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What is the endocannabinoid system?

What is the endocannabinoid system?

Over 100 chemically and biosynthetically related cannabinoids have been identified in cannabis to date. There are two major components, cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) along with several other less potent cannabinoids, Cannabichromene (CBC), Cannabichromevarin (CBCV), Δ9-tetra hydrocannabivarin (THCV), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabigerovarin (CBGV), cannabidivarin (CBDV), and Cannabinol (CBN).


Studies of THC effects on human being led to discovery of a cannabinoid receptor (CB1) gene and human endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS was defined as the ensemble of 1) two transmembrane and G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) proteins for THC—cannabinoid receptor type 1(CB1) and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2); 2) 2 endogenous ligands, the “endocannabinoids” N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG); and 3) the enzymes are responsible for endocannabinoid biosynthesis [i.e., N-acyl-phosphatidyl-ethanolamine-selective phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD) and diacylglycerol lipases (DAGL) α and β, for anandamide and 2-AG, respectively] and hydrolytic inactivation [i.e., fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), for anandamide and 2-AG, respectively]. Endocannabinoids and ECS regulate synaptic plasticity in central nervous system to modulate brain functions such as memory, mood and emotions, and pain perceptions. ECS may promote both non-rapid-eye movement and rapid-eye-movement sleep by interacting with melanin-concentrating hormone neurons in the lateral hypothalamus.


THC and THCV were uniquely binding with high affinity to CB1 and CB2 (with agonist and antagonist activity for THC and THCV, respectively). CBD, on the other hand, may “indirectly” active CB1/CB2 by weakly inhibiting AEA enzymatic hydrolysis (i.e., fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH)) to regulate the ECS and effect the pain, anxiety, and insomnia conditions. Cannabinoids also exhibit moderate activity on a wide array of molecular target, i.e. orphan G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), several channel proteins belonging to the transient receptor potential (TRP) family, namely, rat and human TRPV1, as well as serotonin receptors (HT1A) to modulate brain functions, i.e. pain perceptions etc.


The therapeutic efficacy of cannabinoids may be impacted the genetic variations of receptor genes (CB1, CB2, TRPV1, and HT1A), transport and signaling genes, i.e. serotonin transporter (SLC6A4), metabolism genes that activating or inactivating cannabinoids, such as Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) and Cytochrome P450 genes (CYP2C9 and CYP3A4), as well as interactions of the genetic variations between these genes. Pharmacogenomic and pharmacogenetic test-guided target therapy likely provides cost effective personalized treatments, and it is particularly attractive for complex diseases or disorders of difficult in tailoring their treatments, i.e. chronic pain, insomnia, and anxiety.

Your First Trip to a Dispensary

Your First Trip to a Dispensary

So, you have made the decision to try CBD or THC to help manage or alleviate some ailment that you have. If you have been battling this ailment (or ailments) by endlessly trying different doctors, waiting on referrals, countless internet searches, or any number of experimental treatments, then take a deep breath and relax because this process is going to be much easier. This new endeavor may involve one office visit, one trip to your local dispensary and one test. That’s it!

Depending on what state you live in you may or may not need a doctor’s recommendation to purchase THC and some CBD products. Here in California, you no longer need a doctor’s recommendation to purchase THC or CBD, although prices will be lower for medical patients.

While each of us is different in how we approach a task, I would like to offer up several suggestions that may make you feel more comfortable and help you on your path to wellness:

The first step would be to take a Greenway DNA saliva test so that you will know exactly what genetic variants you have that effect how your body metabolizes CBD and THC. This test will also provide you with a recommended dosage and a card to present to the dispensary so you can eliminate the trial and error guess work of using cannabis products.

Second, locate the web site of the dispensary you plan to visit, or several that may be in your area. Look at each web site and pick one that is likely to meet your initial expectations. Be sure which ever dispensary you choose has all the necessary credentials and permits as this will ensure that the products you purchase have been tested and meet your states necessary standards.

Next, look through the dispensaries menu and familiarize yourself with the different types of ingestion methods, flavors or types of products you may want to try. For those of you focusing on CBD or a CBD/ THC mix, I would recommend an oil-based product as this promotes absorption by the body more effectively than some of the other options. But again, find something that you would like to try and that you feel comfortable taking. There are a variety of different ingestion methods and each will hold its own pros and cons.

This is also a good time for you to research the products offered. Take a moment to visit several company websites and learn about their products. Learn about what these products typically do, or how you may expect to feel. Write down questions you may have that you can ask your customer service representative (bud tender) at the dispensary. A full understanding of what you want, how the product is made, and your personalized dosage recommendation from your GreenWay DNA card will help your comfort level and confidence that you starting out prepared.

Also, keep in mind that you may want to go during slower business times so you will not feel pressured by crowds. Lastly, I would recommend consulting your primary doctor before pursuing any remedies related to your health, especially if you are currently taking medication and are under the care of a physician.

There you go, this sums up the basics of your first trip to the dispensary! With a little time spent researching and your GreenWay DNA personalized dosage recommendations you are truly empowering your path to wellness.