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Tommy Chong

It’s cannabis time!

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Tommy Chong is an icon who continues to lead the cannabis community. His comedic career took off in the 1970s when the legendary Cheech and Chong characters were first born and lived out in their live performances, records, and trailblazing movies like Up in Smoke. Together, the duo began leading a generation and took the cannabis counter culture movement mainstream. They shined a humorous and positive light on cannabis consumers, which shed some of the fears surrounding cannabis and its use. Chong, now 81 years old, continues his journey helping people laugh alongside his longtime comedic partner, Cheech Marin. “Now it’s cannabis time. It’s gone mainstream,” says Chong. The duo went on tour this fall and audiences saw throwbacks from their classic work and heard their thoughts on cannabis legalization as it’s rapidly growing across the world. Chong says, “Oh I’m still in love with cannabis. She’s been so good to me. I love every bit of her. She’s still my best friend. She’s my lover. She’s my angel. She’s my everything.” He first tried cannabis at age 17 and has consumed cannabis his entire life, with the exception of 3 years. He recently overcame rectal and prostate cancer and says, “As far as everything goes, I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been.” 

At the beginning of Cheech and Chong, the country was fighting the Vietnam War, which continued through 1975. Chong currently serves as an Advisory Board Member for NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, which was founded in 1970 by Keith Stroup. Their mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to achieve the legalization of cannabis in the United States so the responsible use by adults is no longer subject to penalty. Chong says, “It really affected life, especially during the Vietnam War. It actually helped stop it, or at least brought people’s attention to it. I’ve always said marijuana will save the world, and I’m right.”

He became a leader during the 1970s and continues to advocate through comedy. Out of everything he’s accomplished he says he’s most proud to be, “Working with my family. My wife, Shelby, is my partner on stage and as a wife. When Cheech and I broke up she stepped in and she became my partner. That’s one of the proudest things that ever happened to me, because it’s very rare. So, my proudest accomplishment is being on stage with my wife every night. I’m very proud of that.” He continues working with his family and is starring in a new television show called, Tommy Chong’s Pipe Dreams. He feels the show is changing a lot of things and is among the most unforgettable shows of our time. Shelby stars on the show alongside him. Shelby doesn’t smoke cannabis and never did, but she does use edibles. “She loves her gummy bears and chocolates and has her own private stash that I better not go near. She also likes topicals and she’s planning on launching a line of her own marijuana based creams.” He’s excited for the future and says, “I just scratched the surface of my comedy, even though I’ve done all the movies. There was never a one and done, one always led to another. So the new show is a game changer for everybody that sees it. My aim is to reassure people that you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. Every one of us. There’s no one that’s out of place. If you feel uneasy about where you’re at. That’s a good sign. If you feel comfortable where you’re at that’s also a good sign. What it means is that we’re all alive and we’re experiencing it.”

In reference to the rise of cannabis use in seniors, Chong tells us, “We all have aches and pains and we all need to sleep and eat. Cannabis helps with all those areas. We all need to be healthy and we all need to forget our problems. So it just works perfectly for seniors.” For others interested in using cannabis, he recommends edibles at bedtime. “If they have pain they can use marijuana salve, which is also good for sleeping. You can put it on your head or the back of your neck and it works really well. If they’re smokers, they can smoke a joint or a bowl. I wouldn’t recommend dabbing right away. When you smoke you put your ‘worry brain’ on vacation. That’s what you want to do. You forget bad habits and that’s what it helps you do. I quit smoking because every time I felt like a cigarette I would light a joint and I would take a couple of tokes and I’d be fine. When I felt like a cigarette again. I’d light it up again. It took a year before the nicotine got out of my system, but I quit smoking with the help of cannabis.”

The plant continues to help Chong daily, and he smokes live with his fans on his Tommy Chong App once a day. He says, “Now you go to any dispensary, and it looks like a lineup to see Jesus to get healed. They’re on their crutches or on their canes. There’s MS patients and people with mental problems. There’s people with epilepsy and all those people with neurological problems. They need the cannabis. And it’s not a joke. It’s very serious to these people.” In addition to advocating for legal cannabis use for others, Chong knows the value hemp brings to the world. “We wouldn’t have all these plastic problems we have now had we kept hemp, because it made the best paper. Anything could be wrapped in hemp paper and it doesn’t hurt the environment. Hemp can also be used like plastic. Henry Ford made a car and the body of the car was made out of hemp and it ran with hemp oil.” He says having hemp in the supply line was beneficial, but they broke the chain and now we’re going through the climate crisis because of the fossil fuel industry and paying the price for it now.

