Pioneering research in the 1990’s [1-4] on cannabis led to the remarkable discovery of an internal biological system that regulates and controls many of our physiological processes. This was named the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is recognised as one of the largest and most important receptor systems in the human body.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a messenger and receptor system vital for human functioning, and since its discovery, has become a focus area of published medical research.
An analogy that might be useful to consider when we refer to the ECS is that of an air traffic controller. It’s an internal signalling system functioning across our physiological processes and organs, acting, and reacting to stimuli (both internal and external) to regulate and balance processes in the body. So how does this relate to our health?
Cannabinoids are compounds that were originally found in the cannabis plant and can also be found in other plants. Humans naturally produce cannabinoid-like compounds, which interact with the body’s ECS through an extensive network of receptors concentrated in the brain and our organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells.
The messenger molecules of the ECS, called endocannabinoids, bind to their receptors, and help to facilitate the balance of internal functions across our biological systems referred to as homeostasis. [6-8]
In essence, the ECS assists in keeping your body in balance
Phytocannabinoids, which are found in plants and particular plant-based medicines, can mimic the structure of our endocannabinoids and can interact with receptors of our ECS, and many other receptor types.[14-15]
In line with the views of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), ANTG acknowledges that more research is needed to establish therapeutic benefit of various plant-based medicines. The TGA has published clinical guidance documents for some of these medicines, but you should always seek the advice of your treating health practitioner to determine what is appropriate for you.
Unapproved therapeutic goods are regulated differently to conventional prescription medicines, and can be accessed by patients through several pathways, including the Special Access Scheme (SAS) or Authorised Prescriber (AP) Scheme. To find out more about these schemes and how unapproved therapeutic goods can be accessed in Australia, visit the TGA’s website.
Speak to your treating practitioner to see if unapproved therapeutic goods are suitable for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
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Our Australian Natural range is grown and manufactured in Australia, and our Global Selects range is grown by our global partners to GACP standards and manufactured in our Australian GMP facilities.
There are many plant-based products that are available to a patient. Your doctor will explain the benefits of each of these and decide which is most appropriate for any symptoms or clinical indications you are experiencing.
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