Dan Milman – The Four Purposes of Life

meditation, Rewiring the Brain, The mind

“Where are you? … HERE”
“What time is it? … NOW”
“What are you? … THIS MOMENT.”

Just watching Dan Millman on the Four Purposes of Life on Gaia.com and he has some great insights to how we travel throughout our life.  I love his books and need to just re read them all the time so I can have these golden nuggets of wisdom sink into my brain.  Some of the following are the lessons I have learned from Dan so far.

Its fine to dream BIG but start small and take small steps at a time.  So if you want to start meditating then start with just a few minutes a day.  A little of something is better than a lot of nothing.

What is my Purpose?? – There are four of them – Career (Income) *Our Calling – Do what you love * (Time stands still or speeds up) Our life path or Hidden Calling – (our calling is what we may have pushed back) * attending to this arising moment.

 

While experience and wisdom is important, in the Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Socrates teaches Dan that there’s a difference between Knowing and Doing. You can know what to do or understand something, but you don’t really KNOW it until you’re DOING it.

I can relate to this with my meditation practice and my reiki healing practice.  Sometimes I can sit and read and reread and write out plans etc but without the practice then it really means very little.  Recently I enrolled in a raw food course and wrote out a lot of recipes and shopping lists and was so pumped about starting this journey.  But after a few days I was back to eating cooked processed foods so I started to read up again and watch youtube videos on raw food all whilst eating cooked food and feeling so deflated and disappointed in myself.  So this in my life is teaching me that I can read as much as I like but without putting it into practice it does not bring me inner joy or contentment.

A big theme in the Way of the Peaceful Warrior that Socrates instills in Dan is the power of NOW. The only time that matters is RIGHT NOW, this moment.  This moment is all that we have. Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow doesn’t exist. But, the problem with most people is that we live in our heads. We live in either the past or the future.

Image result for Dan Millman Four Purposes of Life

All stress and fear exists in either the past or the future. In fact, fear is just anticipation of pain. If you can truly live in the moment and get out of your head, you can be free of all of the garbage in your head and perform at levels you never thought possible. Not only that, but you can be at peace.

Peaceful Warrior Dan Millman

Being in the moment is a practice. It’s a practice that Dan focuses on throughout the book that changes his life for the better. He shares his experiences learning meditation and learning to be more and more present. There’s one part in the book where Socrates throws Dan over a bridge into the water, just to clear his mind. He then describes to Dan how there are no ordinary moments – that there is never nothing going on.  The truth is, there is so many amazing things going on at any given moment, but we’re too much inside of our heads to notice it.

 

See the source image

 

 

The lesson here is simple: nothing in your outer world will ever make you happy or fulfilled. Happiness can only come from the inside. When you truly come to this realization and stop deluding yourself, you can gain that sense of peace and satisfaction within.

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Full Spectrum VS Isolate CBD Oils

cbd oil

 

Image result for full spectrum vs isolate

 

It can become very confusing when looking at what oils to buy as there is so many out there and you want to get the right one for you.  You also want to get high quality oil that has been extracted by the best method which I believe to be Co2 Extraction.

What is the difference between Full Spectrum CBD Oil vs Isolate?

This is often one of the first questions asked by those diving into the world of CBD for the first time. Once you understand the difference between these, you’ll be better equipped to make an educated decision on which CBD oil product to buy for your needs.

The two most popular types of CBD oil used today are Full Spectrum and Isolate. You may also come across products labelled as “Whole Plant” or “Pure CBD.” This article will explain the differences and similarities among these.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil

Full Spectrum generally refers to CBD oil products that not only contain CBD, but also contain some terpenes and other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN and even some THC. Usually these will be in ratios that were naturally occurring and extracted from the plant and specific strain. But they are also occasionally added back into products as an isolated form to raise the potency of the product. For those that get drug tested, Full Spectrum is something to be cautious about. The THC found in full spectrum hemp products is minimal (less than 0.3%), but can still trigger positive drug tests.
With Full Spectrum CBD oil products, you have the advantage of something called the “Entourage Effect.” This is where all the cannabinoids and terpenes are working together in synergy, something that Isolate products will lack.

When seeking out Full Spectrum products, you may come across some called “Broad Spectrum” that claim to have 0% THC. It’s important to verify lab tests on these products to make sure that this is not a false claim and you’re encouraged to still exercise caution with these products if drug testing is a concern. These products have sometimes gone through additional processing to try to isolate and remove as much THC as possible while still maintaining some of the other cannabinoids and terpenes.

