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The Feels: Ep. 01: Your Endocannabinoid System

 December 14, 2021  Written by David Melnick
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Join Florissant budtenders Dr. Bex Johnson and Jeff Rowse for their discussion about your endocannabinoid system, recorded live on 11/1/2021.

0:00 Welcome & Introducing The Feels
1:10 Bex's Experience at The Cola Lounge
4:00 Collecting Donations for TEAM
5:18 Today's Topic: How Cannabis Makes you Feel the Way You Feel
5:41 Introducing Endocannabinoids
5:54 Anandamide is Responsible for Runner's High
6:10 Your Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
6:55 CB1 and CB2 Receptors
7:18 Ounce Specials at Florissant
8:54 What Happens when you Consume Cannabis
9:18 How the ECS Works Like a Lock & Key
9:45 What is homeostasis?
10:34 Prerolls at Florissant
11:35 Vape Pens at Florissant
11:55 Other Systems in the Body
12:38 Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome
13:21 Other Animals with Endocannabinoid Systems
13:36 People Don't Know about their ECS Because
13:59 Can you overdose on cannabis?
14:45 Feel State Florissant Savings
16:02 Question: Why do Universities Not Teach About the ECS?
18:16 Saying hi to the audience!
19:05 Where are your hockey pics, Jeff?
19:53 Are there any high profile universities teaching cannabis?
21:10 How do people get to talk to you 1-on-1 at the dispensary?
22:32 What are your favorite products right now?

Prefer to read this conversation about the endocannabinoid system? Check out the transcript below!

JEFF: Happy November first everyone. I hope you had a spooky Halloween! Welcome to Live at 5:30 with Jeff and Dr. Bex. This is something we are going to be doing every Monday right around this time. We’re going to take a couple of minutes to let people gather in cyberspace or the cloud or whatever people call it these days. How was your Halloween Doc?

DR BEX: Bex riffs

DR BEX: We’re going to start off today by talking about selflessness. Every now and then we have to step back from ourselves and take a look at the bigger picture. There are a lot of folks out there that are having a rough time of it. That is why now thru December we are accepting donations for TEAM, The Emergency Assistance Ministry.

JEFF: TEAM has been using their pantry to provide food to the needy of St. Louis since 1986.

We encourage all of our patients and those watching at home, when you come visit us at Feel State, please bring some much needed supplies:

  • Mac and Cheese
  • Canned tuna
  • Dry pasta
  • Pancake mix and syrup

BEX: These are just a few of the items we are accepting for The Emergency Assistance Ministry. We are also donating half of all budtender tips from the months of October thru December to TEAM. So, thank you in advance for your generosity towards our budtenders and for your generosity from the grocery store, your cabinets and your hearts.

JEFF: How many of you have wondered how cannabis makes you feel the way you feel? Most people are gas and go when it comes to cannabis. Pack the bowl, light the bowl, smoke the bowl, feel the bowl. Pretty simple. It’s actually more complex.

DR BEX: Right. How many of you knew that our bodies produced chemicals very similar to those found in cannabis? These are called endo or “inside” cannabinoids. In fact, one endocannabinoid called anandamide has recently been discovered to be the chemical responsible for “runner’s high.” So it’s not endorphins that are responsible for feeling great after a nice run; it’s endocannabinoids.

JEFF: That’s why phytocannabinoids, or cannabinoids found in plants, can interact with our body’s regulatory structure called the Endocannabinoid System. Now, before you start going, “Huh?”, did you know that we have several systems that help regulate our bodily functions? 

DR BEX: Right. The endocannabinoid system is a system. Just like our nervous system. Like our digestive system. Like our reproductive system. These systems, and more, keep us functioning the way we are meant to. And just like other systems, The endocannabinoid system is based on receptors–receptors that function as messenger stations that send signals to your brain. These receptors, in terms of the endocannabinoid system, are called CB1 and CB2. CB1s are found mostly in your brain and central nervous system. CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are found in our limbs and our trunk and like in our digestive tract, muscles, and our immune cells and such.

JEFF: Before we continue, we’d like to send a message to your brain about the kindest ounce prices in the state of Missouri.

BEX: Let’s talk Flora. Feel State is offering an ounce of oh-so-fine Flora farms flower for the low, low price of $240. You can mix and match but the rules are: there is a quarter minimum per chemovar, or flavor. *We don’t say “strain” around here.*

JEFF: We have some fine chemovars available:

  • Early Lemon Berry
  • Pineapple Kush
  • Blueberry Cookies
  • Platinum Grape Runtz

BEX: You can also purchase an ounce of flower from St. Ann’s own Heya Wellness for $400. Again, you have to mix and match quarters, but wait till you hear the choices.

  • Runtz
  • Mama’s Pie
  • Grease Monkey
  • Mandarin Cookies

JEFF: Finally, if you buy ⅛ of Heya’s Katsu Bubba, you get a Scooby Snacks, 1g pre-roll for a penny. Which will do a fine job of getting you to your Feel State. It breaks down like this. When you consume cannabis, you have cannabinoids, like CBD and THC floating around in your bloodstream. Those chemicals make it to the cells in your fatty tissues, and your muscles, and your digestive tract. On the surface of our cells, in all these places, are receptors. These receptors grab those cannabinoids almost like a butterfly net.

DR BEX: A better example would be a lock and a key–this analogy is commonly used in medical schools. Cannabinoids are the keys that bind with receptors, or locks. A key, like THC, opens the lock and sends a message. But CBD, a different key, can open the same lock but send a different message. 

JEFF: In other words, THC and CBD send messages to your brain. Your brain decodes the message and sends out a response. So when your brain gets the THC message it tells your bowels to get moving. When your bowels get moving you get hungry. When you get the munchies, you refuel your body. Do you start to see how cyclical things are? This is called homeostasis.

DR BEX: Homeostasis is different systems working in harmony to maintain our physiologic responses; like our reproductive system, digestive system, and nervous systems, etc.  All these systems work to achieve homeostasis, that harmonious state of feeling “normal”: or a perfect balance of all systems.

JEFF: To help you achieve homeostasis we have some fine, pre-rolled phytocannabinoid for you to choose from. New to our dispensary we have the Copper Chem chemovar by Proper. This lovely box contains five, point five gram pre-rolls.

DR.BEX: We also carry Safe Bet Three-fers. Three zero point three pre-rolls full of Mama’s Pie, Duct Tape and Early Lemon Berry. We also carry Safe Bet’s 0.5 gram Mama’s pie blunts–These are made with a non-tobacco, hemp leaf based blunt wrap. They’re amazingly smooth and burn incredibly slow. Trust me, you’ll have to buy it to try it.

JEFF: We also have a wide selection of one gram pre-rolls from Heya. These range in price from eight to twenty dollars and range in THC percentage from six to twenty one percent.

We got Runtz, Grease Monkey, Slippery Susan and Scooby Snacks.

BEX: And much to the delight of our patients, Ratio pens are back! This time we have four varieties of these rechargeable and disposable pens. A THC dominant 20 to 1 and 5 to one. A balanced one to one and a CBD dominant 1 to 5. 

JEFF: And just like Feel State has bunches of products, our bodies have bunches of systems. Besides your endocannabinoid system as mentioned earlier, there’s your cardiovascular system which regulates your heart and body temperature; Your excretory system which takes care of your waste disposal; Your endocrine system which regulates hormones.

DR BEX: Then there’s the Exocrine system which processes waste through things like your sweat glands and hair follicles. Your lymphatic system is like a series of army barracks for white blood cells. When you get sick–your lymph nodes are swollen: meaning its boots on the ground time.

JEFF: That leaves the skeletal, respiratory, muscular, and urinary systems. That’s a lot of systems to keep in balance. No surprise that people are suffering from endocannabinoid deficiency and they don’t even know it's happening. They just know they don't feel well.  They can’t sleep, they feel anxious, they feel pain in places we won’t begin to describe.

DR BEX: You can think of cannabinoids as you would any other nutrient: If you’re deficient in potassium, your doctor may tell you to eat more bananas or take potassium supplements.  If you’re deficient in cannabinoids, you can consume more cannabis. 

JEFF: And it's not only humans that have an endocannabinoid system. Any living creature with a brain and a spine has one. That’s why you have heard stories about owners’ pets accidentally getting high. Felines, rodents, whales, the tilapia you had for dinner last night all have an Endocannabinoid system.

DR BEX: Not surprising that people have never heard of it before. I didn’t even hear about it in pharmacy school. In fact, my teachers told me to skip over that chapter because they didn't treat cannabis like a medicine: They treated it like a schedule one drug: Like cocaine. Like heroin. Like a drug that you can easily become addicted to, overdose, and die from.

JEFF: Which leads us to an important question. Can you overdose while consuming cannabis? Not in the sense you might think. Overdose is an ugly word associated with Schedule one drugs. You can over-stimulate yourself. That’s why it's important to dose correctly. So, tune in next Monday when Dr. Bex and I will discuss:  how to choose a chemovar, not a strain, how to properly dose, and we’ll do our best to break the indica/sativa/hybrid paradigm.

DR BEX: We’ll even educate you on what to do in case you “overdose” on cannabis. It’s really cool stuff you won’t want to miss. And as always, you also don’t want to miss what cool discounts Feel State offers:

JEFF: You bet, Doc! Veterans get 22% off. Seniors 65 and older get 15% off. Low income patients get 15% off but the patient has to have registered on the state portal as receiving state assistance and the words “low income” must be printed on their medical card.

BEX: The discounts don’t end there. First timers get 20% off. Second visit is 15% off. Third visit is 10%. Fourth visit is 5%. Then prices return to normal. But the whole time you are earning loyalty points. Every dollar equals one point. When you get to 100 points, that’s  five dollars. When you get to 200, that's  10 dollars. You see what’s going on people.

JEFF: You can take off however many dollars you want–as long as you have the points to back it up. There’s only one exception - you can’t stack discounts on an ounce. You can use points, but not discounts. Hopefully you learned something tonight. Do we have any questions from our viewers? Here at Feel State, we want our patients to be more educated when they leave than when they came in so if anyone out there has a question for myself or Dr. Bex, please fire away.

Questions from the Audience

  • Are there any high profile universities teaching cannabis?
  • How do people get to talk to you 1-on-1 at the dispensary?
  • What are your favorite products right now?

Click here to catch our next episode of The Feels live on Facebook!

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