Why Cannabis Works
The Endocannabinoid System
Pain, Mood & Memory
Every person has an endocannabinoid system, just like a nervous system and digestive system. The endocannabinoid system is involved in many processes in your body, including appetite, pain-sensation, mood and memory.
Your endocannabinoid system naturally produces chemicals similar to those found in cannabis. These chemicals work to pass messages between the brain and different parts of the body through your neurons and receptors.
Leading to the Symptoms
Some medical ailments affect the proper functioning of the endocannabinoid system, which can lead to many of the symptoms that patients experience as part of their condition.
The cannabinoids introduced with medical cannabis (which are called phytocannabinoids) help to treat those symptoms by supplementing the endocannabinoids normally produced in your body, and subsidizing your endocannabinoid system as a whole.
Marijuana in History
Throughout history different cultures have recorded use of marijuana as medicine. Governing bodies across the globe have had a difficult time deciding whether or not it should be legally available to citizens. It has long been used as a medicine in India, China, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South Africa, and South America.
Today, more and more people are discovering new ways to use the cannabis plant for its unique medical properties.
- A native of central Asia, cannabis may have been cultivated as long as ten thousand years ago. It was certainly cultivated in China by 6000 B.C.
- In 4000 B.C. in China there is evidence that hemp was used in the making of textiles – actual hemp fibers are discovered.
- Around 3000 B.C. there is evidence cannabis was first used in Chinese medicine.
- 500 B.C. Europeans catch on and the plant is introduced. Probably in the northern part of the continent.
- 1840 In America, medicinal preparations with a Cannabis base are available. Hashish is available in Persian pharmacies.
- In the early 1900s in the US the Pure Food and Drug Act is passed, regulating the labeling of products containing Alcohol, Opiates, Cocaine, and Cannabis, among others.
- In the 20s and 30s in all parts of the world restrictions are put on the use of cannabis including making it illegal in China and the U.S.
- In the early 70s Nixon appoints a commission to legalize cannabis, but nothing comes of it. It remains illegal.
- 1975 a “Compassionate Use” program is set up in the US.
- Throughout the 90s and early 21st century the U.S. and Britain try to establish lower penalties.
- Around 2001 Canada is the first country to offer medical marijuana to those in need.
- Today, there are almost 10,000 people in Health Canada’s MMAR program.