CBD Isolate

Isolate is typically the CBD oil product of choice for those who get drug tested or are sensitive to other cannabinoids such as THC. Products labelled as Isolate will generally be highlighted as being 99+% pure CBD. Usually, these products will have nothing but CBD in them because the CBD has literally been isolated from everything else. You can find pre-made isolate oils that typically consist of a carrier oil, such as MCT Oil, infused with the crystalline isolate powder. You can also find the “raw” crystalline powder or slabs (a form of concentrate) on its own.
When looking at isolate, it is important to verify the purity. While many are in the 99.9+% range with no identifiable amounts of THC, there are lower purity ones (such as 99.5% or lower) that may still have trace amounts that show up on the labs. This small amount is typically negligible, and is nowhere near the amount usually found in Full Spectrum products. But it’s still something to be aware of for those seeking the purest they can find.
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Which is Better – Full Spectrum or Isolate?
While there is much debate on which form is better, this 2015 study (http://file.scirp.org/pdf/PP_2015021016351567.pdf) leans in favour of Full Spectrum products. There are many that believe that other cannabinoids, THC especially, are necessary to take full advantage of what cannabis has to offer. Ultimately, however, we are all different and it comes down to the individual user and their needs. If drug testing is a concern, you’re encouraged to seek out CBD isolate products  instead of Full Spectrum.

 

 

David Goggins – toughest man alive

Inspiring people, mind hacking
 I love to read, listen and find out about people who overcome great struggle and defy the odds.  They are no different to you or me, so how do they build that inner strength and where do they get that drive to keep going when things get tough.  What makes them superhuman?
                                                                
David Goggins is the toughest man alive.

There’s no doubt about it. Goggins is the only member of the US Armed Forces to complete SEAL training, US Army Ranger School, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training.

 

Any of those accomplishments alone would have been impressive, but that’s not all.

He’s also the current Guinness record holder for the most number of pull-ups done in 24 hours. Alongside that record are multiple first-place finishes at the most brutal ultra-endurance events, which attracts the toughest competitors from around the world.

How does someone consistently push himself to his physical and mental limits all the time?

Let’s find out.

Lesson 1: Purpose Trumps Motivation

David Goggins doesn’t believe in motivation. In his own words, “Motivation is crap. Motivation comes and goes.”

Purpose, on the other hand, is something that Goggins can get behind.

After some of his fellow SEALs were killed in a military operation, Goggins signed up for the San Diego One Day, which was a 24-hour race where competitors would run as many miles as they could. His intention was to use this race as a qualifier for future ultramarathons, which would allow him to raise money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. For this race to count, he would have to run at least 100 miles in 24 hours.

The problem?

Goggins was not a runner at all. Weighing anywhere from 240 – 270 lbs, Goggins was a big man who was into powerlifting more than anything else. That bulk had served him well in the SEALs, but it was unheard of for anyone at that size to participate in long distance runs. Heck, he hadn’t put on running shoes at all in the past year.

And yet, he somehow made it to the 70-mile mark within the first 12-13 hours. But the process had been brutal; Goggins got this far only through sheer force of will.

Goggins was in a bad place. All the metatarsal bones in his feet were broken. There were stress fractures, shin splints, and muscles tearing. He was peeing blood down his leg because he couldn’t make it to a toilet 20 feet from him.

He was on the brink of death, but he didn’t quit. He went on slowly to finish the race, finishing the 100 miles well within the allocated 24 hours.

How did he do it? Was it the mental strength that came from his cause? It would seem that way, but that’s not what really happened:

“Everyone asks me, were you thinking about the guys that died at that time? I’m not gonna lie; I wasn’t. This became a personal thing, this became me against this race; me against the kids that called me nigger; me against me. It just became something I took so violently personal.”

Even after finishing Navy SEAL and Ranger school training, the 100-mile race was the toughest challenge Goggins had faced yet.

Pain obliterates our ability to think and function. But David Goggins was fuelled by a purpose greater than himself, something more compelling than that pain.

It turns out that you can still keep going if you have such a purpose.

Lesson 2: Deconstruct Things

So how exactly did Goggins power through the remaining 30 miles?

“I broke this thing down into small pieces. I said I got to get nutrition; I got to be able to stand up before I can go through the 30 miles […] I taped up my ankles, and then my feet, and that’s how I got through that race”

It’s an experience the SEAL would likely never forget.

