It probably has not escaped anyone that cannabis is getting a lot of media attention lately. In the public eye, the image of cannabis is rapidly shifting from gateway drug to universal cure. What people may have missed though, is why cannabis is suddenly receiving all this positive attention. The reason for this revolution is a fairly recent discovery in biology: the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is what separates us from amoebae. The human body consists of hundreds of billions of cells. The fact that we are not just a big blob of cells but precisely sculpted, functional human beings is due to the endocannabinoid system. This system governs life’s most critical functions such as the control of cell division, metabolism, immune system and brain activity.

Failure to control cell division may lead to cancer on the one hand and to degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or Huntington’s on the other.

Similarly, energy levels need to be tightly controlled. Failure to do so can lead to anorexia on the one hand and bulimia on the other. A strong connection between cannabis and feeding behavior has always been suspected, but now science is uncovering the underlying mechanism.

Being able to discriminate self from non-self is another crucial condition for life. Failure results in autoimmune disease like Crohn’s (irritable bowel disease), Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis or debilitating inflammation.

Finally, intelligent life requires tight control of behavior or brain activity. Failure to maintain this balance can manifest itself as epilepsy, Autism, Migraine, schizophrenia or depression. For this reason, cannabis use has often been associated with these diseases. Only where cannabis was usually blamed for causing mental disorders, it is now increasingly recognized that many people are genetically predisposed to and might actually self-medicate to stave off these very disorders.

Combined, a picture emerges where many seemingly distinct diseases share a common defect: a dysfunctional or overstressed endocannabinoid system. Since endocannabinoids are functionally very similar to plant cannabinoids, plant cannabinoids can be exploited to boost the endocannabinoid system and promote mental and physical balance. This is the key to the therapeutic potential of plant cannabinoids.

For a full introduction to cannabis-based medicine, please read the GH MEDICAL White Paper English PDF (please re-load page if PDF does not show)