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Supporting Your ECS Without Cannabis

SweetSue

Well-Known Member


You are evolved to heal.


You have an endocannabinoid system. It got its name because the very first piece they identified of this signalling system they didn't know we had was the cell receptor named CB1, where the molecule THC attached.

Consider if you will, that the discovery of what is arguably the most important system in your body came about because we were being forced into a belief that there was something dangerous about cannabis. That negative message rankled some Israeli researchers who turned our world upside down in the most unexpected way.

This is the benefit prohibition brought us that we don't acknowledge enough. Prohibition brought about its own demise. You gotta love a playful universe. :laugh2:

Back to our conversation.

THC is a phytocannabinoid, a molecule found in the cannabis plant that will function in the endocannabinoid system. All mammals have endocannabinoid systems. This is why mammals heal. These curious researchers wanted to know what happened with this molecule inside the body. They found, quite to their surprise, that the cells were covered with receptors these molecules fit into like they were made just for this purpose.

Once they found these cell receptors, the "locks" on the cell membranes that the cannabinoid "key" fits into, they realized there must be something the body made that naturally fit these receptors. What they found was even more surprising than a receptor that these plant molecules fit so beautifully.

They found a system intended to keep your entire body in perfect balance. A system evolved to heal you, as needed, with the overriding intent to keep your beautifully complex human body in homeostasis - that balance point of health and wholeness that allows you to express life in the most playful, joyful way.

Your ECS is really just a signalling system made up of three basic parts.

We have the receptors on the cells. These are like the locks, a pathway into the cell for signals to pass.

Then we have the cannabinoids that attach to the receptors, the key that fits this very particular lock. This to me, is the magical part of the game. Using some guidance we have yet to understand, your ECS reaches into the membranes of your cells, extracts tiny fat-like molecules we call lipids, and fabricates them through some wonderous cosmic evolutionary alchemy, to create cannabinoids to meet the precise signalling needed by this one little cell out of all the others.

Your ECS does this magical creative action all day, every day, all over your body, simultaneously. Isn't that the most exciting thing ever? Think of how powerful you didn't know you were. I'd like you to allow that sense of power to grow. Your ECS can hear that confidence, and will grow stronger.

Upon attachment, the cannabinoids send a specific signal into the cell that causes a particular cascade of chemicals. The cell hears this biological message and triggers a desired behavior that will either bring it back into balance with its neighbors, or sacrifice its life for the good of the community by committing apoptosis - safe and efficient cellular suicide.

Lastly, we have the enzymes that are created to break down the cannabinoids so they can be flushed out of the system.

We have the locks, the keys, and housekeeping.

An example: You stub your toe. There's pain and some inflammation. This registers immediately and your ECS attends to the problem from a couple different directions. To begin, your ECS produces the molecule anandamide, one of the major endocannabinoids and the one whose action THC mirrors. Endo means "inside". Anandamide and 2-AG are made inside your body.

The molecules are created at the site of the injury and will attach to receptors on affected cells to cut off the pain signal, so you begin to immediately feel less pain. Sound familiar? Can you imagine that initial pain staying at that level? Thank goodness your ECS immediately goes to work on that pain signal.

Your ECS simultaneously produces more anandamide, in the brain this time, to cut off the pain signals that got through already, or may be coming, and others to attach to neurons in the brain that are screaming "PAIN!!!" to help quiet them down.

Your busy ECS is also creating 2-AG, the endocannabinoid CBD's action mirrors. This part of the magic happens at the injury site to reduce the inflammation. Your ECS is eliminating future pain by solving the more serious problem.

Your ECS thoughtfully eliminates the cause of the pain and your perception of it - cutting immediate pain at the signals, and future pain with actual healing.

Cells are tiny, microscopic things. We're talking about a lot of creative work going on just to heal this one small stubbed toe. It's not like your ECS can take a break from keeping all the rest of you running smoothly........

You begin to see the challenge before you? The nuances hinted at in this new journey we're about to jump into? We've been asking our endocannabinoid systems to take on a monumental task with inadequate support. Think of the workload needed to heal a body of cancer. Make no mistake about it, the ECS is evolved to rid the body of cancer too.

What the ECS does to cancer cells is absolutely astounding, but that's for another chapter. You can allow yourself be excited about that chapter. It's a thrilling ride all its own.

Our current story continues.

Housekeeping works busily along the front lines. As this creation and healing is going on system-wide, the enzymes are being created to do all the cleaning up for these specialized molecules. They happily go about the job of breaking everything down into basic components and bundling everything up nice and neat for transport to grab and go.

All of which needs to be washed away to keep the body systems clutter-free.

Drink more water. You now understand why this is more important than you thought it was. All that bio-trash waiting to be washed away.........

In basic terms, this is your friendly ECS, working so diligently to heal you of any and all disease that dares try to set up residence in this charged, creative atmosphere. On-demand healing potential. How do you not get excited about that?

You were evolved to heal. This marvelous, creative force inside wonderful you needs your support to help it run more efficiently. Its signalling keeps every other system in your body running smoothly, efficiently, and in close concert with all other body systems. We've lost sight of the fact that healing is the norm, and we've developed some nasty nutritional and lifestyle habits that could benefit from our attention and modification.