I’ve always said marijuana will save the world, and I’m right.

Looking back on his life, some of the best advice he should’ve taken, but didn’t, was the warning he received in 2003. “We got the warning, but I figured, nah, they aren’t going to bust you for making bongs. But they did.” Chong spent 9 months in jail and says he really enjoyed his time there and learned a lot. This was during the time he was required to quit smoking cannabis for around 3 years. While serving his time in jail, he was often offered free cannabis. “They tried to bust me. They had snitches offer me free weed, and I turned it down each time. After each time, they drug tested me right afterwards. I would have been doing more time in jail had I fell for it, but I resisted.”

Chong has decades of cannabis experience and launched his own line of cannabis in 2016. “Cannabis works on the brain with our receptors. Cannabis and humans have a lot in common. Cannabis really reminds us constantly of who we are and slows the brain down and makes us appreciate life.” During his time consuming cannabis, one of the most surprising locations he’s ever smoked was at George Bush Sr and Junior’s house in Midland, Texas. He’s also smoked a joint on top of the empire state building. If he could introduce one person to cannabis, it would be Melania Trump. “I think she needs it.” He also fondly remembers smoking with George Harrison of the Beatles. “He was the only one of the Beatles I got to know personally. He played the guitar on one of our Cheech and Chong Basketball Jones. George played the introduction to it. I almost got high with John, but he was worried about his immigration status. Ringo was a recovering alcoholic. I haven’t got high with Paul yet. That’s on my bucket list, to get high with Paul.” Chong has a long list of memorable people he’s smoked with, “Cheech and I played basketball, and we smoked up with Bob Dylan.”

Throughout his life, one of the people who inspired him is Moses. He used to think it was Jesus, but his life was cut short. “Moses made it to the end. He was the one the burning bush talked to. Moses is my inspiration because he was raised in a royal family and he was taught all the secrets of the Pharaohs, and then he led his people out of bondage into freedom.” Chong says he’s a student of the Bible, both the old and new testaments. “The secrets are all there. I’ve been shown the proper way to interpret the bible and it has gotten me to where I am today. I went to Bible camp when I was 8 years old. I learned how to pray and that’s very important. Prayer is much like meditation. You’re really talking to yourself. That’s why you eliminate the thought of a far away God or some kind of god you can deal with. Like, hey God, you do this and I will do that. There is no such thing, it’s just you. I realized that early in life when I was very young and therefore I found the path to success and I’m still on it and I still will be on it. Part of the knowledge I gained was to forgive and let people live their own lives. As they say in yoga, stay on your own towel. That’s what I’ve done all my life, and I’ll continue to.”

It took a year before the nicotine got out of my system, but I quit smoking with the help of cannabis.

Part of Chong’s success comes from his superpower. “I have a superpower. I do, and I know it. The superpower really is keeping your mouth shut. That’s the superpower. That’s the hardest thing in the world to do, you know, because you can’t tell a spoiler for a movie. I have a bad habit. I see a movie and I want to tell everybody all about the movie. My son tells me, ‘Shut up Dad. Don’t tell me anything.’ That’s what life’s all about. My superpower is knowing that everybody’s on their own path. Everybody’s on their own journey and the best you can do is encourage them and help them when you can, but the best thing is to keep your mouth shut. That’s my superpower. Knowing that. Also knowing that you can’t help people. You know people have to struggle through life. Unless they ask you, but people have to learn the lesson, whatever the lesson may be. You’ve got to remember that we are eternal beings. We’re not just here the one time and then we’re gone forever. Nothing ever leaves this earth. Every drop of water that was here in the beginning is still in one form or another. We’re 90% water. We’ve always been here. We’re just like a thought in a mind of a god. That’s exactly what we are. All of us are just one thought. One grain of sand, each of us. Knowing that and then knowing you can’t give other people your experience. They have to experience everything themselves. It’s so maddening sometimes. But it all works out.” 

What we have to do is try to help the other person. That’s your only job on Earth is to help others.

