This is the third in our series on medical marijuana for bipolar. In the first piece , we made a conditional case for marijuana to treat bipolar, with some major provisos. The second piece compared the risk/benefits of medical marijuana with prescription drugs.
In this installment, we look at the endocannabis system that marijuana acts upon.
Endocannabinoids (ECs) are naturally occurring compounds throughout the brain and body that regulate cellular signaling and cellular maintenance. They function in a similar fashion to neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, except they travel backward, against the flow, from the postsynaptic cell to the presynaptic cell.
At the presynaptic cell, the ECs dock to CR1 and CR2 cannabinoid receptors and release their chemical messages. One of the effects may be to inhibit the release of certain neurotransmitters from the presynaptic cell back to the postsynaptic cell.
In effect, the postsynaptic cell restricts the f...
People ask a lot of questions about marijuana. But they may not be asking all of the right questions. Those that aren’t questioning the use of marijuana might not want to ask the tough questions because they don’t want to hear the answers. And some may not even realize that there are some very important answers that need to be heard because they have been lulled into thinking that marijuana is just a benign herb that causes no harm. Nothing can be further than the truth. Here are the answers to some of the not-so-frequently asked question.
Does marijuana use lead to dependency and/or addiction? Absolutely; the use of marijuana has been clearly documented to change the brain, particularly the reward system in the brain . 1 These changes in the brain are very similar to what is found in those with opioid chemical dependency/addiction and alcoholism. The statistics show that 9% of those who initially start using marijuana will develop a dependency and that teenagers are ...
What is the nervous system designed to do? Nerves make the arms and legs move. Nerves make the heart beat and the lungs breathe. Ultimately, the entire nervous system is designed to keep the body alive. That is its most primal function. If a lion is chasing, the body runs. If the hand touches something hot, it jerks away. Just like a built-in alarm system, this system of nerves will alert the body to danger and trigger automatic protective responses. Normally, this system works beautifully and life is preserved well into adulthood.
However, in some cases, this alarm system goes haywire. For example, some people are born with the inability to feel pain , a condition called the congenital insensitivity to pain . That condition is not a blessing, but a curse that leads to insurmountable body damage and a premature death. The nervous system can go haywire in other ways too. What happens if this alarm system is too sensitive? Now instead of feeling no pain, one is left to feel too muc...
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