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ECS Balance: Enhancing THC with the Support of Other Cannabinoids

With Cannabis being declared essential in 2020, the number of new users is higher than ever before. With that, comes many that need information and guidance to utilize plant-based medicines to their maximum. One of the biggest issues in 2022 isn't new - and that's THC Tolerance.


Whether a patient is new to cannabis and can only tolerate a small amount or has been around for decades and has such a high threshold that it requires copious amounts of cannabinoids to light up their system - it's all about balance. The biggest issue most have, even the seasoned veteran stoner, is the knowledge of which plant constituents will help them enjoy the numerous benefits and effects of THC. 


We should start right away by addressing why THC works in our bodies - it looks exactly like Anandamide, an endocannabinoid. Since we are all suffering from some degree of Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome, our bodies lack these neurotransmitters and grasp onto THC to use in place of it. This is why people who've never used Cannabis before will find this sudden relief from life's issues that they've never had before - finally, the missing piece of the puzzle is there in our body and it can work well - or can it? 


The theory that THC will replace Anandamide is a good one but it's not necessarily a great one due to the outcome when an individual uses excessive amounts of the exogenous plant cannabinoid. Theoretically THC does 'replace' as the Endocannabinoid system requires a delicate balance and it's already in a position of need. When a patient consumes nothing but THC and a lot of it, the body that already limits its production of that necessary endocannabinoid makes even less. This once theory is now proven through the measurement of endocannabinoid tone. 


So, as much as THC is our friend in many instances and a cannabinoid I personally love to consume - it can also cause issues if it's used all alone without other supplements, a good diet, and exercise. The endocannabinoid system does not simply need plant cannabinoids to be healthy - it needs people to eat healthy foods, get sun, and exercise, and it requires that we break a sweat. Even with all of that going on, the use of other cannabinoids makes THC works so much better and allows our Endocannabinoid system (ECS) to function at its peak. 


Let's face it, the ECS is far from fully mapped, it's like a country in which we are not certain of all the cities yet or how they operate, we're still in discovery. 


Despite ongoing medical advances, there are still many more functions of the human body to uncover as we see with the ECS. Some of the less effective treatments out there for people in need lie within the field of mental health, due to the lack of accuracy and availability of tests for neurotransmitter function. It's heavily thought that the lack of endocannabinoids and receptors, which is known as a low endocannabinoid tone, is the cause.  


In my own journey, at one time, in a single day, a whole vape cart could be gone along with a gram or 2 of dabs and a quarter ounce of flower. Now, this didn't include the THC oils ingested, and back at that time, there was no use of CBGa, CBG, CBD, CBC, and so much more. I'd scoff at the mere mention of using Hemp to battle the various life-threatening issues I had. During a long cancer battle that included the use of large amounts of RSO or Cannabis oils with THC, the dose increased and increased - it got to a point that ingestion of 2 grams of 80% THC wasn't a problem.



When the ECS has a flood of a cannabinoid coming into it that looks just like that neurotransmitter it wants so bad, there's only one true physiological outcome and it isn't favorable to the person who'd like to use less THC or have it be at it's the highest level of efficacy. The ECS doesn't need to produce what it already has, so if THC is landing on receptors continuously the body doesn't think it needs to produce Anandamide. Both items land on the CB1 and CB2 receptors, both items make us feel good, but THC makes us feel 'high'. 


Eventually, due to the lack of Anandamide production, the ECS stops creating more receptor sites. The cascading effect is monumental and equates to the consumer needing more and more THC to attempt to gain that feeling again. What's happening is not homeostasis, it's the opposite, the plant cannabinoids simply can't do what the endocannabinoid can. It metabolizes away and is gone, it's unlike the endocannabinoid in too many ways to explain. 


But for all of us the outcome is almost always the same and ends up causing these 3 issues:


1.) High Tolerance: The person no longer is satisfied with any amount of THC and will smoke, dab, or vape to the point of headaches and other issues. One of the biggest problems in this situation is the cost of THC goes through the roof and if a person is in a low access zone the availability dwindles too. 


2.) Low Productivity: The person has such low neurotransmitter activity that they now fit that 'lazy stoner' definition - wow, nobody thought there was science beyond what NIDA (National Institute of Drug Abuse) studies have to say, but it's really that simple Anandamide is the bliss molecule, take it away and there's no bliss. 


3.) The dreaded CHS: Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome has been defined in far too many ways for my comfort. A hyperemesis syndrome stops when the item causing the extreme sickness is out of the system. The diagnosis first applied to pregnant women and morning sickness.


With Cannabis users, when the system is overloaded or satiated, certain things happen and this is by far the worst outcome. People become very dehydrated and go through cyclical vomiting, anyone who's gone through this will share with you some tales that most users of THC, especially stoners, simply don't want to hear.


HOW DO WE FIX THIS SITUATION? 


Everyone is different and that's why I don't give advice that's universal, not even in articles anymore. One person might find that CBGa or CBD, for example, added to their protocol will slowly get them back on track. Other people might find that they could use a diet that have varied cannabinoids all the time whether it's an issue of balance or not - they just work well.


And yet another population may need intricate information on how to reset their system far beyond taking a few days off. 


Many can't take ANY DAYS OFF from the use of THC.  


I can't, so I must always stay in balance. 




References:


Clémentine Bosch-Bouju, Sophie Layé. Dietary Omega-6/Omega-3 and Endocannabinoids: Implications for Brain Health and Diseases. Cannabinoids in Health and Disease, INTECH EUROPE, pp.32, 2016, 978-953-51-2430-6; 978-953-51-2429-0. ff10.5772/62498ff. ffhal-02800247f


Scherma M, Masia P, Satta V, Fratta W, Fadda P, Tanda G. Brain activity of anandamide: a rewarding bliss? ACTA Pharmacol Sin. 2019 Mar;40(3):309-323. doi: 10.1038/s41401-018-0075-x. Epub 2018 Jul 26. PMID: 30050084; PMCID: PMC6460372.


(Mike Robinson, The Researcher OG, is an active Editor for ACTA International Journals of Health)



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