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Cannabis and Acupuncture: Maximizing the Endocannabinoid System’s Potential

MMJ card

Chinese medical professionals have been using both acupuncture and cannabis in therapeutic healing regimens for literally thousands of years. However, how they might complement one another is something that Western medicine, if not “scientific” standards, is only now beginning to understand.

Even more intriguing, it seems that acupuncture also stimulates the endocannabinoid system (ECS), in addition to cannabis. 

Numerous therapeutic benefits of cannabis have been observed, and they may aid in the treatment of various illnesses. If you live in Lancaster and have any of the medical conditions that can be treated with marijuana, you will need a medical marijuana card in order to legally obtain medical marijuana. By completing a 5-minute form from the comfort of your home, you can obtain your Lancaster $20 medical card online from our website. 

Understanding the Endocannabinoid System

It was in the 1990s when the endocannabinoid system of the body was discovered by an Israeli scientist, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, who is also known as the father of cannabinoids in the West. Also, he was the person who discovered THC. 

The Endocannabinoid system consists of a series of receptors known as CB1 (which occurs mainly in the brain of most mammals) and CB2 (present throughout the organs, central system, and tissues). The ECs are today known as the fourth central regulatory system of the body. This system regulates everything from inflammation, pain sensations, and immune system response to appetite, memory, mood, and overall metabolism. 

Cannabis has been a traditional component of Chinese medicine for centuries

Chinese words for “help” and “numbness,” as well as the name of the plant itself, are “ma” for cannabis. It has literally been used for thousands of years as part of traditional Chinese medicine and herbal knowledge.

The Red Emperor, Emperor Shen Nung, authored a book on “traditional Chinese medicine” in 2737 BC, and it appears to contain the earliest recorded reference to medicinal cannabis in a medical manual. The Chinese Canon of Medicine, also known as the Nei Ching, was written by Huang Ti, a.k.a. the “Yellow Emperor,” by 2698 BC. He discusses using both cannabis and acupuncture in it.

The first person to be recognized for writing about the use of cannabis as an analgesic and for inventing acupuncture needles is Hua Tuo, who lived from 140 to 208 AD. Tuo allegedly combined cannabis with acupuncture and used it to numb the pain during surgery.

In what is thought to be the oldest pharmacopeia (book of pharmaceutical drugs and their uses), written in 1 AD, Pen Ts’ao Ching described how cannabis was already an essential component of Chinese medicine as a whole, even when used in conjunction with acupuncture.

A medical marijuana card, which authorizes the use of cannabis for medical purposes while residing in Lancaster, is necessary to obtain cannabis. You can easily obtain your medical card online by filling out a form and speaking with a licensed Lancaster MMJ doctor who will evaluate your health and determine your eligibility. 

Cannabis and Acupuncture Combined: A Holistic Approach to Wellness

Acupuncture involves inserting needles along the body’s meridians, or important “energy flow” points. The purpose of the insertion points, which are located just below the skin’s surface, is to clear one’s “chi,” which is believed to be the origin of imbalance, illness, and pain.

Additionally, recent studies seem to suggest that this actually translates into a process that is only now beginning to be understood within the framework of Western science, rather than something more like the tinkling of crystals in terms of medicine. Similar to cannabis, acupuncture seems to excite the body in specific ways, promoting healing, regulating, and optimizing the body’s major systems—including, surprisingly, the endocannabinoid system.

Studies on the science of acupuncture, which started in the 1970s, discovered that the analgesic, pain-relieving effects of inserting tiny needles just beneath the skin at specific points in the body accomplish more than just making the recipient appear like a porcupine. In actuality, the proper positioning of these needles during traditional Chinese acupuncture stimulates the body to produce substances known as “endogenous opioids,” or substances that have an opioid-like effect on the body. Inflammation and pain are lessened when these are released by inserting tiny needles just under the skin.

Moreover, the human body’s natural production of endocannabinoids and the natural opioids it produces are directly related. Evidence suggests that endocannabinoid binding can increase natural opiate output through chemical signaling between the two, resulting in an overall reduction of pain and inflammation, which is also thought to be one of the main triggers of conditions and chronic diseases of all kinds.

What Implications Does This Hold for Future Research?

In other words, these findings suggest that acupuncture actually stimulates the body’s major regulatory systems to function, which may be what the Chinese meant when they used the term “chi.”

Acupuncture may also activate the endocannabinoid system, which will cooperate with the body’s improved regulation and, at the very least, pain management, as it starts to improve the functioning of damaged bodily functions.

Because of this, it is very likely that future research will look at how medical marijuana itself can function to further maintain this stimulation, even in between needle treatments, to restore damaged systems to optimal health, in addition to how acupuncture stimulates the endocannabinoid system.

Potential Therapeutic Applications

Both acupuncture and marijuana have a long history of being used to treat addiction and mood disorders like depression, even in Western medicine. In other words, there are significant implications for a variety of conditions, beginning with opioid addiction, if the body is communicating “feel good” signals and its own naturally occurring, nontoxic form of both opioids and cannabinoids to areas where internal systems are compromised.

This could mean that acupuncture will become a much more accepted component of medical systems, especially in the West, and that it will be combined with cannabis use, which is quickly becoming legal in western economies and nations.

Another concern is what this might imply for long-term preventive wellness. The mainstreaming of traditional Chinese practices like acupuncture along with the medical use of marijuana (including its coverage under health insurance) into “Western” medicine at a time when governments and insurance companies are grappling with an aging population and skyrocketing healthcare costs has the potential to be at least partially curative to the overall issue of rapidly increasing healthcare costs and the lack of political capital to cover the same.

By completing the $20 medical card online application on our website, you can improve your health and gain access to the therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana.