bodily functions loosely explained as a “coin-counter”:
A plebeian analogy
You walk into a bank with 3 identical jars full of coins. Your Mission: exchange the coins for cash to deposit into your account.
1 Jar is 100% Pennies
1 Jar has equal parts of Quarters, Dimes, Nickels and Pennies
1 Jar has 20% US and 80% Foreign Currency
-The first jar is counted quickly and rejected very few coins.
-The second jar took a bit longer, it also rejected a few coins because they were either damaged and wrongly categorized.
-The third jar took the longest to count, and rejected almost all the currency.
This happened because the coin counter was calibrated to only register specific shapes, weights, or dimensions of certain coins. These irregular coins are rejected to prevent damage to the system.
Imagine for a moment that the machine we deposited our coins into represents the human body. The coins we’ve been collecting and are now depositing, represent the various substances one consumes, and the resulting exchange represents the outcome of digesting these substances. I used this analogy as a bud tender for many years. Within this analogy, I am exploring basic interactions of bodily functions and how they relate to Cannabis and Nutrition. At the risk of over simplification, I am keeping this as rudimentary as possible. No doubt I’m leaving out much of the nuanced functions or chemical interactions that could be more thoroughly explained, but I’ll leave that to the scientists. I hope the following outline correctly and thoroughly illustrates my ideas:
The Currency: What Goes into your Body
Everything we consume can be loosely broken down into the following categories:
.50-Coin ) Carbohydrates
.25-Coin ) Amino acids
.10-Coin ) Proteins
.05-Coin ) Lipids
.01-Coin ) Vitamins / synthetic or natural cofactors (drugs)
Assign all of these substances a coin; Half dollar, Quarter, Dime, Nickel, Pennie respectively. Keep in mind the dollar amount has nothing to do with the value of these substance, solely a visual and physical representation of how these substances travel and digest within the coin counting system.
Pathways to the Registers: How Substances Enter the Body
There are various ways to consume substances, we’re going to focus on three. One can smoke or Vaporize materials, delivering the substances through the Respiratory System; one can eat and digest substances within the Gastrointestinal System; or one can apply substances to highly veinous areas of the skin or mucus membranes for dermal absorption. To illustrate the intricacy of the pathways and end points each of these Entry Points generally lead to, I’ve sited this interactive map created by Roche, a German Healthcare Company, and ole reliable; wikipedia.
Provided by: Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/
Provided by: https://www.roche.com/
You can see the intricacy of these biological systems and pathways. One can understand how hard it is to ascertain what nuanced connections and how exactly they interact with one another. To keep it relevant to the targeted industry, the following passages focus on the Endo-Cannabinoid system and lightly touch on diet.
The “Coin Registers”: The Sites Where These Substances Metabolize
From the “subway” style map we can see where and how our “coins” travel through the machine - our bodies. Our coins are now apart of a solution which lubricates the journey through our body and along with them is a diverse biome and cocktail of endogenous and exogenous “currencies” (remember - our coins represent different chemicals). This concoction travels from station to station dropping off and picking up passengers (other currencies) along the way, but ultimately lead to a final stop - waste material.
From this point forward, we’re going to disregard the majority of our bodily functions, and touch on the role of CB1 and CB2 receptor.
Our bodies produce endogenous (made within our bodies) cannabinoids as a result of biological functions, such as working out and extended cardio “Runners High”. We also consume phyto-cannabinoids delivered by our favorite plants, including hops. Below I’ve linked a map that show where the receptors reside, and what they do:
Provided by: https://mycannabis.org/the-science/
Provided by: wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabinoid_receptor
Behind the bar I referred people to this site constantly: www.projectcbd.org They’re by far my favorite resource for information pertaining to Cannabis. Below I linked a very important article I feel anyone who is pursuing medicinal cannabis treatment, with or without the help of a physician, should read:
This Article will add context to the following section where I’ll explain my understanding of what happens when we “flood” or mistreat these receptors and systems.
Coin Throughput: How the System Processes Substances
Remember, in our analogy our body is represented by a coin-counter. Every coin counter has has a limited number of “slots” or registers to process coins and needs be completely redesigned or calibrated differently to count different coins or currencies.
Lets loop back to the preface for a moment:
-1 Jar is 100% Pennies
Imagine that our Pennies are THC, and only THC. The CB1 and CB2 receptors distributed throughout our bodies are going to metabolize the THC very quickly because all the registers are counting and metabolizing the same kind of coin. This results in an incredibly potent, but fleeting sensation.
-1 Jar has equal parts of Quarters, Dimes, Nickels and Pennies
Imagine the Quarters, Dimes, Nickels and Pennies represent Terpenes, Flavonoids, and Cannabinoids, but only the Copper Coins are Psychoactive. Depending on how these coins entered the system, the receptors will metabolize one psychoactive coin for every three non-psychoactive coins.
-1 Jar is about 20% coin and either 80% Foreign Currency or mostly debris from the nooks and crannies you found the coins in.
In this scenario, the amount of debris clogs up the system and for every 4 rejections, there’s 1 deposit. Doesn’t seem like a very effective use of your time or resources, and you risk damaging the machine. Overtime irreversible damage can be done as the pathways accumulate debris along the channels. The same can be said if we continuously fill the system with foreign currency as previously mentioned. In this scenario, the foreign currency can represent substances we lack the enzymes to properly metabolize and have the potential to wreak havoc on the system, such as Celiac or Porphyria.
The Exchange: Whats the Pay Out
I’m hoping this analogy is coming together to illustrate the phenomenon the canabis industry refers to as the “Entourage Effect”. The spectrum of coins and their ratios will yield different “Dollar Amounts” of return. This can symbolize the subjective value we place on the experience we achieve from a particular strain which has a unique Cannabinoid and Terpene Profile. To expand further, this can symbolize the value of experience (minus the long term impact) of anything we consume, from food, to alcohol, drugs, air, water, literally anything that enters our body…
Depending on the synergistic effects, the health and state of your bodily and its unique metabolism, one may have a subtly to drastically different experience from someone else with a different body type or neurochemistry. Quantifiable methods of consumption are essential to making accurate observations and correlating the cause and effect.
In relation cannabis, eating extracts is a great way to quantifiably consume cannabis with minimal negative health effects. If one refines measured portions of concentrate or extract into a consistent serving size, just like edibles, then the consumer can quantifiably achieve the effects of the dosage instantaneously.
In relation to food and diet, this analogy can illustrate the slow road to metabolic disorders and heart disease. Food should be nourishing, but if your spectrum of ingredients is more garbage then nutrients, you’re causing damage to the system either by clogging the pathways or by damaging the receptors in your heart, brain, or liver.
I hope this illustration is effective at helping us understand the impacts of a lifetime of decisions about what we put into our bodies. I believe we all should have the right to the Recreational and Medicinal we require or desire. The most important things I believe we can do as a society to earn that, is follow the rules, vote, and partake responsibly.
Please let us know what you think, if something could be explained differently, was pretty helpful or is completely wrong, please let us know.
Contact the author:
Jason Daniel Lutz
Honey Forms LLC