You were evolved to heal. The system responsible for keeping you healthy and whole - in homeostasis - needs your support.

Before we begin, Dr. Sulak has some introductory thoughts on the endocannabinoid system that I believe will help us better understand the journey ahead.


Your Endocannabinoid System Explained - YouTube

Let's talk about some things we can do to help support our endocannabinoid systems that have nothing to do with cannabis.
 

SweetSue

Well-Known Member
We're here to play

Before we begin our discussion I'd like to make an argument that your endocannabinoid system runs best when you bring an attitude of play to every moment of your life. It's evolved to run on joy. There are some deep philosophical conversations hidden in that statement, but I'm not headed there. I'm talking about pure, simple biology.

Joyful expression - playfulness - childlike wonder at the glory of each day - happiness - appreciation - gratitude - curiosity. These are arguably the personality expressions of a healthy ECS (endocannabinoid system). It's these expressions that carry with them the least amount of sustained tension, a leading cause of inflammation, which is itself a root cause of much, if not all disease, including mental and emotional illness.

The further you wander away from joyfulness, the more likely you are to share your days with pain. Physical pain. Tension causes inflammation and that causes a certain discomfort. Stick with joyful expression as your default and laugh with life. Engage the universe in play, and your body stays tension-free enough to hear the signals clearly and tend to misbehaving cells quickly and efficiently. You stay healthier and happier, playfully bringing your desires to life.

Your happiness is infectious. Supporting your own ECS benefits everyone around you. Isn't that sweet, the way it all works together to make the universe a better place to play in?
 

SweetSue

Well-Known Member
MORE WATER!

Drink more water when you use cannabis. The ECS serves every single system in your body. Think about the number of creative sparks that makes possible, at any given moment, occurring simultaneously throughout the system. Cannabinoids and the enzymes that degrade them are made on site, on demand, as soon as the signal is recieved.

When the enzymes break the cannabinoids down, they do so in a way that makes them easy to wash out of the body. This means you have a lot of waste material that needs to be removed, from all over the body. If you're sick, and if you're using an influx of phytocannabinoids to supplement your struggling ECS, this increases the strain on the elimination systems.

Drink more water. Do that regardless of whether you're using cannabis. You still have an endocannabinoid system, and it's still making all kinds of bio-trash that needs washed away.

Hopefully that never stops. It means you're still healing. :3:
 

SweetSue

Well-Known Member
A word of caution about GMOs.

Genetically Modified Organisms are designed to withstand glyphosate (RoundUp). RoundUp-ready foods store this chemical in their tissues. RoundUp (glyphosate) binds to minerals in our food and prevents them from being absorbed in the gut.


If that wasn't enough reason to avoid GMOs, consider that Glyphosate is also an antibiotic. It kills good bacteria in the soil.

It also kills good bacteria in the gut.

Do your best to avoid GMO foods. The biggest concerns are soybeans and soy products, wheat, and corn. The corn often gets processed into oils. Those oils find their way into the nebulous "Vegetable oil" sitting so casually on the grocery shelf, not letting you know by any visible means the damage it could ravage in your gut.

Avoid GMO foods. Your ECS will thank you for that consideration.
 

SweetSue

Well-Known Member
Balancing The Omega Fatty Acids

The most critical mistake we made over the past millennium was to let our diets get out of balance in the omega fatty acids. The omega fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, are the building blocks of the Endocannabinoid system. It's these lipids that the ECS pulls from the cell membranes to create endocannabinoids.

Here's the concern: We need the omega fatty acids to build the molecules that keep us in homeostasis. The body can't produce these components. They must be supplied through diet. Your body is evolved to need a balanced ratio of the omega fatty acids, meaning for every omega-3 molecule taken in, the body needs an omega-6 to balance it out. Your ECS can work with a little variation and still keep the body systems in balance.

Our current American diet is now at a ratio of 20 to 1, 20 molecules of omega-6 to every molecule of omega-3 ingested.

Why does this even matter? It matters because omega-6 supports inflammatory response in the body.

Too much omega-6 in the diet actually burns up the ECS
- Omega-6 fills the tissues with arachidonic acid, which causes inflammation.
- An overload of arachidonic acid leads to overproduction of anandamide.
- An overload of anandamide strains the enzymes that are meant to degrade the cannabinoids.
- Over excitability of the ECS causes the body to tone down the receptors - to reduce the availability of receptors on the cells. In some cases the receptors will sink right into the cell membrane.
- It's this reduction in receptors that cause the rise of inflammation, creating a backup of arachidonic acid in the tissues.

Inflammation is at the root of all disease, including mental and emotional illness. As an example, schizophrenics have elevated levels of anandamide in their spinal fluid. Those high levels trigger a down-regulation of cannabinoid receptors, as outlined above. Disruption of endocannabinoid signaling is intricately involved in causing schizophrenia and supporting the ECS benefits schizophrenic patients. Schizophrenic patients who used cannabis from a young age have higher levels of executive function than those who didn't use cannabis.

A small study of patients with treatment refractory schizophrenia who were given dranabinol (synthetic THC) showed significant improvement of both positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

Schizophrenic patients who use cannabis claim the drug quiets the voices.

