THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM - GOAT DISCOVERY
THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM - Dr. Dustin Sulak's clinics have treated over 20,000 patients with cannabis based medicines.
Modern Cannabinoid research has proven that this statement is still valid. In 1902 Thomas Edison said;
"There were never so many able, active minds at work on the problems of disease as now, and all their discoveries are tending toward the simple truth that you can't improve on nature."
MEET DR. SULAK
Dr. Dustin Sulak's clinics have treated over 20,000 patients with cannabis based medicines. The good doctor shares his state of the art knowledge about how cannabis works in the body, and that leads to a talk about the magic that is the human endocannabinoid system. Patients and Doctors alike stand to benefit from this profound yet simple to understand explanation about the way our body systems are really controlled.
Cannabis has a profound influence on the human body. This one herb and its variety of therapeutic compounds seem to affect every aspect of our bodies and minds. How is this possible?
At Dustin Sulak's integrative medical clinics in Maine and Massachusetts, his colleagues treated over 18,000 patients with a huge diversity of conditions and symptoms. In a single day he might see deal with epilepsy, chronic pain,cancer, Crohn's, multiple sclerosis, insomnia, Tourette's syndrome and eczema to name but a few.
All of these conditions result from varying causes, multiple physiological states, and enormously different symptoms. His patients cover the gambit, from the old to the young. Many are undergoing traditional medical therapy. Some are on a dedicated to an alternative path. No matter the differences, the common denominator is that nearly all patients agree that cannabis is important to treating their conditions and symptoms.
SHORTAGE OF SCIENTIFIC INFO ON MARIJUANA - NOT REALLY
As a physician, he is very wary of any medicine that is claimed to be a cure-all. Snake-oil remedies and salesmen, fads and styles, they come and go. The big claims too often turn out to be ittle more than propaganda, urban myth, telling people what they want to hear and believe. This turned out to be not the case. As the good physician explored the enormously wide variety of claims, he was astounded to find that there are literally thousands of supporting research papers, studies and trials out there. Furthermore, he discovered that there is an explosion of scientific research on the therapeutic potential of marijuana - and cannabis based medicines. Furthermore, he found more information about medical marijuana than on some of the most widely used pharmaceutical drugs.
PUBMED - 20,000 PAPERS THAT INCLUDE CANNABIS, CANNABINOIDS
After conducting his own survey two years ago in 2015, the good ohysician found that PubMed reported thousands of scientific journal articles published in the last 20 years containing the word "cannabis" - or 8,637 results. Now the total papers comes in at 10,000. Adding the word "cannabinoid," and he found that the results increase to 20,991 articles, which is an average of two new scientific papers per day for 20 years running.
"These numbers not only illustrate the present scientific interest and financial investment in understanding more about cannabis and its components, but they also emphasize the need for high quality reviews and summaries such as the document you are about to read." - Dustin Sulak' D.O.
So, how can this single herb treat so many different conditions? How can cannabis provide both palliative and curative actions? Why is it so safe while offering such awesome effects? The quest to answer these fundamental questions led scientists to the discovery of a unknown physiologic system, which is central to health and healing of in man and beast alike. This body system was named after cannabis (the key to the discovery) .... Welcome to the endocannabinoid system.
THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
The endogenous or body's own cannabinoid system is so named after the plant that led to its discovery. The endocannabinoid system is probably the most important single physiologic system that regulates and maintains health. The body's own endocannabinoids modulate, dial up and down receptors (called cannabinoid receptors). Cannabinoid receptors are found on most of the body's cells - on the membrane - and are especially abundant and active in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. In tissue, the cannabinoid system performs several different tasks, with a single overall function which is homeostasis, maintenance and stabilization of the internal environment in response, an adaptation to fluctuations in the external environment.
Cannabinoids have been established - beyond any doubt to promote homeostasis at every level of life, from sub-cellular, in the organism, and probably at community level and beyond. Autophagy, for example, is a process where a cell sequesters part of its contents and is self-digested and recycled, and this happening is mediated by the cannabinoid system. While normal cells are left untouched, the old, mutated, and defunct cells are cleansed, and this is the secret - how cannabinoids assist in maintaining a balance between: the synthesis, degradation, and subsequent recycling of cellular products.