This lesson of mental deconstruction has its roots in a process that all Navy SEALs must go through — hell week. It’s the toughest period of SEAL training; trainees are put through 125 hours of continuous training, and typically get only two hours of sleep during that period. They’re constantly cold, wet, and miserable.

The idea is to drain the trainees physically and mentally, and then see what sort of decisions they make. Instructors do their best to make trainees ring the bell, which is used to announce that they’re quitting. Nobody holds back here.

David Goggins went through 3 hell weeks — all in a span of a year.

Rolled over from his previous two classes first due to illness and then to injury, he was given one last chance to complete SEAL training. Goggins did just that, focusing on one challenge at a time. He would eventually graduate in this final attempt.

Broken down into small pieces, there’s no obstacle that is insurmountable. We find that there’s always step that’s actionable. Add up the small bits, and we would’ve accomplished something we never thought possible.

One step at a time is how 100-mile marathons get completed.

Just like in life, we get overwhelmed with things when we look to far ahead, the end goal seems so far away that we just give up.  Instead look only at today and what ACTION you can take today to get nearer to your goals.

Lesson 3: Remember The 40% Rule

Unbeknownst to Goggins, Jesse Itzler was participating in the same San Diego One Day race as well. The only difference was that he had participated with a six-man relay team.

Intrigued by how Goggins had manically completed the race despite his brutal injuries, Itzler invited the SEAL to live with him for a month. He wanted to learn more about the man that had finished a race despite being so ill-prepared. Goggins agreed with one condition: Itzler would do anything he said, no matter what.

On the first day, Itzler was made to do a hundred pull-ups.

Itzler did eight on his first set, then six, and then fewer still. His arms were aching, but Goggins wouldn’t relent. He stood and watched as Itzler struggled, doing one pull-up at a time.

Itzler would finish his repetitions. As he recalls in Living with a Seal:

“He [Goggins] showed me, proved to me right there that there was so much more, we’re all capable of so much more than we think we are. […] He would say that when your mind is telling you you’re done, you’re really only 40 percent done”

Research suggests that statement – the 40% rule – has some truth. We are often physically more capable than we perceive ourselves to be. For instance, researchers found that subjects who were given a placebo but told it was caffeine were able to lift significantly more weight than those who were really given caffeine.

There’s a reserve tank within us that we never really tap on. Only by pushing ourselves to our limits — and then breaking them — can we reach our full potential.

I personally find this with Kundalini Yoga, when it gets so hard its very easy and to give up but we do not want to programme our neural pathways into believing that we are weaker than we are.  So breathe through the pain and know you can go further than the monkey mind tells you.

Lesson 4: Mental Visualisation

David Goggins believes that he’s the toughest man on the planet. He thinks that he can complete virtually any task set before him.

He probably can. But the point is that you have to see yourself accomplishing something before it really happens. The mind has to conceive it before the body can achieve it.

The question he asks himself in times of struggle contains only two simple words: “what if?”

When he first walked into the Navy SEAL recruiter’s office, Goggins was told that there were only 35 African-Americans in the past 70 years who had made it through. Goggins asked himself — “what if I could be the 36th?”

These days, he asks himself the same question whenever he’s struggling through a run. It’s this question that helps him get through when his body and mind are broken and begging for him to stop.

Seeing himself succeed and do the impossible gives him the shivers. That drives him to attack every day and challenge with a vengeance.

                                                       

Lesson 5: Use Your Cookie Jar

Goggins has a secret weapon that he calls upon when he’s about to break.

Like many others, he has a cookie jar that he reaches into for the occasional treat. But this jar doesn’t contain any of the things you might typically find; there are no Oreos or Chips Ahoy cookies in there.

Instead, it contains every setback he has overcome. He’ll remember that he’s a Navy SEAL, who’s completed hell week three times. He’ll remind himself that he’s been through this pain before – and survived. The obstacle in front of him is nothing compared to what he has faced.

“Even the toughest man, in times of suffering, we forget how tough we really are”

Goggins never dwells on his accomplishments. The only time he revisits them is when he needs extra fuel for a push he’s making. He allows himself to reach into his cookie jar only when there’s a need. It’s never a treat.

This is a fab one, we simply remember and visualise the times when we achieved greatness, when we

Lesson 6: Be Willing To Suffer

You wouldn’t know it, but Goggins hates running.

He hates it with a passion. Growing up, Goggins has always been on the larger side. He loved powerlifting and had the physique to show for it. But in the world of Ultra, such a large frame is virtually unheard of. It was just inefficient to move that much weight over such long distances.

