Cannabis facilitates wellness through your endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoid Receptors are found throughout the body - but, the most dense clusters appear in the brain and central nervous system. The endocannabinoid anandamide - which has a similar chemical structure to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - has been shown to inhibit human breast cancer cell proliferation (meaning it prevents metastasis!). Though this cannabinoid generally interacts with the CB1 receptors (which are found in the brain and central nervous system), it also mediates the immune system through CB2 receptors found throughout the peripheral tissues of the body.
When you ingest cannabinoids from your medical cannabis, the endocannabinoid system is spurred into action. Unlike pills and typical medicines, which overwork your liver and cause atrocious side effects, medical cannabis is treated as a more powerful version of anandamide. In other words, your body doesn't see cannabis as a poison - it sees Tylenol or Advil as a toxin! That's why you can overdose on run-of-the-mill pills and not medical cannabis. Our body is prepared to handle cannabinoids! :)
Watch the above visualization of the endocannabinoid system. This will help you understand the mechanisms involved in medical cannabis therapy!
Visualization of the Endocannabinoid System was a Master's Research Project by Leanne Chan in 2011. She composed this exceptional video in her pursuit of a Masters of Science Degree in Biomedical Communications, offered by the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto. Below, you'll find a description of the content in her own words:
"The endocannabinoid signaling system is composed of the cannabinoid receptors; their endogenous ligands, the endocannabinoids; the enzymes that produce and inactivate the endocannabinoids; and the endocannabinoid transporters. The endocannabinoids are a new family of lipidic signal mediators, which includes amides, esters, and ethers of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Endocannabinoids signal through the same cell surface receptors that are targeted by Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9THC), the active principles of cannabis sativa preparations. The biosynthetic pathways for the synthesis and release of endocannabinoids are still rather uncertain. Unlike neurotransmitter molecules that are typically held in vesicles before synaptic release, endocannabinoids are synthesized on demand within the plasma membrane. Once released, they travel in a retrograde direction and transiently suppress presynaptic neurotransmitter release through activation of cannabinoid receptors. The endocannabinoid signaling system is being found to be involved in an increasing number of pathological conditions. In the brain, endocannabinoid signaling is mostly inhibitory and suggests a role for cannabinoids as therapeutic agents in central nervous system (CNS) disease. Their ability to modulate synaptic efficacy has a wide range of functional consequences and provides unique therapeutic possibilities."