A New Vitamin: A Liberated Biological System
Have we seen it all, in my 50 years’ time in medicine, I will say no. Why? Because at the start of my career in medicine, I saw open heart surgeries done with the surgeon’s finger with a 5-to-7-day in-hospital stay. Today, cardiac surgery has gone to outpatient surgery. A valve in the heart can now be replaced via endoscopic technique starting a long way from the heart by way of a trans-arterial valve replacement (TAVR), amazing. I believe soon these surgical procedures will be called “drive-by” surgery in the near future.
In my specialty of orthopaedics and sports surgery, I saw open procedures of the different joints of the body go from open procedures to arthroscopic procedures reduced to no hospitalization needed. I saw total reversal of the etymology of stomach ulcers go from hydrochloric acid being the causative agent of these gastric ulcers, to the causative agent being a bacteria that could be treated with antibiotics as opposed to antacids.
The new biological system, which I am calling the missing link, or the ignored link is out of the bag now and has come to be known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) of the mammalian species. However, despite scientific research done around the world during the 60, 70, 80s, America lent a blind eye to this ECS system and because a prohibition was placed years earlier, on a plant species, Cannabis sativa L, (CSL) this biological ECS system was not studied or taught in medical training.
The ECS biological system was discovered in phases dating back from 1960s thru the 1990s. Signing of the Farm Bill 2018 redefined the meaning of hemp, versus industrial hemp, versus medical cannabis which has a higher concentration of THC but the same plant. This Farm Bill also made hemp federally legal again after nearly 50 years of criminalization and legal prohibition.
This new 2018 Federal law after being signed into law defined the limits of THC that this plant can have and be defined as hemp. Hemp is CSL with less than 0.3% by dry weight of THC in the hemp plant in the field. If the same plant CSL had more than 0.3% THC by weight in the field, then it would be defined as medical cannabis. I am avoiding the labeling of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, which added a Spanish-derived word to target the Spanish immigrating population group, south of the border. This word, marihuana was created to demonize and mitigate all of the positive attributes that this plant possesses. This above tax act was clearly designed to “throw the baby out with the bath water”.
No doubt, this plant known as CSL was very much demonized for 85 years in the United States, making it an immigration act, and secondly using it as a form of “Jim Crow 2.0 in the black and brown communities”. In 2018, 4 in 10 US drug arrests in the United States were marijuana- related mostly for possession. Law enforcement made approximately 663,000 arrests for marijuana-related offenses in the 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2018 accounting for 40% of the 1.65 million total drug arrest in the United States.
On December 20, 2018, this bill was signed into law known as the 2018 Farm Bill making hemp federally legal for the first time in 50 years. President Nixon in 1970 signed into law the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), and made CSL, the whole species, a Schedule one (1) drug.
This blog is not about cannabidiol (CBD). It is about a biological system that has received a given amount of recognition because of the ECS and this exogenous cannabinoid that feeds the body’s endogenous system known as the ECS. From an endogenous standpoint, the human body makes Anandamide and 2AG on demand. Anandamide was one of the first endogenous cannabinoids isolated and is synthesized in part of the brain that are important for things like memory, motivation, and thought processes. Other applications include, pain control, and appetite.
A vitamin is any group of organic compounds which are essential for normal growth and nutrition and are required in small amounts Daily because they cannot be synthesized by the body in homeostatic amounts. One of the prerequisite nutritional elements which is needed for the body to make its endogenous cannabinoids depends on omega-6 and omega-3 dietary intake. Here again, it is about balance. We shall talk more about balance in our future blogs as we understand the balance relationship between the other terpenes, terpenoids, and the many flavonoids that are not yet fully appreciated. However, until then, take your “Daily Dose of Wellness” which you can find at http://www.dailyvitamincbd.com.
Please and thank you,
Eric I. Mitchell, MD FACPE