Chong recalls his Bible studies and shares, “There’s all good, there’s nothing bad. The Bible says everything that God made was good and everything that God did not make was not made. You see, everything else is an illusion. You can’t have positive without negative when you live in a physical world. You’re going to have both. You’re going to have good and bad. Each experience that we go through is exactly that, it’s experience. And you know how they always say you only learn from your mistakes? Well, for instance, if you’re perfect like say Jesus was, because Jesus never made a mistake. Everybody else did. But Jesus could never make a mistake, because he was only here to show us what it’s like to be godlike on Earth. And that’s what he did. When it was time for him to go, he had to leave. He said something like, ‘If I do not go, the comforter will not come to you.’ In other words, if you keep looking to me for all your goodness, then you’re not going to be able. We are all gods, basically, but we’re all here to learn and learn what it’s like to be whatever everybody’s going through. We’re all going to experience it because eternity gives us the ability to go through every possible physical change that you could think of on this planet. Then, when that’s done, there’ll be another and another and another; it never ends. The only thing there is an ending to is our knowledge. A lot of us are limited. We are only shown so much and then we have to figure everything out ourselves. That’s the way it is with life. This is very advanced teaching by the way. There is no such thing as good or bad. There just is. And when you realize it like I do, then you do what you gotta do. You shut the fuck up and let everybody figure it out for themselves, because everybody will and can.”

Experience and figuring things out himself have clearly helped shape and define Chong’s career, and outlook on life. Another big influence in his life is obviously cannabis. He has love for the plant and believes in its ability to inspire others. “Cannabis inspired Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and they changed our world.” The movement isn’t just about cannabis, it’s other plant medicine and expanding knowledge. Chong even says cannabis legalization is leading the way for other psychedelic plant medicines and has been for decades. He isn’t finished and has a goal to be on stage a lot longer. “I’m 81. George Burns said he wanted to be on stage doing standup when he was 100. I want to get on stage and say, ‘Hey George, I beat you.” 

After he and Cheech took the stage for their comedy tour across the US and Canada in 2019, he’s already working towards that goal! More than just a comedian, we’re honored to share Chong’s knowledge and insight while he continues to lead a movement for freedom through comedy. Chong may have became an inspirational leader through his legendary comedy long ago, but he still continues to lead in advocating for the plant and making people laugh along the way. “What we have to do is try to help the other person. That’s your only job on Earth is to help others.”

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Keeping Love + Faith Alive

After losing 36 to Covid-19

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What started as a “Shelter in Place” check-in with friends Barbara and Daniel Melvin, grew into this article about a family with extreme losses to COVID-19. Barb first told me they had lost 12 family members and friends from COVID-19 in mid-April. By the end of April, the number had grown to 33. The current count is 40 family and friends lost to COVID-19 as of May 18, 2020.

Daniel and Barbara lived in Detroit before relocating to Naples, Florida, in 2001. Barbara has worked in banking for 30 years and is currently a Vice President at First Florida Integrity Bank. Dan is a multi-talented singer, radio personality, and entrepreneur. They are two of the happiest, kindest, giving, and loving people you could be lucky enough to know.

Together, they have worked to give back to their community through philanthropic endeavors, as well as volunteering on numerous nonprofit boards. They celebrate their mutual birthdays, Sept 6 & 10 by holding an annual event called “Party Hearty for Charity,” formerly known as “Party with a Purpose,” their nonprofit organization., They have raised over $90K in the past six years to help support several nonprofit organizations in SouthWest FL.

Barb says, “The coronavirus is real. I first heard about it in March, but like everyone else, we didn’t understand it, and at that time, we didn’t personally know anyone that was sick from it. Then, as time went on, we started to hear about people that we knew who were dying. My husband and I hated to wake up and look at Facebook because it seemed every time we checked someone close to us or someone we knew had died.”

Barbara tells us, some of the churches in Detroit continued to hold services, after the recommendation not to gather in large numbers. The members met to seek comfort in the face of the pandemic. Barbara believes that was crucial for most of the people she knows who were infected and died.

How could one couple know so many people who have passed from COVID-19? They are an extensive close-knit family, descendants of Tom and Etta Rhoades, born slaves. Tom and Etta’s dreams were to keep their descendants together spiritually, in harmony, and in brotherly love. They have honored their ancestors by gathering each year, for 46 years, for a three-day family reunion. Friday is meet and greet (you would need it with over 200 attending). Saturday is picnic time, complete with a softball game between the North and the South. Sunday, everyone goes to a local church, followed by a family dinner. With all those family members together, not an argument or fight ever. Until 2020, when the pandemic hit the family, and they canceled the family reunion.

