As you may have heard during our educational events or at your Medical Marijuana certification, cannabis promotes “Harmonic Balance,” aka homeostasis by stimulating our Endocannabinoid System. As this article will detail, our bodies struggle to remain in balance due to two challenges: oxidative stress and inflammation.
Thankfully our miraculous Endocannabinoid System is here to save the day. When we medicate with plant-based cannabinoids, we replenish our system and we heal naturally.
Cannabinoids enter our bloodstream by fitting into receptors in our brains and on our cells. When this happens, the body responds by, you guessed it, harmonically balancing!
Watch the below video for a brief explanation from our Dr. Mark Hashim on why cannabinoids and RevitaOil CBD are such important tools in the fight against inflammation and oxidation.
The definition of homeostasis is an organism’s ability to “maintain internal stability to compensate for environmental changes.” In terms of our bodies, this relates to resiliency. How we fight off infection, compensate for toxins, and repair environmental damages.
We have an intricate systems of atoms, molecules, and receptors which make up the cells of our bodies. When two oxygen atoms attach together, they form an O2 molecule, breathable oxygen. However when oxygen molecules split into single atoms, they become the dangerous “free radicals” that antioxidant foods and supplements try to eliminate.
Free radicals are dangerous because they cause oxidative stress, cellular decay, and inflammation. These issues are all linked to major disease.
Medical Marijuana Eliminates Free Radicals to Reduce Oxidative Stress
Technically, oxidative stress is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body. Practically, it is rust inside your body! Not healthy.
An imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants leads to cellular damage and disease. Oxidative stress can even activate a variety of proteins that affect DNA! Inflammation and oxidative stress is a big deal!
Some of the debilitating diseases in which oxidative stress and inflammation play an important role are:
- coronary heart disease (CHD)
- metabolic syndrome
- kidney dysfunction
- pulmonary insufficiency
- rheumatoid arthritis
- inflammatory bowel disease
- neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS
- age-related macular degeneration.
Oxidative stress is also linked to: premature aging, ADHD, cancer, sickle-cell disease, lichen planus, vitiligo, autism, infection, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression and Asperger syndrome.
The Role of Medical Marijuana as an Antioxidant
THC and CBD are powerful antioxidants — more powerful than vitamin C and E. In fact a U.S. Government Patent #6630507 is specifically for the neuroprotectant and antioxidant properties of cannabinoids. The government has known about this for some time.
Also, we talk a lot about the “entourage effect” of medical marijuana, and antioxidants have a “network effect,” too. In his book The Antioxidant Miracle: Your Complete Plan for Total Health and Healing, Lester Packer, a noted antioxidant researcher, explains that antioxidants work together to support each other and therefore are much more powerful together than on their own.
They build on each other, working synergistically. Just like the orchestrations of the over 400 cannabinoids present in whole plant, full-spectrum marijuana products like RevitaOil.
So although the government might own a patent, they are taking a narrow minded approach by isolating certain compounds from the cannabis plant and deriving synthetic drugs. This is a common problem with most cheap “isolate” CBD products. They only have one note in the “song” of Medical Marijuana.
The following studies details the federal government’s interest in cannabinoids as antioxidants:
- Cannabidiol and (-)Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants (Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Regulation, National Institutes of Mental Health, 1998) The study concluded:
- “Cannabidiol, THC and several synthetic cannabinoids all were demonstrated to be antioxidants. Cannabidiol and THC also were shown to prevent…oxidative damage as well as or better than other antioxidants in a chemical system and neuronal cultures. Cannabidiol was more protective against glutamate neurotoxicity than either ascorbate (Vitamin C) or alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E), indicating it to be a potent antioxidant. These data also suggest that the naturally occurring, nonpsychotropic cannabinoid, cannabidiol, may be a potentially useful therapeutic agent for the treatment of oxidative neurological disorders such as cerebral ischemia.”
Another study done in 2000:
- Neuroprotective antioxidants from marijuana (Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Regulation, NIMH, 2000) concluded:
- “it was demonstrated that Cannabidiol, THC and other cannabinoids are potent antioxidants. As evidence that cannabinoids can act as an antioxidants in neuronal cultures, cannabidiol was demonstrated to reduce hydroperoxide toxicity in neurons. In a head to head trial of the abilities of various antioxidants to prevent glutamate toxicity, cannabidiol was superior to both alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E) and ascorbate (Vitamin C) in protective capacity.”
That was eighteen years ago folks. These studies go directly against the federal government’s militant stance on marijuana and its ludicrous Schedule 1 designation.
Here’s another study from 2009:
- Beneficial effects of a Cannabis sativa extract treatment on diabetes‐induced neuropathy and oxidative stress (Phytotherapy Research, Wiley Online Library, Nov 2009) found that in rats with induced diabetes, Cannabis sativa decreased glutathione (one of our bodies naturally produced and most effective antioxidants, also known as the master antioxidant) loss in the liver while preventing nerve damage.