Goggins knew he was going to suffer — that was precisely his plan. That was the only way he was going to raise enough funds for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

“People respond to pain. If I go out and wash cars for $10, who gives a damn? People want to see you throw up, cry and go through tremendous suffering.”

But for David Goggins, suffering is not just about raising funds. As he says: “suffering is the true test of life”.

Goggins isn’t training just for a race. He’s training for the tragedies that inevitably strike each and every one of us. He does this so he doesn’t fall apart if he gets the 2 A.M. call from the hospital informing him that his mother has passed away.

In other words, David Goggins is the modern day stoic. But unlike the ancient philosophers who advised that we should periodically embrace suffering, Goggins has actually made suffering a habit.

Strengthen your mind and your resolve by voluntarily putting yourself through situations in which you struggle. Callus your mind the same way you do your hands. Take the path of most resistance every day of your life.

That’s how David Goggins has become the toughest man alive. And according to him, the happiest as well:

“Having lived the life I’ve lived, and having seen the other side, not being afraid to attack what was in front of me, has made me happy.”

cbd oil

The following is from Ethan Russo, MD Medical Director, PHYTECS

An Introduction to the ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM

 The endocannabinoid system is a recently discovered regulatory physiological system that holds great promise for improvements in human quality of life. To date, it has not received the attention that it deserves in physician and patient education, nor in research expenditures. Should these shortcomings be rectified, it stands to reason that the public health would benefit enormously.

 