Throwing cannabis at it won't fix it when the system's disfunctional. We need to support the ECS as well as medicate. You support the ECS with a combination of diet, exercise, meditation, and a myriad of lifestyle approaches proven to help bring balance back to the ECS.

Joel Furman has an eating plan he calls G-BOMBS. It's a very restrictive plan using greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, and seeds. What it leaves out is the importance of the different forms of omega 3s.

Omega-3 can be sourced from land or from sea. The land-based options include seeds like chia, flax, and hemp, but these are in the earliest form of omega-3, ALA. This stage of omega-3 isn't easily converted into a usable form by the body. We came from the sea, and we still need the fatty acids from those waters to run most efficiently.

Consider G-BOMBS and fish.

You want the forms of omega-3 available from cold water fishes. They eat the algae that are high in EPA, the intermediate form of omega-3, and DHA, the most active, or usable form of omega-3, and store it in their fat cells. They're an excellent source of the usable omega-3s, but how much of these tiny fishes do you personally eat in a week?

As a side note, there are those who can't tolerate the fish oil capsules. The alternative for them would be the algae themselves, also available in supplement form.

When we keep the diet out of balance with too much omega-6, we invite inflammation into the system. The receptors begin to be less available. Fewer receptors means fewer attachment points for cannabinoids you're hoping will kill cancer cells, or heal that earache, or stop the inflammation in that tooth that's been bothering you. Fewer receptors means your ECS can't work at peak efficiency to keep wonderful you healthy and whole.

Tone down the receptors and inflammation rears an ugly head. This typically begins in the gut. There're neural connections between the gut and the brain, evolved for close and continuous communication. This close wiring means that when inflammation begins in the gut it can easily spread to the rest of the body by triggering the release of cytokines, pro-inflammatory molecules that settle all through the body.

The ability of cytokines to pass easily through the Blood Brain Barrier gets the stage set for inflammation in the brain. This expresses itself in mental and emotional illness and dementia.

Elsewhere in the body inflammation sets the stage for other, more diversified types of disease - diabetes, arthritis, IBS, CHF, neuropathy.... need I go on?

We know that inflammation leads to diseases, as in neurodegenerative disorders and cancer. Less understood is the role omega-6 plays in the development of inflammation.

It's to our benefit to consider ways to reduce inflammation in the body. One of the primary functions of the ECS is to keep the inflammatory processes turned down.
The ECS isn't functioning properly because our diets are too high in omega 6 foods

The solution to this dilemma is to get the ratios back into balance, or as close to balance as you can manage. You can begin by stopping the eating of this excess of omega-6 foods. Most of it is found in highly processed foods, most particularly the processed oils - sunflower oil, canola oil, corn oil, peanut oil, the list goes on. If a plant was already high in omega-6 and you process it into oils, you've concentrated the omega-6s even more so, and added to the nutritional imbalance.

Avoid foods high in omega-6.

Hemp seed is an excellent whole food, with a protein and amino acids profile almost in direct proportion to what's required in the human body. They contain omega fatty acids and a wealth of vitamins. It's important to note that the omega3s are ALA, the least useful of the omega-3s in the human body. At the very least, the omega-6 ratio isn't as high at 2:1.

Raw cannabis leaves can offer great therapeutic value without euphoria.

You can further create balance by taking an omega-3 supplement. Anyone with any medical condition, and anyone using medical cannabis can benefit enormously from adding this supplement to the protocol. Clinical evidence has shown patients have better moods and less joint pain with an omega-3 supplement. Often they don't realize the benefits they were getting until they stop taking it and the aches and pains return.

Read the labels. You want to be able to get between 1000-2000 mg of the omega-3s, in a combination of EPA and DHA. Most capsules will give you around 300-400 mg of a combination, meaning you'd take at least 3-4 capsules a day. It can look expensive until you add in the high costs of continuing to be out of balance, and having sickness come calling.

I order mine from Puritan's Pride, an online supplement supplier. I went looking at what was available in the local grocery store.



Right next to it was this bottle. The label makes you think you're doing something wonderful by including flaxseed oil and Borage oil.



Then you look at the label and discover that you'd be adding in an imbalance of omega-6s, further complicating things. The irony of selling a product designed to help you come back into balance, but to market it with the addition of components that effectively cancel out the omega-3s. Someone got a bonus for that sparkling idea. :17:

Learn to read the labels. You're looking for DHA and EPA, and you want to be able to get between 1000 to 2000 mg of combined omega-3s in each daily dose.

The most important take-away
1. Limit the intake of omega-6 fatty acids.
2. Increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
3. Work to balance the ratio of omega fatty acids to a 1:1.

When you balance the omega fatty acids you'll notice a reduction in inflammatory response. You'll also notice that anxiety will decrease.

You bring your ECS back into balance with a combination of nutritional improvements, regular movement and stress-reduction practices that work with your lifestyle. Begin by adding in an omega-3 supplement. Your ECS will do a dance of joy. :slide:
 

SweetSue

Well-Known Member
The Essential Vitamins and Minerals

Let's begin with the open acknowledgment that there are no vitamins and minerals essential to the maintenance of homeostasis that can safely be left out. Having said that, there are a few that will particularly support your ECS.