HOW CANNABIS FIGHTS CANCER
This is how cannabinoids fight cancer, and a how a deficiency in the endocannabinoid system - is the primary cause of cancer, or rather allows cancerous cells to propagate. Cannabis has been shown to repeatedly have a deadly effect on malignant tumor cells, causing them to self-consume, which is a normal thing in a healthy individual. This phenomena is called programmed cellular suicide. Cancer cells death, therefore promotes homeostasis and survival at the level of the entire organism.
Furthermore, endocannabinoids and cannabinoids are active in cells at the intersection of the body's various systems, allowing coordination and communication between various cell types. For example, at the site of insult and injury, cannabinoids decrease the release of activators and sensitizers in the injured tissue, which stabilizes the nerve cell, which in turn prevents excessive firing. This calms nearby immune cells, which prevents the release of proinflammatory molecules. So it is three different mechanisms of action on three different cell types that act toward a singular purpose: to minimize the pain and damage caused by insult and injury.
"The endocannabinoid system, with its complex actions in our immune system, nervous system, and all of the body's organs, is literally a bridge between body and mind. By understanding this system we begin to see a mechanism that explains how states of consciousness can promote health or disease." - Dustin Sulak D.O.
Regulating our internal and cellular homeostasis is not the only function of cannabinoids, they influence the organism's relationship with its external environment. Socially in humans, the administration of cannabinoids clearly alters behavior, commonly promoting sharing, humor, and creativity.
"By mediating neurogenesis, neuronal plasticity, and learning, cannabinoids may directly influence a person's open-mindedness and ability to move beyond limiting patterns of thought and behavior from past situations. Reformatting these old patterns is an essential part of health in our quickly changing environment."- Dustin Sulak D.O.
Little Sea squirt animals or nematodes to vertebrate species share the endocannabinoid system. It is an essential part of their life cycle and the adaptation to environmental changes. The genetics of cannabinoid receptors in different species imply that the endocannabinoid system evolved in primitive animals over 600 million years ago, perhaps.
While we are learning a lot about cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system, the estimated twenty thousand scientific articles really are the tip of the iceberg. We know it's ice and we know it's big. We're expecting to uncover many more of it's miracle functions which relate to a deeper understanding about the mysterious cells themselves.
So, despite that fact we know a lot, there are likely huge gaps in our current understanding, inevitably we will discover much more about complexity of interactions between various cannabinoids, cell types, systems and individual organisms. This is the challenge to scientists, and the current research findings points to millions of hours work, clinical trials, much deeper study on the more than 100 naturally occurring cannabinoids, not to mention terpenes, which affect potency and what else?
As stated previously, cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) are present throughout the human body, embedded in the surface of cells, in the membranes. It now appears that cannabinoid receptors are more abundant than any other receptor system. When CB receptors are stimulated, this sets off a chain of physiologic processes.
CB1 receptors have been found to be, predominant in the nervous system, connective tissues, gonads, glands, and organs.
CB2 are predominant in the immune system and related structures.
Many tissues contain both CB1 and CB2 receptors, each with a different action.
A third cannabinoid receptor may exist, and scientists are looking hard at this possibility now.
"Endocannabinoids are the substances our bodies naturally make to stimulate these receptors. The two most well understood of these molecules are called anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). They are synthesized on-demand from cell membrane arachidonic acid derivatives, have a local effect and short half-life before being degraded by the enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL)." - Dustin Sulak D.O.
Phytocannabinoids are plant substances that stimulate cannabinoid receptors in a similar manner to the body's own cannabinoids. It is the cannabis plant that contains, by far, the most cannabinoids of any found in nature. This is what makes marijuana the most desirable herb on the planet, for in the US, cannabis is the number one commodity - by a wide margin, with estimated sales in the neighborhood of $100 billion. These numbers are achieved despite the Federal Government and major pharmaceutical companies doing everything they can to suppress the advancement of medical marijuana at all levels, and this especially true of medical research.
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or d9THC, is the main psychoactive ingredient in almost all marijuana. There are other psychoactive cannabinoids, but they are confined to modest amounts in somewhat rare strains. There is a second type of psychoactive THC, called THC-V that is found in therapeutically useful quantities in some South African strains. THC-V is little studied at the clinical level, and exhibits several opposing properties as compared to d9THC. If suppresses hunger and is energising.
