Common Questions: The Endocannabinoid System
What does the endocannabinoid system do?
What’s the difference between an cannabidiol
How does CBD interact with the endocannabinoid system?
How do cannabinoids affect the body?
Are there ways to enhance your endocannabinoid system?
Common Questions: Colon and Rectal (Colorectal) Cancer
What are the early warning signs of colorectal cancer?
How long does it take for colorectal cancer to develop?
Are colon cancer, rectal cancer, and colorectal cancer all the same?
Can you die from colorectal cancer?
Where is the first place colorectal cancer spreads?
Endocannabinoids are molecules produced by the body to maintain homeostasis — stability — in response to changes in the environment. They evolved over the past 500 million years and are present in all vertebrates but were only discovered in the 1990s.
Blood in the stool, a change in bowel habits marked by constipation or diarrhea, fatigue, weakness, abdominal pain, bloating, and weight loss are among the early signs of colon cancer.
“Cannabinoid” refers to a chemical found in the cannabis, aka marijuana, plant.
“Endo” means substances are produced inside the body. Endocannabinoids are, in effect, the body’s own source of cannabis. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana,
and CBD, or cannabidiol, are plant cannabinoids that are capable of interacting with the endocannabinoid system.
Most cases of colorectal cancer begin as a polyp, and it may take as long as 10 to 15 years to become cancerous. For this reason, regular screening to identify and remove polyps is the best way to prevent colon cancer.
Cannabinoids operate as endocannabinoids do, by attaching to certain receptors on the outside of cells, which can then alter the behavior of those cells or the bodily systems they are part of.
Colon cancer begins in the colon and rectal cancer begins in the rectum, but both areas are part of the digestive system. Because of this, cancers that occur
in either area are sometimes referred to as
Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids can affect pain perception, memory, mood, appetite, and many other bodily systems. In 2018, the FDA approved a synthetic form of CBD called Epidiolex that reduced the number of seizures by 40 percent in patients with two rare forms of epilepsy. Another synthetic form of CBD has been approved for wasting as a result of HIV-AIDS and cancer treatment.
Yes. The odds of survival are highest for colorectal cancers caught at an early stage. For example, localized colorectal cancer that has not spread outside the colon or rectum has a 90 percent five-year survival rate, while those cancers that have spread to nearby or distant organs have 75 percent and 14 percent five-year survival rates, respectively.
Enthusiasts say that endocannabinoids can be boosted by certain foods, such
as those containing essential fatty acids, chocolate, herbs, spices and teas, and stress-reducing activities.
Colon cancer typically spreads to the liver first, though it can spread to other areas of the body, including the lungs and brain.