There is a biological system hidden in the body. Why is it hidden? Because, although well known by researchers it is only taught in a minor way (if at all) in Medical Schools and not discussed at all in the popular press.

What if I were to tell you that the Endocannabinoid system (or ECS):

– Helps regulate the central control of energy balance

– Helps regulate metabolic processes (including storage)

– Plays a key role in the maintenance of bone mass

– Regulates intestinal motility

– Promotes/regulates sleep

– Is involved in neuromodulation and immunomodulation in the immune system

– Is involved in modulating insulin sensitivity

– Is involved in the regulation of pain signaling

– And much more

In fact Dr. Michael Beigel (Faculty of Medicine – The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) has said that the ECS is “involved in ALL physiological processes that have been investigated.”

And the diseases that can be treated by treating this system?

Obesity, diabetes, symptoms stemming from cancer, atherosclerosis, Multiple Sclerosis, Glaucoma, Infertility, Neuropathic Pain, Neurodegenerative diseases (such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Dementia), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Menstrual cramps, Neuralgias, Insomnia, Anorexic wasting syndrome, chronic pain, muscle cramps, anxiety, nausea, inflammation, AIDS related weight loss, Tourette’s syndrome, tremors, dystonia, Epilepsy, Arthritis, depression and other mood disorders, alcohol and opiate addiction, etc. (there are many more).

Can I sneak in its possible involvement in cognitive function and creativity? Schafer and colleagues (2011) reviewed literature and concluded that its activation leads to connecting seemingly unrelated concepts, an aspect of divergent thinking considered primary to creative thinking.

And of course the system is relatively unknown – except around here – because it is tied to cannabis, or if you will, marijuana, pot, reefer. When all this hits major publications in a regular way (I’m working on it) the pot prohibition crowd is going to be in a lot of trouble. Maybe – once it is legal – they can be convinced to light up and chill. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.