The famous d9THC is the certainly most widely known psychoactive and medicinal component, but other cannabinoids, especially cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) have captured the interest of researchers due their obvious therapeutic properties. A variety of phytocannabinoids have been isolated from cannabis sativa and indica, while other medical herbs, such as echinacea purpurea, have been shown to contain non-psychoactive cannabinoids as well.
The cannabis plant has evolved to produce THC and other cannabinoids to promote its own health and offset disease. These marijuana-hemp cannabinoids have antioxidant properties that protect the leaves and flowering structures from ultraviolet radiation - neutralize harmful free radicals and protect the cells. Similarly, in humans, free radicals cause aging, cancer, and impaired healing and these cannabinoid antioxidants can help prevent free radical harm.
Novel and existing organic cannabinoids can be synthesized artificially in the laboratory. Some of these synthetic cannabinoids have a strength 100 or even 1000 times greater than THC in some body functions, making them extremely dangerous. Synthetic cannabinoids have made it from underground labs to the street. , A drug sold on the street called Spice is a synthetic cannabinoid mixture that sometimes contain amphetamines, crack and god know's what. The consequence of using Spice can be completely disastrous.
"Synthetic THC, marketed as dronabinol (Marinol), and nabilone (Cesamet), a THC analog, are both FDA approved drugs for the treatment of severe nausea and wasting syndrome. Some clinicians have found them helpful in the off-label treatment of chronic pain, migraine, and other serious conditions. Many other synthetic cannabinoids are used in animal research, and some have potency up to 600 times that of THC." - Dustin Sulak D.O.
While cannabinoids from marijuana are exceedingly safe to use in the clinic, this is definitely not the case with Spice. It should be noted that while synthetic THC has been found to safely work to alleviate many conditions and symptoms, its overall efficacy pales in comparison to nature's own cannabinoids. If what is called the entourage effect, the different cannabinoids work together for a more balanced and healthy effect. For this reason, strains that are more balanced, and contain more than just THC (with CBD and other cannabinoids) have found favor among perhaps the majority medical marijuana practitioners.
SUPPLEMENTING YOUR ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
As we sort through the emerging science of cannabis and cannabinoids, one thing shines true: a dysfunctional cannabinoid system is disastrous to one's health and supplementation with phytocannabinoids can be extremely beneficial. From embryonic implantation in the uterus, to nursing and growth into a human being, to responding to injury and insult, endocannabinoids help us survive and adapt to an ever changing and often hostile environment.
As the good doctor realized these basic facts about cannabinoids, he wondered; can an individual enhance his/her cannabinoid system by taking supplemental cannabis? Beyond treating just the symptoms, and even cure disease, could cannabis help us prevent diseases and improve health by stimulating this ancient system that is hard-wired in every one of us?
CONSUMING SMALL OR MODERATE AMOUNTS OF CANNABIS BUILDS UP THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
His conclusion was a firm yes. The literature documents that small doses of cannabinoids from marijuana time and again - does signal the body to make more of its own endocannabinoids and to grow more cannabinoid receptors. This is why first-time cannabis users don't feel much of an effect, but they begin to respond after using the herb several times, after they've built more cannabinoid receptors, .
More receptors increase a person's sensitivity to cannabinoids to the point where smaller doses have more profound effects, and this enhances the baseline activity of the endocannabinoid system. The doctor concluded that small, regular doses of cannabis probably acts as a tonic to our most important central physiologic healing system.
Why only Man Made Synthetics and NOT Organic God made Molecules are not prescribed..
Many physicians find the thought of recommending marijuana or even any herb, frankly disturbing or even mortifying. Then again, we should ask ourselves why the current medical system focuses on synthetic chemicals over naturally occurring remedies. The reason that medical school avoids telling their students, is that natural molecules are not patentable, only synthetics and synthetic manufacturing processes are.