Vitamin E

I put Vitamin E right at the top of the list. Vit E supports your ECS by helping the omega-3s work more efficiently. The omega-3s are the building blocks of the ECS, the raw material for the cannabinoids. They also help with mood stabilization.

Omega-3s have a positive effect on depression. If you supplement your omega-3 intake with Vitamin E you increase the efficiency of the omega3s and depression loses more of its stronghold.

Win/win. You've strengthened your ECS to the point that your attitude has begun to shift towards the positive perspective. It may be subtle at first, but you feel it, out on the edges. It gives you hope. :4:

Because the omega-3s use Vitamin E in the process of building cannabinoids, the stores of Vitamin E get used up quickly. You can take a supplement, but it's a healthier choice to eat a well-rounded diet. If there's an argument to be made in your own life for a multivitamin, make your own choice and live with it. If you prefer to chase this playmate in a more natural sandbox, try picking dark, leafy greens. That market is beginning to explode across America, offering great expectation for the future.

One can always explore some micro culture of greens as a side to our cannabis gardens. Just a passing thought. All those lights cry for some vertical gardening in the corners, don't they? Or consider some planter boxes of green daikon radish sprouts, found by researchers to be the highest in Vitamin E. Wouldn't they fit nicely along the edges of the tent? :4:

You'll find Vitamin E in nuts and seeds too, but they're higher in omega-6s, and we were trying to bring balance back into the diet. The "in moderation" admonition took on new meaning for me preparing for this thread. I believe my days of binging on nuts may be behind me. In moderation began to feel more rational to these gently aging joints.

Introduce more probiotics into the diet.



Probiotics are healthy bacteria and yeasts consumed with the purpose of building up the gut flora. A healthy community of gut flora keep the digestive and elimination systems working smoothly, reducing the opportunity for inflammation in this critical area of your body.

Some good food sources of probiotics are yogurt, sauerkraut, kim chi, pickles - basically any fermented foods. There are certain limitations to trying to rebuild a flora community through food sources alone. To begin with, those food-sourced probiotics have to survive the stomach acids, no small feat.

Next, do you really know what cultures were used in the fermentation? This can be of great importance. You want the best probiotic choices and in numbers that can begin to have an appreciable effect. When the wrong bacteria are inhabiting the gut it leads to a host of problems. It's worth mentioning that yogurts are typically high in sugars. Sugar promotes the development of yeast and candida in the gut, two conditions that won't make your day as happy as we're aiming for.

It's recommended you use a probiotic supplement. A good probiotic supplement would be enteric coated. This offers a protective covering to survive those pesky acids and a delayed release, allowing the probiotic cultures to get released deeper into the gut. Make certain you're getting at least 50 billion cultures.



You can see from this label that 50 billion cultures will be costly. Consider the alternatives and shop wisely.

Re-establishment of a healthy gut flora will reduce inflammation. This is a very good thing.

Incidentally, your appendix turned out to be necessary. Imagine that. :laugh2:

The appendix is the repository for bacteria that may be needed to replenish a diminished supply in the gut following disease. The way it's meant to work: You get sick. Your gut flora is ravaged. The appendix injects a fresh supply of the needed bacteria so your gut can keep feeding the body efficiently.

Antibiotics kill all bacteria. Follow up antibiotics with a run of probiotics. Give your gut a fighting chance.

Magnesium

Magnesium helps balance out calcium in the body system, in a way we have yet to fully understand. Calcium is excitatory with nerve responses. Magnesium is inhibitory. Calcium reeves the system up, magnesium calms it all down.

What does this mean to the quality of life? Well, low magnesium in the water supply results in populations with increased rates of depression, diabetes, and obesity. Low magnesium causes heart problems. The balancing act between magnesium and calcium contributes positively or negatively to bone density.

When lab animals are depleted of magnesium they get seizures. This is they way they study anti-seizure medications on rats and mice. They deplete magnesium to get them to go into seizures. Then they give them CBD and the seizures stop.

If you're supporting the ECS with plenty of magnesium, you reduce the risk of seizures.

Dark green vegetables are an excellent food source for magnesium. In the same way iron is the core of our blood, allowing oxygen to be transported to the cells, plants have magnesium at the core of their chlorophyll. If you're eating things rich in chlorophyll, you're getting magnesium through your diet.

An alert for autistic patients: Autistic patients respond positively to a magnesium supplement. It helps them tone down stress and sleep better. Magnesium will modify behavioral issues and make it easier for them to interact on an interpersonal level.

Magnesium supplements can be taken at doses of between 250 - 500 mg. you can take it higher, but be alert for loose stools or diarrhea, both indicators that you went too far.

Magnesium citrate is more easily absorbed by the body. A magnesium citrate powder can make dosing easier and can be added to any number of liquids.

There's an excellent magnesium citrate powder that's an ionic composition called "Natural Calm." This looks like an exciting product to check out.

An interesting aside on magnesium. Bryan, the instructor of the class I took, has a son with Tourette's. Magnesium citrate is what they used to stop the tics. They then discovered he was gluten sensitive and made some dietary changes. If he eats gluten and shows signs of tics returning, magnesium supplementation makes the tics stop.

