Cannabinoids are a neurosystem (a system in the brain), for modulating and regulating various adaptive states that naturally occur. Some of these states are things like noxic reactions, exercise, pain and pregnancy. They, as a class of compounds, naturally occurring, and synthetic, produce effects ranging from anti-nausea, analgesia to more prominent psycho-active features like euphoria, and sedation.
Many very commonly consumed items contain Cannabinoids. A woman’s breast milk contains oleamide, which is a hunger and sleep inducing Cannabinoid.
Eggs and milk, cheese, chocolate, red meat, and a large variety of common seeds, nuts, fruits and plants contain either Cannabinoids, or what are called “Cannabinoid-like”, which means they have slightly different but similar effects.
There are two Cannabinoid receptors known, and in this authors opinion, one or even two more, given the vast array of subjective effects. The CB1 receptor produces a high, the CB2 receptor is more related to medical and body effects. The exact mystery of the synergy and nature of cannabinoids is really unknown.
There is also FAAH inhibitors, which block the breakdown of anandamide (our bodies suspected to be most preferred Cannabinoid neuro-transmitter). Paracetamol and chocolate have these properties, which contribute to the effects of each.
Omega oils, such as fish oil, soy extract, are also Cannabinoid precursors.
Not only are these possessed of remarkable medical qualities like other Cannabinoid related substances, but a good intake helps boost the functions of the system, leading to slightly better pain tolerance and other benefits.
Cannabinoids are remarkable neuro-protective agents, with one of the most potent anti-oxidant effects known to man. This gives them a range of potential benefits above and beyond there normal brain function. (Rats without Cannabinoid receptors in their brain actually age 30% faster, and cancer inducing agents are 95% less cancerous when THC is co-administered)
While there is a lot of mystery still about these substances, and even their role in brain, and science has only really started studying them, there is clearly a lot of importance in this brain system.
In summary, Cannabinoids are vital, medically complex and useful, and very common. Cannabis is no-where near the only plant with Cannabinoid properties, and your supermarket and body is full of them. Now, think about this the next time you’re in the supermarket, buying food!