Dozens of major studies have been published in the last few years that indicate that the chemicals in cannabis in the lab and in animals have a significant effect on fighting almost all major cancers, including brain, breast, prostate, lung, thyroid, colon, skin, pituitary, melanoma and leukemia cancers. They do this by promoting the death of cancer cells that have forgotten how to die, as well as a reduction in their crucial blood supply, while leaving healthy cells untouched.
But why, you may wonder, would cannabis have any effect on cancer? The answer can be explained in one word – endocannabinoids. Amazing as it sounds we’re all born with a form of cannabis already in our bodies. It’s called the Endocannabinoid System. The Endocannabinoid System, or ECS, influences multiple physiological processes. This intricate system modulates energy intake as well as nutrient transport, metabolism and storage.
A completely natural collection of compounds, endocannabinoids are our body’s own form of marijuana and are involved in most of our cells and structures. They control a variety of functions in the nervous system, heart, reproductive and immune systems. Endocannabinoid messengers help the cells communicate. Typically they protect our good cells while killing the bad ones like cancer cells.
In all animals the nervous system is made of the same components – large numbers of nerve cells carrying electrical signals. And wherever the cells meet these signals are passed to a receptor in the next cell by a chemical messenger called a neurotransmitter. Inside the brain there are different types of neurotransmitters including dopamine and serotonin. All animals from rodents to fish, to elephants, to humans have inherited this basic structure, but hundreds of millions of years ago some primitive invertebrates evolved an innovation to this system.
What happened was that nervous system acquired a new chemical related in structure to the chemical found in cannabis. Because of this similarity these new signals came to be known as cannabinoids. It was inevitable that eventually cannabis would meet its perfect partner – us.