When they brought this up with his son's doctor he was unaware of this connection between magnesium depletion and Tourette's. We learned something new. :4:

The importance of Vitamin D3

Low levels of Vitamin D will increase the chance of death from cardiovascular disease. Low Vitamin D can increase cognitive deficits in the elderly.

Other effects of depleted Vitamin D include:
* lack of energy
* depression
* in children, the incidence of severe asthma
* increased risk of cancer, diabetes, hypertension, MS

Whew! Get out there and play in the great outdoors. The best way to get Vitamin D into your system is exposure to the sun. It doesn't need to be direct exposure in the blazing sun, just outdoors. Try for about 20-30 minutes a day, if you can pull it off.

Getting proper levels of Vitamin D3 is critical to balanced health. Being outdoors will allow the skin to convert sunlight to Vitamin D, particularly if you're fair-skinned. Dark skin has more melanin, which blocks the conversion of sunlight to Vitamin D, making it more critical that you get a supplement.

Dairy products offer Vitamin D2, which isn't an active form, meaning the body can't use it as nutrition the way it needs to. Some people simply can't convert Vitamin D2.

Vitamin D3 is the active form, the configuration that the body can actually derive nutrition from.
There are few food sources for D3. Mushrooms, when sundried, will produce Vit D3, although you'll have a hard time eating enough to meet your nutritional needs. :3:

If you don't get out into the sun, or have dark skin, or are using a sunscreen, make sure you're getting a Vit D3 supplement.

Vitamin B9 (Folate)

Folic acid is a chemically-produced substitute for folate that they put in enriched baked goods. It's not always converted into folate. Folate makes and repairs damaged DNA, and helps to produce red blood cells.

Exposure to the sun can deplete folate. So can alcohol and certain medications.

Low folate in pregnant women can lead to birth defects, including defects in the spinal cord and brain of the developing fetus. For this reason most pregnant women are encouraged to take folate while they're carrying the child.

Fresh fruits and green vegetables, dried beans, peas, and nuts are all good food sources.

It makes a huge difference to take care of the gut. A healthy gut translates into a healthier, happier you and removes a significant amount of pressure off the ECS.

Supporting a healthy gut is supporting your endocannabinoid system.
 

SweetSue

Well-Known Member
More Support

Exercise: the natural antidepressant

Exercise increases seratonin in the brain, something you can't do through pharmaceutical drugs. There are some dietary supplements like 5HTP that will increase brain levels, but exercise does this naturally. Exercise benefits many body systems and can unite your being body, mind, and soul. Done right it's fun, and fun will always support the ECS. :3:

Learn to decrease stress

Mindful Awareness or mindfulness is a great way to decrease stress. I've recently begun to practice various methods of mindfulness, and I can personally attest to the effectiveness.
If you need some direction, check out the offerings available on YouTube when you type in "Mindful Awareness." Pick one and have fun with it.

Mindfulness can be a powerful tool to help distract yourself from the pain and keep you focused in the present moment. All of your power is in this moment. You can't change the past and the future is still unformed. Learn to live and love and laugh with abandon right here, right now.

Meditation can be a great benefit. There are many forms of meditation available. My personal favorite is a local labyrinth I'm lucky enough to live within walking distance of. The confined safety of the labyrinth lets me walk with a totally quiet mind, focused only on my breathing for the time it takes to reach the center, and then back out again. I have mine timed at about 20-25 minutes, start-to-finish, which works out to be an excellent block of time for meditation.

Ten minutes a day in quiet solitude, allowing the mind to slip between the thoughts, will let the brain slow down enough to do a system reset of sorts. In effect, you're giving your ECS a little down time so your brain can reboot. When you're comfortable with ten minutes begin to gently increase the time until you're in the 15-20 minute range or more. Find your comfort spot.

Deliberate happiness

I'll be honest and admit that I can meditate, but I almost never take that time on a daily basis. What I have learned to do is to deliberately feel grateful and appreciative at every possible moment of my day, and that's had more of a positive effect on my personal system than anything I've tried in the last 50 years. My emotional tone has stabilized, I'm sleeping more soundly, I have no aches or pains to speak of, my digestive system is running smoothly and my skin is clearing.

All positive results from the simple act of waking every morning to proclaim with deliberate glee that I'm ready to play. :yahoo: Yep, I recommend this technique.
 

SweetSue

Well-Known Member
If You're Using Cannabis Therapies

I hear you, muttering in the background

"I already support my ECS. I use cannabis. I'm covered."

That may be working for you. It may be you could get more bang for your buck and more accelerated healing if you make some simple changes to how you tumble through this playground we call life. You could even avoid most, if not all of those aches and pains we so commonly accept as a sign of aging.

Bah! I reject that I was meant to break down. When you see the whole picture it may change your perspective too. If not, that's fine. I wish you the best healing path, and I encourage you to at least begin every day with the joyful willingness to engage the universe in play.

If you're using cannabis for medicinal relief, you have a compromised ECS. It's begging you for support. You're answering with cannabis, an excellent source of the precise cannabinoids needed.

If you also find ways to support your ECS nutritionally and holistically your stress levels will immediately drop. You begin your own perpetual healing machine.

