Maui Business

Lunch & Learn: Endocannabinoid System, Sept. 14

September 3, 2019, 6:37 AM HST
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Medical cannabis researcher and author Michael Backes returns for a Lunch & Learn presentation about the Human Endocannabinoid System from 1 to 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Leis Family Class Act Restaurant, on the second floor of the Pāʻina Building at UH Maui College, 310 Kaʻahumanu Avenue in Kahului.

This Certicann presentation is designed for medical professionals, medical cannabis patients and those who want to understand how and why medical cannabis interacts with the human body. A $20 registration fee includes class materials and a hot buffet lunch.

In 1964, Israeli researcher Dr. Ralph Mechoulam and his colleagues first identified tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) after establishing the chemical structure of cannabidiol (CBD) the previous year. But it wasn’t until the mid-1990s, that Mechoulam’s colleagues identified two endocannabinoids produced by the body: anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2 AG). Additional research revealed that the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates processes like sleep, appetite, digestion, mood, motor control, immune function, memory, body temperature and pain. Event organizers say the chemical structures of anandamide and 2AG are very similar to plant cannabinoids found in cannabis, so their ability to mimic endocannabinoids led to therapeutic use of cannabis.

“Very few American medical schools include the ECS as part of their curriculum because of the federal legal status of cannabis,” said Michael Backes. “As a result, not many physicians fully understand how and why plant cannabinoids can promote symptom relief as part of an integrative health program. Many Maui medical professionals, and others, have asked for this class and I’m thrilled to teach it.”

Michael Backes is the author of Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana, an inside look at the most effective varieties of cannabis for specific conditions. Backes founded Cornerstone Research Collective, the nation’s first evidence-based medical cannabis dispensary. He also serves as Curriculum and Training advisor for Maui Grown Therapies in Kahului and is a member of its Science & Medical Advisory Board.

Michael Backes

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