Then there is the simple minded nature of medicine and cause and effect. While biological systems are complex and everything is interrelated, pharmacology essentially ignores this most important and basic fact of medicine. Today's drugs are purified single molecules, and action is measured for a single cause and effect. Interrelationships and individual genetic differences are seldom properly taken into account. In the case of medicinal marijuana, this is why the medical industry seeks to market pure synthetic THC and soon CBD; whereas it's already been shown in countless studies that the natural herb is more effective and is also preferred by patients, by a wide margin. So it goes in the paradigm of big pharma medicinal.
As stated previously, unlike synthetic cannabis derivatives, natural herbal cannabis may contain over one hundred different cannabinoids, including psychoactive THC, which all work in synergy in yet to be precisely defined ways, to produce a much better medical effects and less nasty side effects than THC alone. In fact, landrace strains - which are unaltered in genetic structure through selective breeding, have much more CBD and other cannabinoids, as compared to the standard super THC variety that dominates the recreational scene. While marijuana is safe and works well when smoked, many patients don't want respiratory irritation and resort successfully to using a vaporizer, marijuana in tincture form, or transdermal salve.
"Scientific inquiry and patient testimonials alike indicate that herbal cannabis has superior medical qualities to synthetic cannabinoids."- Dustin Sulak D.O.
"There were never so many able, active minds at work on the problems of disease as now, and all their discoveries are tending toward the simple truth that you can't improve on nature." - Thomas Edison said
So, is it possible that medical cannabis could be the most useful remedy to treat the widest variety of human diseases and conditions, a component of preventative healthcare, and an adaptive support in our increasingly toxic, carcinogenic environment? Yes. This was well known to the indigenous medical systems of ancient India, China, and Tibet, and as you will find in this report, is becoming increasingly well known by Western science. Of course, we need more human-based research studying the effectiveness of cannabis, but the evidence base is already large and growing constantly, despite the DEA's best efforts to discourage cannabis-related research.
"A 5,000 year history of safe therapeutic use, and a huge amount of published research, most Physicians know little or nothing about medical cannabis." - Dustin Sulak D.O.
So you must ask this question, does my Physician understand the benefits of medical cannabis? Can they advise you about indications, proper dosage, and best route of administration? Unless they have experience and education, the answer must be no. Despite the physician associations (American Medical Association and American College of Physicians) calling for more medical marijuana research, the U.S. Congress blocked federal interference in states' medical cannabis programs.
Functionally, the old paradigm blocking the use of medical marijuana is evaporating before our eyes, even as Jeff Sessions and the DEA keep on doing their thing to block cannabis based medicine. People need safe, natural and inexpensive treatments that stimulate our bodies' ability to heal themselves and improve their quality of life. Medical cannabis might be the best solution possible, as hundreds of thousands of patients attest themselves.
Editior's note: Dr. Sulak is not affiliation with this website.
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Dustin Sulak, D.O. is a licensed osteopathic physician. He is a practitioner and advocate of integrative medicine, the intelligent combination of conventional and alternative approaches to healthcare. He has long been fascinated by mind-body medicine, spirituality in healthcare, and natural approaches to promoting health and healing. He is a clinical hypnotherapist, Reiki Sensei, practitioner of chi kung and yoga, and has studied with numerous conventional and alternative healers and physicians.
Dr. Sulak holds the distinction of being a Diplomat of the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine. He lectures on medical cannabis and the endocannabinoid system nationally.
He lectures on medical cannabis and the endocannabinoid system nationally. He is an advocate for medical cannabis and has been impressed by the excellent clinical responses he’s seen in medical cannabis patients. He is enthusiastic about educating patients on the optimal uses of medical cannabis, and educating healthcare providers who may be misinformed about this safe and incredibly effective medicine.
Physician of Osteopathy – Licensed General Practitioner
Clinical Hypnotherapist Certified
BSc in Biology
BSc in Nutrition
Whether you are a new or experienced cannabis user, Dr. Sulak’s step-by-step programs will guide you on how to find your optimal dosage and delivery method to achieve optimal results using cannabis. Your membership will include access to all our Programs, Ask Dr. Sulak, Wellness Activities, and all future premium content we create based on your and the Healer community’s input.
Why Medical Cannabis versus Medical Marijuana? Dr. Sulak recommends using its real name that dispels the myths about this incredible plant and invokes the truth made available by thousands of scientists and researchers: Medical Cannabis. Cannabis has a lot to offer humanity, and you deserve to know the truth............