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an essential regulator of bodily function in its many facets. There is hardly any physiological process that is not affected by it to some degree. It is surprising then to realize that the ECS was totally unknown prior to one generation ago. The name derives from the fact that the bodies of all higher animals harbor natural chemicals within that resemble in many respects the activity of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the phyto- (plant) cannabinoid that is the main psychoactive component of Cannabis sativa, sometimes derisively labeled as marijuana. Despite the prominence and importance of the ECS as an essential regulatory mechanism in the body’s biochemistry and physiology, the basic machinery of everyday life, knowledge of it remains quite limited among American physicians due to a dearth of appropriate education in medical schools. This is a knowledge deficit that must be filled in order to benefit the public health as a whole.
The basic functions of the ECS have were summarized in 1998 by Professor Di Marzo as, “relax, eat, sleep, forget and protect.” There are two primary endocannabinoids, arachidonylethanolamine (AEA), nicknamed anandamide from the Sanskrit word for “bliss,” and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG). CB1 is best known as the neuromodulatory receptor in the brain where THC exerts its effects on short-term memory, pain, emotion, hunger, etc. Receptors may be thought of as locks, to which a corresponding chemical (natural or synthetic) will fit like a key, if it has the proper structure to conform to it. CB1 is actually the most abundant G-protein coupled receptor in the brain, and this certainly attests to its importance in cerebral function in health and disease. Both endocannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors in a similar manner to THC in the brain, but are actually produced on demand in post-synaptic neurons (nerve cells) and travel in a retrograde fashion (backwards) to inhibit the release of various neurotransmitters (chemical messengers). As one example, neuropathic (nerve-based) pain is an all too common condition associated with multiple sclerosis, diabetes and HIV/AIDS, and which is notoriously difficult to treat with conventional pharmaceuticals. Glutamate is one of the primary stimulatory neurotransmitters, but when present at excessive concentrations, it perpetuates neuropathic pain and may even provoke cell death after head injury or stroke. The endocannabinoids are naturally secreted after such insults and act to inhibit glutamate release, thereby alleviating neuropathic pain and reducing cell death. THC, and cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of sThe endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an essential regulator of bodily function in its many facets. There is hardly any physiological process that is not affected by it to some degree. It is surprising then to realize that the ECS was totally unknown prior to one generation ago. The name derives from the fact that the bodies of all higher animals harbor natural chemicals within that resemble in many respects the activity of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the phyto- (plant) cannabinoid that is the main psychoactive component of Cannabis sativa, sometimes derisively labeled as marijuana. Despite the prominence and importance of the ECS as an essential regulatory mechanism in the body’s biochemistry and physiology, the basic machinery of everyday life, knowledge of it remains quite limited among American physicians due to a dearth of appropriate education in medical schools. This is a knowledge deficit that must be filled in order to benefit the public health as a whole.
The basic functions of the ECS have were summarized in 1998 by Professor Di Marzo as, “relax, eat, sleep, forget and protect.” There are two primary endocannabinoids, arachidonylethanolamine (AEA), nicknamed anandamide from the Sanskrit word for “bliss,” and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG). CB1 is best known as the neuromodulatory receptor in the brain where THC exerts its effects on short-term memory, pain, emotion, hunger, etc. Receptors may be thought of as locks, to which a corresponding chemical (natural or synthetic) will fit like a key, if it has the proper structure to conform to it. CB1 is actually the most abundant G-protein coupled receptor in the brain, and this certainly attests to its importance in cerebral function in health and disease. Both endocannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors in a similar manner to THC in the brain, but are actually produced on demand in post-synaptic neurons (nerve cells) and travel in a retrograde fashion (backwards) to inhibit the release of various neurotransmitters (chemical messengers). As one example, neuropathic (nerve-based) pain is an all too common condition associated with multiple sclerosis, diabetes and HIV/AIDS, and which is notoriously difficult to treat with conventional pharmaceuticals. Glutamate is one of the primary stimulatory neurotransmitters, but when present at excessive concentrations, it perpetuates neuropathic pain and may even provoke cell death after head injury or stroke. The endocannabinoids are naturally secreted after such insults and act to inhibit glutamate release, thereby alleviating neuropathic pain and reducing cell death. THC, and cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of some cannabis strains, have similar neuroprotective benefits.
AEA and 2-AG are merely the star players in a larger group of endocannabinoids. Some of the others are seemingly inactive molecules when tested on their own. When combined with AEA and 2-AG, however, many experiments have demonstrated that these entourage compounds produce prominent enhancement of the overall effect on pain, inflammation or other function. This synergy (boosting) of effect due to an ensemble of ingredients has been termed the
“entourage effect,” and is paralleled by similar attributes in the cannabis plant, whose minor components modulate (modify or influence) the effects of THC.
Beyond the brain, CB1 receptors are abundant in the spinal cord and peripheral nervous system, where they have a key role in regulation of pain, itch and muscle tone. The ECS also influences the gastrointestinal tract, where CB1 modulates two important aspects of digestion: propulsion and secretion. The endocannabinoid system also regulates endocrine function and fertility, as well as factors in cellular function, whether developmentally or in the uncontrolled growth and spread of cancer (see below).
CB1, however, is not the only cannabinoid receptor. Less studied, but extremely important is CB2, a non-psychoactive receptor that is mostly found in the periphery (outside the brain) and which is a key immunomodulatory mediator with additional activity on pain and inflammation. It, too, is expressed in the brain under conditions of insult, whether it be traumatic injury or degenerative diseases. Many disorders characterized by fibrosis (development of scar tissue), such as liver cirrhosis, and certain heart and kidney disorders may be targets for drugs that affect CB2.
A third receptor, TRPV1 (transient receptor potential vanilloid-one) is also considered part of the ECS, and is best known as the site of action of capsaicin, the active ingredient of chile peppers, but is also a target of anandamide and cannabidiol, but not THC. TRPV1 mediates pain signals through a mechanism distinct from that of the endogenous cannabinoids and opioids, but the receptor is subject to desensitization: this means that if continuously stimulated, the pathway will eventually slow down or even stop. This raises therapeutic possibilities for agents to effectively treat certain kinds of neuropathic pain.
The third component of the ECS along with the endocannabinoids and their receptors are the biosynthetic and degradative enzymes that respectively produce or breakdown AEA and 2AG. These have also become targets for new drug development, and interestingly cannabidiol, among its many activities is capable of inhibiting AEA breakdown by the enzyme fatty acid amidohydrolase (FAAH), thus strengthening and prolonging its effects, much like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) increase serotonin activity to treat depression.
Taken together, the three components of the ECS, the endocannabinoids, their regulatory enzymes and receptors, can be thought of as a key mediator of physiological homeostasis, thus ensuring that various bodily systems function within tight parameters with neither a deficiency nor excess of activity. Just as the immune system deals with invasive proteins from bacteria and viruses, Professor Raphael Mechoulam has hypothesized that the ECS serves an analogous role in the body to neutralize and rectify non-protein insults, such as trauma or oxygen lack.
What if the ECS itself is out of balance? How might this be manifested? Recent discoveries have provided some insights. Ideally, if the ECS is functioning normally, a person might enjoy a normal mental state, without pain, have good digestive function, etc. In contrast, morbid obesity is accompanied by a metabolic syndrome with increased inflammation, insulin resistance and even diabetes. The ECS has been observed to be hyperactive in such states. Similarly, an excess of CB1 activity can be associated with hepatic (liver) fibrosis. Such
problems led to the development of drugs such as rimonabant (aka Acomplia® or SR141716) to combat this excess. This drug is an inverse agonist at CB1. That means that it antagonizes the receptor so avidly that it drives down the baseline activity of the ECS, thus lowering what is termed “endocannabinoid tone.” While this might be effective to reduce hunger and weight gain, and improve laboratory findings of the metabolic syndrome, the widespread effects of this drug also spilled over to other systems to produce undesirable adverse events (side effects) such as depression and suicidality that led to its removal from the market. Other liabilities of CB1inverse agonists would include nausea, an increased likelihood of seizures and even development of malignant tumors. In contrast, CBD is a milder neutral antagonist at CB1 that may be capable of addressing similar medical needs without the attendant risks.
What if endocannabinoid levels are too low? It has been theorized and subsequently borne out in subsequent research that numerous mysterious disorders fit the description of “clinical endocannabinoid deficiency” (CED). Noteworthy among these are migraine, fibromyalgia and idiopathic bowel syndrome (IBS or “spastic colon”). These disorders affect millions of otherwise healthy people who are plagued by chronic pain and other symptoms, leading to extensive medical tests and attempts at treatment, often to limited benefit. The three conditions tend to affect the same individuals at various times of their lives, and are therefore termed “co-morbid.” All three are characterized by “central sensitization,” the concept that normal sensations in the brain are magnified to the point of becoming painful when they would not be to a person free from the affliction. The three disorders also benefit from treatment with cannabinoids according to patient testimonials. Available data confirm that the target organs (brain, gut, musculoskeletal system) seem to express lower than normal levels of anandamide, thus providing credence for the concept that they would benefit from treatments that would upregulate the ECS back to normal levels. Similar putative (theoretical) deficiencies have been highlighted in the ECS for numerous other conditions including intractable depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), neuropathic pain conditions such as complex regional pain syndrome, causalgia, post-herpetic neuralgia, interstitial cystitis, and even certain forms of infertility and early miscarriage.
Finally, many forms of cancer are accompanied by increases of CB1 and/or CB2 expression, felt to be part of the body’s effort to combat the disorder. Interestingly, the phytocannabinoids demonstrate the potential to treat cancer in high doses without harming the normal cells of the body. Some of the mechanisms are mediated through CB1 and/or CB2, but others seem to work through independent, non-receptor means. Cancer arises due to a loss of ability for malignant cells to undergo apoptosis, a normal process of programmed cell death whereby the body remolds and renews itself. Instead, cancer cells become immortalized, divide and grow in an uncontrolled fashion, invade surrounding tissues, stimulate their own blood supply, and even metastasize (spread remotely to distant sites). The endo- and phytocannabinoids, particularly CBD, have the ability to reverse or prevent many of these effects, as demonstrated in experiments in many cancer cell types and even in a growing number of case reports in humans. Beyond the issue of eliminating the malignancy itself, properly constituted cannabinoid treatment may hold the promise of additional “side benefits” by
simultaneously addressing attendant symptoms of cancer: pain, nausea, sleep disturbance, depression and anxiety.
Throughout human history, most medicines have been derived from plants. This pattern began to change in the 19th century and accelerated in the 20th with the advent of synthetic chemistry. Modern models of drug discovery attempt to identify the key receptor or abnormal gene at the root of a disease process, and then computer-design a potent chemical that will bind to the target region with a high affinity. Sometimes this approach is fruitful, but often attendant toxicities are not identified until far into the development program, and even more often, despite this precise targeting, the drug may not exert sufficient benefits on a complex and chronic disease process to actually improve the patient’s condition. Certain disorders, such as cancer, diabetes and diseases of aging such as Alzheimer disease and osteoporosis require drug combination regimens that affect multiple targets in order to attempt to alleviate their myriad complex problems. What seems necessary are better and safer treatments that address the larger problems of disease pathophysiology and degeneration. Botanicals (plant-based medications) frequently fit this profile quite well in contrast to the “silver bullet” single chemical model that is most prevalent in contemporary Western medicine.
It is historically true that pharmacognosy, the study of medicinal plants, has frequently pointed us in the proper direction to better understand our own body chemistry. Examples are numerous: aspirin, a semi-synthetic derivative of salicylic acid from willow bark was available for 100 years before the basis of its ability to treat pain and inflammation led to the discovery of prostaglandins. Similarly, opium was used for thousands of years before research succeeded in identifying endogenous (within) opioids, the endorphins and enkephalins. Cannabis research similarly resulted in a trail that eventually led to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, perhaps decades earlier than it might have otherwise been discovered. The future of therapeutics appears much brighter as a result, since an understanding of the ECS portends to offer many more effective and safer remedies for disorders that have previously proven intractable to conventional treatment.
In summary, the endocannabinoid system is a recently discovered regulatory physiological system that holds great promise for improvements in human quality of life. To date, it has not received the attention that it deserves in physician and patient education, nor in research expenditures. Should these shortcomings be rectified, it stands to reason that the public health would benefit enormously.