Barbara shares with us information on a few of those they have lost. “My aunt, Mary Rhoades, died on April 22, 2020, she was 97 years old. She was in good health, and we were praying she made it to 100.” Several of her siblings had achieved that milestone, and she was reasonably healthy for 97 years of age so that expectation was a real one. “Aunt Mary became infected in early April; two weeks later, she was gone. She went to the hospital in Philadelphia for minor surgery, and we believe she was infected there. What hurts the most is she died alone; no family or friends could visit her.”

“Jason Hargrove was a close friend of ours. He was the bus driver who went on Facebook Live to talk about a woman coughing on his bus without covering her mouth. Two weeks later, he was diagnosed with the coronavirus, and he died shortly thereafter. His death was not in vain as the Detroit Department of Transportation made many changes to enhance the safety of their drivers. Jason was a Deacon at my church.”

Barbara continues, “Another close friend of ours was Larry Griffin. He died on April 16. He sang in my husband’s band called “In Full Effect” when they were performing in Detroit. He continued to sing in a new band called “Serieux,” who performed mostly in Detroit but also in Las Vegas. He had a beautiful voice and some great dance moves. He was so healthy until he caught the virus, and, in weeks, he was gone.”

“It spread so much faster in the churches. Many Pastors we knew caught the virus and were gone. They were older and many had health issues, when the virus attacked them they could not fight it off. These 4 Pastors were all a part of the Church of God In Christ (COGIC). Many had large congregations and were still holding services after the call for social distancing. These great men are a true loss for the COGIC community.”

“On April 23, we lost a very dear friend of mine, Lynn Raimey. I called her my sister as her father was the Pastor of my church in Detroit. Her family took me in and treated me like family when I first moved to Detroit and didn’t know anyone. She had many health issues, so when she was infected by the virus, it killed her very quickly.”

“Although we have lost many family, friends, and associates, we know God is good, and he continues to show us favor even through the midst of this storm. Even though we know of many deaths, we also know of many survivors and to that we are grateful. These people are given a second chance so their test can become their testimony. I know of an entire household, The Washington family of Detroit, who are survivors. Pastor Jamonty, his wife Tamela and their daughter Ariel Washington all recovered and are doing well.”

Barb specifically finds strength in the Beatitudes; “Jesus said in Matthew 5:4, Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. It is during these tough times of losing loveda ones that I can refer to scripture to give me the comfort I and my family needs. The question is have you ever suffered? Please know that we all have. But I have come to know through leaning on God and his word, he meets me at my very point of need. As believers, the Bible speaks about plagues and famine and death, and its teachings prepare us for what life has to offer. Oftentimes we don’t understand the current situations, but when we look back, we realize this had to happen.”

As of May 5, 2020, there have been over 72,000 deaths in the United States, and over 257,000 deaths Worldwide. It is critical to find strength either within or in a higher power, focus on the positive, and stay connected.

It is GRAM’s honor to recognize this incredible family.

Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.


In Memoriam

Family & Friends Lost to Covid-19 (35 as of 5/5/20)

Mary R. – PA

Jason H. – MI

Rachelle Lynn R. – MI

Rev. O’Neil S. – MI

Gerald H. – MI

Curtis H. – MI

Larry G. – MI

Rosalind C. – MI

Rev. Gerald G. – VA

Skylar H. – MI

Rev. David F. – MI 

Laneeka B. – MI

Ejuan W. – MI

Darnielita B. – MI

Bishop Phillip B. – MI

Bishop Robert S. – MI

Bishop Robert H. – MI

Tatia W. – MI

Rev. Lonie J. – MI

Carrie W. – MI

Helena J. – VA

James J. – VA

Robert J. – VA

Annette W. – NY

Helen L. – MD

Walter H. – DC

Carol T. – DE

Benjamin T. – DC

William B. – KY

Daniel R. – TX

Karen S. – NC

Denise B. – NC

Doris M. – OH

Trina D. – MI

Earl T. – VA

Nathaniel S. – MI

Lonnie L. – MI

Nathaniel S. Sr. – MI

Nathaniel S. Jr. – MI

Angel R. – IL

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Americans for Safe Access + Covid

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Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission of ensuring safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. The organization began in 2002 and has been helping educate people, change laws, and get more research out there about the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis. “We also care about safety, and we want to make sure patients are using cannabis safely and legally throughout the United States,” explains Debbie Churgai, Interim Director for ASA. 

