I highly recommend this short video Visualization of the endocannabinoid signaling system
Leanne does a great job at explaining how the endocannabinoid system operates as a retrograde signaling system. This is why cannabinoids act quite differently from other psychoactive substances. It may be why cannabinoids do not create physical dependance (as opiates or alcohol).
The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities
An interesting research paper from the NIH on the newly discovered cutaneous endocannabinoid system. The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids to control cell proliferation should warrant further studies. Too bad our lawmakers most likely never bother to read such studies. It probably flies well over their heads.
Here is the conclusion of the paper: “Collectively, it seems that the main physiological function of the cutaneous ECS is to constitutively control the proper and well-balanced proliferation, differentiation and survival, as well as immune competence and/or tolerance, of skin cells. Pathological alterations in the activity of the fine-tuned cutaneous ECS might promote or lead to the development of certain skin diseases. Therefore, it is envisaged (this is also strongly supported by pilot studies) that the targeted manipulation of the ECS (aiming to normalize the unwanted skin cell growth, sebum production and skin inflammation) might be beneficial in a multitude of human skin diseases. However, to predict the real therapeutic potential and translate the exciting preclinical observations discussed earlier into clinical practice, numerous important questions should carefully be addressed (Box 2). Nevertheless, targeting the cutaneous ECS for therapeutic gain remains an intriguing and provocative possibility warranting future studies.”
Further recommended readings:
“The Endocannabinoid System as an Emerging Target of Pharmacotherapy” http://pharmrev.aspetjournals.org/content/58/3/389.short
“Endocannabinoids Modulate Human Epidermal Keratinocyte Proliferation and Survival via the Sequential Engagement of Cannabinoid Receptor-1 and Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid-1” http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/v131/n5/full/jid2010421a.html