Cannabinoid System in Neuroprotection, Raphael Mechoulam, PhD


«—Dr. [Raphael] Mechoulam, professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem,  gives a brief history of Medical Cannabis, then describes the role of Cannabinoids as anti-inflammatory for arthritis, as neuroprotectant for brain injury and as a possible treatment for PTSD.

Dr. Mechoulam first isolated THC in 1964.» (From the video description section)

 

(excerpts)

(Minute 14:20)

«Receptors are not built in our brain—or anywhere in our body; of course, animal bodies—because there is a plant out there that will produce a compound that acts on them. That just doesn’t work that way. Receptors are found in our body because we produce compound[s] that will activate those receptors and that’s why there is equilibrium, if you wish, between action and inaction [in] those receptors… So obviously we thought that there should be endogenous compounds which act on those receptors.

The fact that there is a plant compound, the Tetrahydrocannabinol—THC—which acts on those receptors is just a Work of Nature, if you wish.

Anyway, it’s not because of these compounds that the receptors are there. So we work very hard for a few years and—about 12 years ago [1992]—we were able to identify, to isolate and show the structure, and start biological work on a compound we called ‹Anandamide›. ‹Ananda› is a name is sanskrit which means ‹Joy›.

So, anandamide—and it has been thoroughly investigated in the last decade—is one of the natural compounds which we produce and which act on these receptors into a… a lot of things… a long long list of actions… Actually, there is barely a biological system- a physiological system- in our bodies, in which the endogenous cannabinoids, or in short, Endocannabinoids, do not participate. […]»

 

(Minute 17:58)

«What do the endocannabinoids do?

[Dr. Mechoulam quotes his good friend Di Marzo, who summarized the endocannabinoid activity in 1998. In summary, cannabinoids helps us:]

“Relax, eat, sleep, forget, and protect”- Di Marzo, 1998

[Dr. Mechoulam then emphasizes…]

NOT “remember”, [but] “forget”.

And don’t think that forgetting is less important than recalling. We should have a system to “forget”, otherwise—we’ll, if you wish—we can burst. If you go down a mall and see a thousand faces, do you want to remember all of them? Of course not.»

 

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