- “These findings highlighted the beneficial effects of cannabis extract treatment in attenuating diabetic neuropathic pain, possibly through a strong antioxidant activity and a specific action upon nerve growth factor.”
In 2010 this was further investigated while also highlighting Medical Marijuana’s potential to treat heart disease in this study:
- Cannabidiol Attenuates Cardiac Dysfunction, Oxidative Stress, Fibrosis, and Inflammatory and Cell Death Signaling Pathways in Diabetic Cardiomyopathy (Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Volume 56, Dec 2010)
- “Collectively, these results coupled with the excellent safety and tolerability profile of CBD in humans, strongly suggest that it may have great therapeutic potential in the treatment of diabetic complications, and perhaps other cardiovascular disorders, by attenuating oxidative/nitrative stress, inflammation, cell death and fibrosis.”
These studies show convincing evidence that cannabinoids reduce oxidative stress by acting as powerful antioxidants. Medical Marijuana is blocking the production of oxidative stress markers, and increasing antioxidant enzyme activities, while preventing glutathione depletion. This knowledge has huge implications!
With oxidative stress thought to be an underlying factor in everything from aging to cancer and almost every disease in between, Medical Marijuana and CBD is proving to be both an incredibly powerful treatment for diseases, and a preventative medicine!
Proof of Cannabinoids as Anti-inflammatory Superheroes
The below articles are a brief selection of studies proving the power of Cannabinoids to optimize homeostasis, reduce inflammation, and neutralize oxidative stress.
Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs (Future Medicinal Chemistry, Oct 2009).
- In addition, several studies showed that cannabinoids downregulate cytokine and chemokine production and, in some models, upregulate T-regulatory cells (Tregs) as a mechanism to suppress inflammatory responses. The endocannabinoid system is also involved in immunoregulation.
- For example, administration of endocannabinoids or use of inhibitors of enzymes that break down the endocannabinoids, led to immunosuppression and recovery from immune-mediated injury to organs such as the liver. Manipulation of endocannabinoids and/or use of exogenous cannabinoids in vivo can constitute a potent treatment modality against inflammatory disorders.”
And scientists in Switzerland studied an interesting, often overlooked cannabinoid — beta-carophyllene, which has a very different molecular structure to that of the classical cannabinoids and is non-psychoactive. It composes between 12 and 35 percent of the cannabis plant’s essential oil, and activates the CB2 receptor selectively.
In Why Cannabis Stems Inflammation (ETH Zurich/Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, July 2008), the scientists were not only able to prove that beta-carophyllene binds with the CB2 receptor in vitro but also in animal tests, where they treated mice that were suffering from an inflammatory swelling on their paws with orally administered doses of the substance. The swelling declined in up to 70 percent of the animals.
- “Whilst the CB1 receptor in the central nervous system influences perception, the CB2 receptor in the tissue plays a crucial role in inhibiting inflammation. If the receptor is activated, the cell releases fewer pro-inflammatory signal substances, or cytokines.”
A related study undertaken at the University of Milan, Italy, Oral anti-inflammatory activity of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive constituent of cannabis (Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s Archives of Pharmacology, March 2004), scientists found that CBD reduced inflammation:
- “After three doses of cannabidiol…oral cannabidiol has a beneficial action on two symptoms of established inflammation: edema (fluid retention) and hyperalgesia (increased sensitivity to pain).”
Another study found the effectiveness of another lesser known cannabinoid, CBC or cannabichromene, on fighting inflammation:
- Inhibitory effect of cannabichromene, a cannabinoid extracted from Cannabis sativa, on inflammation (British Journal of Pharmacology, June 2012)
- “CBC selectively reduces inflammation-induced hypermotility in vivo in a manner that is not dependent on cannabinoid receptors or TRPA1.”
And finally, a study undertaken in 2004 by the Japanese Pharmacological Society, New Perspectives in the Studies on Endocannabinoid and Cannabis (Journal of Pharmacological Sciences, Oct 2004) points to yet another of the lesser known cannabinoids, 2-AG, as a possible anti-inflammatory:
- “It is apparent that 2-AG plays an important part during the course of a variety of inflammatory reactions, such as acute inflammation and allergic inflammation in vivo, yet the details of the mechanism as well as the mode of action of 2-AG remain to be clarified. Further detailed studies on the CB2 receptor and 2-AG are essential for a thorough elucidation of the precise regulatory mechanisms of various inflammatory reactions.”
We have seen how Medical Marijuana, and more specifically, its bountiful array of cannabinoids, are instrumental in addressing homeostasis, or “harmonic balance,” by fitting into endocannabinoid receptors located throughout our bodies and brains.
There is undeniable evidence that cannabinoids function as powerful antioxidants which fight free radical damage, reduce oxidative stress, and neutralize inflammation. The multitude of diseases attributable to these conditions warrants serious study of almost every element within what has been called one of the “most medicinal plants” on our planet.
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