Inflammation

Who's in My Entourage?

Image of PPAR-Gamma molecule

The entourage effect was a term first used to describe the various endocannabinoids that work together. Recent research emphasizes how two of these chemicals (OEA and PEA) exert subtle anti-inflammatory and antidepressant effects through a receptor called PPAR-alpha. PPAR-alpha regulates gene expression. Many plant cannabinoids - including CBD and THCA - activate the related protein, PPAR-gamma.

CB2 Protects Against Fibrosis

Illustration of human lungs

Smoking cigarettes is well known to cause lung damage, but this is not only due to smoke. Nicotine in whatever form - even nicotine replacement therapies like a patch - causes lung inflammation and fibrosis by activating acetylcholine receptors. Polish scientists recently examined how the endocannabinoid system fits into the picture. Activating the CB2 receptor ameliorated nicotine-induced fibrosis, while blocking the receptor exacerbated the problem. Fibrosis involves the accumulation of a protein called collagen between cells.

Self-Medicating for Endometriosis

Image illustrating a woman with abdominal pain

Endometriosis is a poorly-understood condition causing severe chronic pain and alterations in a woman’s menstrual cycle. As an understudied disease, treatment is limited. Scientists surveyed over 400 Australian women to see what actions they took to treat their pelvic pain. Cannabis, heat, CBD oil, and dietary changes were rated most effective by women, in that order. Unfortunately, more women used alcohol than cannabis to manage symptoms; self-medicating with alcohol promotes chronic inflammation and led to worsening pain and fatigue in over half of such women.

Coffee & Cannabis

Coffee and cannabis are two of the most widely used psychoactive substances in the world. Whereas cannabis is often consumed to relax the body, enhance perception, and stimulate creativity, coffee - like tea and other caffeinated beverages - is typically used to energize and help people focus, particularly in the face of exhaustion.

Does it make sense to consume cannabis and coffee together? How do they interact? Is it fitting that decriminalized THC-rich cannabis was first sold over-the-counter in Amsterdam’s coffee shops?