You're balancing the nutritional needs for fatty acid ratios. Your endocannabinoid system has the necessary building blocks coming in with ratios it can work with, to begin signalling on your behalf more efficiently.

You feel better. You begin to remember what it feels like to be healed. You hang onto that feeling when you have rough moments.

Your ECS is bolstered by your resolve and changing attitudes about its abilities to heal you. You begin to suspect it was waiting for you to trust it all along. It's easier to get motivated to move, and now you're spontaneously choosing moments of quiet meditation, appreciating the wonder that surround you. It's getting easier to remember that feeling of being healed and whole. Hope begins to build.

Your ECS monitors and modifies the systems that define your personality expression, particularly in how you process the many flavorful feelings of fear. The tension of stress appears to create inflammation in the areas of the brain that bring us the delights of mental illness. Hope breaks that cycle of pain.

Hope carries unknown and little understood biological benefits. It appears to strengthen the immune system. The immune system is monitored and modified by your ECS. It stands to reason that your ECS was the first beneficiary of all that hope, and something happens there that we've yet to understand.

The end result is that healing accelerates and you begin to back off cannabis as a reserve source. Cannabis was only intended to be a crutch anyway. We were planning on you strengthening your ECS as you journeyed. The level of support you offer beyond cannabis is up to you. You'll heal anyway, and cannabis will keep your spirits up in such marvelous ways.

You'll likely heal faster if you make just a couple changes. Pick and choose. Try to make the basics include drinking more water and being deliberately playful when you wake up in the morning. The rest will take care of itself.

Humor me.


You're evolved to heal.

You are healing.


:yahoo: :love: Keep up the good work. :love: :yahoo:
 

SweetSue

Well-Known Member
Closing Thoughts

The supposed risks of cannabis can be avoided by supporting the ECS in these other ways. Someone leery of the euphoria of THC might find they don't need cannabis at all with enough support of the ECS. If you live in a non-legal state or don't qualify for medical cannabis, supporting the ECS through other methods becomes more important.

Losing access to cannabis can cause you to deal with symptoms cannabis kept managed. If you're supporting the ECS and you lose access to cannabis, you won't see the rise of symptoms in the way that you would without that support. You can function better without cannabis.

The only danger documented from long-term use of cannabis is periodontal disease, and that was heavy, long term use, and not that broad a study, to be honest.

By supporting the ECS you'll reap many of the therapeutic benefits you would get with cannabis without the increased euphoria. You'll also be toning down inflammatory response, which will help you manage pain, and ultimately stabilize your moods.

The biggest difference between these supportive techniques and using cannabis to support the ECS is time. Using cannabis gives you immediate relief and rapid onset. Cannabis also allows you to beef up the cannabinoid numbers to accelerate healing. Naturally or holistically supporting ECS function is more subtle. Sometimes you don't notice the effects of the supplementation and support until you stop.

For some reason the medical community chooses to avoid the discussion on nutrition. They've also avoided the conversation on the ECS. As an example, psychologists are more likely to make nutritional recommendations than psychiatrists. Psychiatrists write prescriptions for pharmaceuticals. Most current practicing physicians aren't educated in the most rudimentary way on the ECS, much less versed in methods to support this invaluable system.

You now know more about your ECS than your doctor likely does. Next visit, take a moment and teach the doctor a little something. Lol!

The vast majority of patients will respond positively to taking back control of their health care, in particular their psychiatric care. If you're going to attempt to taper off your psyche drugs, please do so under the watchful eye of your doctor. These drugs come with some pretty nasty side effects. Support your ECS function for a few months before you attempt to taper off. Many patients are able to reduce or eliminate pharmaceuticals by supporting the ECS

States that went legal have seen dramatic drops in prescriptions for
- anti depressants
- anti psychotics
- opioids
- benzodiazepines

There isn't the clinical evidence to support the ability to completely manage depression with cannabis, moving away from antidepressants. A good 5HTP supplement will increase serotonin levels in the brain. You want to take Vitamin B6 with 5HTP, since it's Vitamin B6 that breaks down 5HTP in the brain

Support the brain with 5HTP and when you begin to move away from the antidepressant you won't have the flood of seratonin leaving the brain, because now there's plenty of seratonin to go around. 5HTP is much easier for the body to tolerate than pharmaceutical antidepressants. If you miss 5HTP you won't go into withdrawal symptoms as quickly as you would with pharmaceuticals.

I offer this small bit of information on Turmeric, which has been used for thousands of years to tone down inflammation and reduce pain. Get a supplement with black pepper extract included or include black pepper in the diet if your using a whole plant extraction. Black pepper activates the turmeric's curcuminoids, which interact with the ECS to reduce inflammatory effects.

Turmeric won't eat a hole in your gut, or cause your kidneys to fail, or destroy the liver. You also won't get dependant on it and have to go through withdrawal like you will with opioids.

It's important to recognize when these lifestyle changes aren't enough to meet your needs and it's time to seek professional help.

People who claim to get no benefit are typically not being consistent. The reality is that supplements are expensive, and people fall away, thinking they can't afford them.

If you're going through chemo, use these methods to support the ECS.

Exercise is a natural anti-depressant and supports ECS function. Including daily movement makes a dramatic difference in quality of life.

