Frankel had rarely tried cannabis until he was 49. He was a partner  in one of the most successful practices in West Los Angeles and a  clinical professor at UCLA Medical School. He’d been my family’s  internist for 15 years, and I found him a skilled diagnostician, who  listened carefully, and who cared. He had to quit practicing in 2000,  after he’d suffered a disabling back injury, then developed a viral  infection of the heart and was told he had six months to live. Some of  his cancer and AIDS patients urged him to try cannabis. “They did a  reverse intervention,” he said, and a year later, his heart was normal.  He can’t be certain how or if cannabis healed his heart. “I’d been  depressed and CBD stopped the depression,” he said. “It gave me  something to look forward to. My brain was turned on.” 

In 2013, a team of four medical researchers lead by Dr. Elizabeth Penner MD, MPH, carried out a clinical study with over 4,500 participants, called “The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance among US Adults”. They concluded: “We found that marijuana use was associated with lower levels of fasting insulin and HOMA-IR, and smaller waist circumference.”
Researchers wrote in 2011 that one of the most important functions of endocannabinoids and CB(1) receptors are to enhance the energy storage conversion into fat and reduce energy expenditure by influencing both lipid and glucose metabolism. Although normally well controlled by hormones etc., the endocannabinoid regulation of energy balance can become dysregulated and contribute to obesity, dyslipidemia and diabetes (type 2).

To briefly review, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of specialized fatty acid-based signaling chemicals (think “keys”), their receptors (think “locks”), and the metabolic enzymes that produce and break them down. These endocannabinoid chemical signals act on similar brain and immune cell receptors (CB1 and CB2) using the active compounds found in cannabis – cannabidiol (CBD), and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).


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