Meet the Master Mind
By Julie Monteiro, RN, BSK (a/k/a Ask Nurse Juhlzie)
Originally published in: Sensi Magazine Las Vegas’ August 2019 Issue.
THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM (ECS) IS THE MASTERMIND OF YOUR BODY’S HARMONIC BALANCING SYSTEM. IT’S A CONDUCTOR DIRECTING A SYMPHONIC MASTERPIECE WITH EVERY ORGAN AND CELL IN YOUR BODY, LIKE INSTRUMENTS PLAYING THE SONG OF LIFE.
Our body naturally produces endocannabinoids, or compounds that naturally bind with our endocannabinoid systems through receptors to promote and maintain cellular balance, or homeostasis. Each organ, as well as most cells in your body, has these receptors, called cannabinoid receptor sites.
Depending on the receptor site, and on the cannabinoids, the outcomes can literally make the difference between life and death. In cases of many cancerous tumors, for example, binding to the CB1 generally induces apoptosis, or cell death, while binding to the CB2 induces cell autophagy, or new cell birth.
Scientists and clinicians can target, supplement, and manipulate the endocannabinoid system using botanical compounds from plants known as phytocannabinoids. Cannabis has the highest concentration of phytocannbinoids out of any other single species in the cannabaceae family and works exceptionally well.
Your body is hardwired to work with the endocannabinoid system. When you don’t have enough cannabinoids in your system, you can become sick or develop genetic mutations that cause imbalances, a state known as clinical endocannabinoid deficiency.
As with any deficiency—vitamin, mineral or otherwise—you can take supplements to replenish your body and maintain balance. This is the same with a defi ciency in our endocannabinoid system. If you are defi cient, you need phytocannabinoids to balance that defi ciency. As nature would have it, cannabis is a diverse plant that can supplement and balance your endocannabinoid system, reducing symptoms and improving overall health and wellness. Products can be specially made using synthetic or isolated cannabinoids and/or terpenes.
A full-spectrum oil with phytocannabinoids such as the wellknown cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as well as cannabigerol or cannabichromene, can be used to treat many human and animal ailments. Cannabis has been used for thousands of years as a source of food, fi ber, and medicine, as is evidenced by various archaeological fi nds dating back to the Mesopotamian and Yamnaya (Central Asia) civilizations in 6,000 BC. While the plant’s origins can be traced back to ancient civilizations, cannabis’ history of global migration has been far more complex—even somewhat sinister, as demonstrated by its prohibition in the 20th century. In the 19th century, cannabis emerged as a mainstream leader in medicine, with the first American studies conducted in the 1840s finding that cannabis suppressed headaches, increased appetite, and aided sleep.
Cannabis was added to the US Pharmacopeia in 1850, originally listed as a treatment option for numerous afflictions including neuralgia, tetanus, typhus, cholera, rabies, dysentery, alcoholism, opiate addiction, leprosy, incontinence, gout, convulsive disorders, tonsillitis, insanity, excessive menstrual bleeding, and myalgia. The first patented cannabis tinctures were sold over-the-counter at drugstores and made by leading innovators like Pfizer (1849) and Lilly (1876). Today, medical cannabis is available in many forms. Some products are specifi cally designed to target and manage conditions, while others eliminate the guesswork associated with titration (dosing).
However, the endocannabinoid system is not fully recognized as a therapeutic target, so many people don’t get the benefi ts from it. We have come a long way, yet we still have a long way to go in integrating cannabis as a well-used option for health and wellness within the healthcare industry.
About the Author: NURSE JUHLZIE, aka JULIE MONTEIRO, RN, BSK educates professionals, patients, caregivers, corporations, and legislators on cannabis therapeutics and the science behind it. She is the founder of the Nevada Cannabis Nurses Association and a member of the American Nurses Association and Nevada State Nurses Association. She has earned certificates in the Basic Core Curriculum for Cannabis Nursing and the Advanced Curriculum for Cannabis Nursing. (@ASKNURSEJUHLZIE)