You must support Endocannabinoid signalling if you expect to stay healthy. You know this now. You can't claim to be uninformed any longer.

Remember that it took decades, in most cases, to do the damage done to your ECS. Expect it to take longer than a week or two to rebuild. :4: :love:

Get out there and support your ECS. Start small and make regular improvements.

Drink more water.

Most importantly, remember we're here to play.

:yahoo: Have fun with it. :yahoo:

:love:
 

SweetSue

Well-Known Member
An amazing essay, Sue... I'm gonna re-read this several times.

Thank you for this huge effort.
Thank you Danolo. That touched me. I get a little nervous when I open a new room, and this one was so important to me to get right.

Enjoy. :5: :love:
 

AngryBird

Member of the Month: Dec 2016
:5: one more to go in my link page,, :5:

Also if you need to add vitamins in your life Dried Sea Buck thorn has Vitamins A B1 B2 C D E omega 3 ,6, 7 and 9 in it.
As well as Dried Goji Berry Rich in vitamin C, B1, B2, B6, E, omega 6 B-carotene and iron.

:5: I just had to chip in, since this is my life, before cannabis :) Avoiding pharmacy supplements and buying herbs instead :5:
 

HashGirl

Well-Known Member
Hi Sue.

I have a couple of questions about this. First of all, if sunflower oil is high in omega 6s, wouldn't sunflower lecithin be bad for us, too?

And, I'm one of those people who doesn't like fish and can't tolerate the fish oil capsules so I've been taking flaxseed capsules three times a day instead. Are you saying that that's essentially a waste of time?


Balancing The Omega Fatty Acids



The solution to this dilemma is to get the ratios back into balance, or as close to balance as you can manage. You can begin by stopping the eating of this excess of omega-6 foods. Most of it is found in highly processed foods, most particularly the processed oils - sunflower oil, canola oil, corn oil, peanut oil, the list goes on. If a plant was already high in omega-6 and you process it into oils, you've concentrated the omega-6s even more so, and added to the nutritional imbalance.

and...

You can further create balance by taking an omega-3 supplement. Anyone with any medical condition, and anyone using medical cannabis can benefit enormously from adding this supplement to the protocol. Clinical evidence has shown patients have better moods and less joint pain with an omega-3 supplement. Often they don't realize the benefits they were getting until they stop taking it and the aches and pains return.

Read the labels. You want to be able to get between 1000-2000 mg of the omega-3s, in a combination of EPA and DHA. Most capsules will give you around 300-400 mg of a combination, meaning you'd take at least 3-4 capsules a day. It can look expensive until you add in the high costs of continuing to be out of balance, and having sickness come calling.



You bring your ECS back into balance with a combination of nutritional improvements, regular movement and stress-reduction practices that work with your lifestyle. Begin by adding in an omega-3 supplement. Your ECS will do a dance of joy. :slide:
 

SweetSue

Well-Known Member
Hi Sue.

I have a couple of questions about this. First of all, if sunflower oil is high in omega 6s, wouldn't sunflower lecithin be bad for us, too?

And, I'm one of those people who doesn't like fish and can't tolerate the fish oil capsules so I've been taking flaxseed capsules three times a day instead. Are you saying that that's essentially a waste of time?
There's a difference between oil and lecithin HashGirl, but I understand how that can be confusing. It's a lot of information to take in.

The flaxseed oil has the form of omega-3 that's the most difficult for the body to convert. It's also too high in omega-6 to make a staple in a diet already out of balance in the omega fatty acids. Have you looked into the algae capsules?

This is from the University of Maryland:

"Flaxseed oil comes from the seed of the flax plant. It contains 50 to 60% omega-3 fatty acids in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). That is more than is contained in fish oil. But the body is not very efficient at converting ALA into the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils. So ALA from flaxseed may not have the same benefits as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from fish oil.
 

KingstonRabbi

Well-Known Member
I'm here to PLAY! :goof: Very nice start on ECS.:thumb:

I finally read the Nat Geo article and Faith and Healing. Felt like I was reading one of your posts only shorter. :19: And better pics. (nothing wrong with yours, but think what you could do with an NG photog. You could start your own National Canna-graphic.)

Seriously, it's amazing how closely it follows and relates to what you've been talking about for months. Incredible that placebos can work even when the patient knows it's a placebo. Expectations turn out to be more important than the treatment sometimes. So thanks to you and also Barbara Harris's book I've started saying positive expectations of what I want each dose I take to do for me. Not out loud, but deliberately made. Even did that as I was making the oil this weekend. Best batch I've made, although a lot of that has to do with new techniques and better execution. End result is not just better oil, but also more positive expectations for it, and better healing to come from it. Thank you!
:Namaste:
 

SweetSue

Well-Known Member
It's been pointed out to me that my encouragement to consume more water would benefit from a caution on the dangers of drinking too much water. As this blip from Wikipedia points out, this is a rare occurance.

The best advice I ever heard on drinking water was to be a river, not a flood. I try to make it a habit to follow up a trip to the bathroom to urinate with a big glass of water. When the urine stream is nearly clear, you've hit your mark. :3:

"Water intoxication, also known as water poisoning or hyperhydration, is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain functions that results when the normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside safe limits by overhydration.