thkjkjPetrocellis, V. ome cannabis strains, have similar neuroprotective benefits.
AEA and 2-AG are merely the star players in a larger group of endocannabinoids. Some of the others are seemingly inactive molecules when tested on their own. When combined with AEA and 2-AG, however, many experiments have demonstrated that these entourage compounds produce prominent enhancement of the overall effect on pain, inflammation or other function. This synergy (boosting) of effect due to an ensemble of ingredients has been termed the
“entourage effect,” and is paralleled by similar attributes in the cannabis plant, whose minor components modulate (modify or influence) the effects of THC.
Beyond the brain, CB1 receptors are abundant in the spinal cord and peripheral nervous system, where they have a key role in regulation of pain, itch and muscle tone. The ECS also influences the gastrointestinal tract, where CB1 modulates two important aspects of digestion: propulsion and secretion. The endocannabinoid system also regulates endocrine function and fertility, as well as factors in cellular function, whether developmentally or in the uncontrolled growth and spread of cancer (see below).
CB1, however, is not the only cannabinoid receptor. Less studied, but extremely important is CB2, a non-psychoactive receptor that is mostly found in the periphery (outside the brain) and which is a key immunomodulatory mediator with additional activity on pain and inflammation. It, too, is expressed in the brain under conditions of insult, whether it be traumatic injury or degenerative diseases. Many disorders characterized by fibrosis (development of scar tissue), such as liver cirrhosis, and certain heart and kidney disorders may be targets for drugs that affect CB2.
A third receptor, TRPV1 (transient receptor potential vanilloid-one) is also considered part of the ECS, and is best known as the site of action of capsaicin, the active ingredient of chile peppers, but is also a target of anandamide and cannabidiol, but not THC. TRPV1 mediates pain signals through a mechanism distinct from that of the endogenous cannabinoids and opioids, but the receptor is subject to desensitization: this means that if continuously stimulated, the pathway will eventually slow down or even stop. This raises therapeutic possibilities for agents to effectively treat certain kinds of neuropathic pain.
The third component of the ECS along with the endocannabinoids and their receptors are the biosynthetic and degradative enzymes that respectively produce or breakdown AEA and 2AG. These have also become targets for new drug development, and interestingly cannabidiol, among its many activities is capable of inhibiting AEA breakdown by the enzyme fatty acid amidohydrolase (FAAH), thus strengthening and prolonging its effects, much like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) increase serotonin activity to treat depression.
Taken together, the three components of the ECS, the endocannabinoids, their regulatory enzymes and receptors, can be thought of as a key mediator of physiological homeostasis, thus ensuring that various bodily systems function within tight parameters with neither a deficiency nor excess of activity. Just as the immune system deals with invasive proteins from bacteria and viruses, Professor Raphael Mechoulam has hypothesized that the ECS serves an analogous role in the body to neutralize and rectify non-protein insults, such as trauma or oxygen lack.

