– by Johan Jacobs
Before one can answer this controversial question objectively, you need to understand the endocannabinoid system.
What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?
The ECS involves a collection of millions of cell receptors and corresponding molecules that occur in humans and all mammals. These receptors on the surface of cells are like little locks with a keyhole. The “keys” for these locks are biochemical molecules, the cannabinoids. Each time a cannabinoid binds to a cell receptor (the key fits into the lock), it relays a message, giving your cell a specific instruction.
There are two types of cannabinoids:
1. Endocannabinoids are naturally produced in the body. More of these cannabinoids are produced when your diet also includes exocannabinoids – foods (plants) containing these phytochemical substances.
2. Exocannabinoids come from external sources. Generally it is plant based, originating from all strains of the cannabis plant family – the two most commonly used are marijuana (Cannabis indica or sativa) and hemp (A variety of the Cannabis sativa family). The harmless cannabinoids in the hemp plant are called cannabidiol (CBD). Hemp does not contain the psychoactive ingredient THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) that has the known narcotic effects, it can cause addiction, and can lead to other side effects such as anxiety, it can trigger depression and even psychosis. If the marijuana plant is ingested, it must always be raw (unheated), fresh (not dry) as the THC activates when heated. Cannabinoid acids found within the plant’s resin glands contain an extra carboxyl molecule that renders them psychoactively inert until being heated, thus the marijuana is harmless if raw. One should be aware that once marijuana is dried, the cannabinoid acids ‘move over’ to losing the carbon molecule and thus start building psychoactive properties. To make it easy, by definition any cannabis plant with lower than 0.3% THC content is called hemp. Hemp is therefore the preferred source as there is no risk in this plant.
Cannabinoids are important
The functioning of cannabinoids in your ECS is just as important as neurotransmission (the communication between your brain and body) to ensure vitality and optimal health. Your central nervous system and the ECS work together to help regulate and maintain the functioning of cells, tissues, and organs. It is clear that cannabis is a very special and powerful plant family because the body has built-in receptors to respond to it.
Researchers discover the ECS
Scientists would not have known about the ECS if they did not research the narcotic side effects of cannabis. Israeli researchers, under the leadership of Raphael Mechoulam, discovered the active ingredient of the marijuana plant, THC, in 1964. The ECS was discovered only later in 1992 when they researched how marijuana works in the body. These discoveries were never included in the curriculum of modern medicine. Unfortunately, medical professionals still qualify without learning about this important regulatory system in the body.
What is the role of the ECS?
This amazing ECS system is the master regulator, co-ordinator, and healer (‘inner doctor’) of the human body. Let me explain how your ‘inner doctor’ / ECS works, by means of an example. Suppose you break your leg and the bones are badly misaligned. The doctor is only the facilitator that assists the healing process by realigning the bones and stabilising the leg with a cast. He does not glue the bones together instantaneously. It is your ‘inner doctor’ that identifies the problem after the accident and activates the healing process. Normally the cast is removed after six weeks and within a few months you can use the limb again. However, who decided that special bone material should be sent to that affected area so that the healing process can begin? Who decides when the healing process is complete and no further bone material must be deposited? Our Creator has engineered healing into our genes. Each one of us has an extremely competent ‘inner doctor’ who always knows what is best. Although he does sometimes need assistance, as in the example above.
Important body processes regulated by the ECS (although not limited to these):
• Neuro transmitting
• Hormones and endocrine system
• Energy balance and metabolism
• Immune function
• Social behaviour and anxiety
• Blood sugar
• Cellular communication
• Cardiovascular function
• Reproduction and fertility
• Temperature regulation
• Bone growth and density
• Inflammation and pain
• Facilitates healing
• Detoxification and cleansing
• Motor control
• Stress response
• Pleasure and reward
There are many YouTube videos available that demonstrate how the ECS system works. It is incredible to see this powerful system in action in our bodies.
The need for daily cannabinoids
Everybody wants a body that functions optimally. We do not want to struggle with a body that cannot perform its essential functions every day. If all the above-mentioned features of your ECS are taken into account, it is clear that the hemp and marijuana plant should be classified as a superfood and herb. It is a powerful, natural medicine. Cannabinoids are indeed the missing link to ward off ‘dis-ease’ and promote health. The leaves of these plants should be part of every meal every day.
Hemp, the miracle plant
The hemp plant is extremely versatile, grows easily under different conditions, and can be grown in the garden as a source of income. Hemp is preferable over marijuana and can be used for various purposes: as natural medicine for numerous ailments; as food source, because its seeds are full of proteins and good oils; to make paper thereby saving our trees and precious forests. It can also be used as strong and durable fabric for clothing and many more.
How can you ingest it?
It is best to ingest the cannabinoids orally, through the mouth and digestive tract. Use hemp and marijuana in raw salads, juices, and smoothies, where it will not have an undesirable effect. Alternatively, Go Natural distributes hemp leaf oil on our online shop as a nutritional supplement for the ECS and regularly receives powerful testimonies of marked improvement in health from customers.
What does the Bible say?
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” – Hosea 4:6. This verse is also applicable here. Wrong information and biased propaganda about this medicinal plant family resulted in us not using the wonderful health benefits that have been known for thousands of years. Mankind can avoid trauma and much pain if we use these plants responsibly.
JOY! Magazine (January 2019)