Under normal circumstances, accidentally consuming too much water is exceptionally rare. Nearly all deaths related to water intoxication in normal individuals have resulted either from water-drinking contests, in which individuals attempt to consume large amounts of water, or from long bouts of exercise during which excessive amounts of fluid were consumed.[1] In addition, water cure, a method of torture in which the victim is forced to consume excessive amounts of water, can cause water intoxication.

Water, just like any other substance, can be considered a poison when over-consumed in a specific period of time. Water intoxication mostly occurs when water is being consumed in a high quantity without adequate electrolyte intake."
 

SL2222

Well-Known Member
Great thread, Sue. It is still funny to me that I didn't even know we had an ECS just a few months ago.

I do think it usually takes quite a lot of water to hit to the "too much" mark. Though, I do add some salt to my water to help with the electrolyte balance. I've been told Himalayan Pink Salt is the best - who knows for sure. Once or twice a day I also add honey to my liter of water and some green vegetable powder other times.

So here is a pondering I've had since I read this thread this morning -

Most of the things you have here meant to help bolster the ECS are the very things that react badly with me - VERY MUCH like the THC. The responses were so incredibly similar, but the THC was more intense.

VitD, VitC, VitE, Fish Oil, Collagen, Turmeric, Enzymes and much more give me the same feeling that THC does. It isn't pleasant. And these are all things that had been doing great things for me.

Just a few years ago, even after I was sick, I did NOT have this reaction to these things. They were god sends. But now I'm very sensitive to anything.

Where caffeine used to just give me anxiety when I was prone, it now also gives me the anxiety + whole body irritation, restlessness, anxiety, hell that the THC did. I know caffeine is definitely not a good thing for this, but I'm very curious about all the connections.

You know when all this DID start, though? About two years ago, there were two things:

1) Severe emotional trauma. My relationship was going badly and my partner was doing things that I felt absolute grief over every single day. My parents were going through things and were treating me horribly. My dog was very sick and I thought I was going to lose her. My credits cards maxed out taking care of her. It all hurt. I had no friends, no job, and felt horrible about myself in every single possible way. I stressed my system to the maximum. This went on for well over a year.

This is what made me seek out Callanetics, actually. I needed to move in a way that soothed, and this did it :love:

2) At this same time, I was ODing on Vitamin C, but didn't realize it. Apparently, high doses alkalizes the blood, which is good. But I was doing too much and also taking other things that were alkalizing. I became extremely pale and every vein in my body glowed. My skin thinned and wrinkled and aged (not good for already feeling badly about myself). Up until this point, I'd always had thick olive skin. It finally hit me that VitC was the new thing and I stopped it. My skin color went back to normal immediately. The over alkalizing link was figured out by a doctor on a VitC thread I then sought out. From the point on, I couldn't tolerate things well.

I'm curious to see which of these two things are responsible. But even more, I'm curious about the biology and why the feeling of taking these things was so much the same as the THC.



I'm sure none of you have the answer, but there has to be a connection somewhere. I'm sure I'll never know. What we will know is if long term use of the cannabis will start to reverse these things. It's definitely an imbalance and not an inherent piece of me - because it wasn't always this way.


It's going to be an interesting ride :)
 

SweetSue

Well-Known Member
Sara, you never cease to amaze. :laugh2: Your history explains so much. In the end though, you're on the right path with the oil. I find it intriguing how your system responds with such sensitivity. Your like a canary in a coal mine, aren't you?

My expectation would be that your ECS is already in healing mode, so you're counting the days now. :3: You're smart enough to be doing Callanetics, which will keep the system open for energy flow and signalling efficiency. I get excited thinking about the potential ahead of you Sara. I mean really excited.

Stick with the deliberate waking. I just giggle with glee now when I make that declaration before I bounce out of bed in the morning. :laugh2: My clarity and control of the emotional tone are a bit breathtaking. I've only been doing this for what, two weeks? That it could really be this easy.......

I can only speculate on the changes that must be going on in my own ECS to cause this much peacefulness.
 

Canna Montana

Grow Journal of the Month: Dec 2016
A word of caution about GMOs.

Genetically Modified Organisms are designed to withstand glyphosate (RoundUp). RoundUp-ready foods store this chemical in their tissues. RoundUp (glyphosate) binds to minerals in our food and prevents them from being absorbed in the gut.


If that wasn't enough reason to avoid GMOs, consider that Glyphosate is also an antibiotic. It kills good bacteria in the soil.

It also kills good bacteria in the gut.

Do your best to avoid GMO foods. The biggest concerns are soybeans and soy products, wheat, and corn. The corn often gets processed into oils. Those oils find their way into the nebulous "Vegetable oil" sitting so casually on the grocery shelf, not letting you know by any visible means the damage it could ravage in your gut.

Avoid GMO foods. Your ECS will thank you for that consideration.
What about GMO cannabis?
 

SweetSue

Well-Known Member
What about GMO cannabis?
The designation GMO means that this genetic material has been modified to resist the toxic effects of the Monsanto product Round-Up.

This has nothing to do with the genetically modified seeds we concoct through our obsessive cultivation hobby. :3:
 
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