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Marijuana begins to take effect when cannabinoids such as THC activate the endogenous cannabinoid receptors located withing the human body. The allure of marijuana has led many pioneer growers to cultivate the plant for this special class of molecules known as cannabinoids. It wasn't until recently that Raphael Mechoulum discovered THC, but even more recently discovered the neurotransmitter anandamide. This neurotransmitter is naturally located in our bodies and binds to the same cannabinoid receptors as THC, which is responsible for the well known euphoric effect. As we learn about the role of the endocannabinoid system, cannabis-based medicines will serve as new and innovative treatments for a variety of conditions.
There has been evidence to suggest that cannabis can treat certain forms of cancer. Perhaps the best known example to the medical marijauana community is Rick Simpsons "The cure", which is a crude black cannabis extract. However, more compelling evidence for cannabis’s cancer fighting properties is coming from the scientific community. Dr. Nagarkatti (USC) explains some of his most encouraging results demonstrating that cannabis constituents can cause cancer cells to apoptos.
National Geographic investigates the modern medical marijuana movement taking place in America. This educational documentary is rather long (~45 min), but is worth watching. The narrator puts the human-cannabis relationship in perspective by discussing the the history of its use and pharmacology responsible for marijuana's well known effects. Moreover, Mechoulam discusses an important but less known effect of marijuana, which includes our ability to forget and filter information. Marijuana use transcends socioeconomic boundaries and extends across races and countries around the world. Several groups of smokers are interviewed and given testimony to their experience with marijuanas psychoactive effects.
Who smoked the first bud? Whoever it was, they surely were equally intrigued with its properties as contemporary first time smokers. Due to its effects cannabis found its home and cultivators with humans. Today it still stimulates interest amongst the public and scientific community. Recent evidence has shown that cannabinoid receptors (CRs) are some of the most densley populated receptors in the central nervous system. In addition, the CRs are densely populated throughout the entire body and regulate vital bodily functions that have yet to be enitrely elucidated. The enndocannabinoid system is a hot topic in modern science that will inevitably be equally intriguing as that first smoke.
Watch and listen to some of the experts talk about marijuana and its relationship to man. Throughout history different cultures have cultivated various relationships with cannabis. Its value as a medicine is not disputed by the majority of the medical community. Unfortunately, under federal law cannabis remains scheduled with other drugs such as heroin and crack-cocaine that have no medicinal value. The demonization of cannabis has been perpetuated in the United States for nearly a century. The education of our community is the first step to change the misguided opinions resulting from years of government propaganda.
A short documentary highlighting some of the medical benefits of cannabis.