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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Nature Basics: Physiology 101

Dec 01, 2019 12:18PM ● By Earth's Healing
The human body has been the subject of study for well over 2,000 years. With numerous complexities, scientists throughout the ages have theorized, discovered, researched and proven many of the body’s systems—the processes that keep the human body alive and functioning every single day.
In the second century, a Greek physician, Galen of Pergamon, a doctor for Roman Emperors for decades, theorized about the circulatory system. In the sixteenth century, William Harvey published the first accurate definition of blood circulation. In the 1870s, Ivan Pavlov helped broaden the understanding of the digestive system, and in 1909, J. S. Haldane discovered the respiratory system. In 1964, an Israeli scientist named Robert Mechoulam was instrumental in discovering the first phytocannabinoid on the marijuana plant. This began the long road to discovering the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a pathway of energy affecting almost every area of the human body.

Decades after Mechoulam’s work, a postdoctoral neuropharmacologist, Nick DiPatrizio, identified the first cannabinoid receptor in the brain. This brought light to why people felt euphoric when smoking marijuana. DiPatrizio expanded his research on cannabinoid receptors in the brain to other areas of the body. He discovered that, in rats, hunger increased the endocannabinoid levels in the small intestines and that the signaling was coming from the gut rather than from the brain.

DiPatrizio discovered a second receptor that was not central to the nervous system. It was from this discovery that the complexity of the ECS was revealed. The first endocannabinoid receptor discovered in the brain and central nervous system is named CB1, and the endocannabinoid receptors named CB2 are located elsewhere throughout the body.

Today, researchers are calling the ECS the most complex system in the body. Its primary function is to keep the body balanced and in homeostatic harmony. The human body produces endocannabinoids naturally, and the cannabinoids from the marijuana plant, when ingested, attach themselves to the endocannabinoids. This triggers a reaction that activates the endocannabinoid system. This sets off a chain reaction where the body begins to take action regarding a rebalance of systems. In effect, this cannabinoid reaction begins the healing process throughout the body. Any stimulus that upsets the delicate balance of our internal environment is attacked by the body’s immune system, with the ECS being the general, keeping all bodily functions in check.

The ECS has been shown to play a principal role in digestion, metabolism, fighting inflammation and chronic pain, mood, memory, motor skills, cardiovascular system, liver function, bone growth and remodeling, the reproductive system and the skin and all its nerve functions. This is only a partial list of where the ECS has shown to be beneficial in maintaining or treating ailments in the body. All of the benefits that the ECS offers are traced back to the cannabinoids of the marijuana plant and how they are helpful on so many levels within the body.

It’s taken centuries for scientists to fully understand the complexity of the human body. With its circulatory system, respiratory and digestive systems, the neurological functions of the brain, and now the endocannabinoid system, there is a continuous inquiry into bodily systems and functions, it’s a revelation when something new and exciting about the human body is discovered. The discovery of the endocannabinoid system has launched the progress and advancement of medicine, and how to treat conditions, ailments and diseases, into a new trajectory—one that will be based on plant medicine and everything natural.

For more information and education, visit Earth’s Healing Dispensary, conveniently located at 2075 E. Benson Hwy. and 78 W. River Rd., Tucson. Connect at See ad, page 33.