What if the ECS itself is out of balance? How might this be manifested? Recent discoveries have provided some insights. Ideally, if the ECS is functioning normally, a person might enjoy a normal mental state, without pain, have good digestive function, etc. In contrast, morbid obesity is accompanied by a metabolic syndrome with increased inflammation, insulin resistance and even diabetes. The ECS has been observed to be hyperactive in such states. Similarly, an excess of CB1 activity can be associated with hepatic (liver) fibrosis. Such
problems led to the development of drugs such as rimonabant (aka Acomplia® or SR141716) to combat this excess. This drug is an inverse agonist at CB1. That means that it antagonizes the receptor so avidly that it drives down the baseline activity of the ECS, thus lowering what is termed “endocannabinoid tone.” While this might be effective to reduce hunger and weight gain, and improve laboratory findings of the metabolic syndrome, the widespread effects of this drug also spilled over to other systems to produce undesirable adverse events (side effects) such as depression and suicidality that led to its removal from the market. Other liabilities of CB1inverse agonists would include nausea, an increased likelihood of seizures and even development of malignant tumors. In contrast, CBD is a milder neutral antagonist at CB1 that may be capable of addressing similar medical needs without the attendant risks.
What if endocannabinoid levels are too low? It has been theorized and subsequently borne out in subsequent research that numerous mysterious disorders fit the description of “clinical endocannabinoid deficiency” (CED). Noteworthy among these are migraine, fibromyalgia and idiopathic bowel syndrome (IBS or “spastic colon”). These disorders affect millions of otherwise healthy people who are plagued by chronic pain and other symptoms, leading to extensive medical tests and attempts at treatment, often to limited benefit. The three conditions tend to affect the same individuals at various times of their lives, and are therefore termed “co-morbid.” All three are characterized by “central sensitization,” the concept that normal sensations in the brain are magnified to the point of becoming painful when they would not be to a person free from the affliction. The three disorders also benefit from treatment with cannabinoids according to patient testimonials.

