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The Common Link Between Breast Milk, Cannabis and Tea

They all nourish a key system in the human body.
 
 
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Photo Credit: Oksana Kuzmina / Shutterstock.com

 
 
 
 

What do breast milk, tea and a cannabis cigarette have in common? As mind-boggling as it may seem, quite a bit. In addition to providing a soothing sense of comfort and bliss, they also facilitate in stimulating and nourishing the endocannabinoid system, which plays a significant role in a variety of physiological processes.

Cannabinoids are naturally occurring chemical compounds that promote homeostasis by interacting with specific receptors found in the human body. Thus far, two receptors have been determined – CB1 and CB2. This intricate system of cannabinoids, receptors and other binding substances manufactured in the brain is called the endocannabinoid system.

Breast milk has been revered by many for generations as the most wholesome and beneficial source of nutrition that a mother can provide for her growing infant. Since cannabinoids exist in breast milk, clearly, humans are designed to utilize them.

The ability and the desire to suckle are essential for an infant’s development. According to the  European Journal of Pharmacology, the cannabinoids found in breast milk activate the CB1 receptor. This activates the oral-motor musculature, which is imperative for suckling. It is also believed that these cannabinoids promote an infant’s desire to eat, much like an adult cannabis user gets the munchies.

For a variety of legal and moral reasons, adults generally do not indulge in a glass of breast milk when they need comfort. Instead, many enjoy a cup of tea.

Black, white and green tea all come from the same species of plant, which is the  camellia sinesis. These plants contain an antioxidant known as catechin. The catechin responds to the CB1 receptors in the same way that cannabinoids do, providing  anti-inflammatory and neuroprotectivehealth benefits. While tea consumption may be beneficial, organic varieties are always the optimal choice.

When smoking a cannabis cigarette, a psychoactive cannabinoid known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is released into the body. When THC interacts with the CB1 receptors, it causes a temporary increase in dopamine. As a result, the user experiences a sense of relaxation and pleasure. Smoking cannabis has also shown promising results in relieving the symptoms of AIDS, cancer treatments, muscular sclerosis and many more disabling conditions.

Increasingly, cannabis use for medical purposes is becoming more acceptable and even legal in certain states. Understanding the endocannabinoid system will continue to shed light on the natural role cannabinoids play. While there is still a great deal of research that needs to be done before we can fully understand how cannabis works, there is already substantial evidence that this plant has medicinal value.

Jane Hash is a Certified Natural Health Professional who empowers students across the country to make healthy life choices. She hosts the “Holistic Vitality Education Channel” on YouTube, the “Hash It Out With Jane” podcast available on iTunes, and blogs forThe Mobility Resource.