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You Have More in Common with Cannabis Than You Think

By Jennifer Sawyer, RN

Ask yourself what “systems” control your body. You might think of the nervous, immune, or digestive systems; all of these play important roles to keep the body up and running. When one of them isn’t functioning correctly it can result in unpleasant symptoms.

Now, imagine a network that helps to regulate those systems and maintain balance, or homeostasis. Sort of like a manager. It turns out we have one, and it’s called the Endocannabinoid System or ECS; it regulates G.I. function, neurotransmitter transmission, and immune response, to name a few of its jobs. The name comes from the cannabis plant because the ECS produces chemicals that affect the body in very similar ways. This discovery has helped us understand why medicinal marijuana has the potential to help so many different disorders and ailments. Research has also given us insight into what causes dysfunction of the ECS, and what we can do to “upregulate”.

Here are some key findings:

● Intense exercise that makes you sweat

● A diet high in flavonoids (found in many fruits and vegetables)

● A proper balance of PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids) and since our diets are typically higher in omega-6, supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids

● Properly managing stress

● Meditation, massage, and acupuncture

We have been hearing for a long time that our mind affects our body, and our body affects our mind, but now there is research to support this. During this trying time, please try to take care of yourself; small steps may have a big impact on your overall health and remember, we are here as your healthcare partners.

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