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Cannabis and the Endocannabinoid System

I view my role as an Integrative Medicine physician as helping patients balance their mind, body and spirit in a comprehensive, holistic way. Underneath the canopy of Integrative Medicine lies Plant Medicine. Plant medicine is the ingestion of plants in various forms, including a largely plant-based diet, as well as ingesting other healing herbal extracts. By harnessing the inherently balanced power of plants and nature, to help us connect to our authentically balanced selves…our own true nature. In concert with other herbs, I believe that cannabis, when used properly, can be an efficient way to achieve homeostasis. As such, cannabis can be an excellent component of an integrative medicine treatment plan designed for optimum health. It does this by balancing the system it revealed to us in the first place: the Endocannabinoid System.

What is the Endocannabinoid system (ECS)? This system is essentially a web of communication, located largely within the nervous system, work in concert with other internal systems to help us regulate and balance our body. It is made up of a system receptors throughout the body that speak to each other in response to pain, inflammation, our general sense of how we integrate with our environment, and many other ways we sustain balance.

Maintaining an optimal “ECS Tone” is what helps your body maintain homeostasis. An optimal ECS tone enables you to respond to day to day, and moment to moment stressors. It enables one to engage in the world in a resilient way, easily correcting oneself when thrown off balance. However, due to many different factors some people’s ECS tone is weaker than others.

That’s where plant-based medicine comes in. When there is an imbalance in the body, a healthy individual with a naturally strong ECS tone will effectively correct the imbalance, bringing the individual back to homeostasis. This can be achieved in several ways: meditation, exercise, plant medicine. For someone with a weaker ECS Tone, the opposite is true. The threat or source of imbalance will thrive and lead to more imbalance, leading to ailments like chronic pain, inflammation, sleep disorders and more.

As such, reaching and retaining ideal ECS Tone is critical for healing the body and bringing it back to optimal health. For those who have low ECS Tone, either through genetics, lifestyle choices, or disease, medicinal cannabis can be the missing piece in your integrative medicine plan.

I consider this the scientific basis for what largely drives my integrative medicine practice. Many modalities help optimize one’s ECS tone: meditation, yoga, plant-medicine to name a few. While there are many herbs to choose from, cannabis is often the most efficient way to optimize one’s ECS tone. Thus, viewing Cannabis as a powerful herb with many healing applications, certification for the Medical Use of Marijuana may be one component of each patient's comprehensive program. Learn more by contacting us today at 978-998-0010 or schedule your appointment here.