GRAM sat down with Churgai to discuss how they are handling COVID-19 for patients throughout the U.S. She tells us, “When it first started, patients were really concerned about there being a lack of access to their medicine. So, one of the first things we did was host a stakeholders call. We contacted a bunch of people: patients, industry professionals, medical professionals, legal professionals, and within two hours, 15-20 people were on the phone strategizing. From that phone call, we then created a letter that we sent to Governors, medical cannabis commissions, and health departments urging them to keep medical cannabis businesses as essential, not just the dispensary but also cultivation and manufacturers so that there was no stop in production or supply chain.”

“It also meant, we needed to make sure patients were receiving safe products, that employees were also being kept safe. Then we started thinking about delivery for states that did not have that yet, and the states that did not yet offer telehealth – we wanted to encourage the changing of regulations at least temporarily to help accommodate the patients. As well as things like tax relief and adding additional caregivers, it wasn’t just about keeping businesses open, it was about making sure that patients were being protected and that products and employees were safe.”

In Colorado, we have seen dispensaries adapt to this crisis by adding hand sanitizer at checkout counters, wearing gloves and masks and only allowing one person in the purchasing area at a time. 33 states now have some sort of medical cannabis program.

According to news around the U.S., cannabis is now considered essential. But it wasn’t that way at first. According to Churgai, “Some states seemed to hold back on making any temporary changes in regulations. Within two weeks though, all the other states began implementing the suggestions we recommended.” 

We needed to make sure patients were receiving safe products, that employees were also being kept safe.

“California has reached out more than any other state, I believe that is due to the fact that every single county there is different, from its tax structure to its implementation of the laws. Massachusetts was high with the questions as well because of them deciding to close down their recreational dispensaries for adult use. Now there is an influx of new patients. Now there are new concerns.” 

Each state has a different set of rules and regulations surrounding their medical cannabis programs. “We wanted businesses to all have the same information so we offered a live training on health and safety during COVID-19, that can now be purchased as part of our Patient Focused Certification.1 In the training we provide information such as how to properly put on and take off gloves, how to properly touch things, how to properly sanitize surfaces, and more to make sure that businesses are being as safe as possible during this time.”

“When we realized that we helped assist in making these services essential, we wanted to learn how they actually worked for patients throughout the U.S. We wanted to understand, what do they still need during this time? Are their needs being met as patients? Would they like to see services like telehealth and delivery continue after COVID-19? We realize that we really need to streamline our advocacy efforts at this time, and we felt the survey would be a great way to learn what we can do for patients out there,” Churgai explains.


Help ASA discover what patients need around the United States.

Take the survey here: https://www.safeaccessnow.org/covid-19_survey


COVID-19 Patient Experience Survey asks questions like:

• How do you obtain cannabis?
• Do you feel you are at risk for covid and why?
• Rate your state’s response to the covid crisis.
• How should your state be assisting you more?

Patients are at greater risk for a variety of reasons so ASA is working to ensure that the needs of patients are taken into account. So, in addition to creating this survey, Americans for Safe Access has also created a page on their website dedicated to resources for patients seeking information surrounding COVID-19.2

Churgai says, “Cannabis is real medicine. I have been in this industry for so long, and I am a realist, and I know things will not change overnight. But I do feel the pandemic has highlighted the need for this medicine to be seen as real medicine. At ASA, patients are our priority, we are unbiased, we are not paid to play, and patients will always be our top priority.” You can learn all about Americans for Safe Access by visiting their website: https://www.safeaccessnow.org/


References:
1. http://www.patientfocusedcertification/training/a-la-carte-trainings/
2. https://www.safeaccessnow.org/covid-19

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Trends in Endocrinology + Metabolism

The quest for a healthy
Endo-Cannabinoid System (ECS)
Emphasis on immunoregulation

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The ECS is a disperse system, extending throughout the body; it is in constant interplay with all other organ systems promoting homeostasis in almost every aspect. Despite that, the ECS is still neglected and not included in the curricula of medical schools. For this reason a few introductory notes are in order (Battista et al, 2012). The ECS is the regulator of cognition, mood, nociception, energy metabolism, oxidation, inflammatory processes and a disease modifier as well (Tantimonaco et al, 2014).

