By Dr. Mercola
The marijuana plant contains more than 60 different cannabinoids; chemical compounds the human body is uniquely equipped to respond to. The two primary ones are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the latter of which is the psychoactive component.
Cannabinoids interact with your body by way of naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors embedded in cell membranes throughout your body. There are cannabinoid receptors in your brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, immune system and more.1
The therapeutic (and psychoactive) properties of marijuana occur when a cannabinoid activates a cannabinoid receptor. Your body also has naturally occurring endocannabinoids similar to THC that stimulate your cannabinoid receptors and produce a variety of important physiologic processes.
So, your body is actually hard-wired to respond to cannabinoids through this unique cannabinoid receptor system, and research has proven cannabinoid receptors play an important role in many physiological processes, including metabolic regulation, pain, anxiety, bone growth and immune function.2
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The earliest references to cannabis for medicinal purposes are found in the Chinese Materia Medica, which dates back to 2800 B.C. Indeed, cannabis was one of the 50 essential plants used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. It was only removed from widespread use in recent times due to its controversial legal status.
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