Just in time for 4/20: Reality Sandwich’s Alan Badiner writes about the presence of naturally-occurring endocannabinoids in the food supply:
Aside from the cannabinoids produced by the body and those found in cannabis, there are numerous substances that interact with the endocannabinoid system, such as cacao, black pepper, echinacea, tumeric and even carrots. But it is the Cannabis plant that produces the most powerful cannabinoids mimicing most closely those produced by the body. No downsides, no side-effects, no drug interaction issues, and so far, no giving up your hard earned funds to big pharma.
Make no mistake, I’m not referring to THC, of which Americans smoke more of per person than any other people on Earth, but rather the “other,” non-psychoactive cannabinoid called Cannabidiol (CBD), a prominent molecular component of the cannabis plant. While CBD does not bind to either the CB1 or CB2 cannabinoid receptors directly, it does stimulate endogenous cannabinoid activity by suppressing an enzyme that breaks down anandamide. CBD is also a counterbalance to the action of THC at the CB1 receptor, mitigating or muting the psychoactive effects of THC. Weed enthusiasts would be wise to keep some CBD on hand for when things get… out of hand.
If just 10% of what research doctors are now saying about CBD is true, then this is a discovery with significance similar in medical impact to the discovery of antibiotics. Myriad serious scientific peer-reviewed studies in Europe have pointed to CBD as having almost unprecedented healing power over an extraordinary variety of pathologies. Even the stodgy National Cancer Institute has referenced this on their website.
Surprisingly, there is still little awareness of this outside of the medical research community. Surely an unknown plant newly found in a remote rainforest with the same medical profile would be heralded as a miraculous cure. But in the last half-century, this particular plant has been better known as an intoxicant than a medicine.