating our bodies balance. The last component of the ECS are the enzymes our bodies produce to break down these compounds.
Endocannabinoid system
THC and CBD molecules

Cannabinoids

There are over 113 cannabinoids, with more being discovered. The most commonly discussed in the medical cannabis industry are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These cannabinoids bind with the CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout the body, by “taking the place” of the endocannabinoids found within the body.

THC is the cannabinoid responsible for the intoxicating (the high) effects of cannabis. CBD can provide huge anti-inflammatory effects and is the furthest along in clinical tests for a variety of ailments and symptoms. CBD is the non-intoxicating cannabinoid in cannabis, which means, unlike its partner THC it does not get you high.

Terpenes

Terpenes are chemicals responsible for lending unique traits and characteristics to different strains of cannabis, creating unique and specific medical benefits, as well as flavors and smells. The 6 most common terpenes found in cannabis are Pinene, Myrcene, Limonene, Linalool, Humulene, and Caryophyllene.

Humulene icon

Humulene

Caryophyllene icon

Caryophyllene

Pinene icon

Pinene

Myrcene icon

Myrcene

Limonene icon

Limolene

Linalool icon

Linalool

The Entourage Effect

Coined by Dr. Ethan Russo, this theory states that using “whole plant medicine” where you are ingesting or inhaling multiple compounds from the cannabis plant changes and in some cases enhances the effects of these compounds. Some of the benefits of utilizing the entourage effect include using less cannabis, and receiving the same benefits as you would from a higher dose. Compounds such as terpenes also double down on the effectiveness of cannabinoids, maximizing the abilities of your medicine and affecting your body differently.

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