The ECS consists of receptors, ligands to these receptors and enzymes that synthesize and degrade these ligands. The number of known endocannabinoid receptors is still growing to more that 55; the two most outstanding receptors are CB1R, mainly distributed throughout the nervous system and responsible for the psychoactivity of cannabis, and CB2R, mainly distributed on immune cells, even those “disguised” as specialized cells within other organs. Other receptors include TRPVx, GPR55, PPaRs etc; all these receptors form dimers between them as well as heterodimers with other types of receptors, like opioid, dopamine, serotonin, adenosine, catecholamine receptors and many others, thereby promoting a universal regulatory interplay throughout the body. The ligands to these receptors are the endocannabinoids (ECs): lipids of the eicosanoid family, derivatives of arachidonic acid (AA); the latter abounds in cell membranes; five of these are well characterized to date, but two are well studied: Anandamide (AEA) and 2-Arachidonoyl-Glycerole (2AG). ECs in the nervous system act in negative feedback loops, more or less like neurotransmitters, but, unlike them, they are synthesized and degraded on demand, and not stored in micro-vesicles. Several formerly unrelated morbid conditions are now recognized as ECS deficiencies, including, among many, migraine, autism, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, etc (Russo, 2016).

The endocannabinoid system is involved in immunoregulation through the CB2 receptor and through receptor independent biochemical pathways. The mechanisms of immunoregulation by ECs include modulation of immune response in different cell types, effect on cytokine network and induction of immunoapoptosis; in brief, ECs down-regulate the innate and adaptive immune response in most, but not all, instances. Manipulation of endocannabinoids in vivo may constitute a novel treatment modality against inflammatory disorders.

It is obvious that the health of the ECS is of great importance in many ways, including the facing of a viral infection like COVID-19. A healthy ECS depends on many factors, most importantly from proper nutrition (McPartland et al, 2014).

Dietary ω3 fatty acids seem to act as homeostatic regulators of the ECS, acting in opposite directions if consumed by obese or non-obese individuals. Little change in EC levels are seen in individuals with normal weight, not fed a high ω6 diet.

Dietary ω6 fatty acids are also essential, but should be in a balance to ω3s; suggested balance is ω3:ω6=1:1 to 1:3 for proper ECS signaling and prevention of peroxidation in general. Arachidonic acid is an essential component of the ω6 fatty acids.

Probiotics and prebiotics play a significant part in ECS health, but, for a bizarre reason, they are generally not mentioned: They up-regulate CB2Rs residing on immune cells of the gut; they also modulate CB1Rs, depending on conditions, for instance, they down-regulate CB1Rs in obese individuals and help them gain less or no fat.

Some flavonoids, like kaempferol, genistein, epigallocatechine gallate, and curcumin enhance the ECS; same happens with some anthocyanidins, like cyanidin and delphinidin, although with a different mechanism.

Phthalates, pesticides, additives to pesticides like piperonyl butoxide act as ECS disruptors, meaning that consuming organic food may be a sound protective measure, along with intake of detoxifiers, in case of health problems consistent with ECS deficiency not otherwise explained.

Chronic stress impairs the ECS by decreasing levels of AEA and 2AG, and possibly through changes in CB1R expression too. Stress management may reverse the effects of chronic stress on ECS signaling. Anecdotal reports and common experience suggest that techniques such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises and practicing of sex as well, exhibit mild cannabimimetic effects, thereby balancing the system.

Exercise is also an ECS regulator: Long-term exercise leads to sustained elevations of ECs, and predictable CB1R down-regulation.

Chronic alcohol consumption and binge drinking likely desensitize or down-regulate CB1R and impair EC signaling. Alcohol is not compatible with a healthy ECS.

Nicotine is an ECS deregulator: It induces EC production in some areas of the brain, while decreasing them in others. It should be avoided too.

Caffeine, acutely administered, potentiates CB1R-mediated effects through antagonizing adenosine at the A1 receptor (AA1R). At the undisturbed state, AA1Rs tonically inhibit CB1R activity; Caffeine antagonism on AA1Rs sets CB1Rs free of inhibition, thereby enhancing ECS function, for example by letting 2AG activate CB1Rs. During chronic administration of caffeine, the effects are blurred by individual differences in adaptation. In general, CB1Rs are down-regulated.

Chocolate: Cocoa contains sm-all amounts of at least three N-acyl-ethanolamines with cannabimimetic activity, expressed either directly by activating cannabinoid receptors, or indirectly, by increasing AEA levels (di Tomaso et al, 1996).


Selected Bibliography:

Battista et al, 2012: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3303140/

Tantimonacco et al, 2014: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24526057/

(Russo, 2016): https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28861491/

(McPartland et al, 2014): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3951193/

(di Tomaso et al, 1996): https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8751435/

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