Available data confirm that the target organs (brain, gut, musculoskeletal system) seem to express lower than normal levels of anandamide, thus providing credence for the concept that they would benefit from treatments that would upregulate the ECS back to normal levels. Similar putative (theoretical) deficiencies have been highlighted in the ECS for numerous other conditions including intractable depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), neuropathic pain conditions such as complex regional pain syndrome, causalgia, post-herpetic neuralgia, interstitial cystitis, and even certain forms of infertility and early miscarriage.

 

Finally, many forms of cancer are accompanied by increases of CB1 and/or CB2 expression, felt to be part of the body’s effort to combat the disorder. Interestingly, the phytocannabinoids demonstrate the potential to treat cancer in high doses without harming the normal cells of the body. Some of the mechanisms are mediated through CB1 and/or CB2, but others seem to work through independent, non-receptor means. Cancer arises due to a loss of ability for malignant cells to undergo apoptosis, a normal process of programmed cell death whereby the body remolds and renews itself. Instead, cancer cells become immortalized, divide and grow in an uncontrolled fashion, invade surrounding tissues, stimulate their own blood supply, and even metastasize (spread remotely to distant sites). The endo- and phytocannabinoids, particularly CBD, have the ability to reverse or prevent many of these effects, as demonstrated in experiments in many cancer cell types and even in a growing number of case reports in humans. Beyond the issue of eliminating the malignancy itself, properly constituted cannabinoid treatment may hold the promise of additional “side benefits” by
simultaneously addressing attendant symptoms of cancer: pain, nausea, sleep disturbance, depression and anxiety.
Throughout human history, most medicines have been derived from plants. This pattern began to change in the 19th century and accelerated in the 20th with the advent of synthetic chemistry. Modern models of drug discovery attempt to identify the key receptor or abnormal gene at the root of a disease process, and then computer-design a potent chemical that will bind to the target region with a high affinity. Sometimes this approach is fruitful, but often attendant toxicities are not identified until far into the development program, and even more often, despite this precise targeting, the drug may not exert sufficient benefits on a complex and chronic disease process to actually improve the patient’s condition.

Certain disorders, such as cancer, diabetes and diseases of aging such as Alzheimer disease and osteoporosis require drug combination regimens that affect multiple targets in order to attempt to alleviate their myriad complex problems. What seems necessary are better and safer treatments that address the larger problems of disease pathophysiology and degeneration. Botanicals (plant-based medications) frequently fit this profile quite well in contrast to the “silver bullet” single chemical model that is most prevalent in contemporary Western medicine.

It is historically true that pharmacognosy, the study of medicinal plants, has frequently pointed us in the proper direction to better understand our own body chemistry. Examples are numerous: aspirin, a semi-synthetic derivative of salicylic acid from willow bark was available for 100 years before the basis of its ability to treat pain and inflammation led to the discovery of prostaglandins. Similarly, opium was used for thousands of years before research succeeded in identifying endogenous (within) opioids, the endorphins and enkephalins. Cannabis research similarly resulted in a trail that eventually led to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, perhaps decades earlier than it might have otherwise been discovered. The future of therapeutics appears much brighter as a result, since an understanding of the ECS portends to offer many more effective and safer remedies for disorders that have previously proven intractable to conventional treatment.
In summary, the endocannabinoid system is a recently discovered regulatory physiological system that holds great promise for improvements in human quality of life. To date, it has not received the attention that it deserves in physician and patient education, nor in research expenditures. Should these shortcomings be rectified, it stands to reason that the public health would benefit enormously.