In this riveting talk, Rachel Knox, MD / MBA, explores the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and the revolution of one. How we can take control to harness the power found in our own bodies. We will not stop until this universal knowledge is in the medical textbooks / curriculum for all to learn and understand. A profound idea worth spreading…


Alright good! So since you’re already settled in your seats, I want you to lean in…because today I get to tell you a secret and it’s a secret that’s been well kept for almost thirty years! 

(Video about Jill using cannabis oil and it completely stopping her tremors and symptoms with her disease)

All right so we’re all happy Jill got better right!? But you’re probably wondering how is that possible how is it possible that her well researched fda-approved drugs aren’t working for her but something else is.  It’s because there’s a secret system in your body that no one like no one is talking about.  Now we know these systems are really real, right? (Showing human systems picture) They’re taught in every health, anatomy and physiology class between elementary and high school and medical school…you guys know these!  Yeah we have our circulatory and our pulmonary systems; our skeletal and muscular systems… just to name a few. And we all know about our nervous system, which we once thought controlled them all.  But today I’m going to talk to you about this system it’s a system totally unlike supreme to and in control of all the rest and it was completely left out of every single medical textbook I read, despite its discovery 27 years ago. Right?  I’m not making this up!  This is for real!  So since it’s not in the textbook I’m gonna share it with you today… I’m gonna share with you the real science and the real history of this system and how you can use it to take control of your health.  But before I do, I want to share my story.  So when I was kid I wanted to become a doctor like my parents… but as medical school approached and my parents reflected on the changing medical field, my mom encouraged me to do something different with medicine.  So I pursued a dual degree in medicine and in business to become a doctor entrepreneur because we entrepreneurs believe we can change the world with our ideas and I wanted to become a world-changing doctor.  Can’t you tell?  Yes with that notion I was eager and energized to learn… but what I learned deflated me.  Because for me, the salient lesson from medical and Business School was that big medicine is a big bureaucracy and paradoxical to health.  It was a heavy really weighty ethical dilemma that forced me to confront the dichotomy between wanting to become a healer but becoming a drug dealer.  Sure! I was training into a system pretty blasé and disinterested in addressing the root  cause of disease and driven by patent medicine. This is not what I signed up for and I was this close literally from walking away from medicine but I found a family medicine program with an integrative medicine track and that provided me a lens and ancient healing practices. Now we benefit tremendously from the advancing technologies and innovations of today’s medicine, but what I found was that people used to be great at healing themselves.  And in others doing so, with natural substances and simple practices like herbs and acupuncture and yoga and meditation and more, this wasn’t witchcraft or voodoo right?  It’s not it wasn’t then and it’s not today… these healers knew what worked and they had sound theories as to why. They just lacked the science.  They lacked a biophysical model demonstrating how and it was hidden in the secret system all along! Are you guys ready to know what it is?!  All right so we’re gonna start with a word clue!  Can anybody pronounce this word?  Okay okay well let’s let’s do it together!  So for the benefit of the group, let’s sound it out!  Ready??! Endo can naba noid! Louder!

Yes! Thank you!  So yes ladies and gentlemen!  This secret system is what’s known as the endocannabinoid system or ECS for short.  So if I say that, you know what I mean!  And now we get to really nerd out as I explain what it is and how it works.  So the endocannabinoid system resides within all animals, except the insect.  It’s a six hundred million year old messenger and receptor system integral to homeostasis or the management of balance within your body from embryonic development to immunosurveillance. There is not a single function in your bodies that is not somehow influenced or modulated by the ECs.  You can think of it as a switchboard functioning in and across all physiologic processes and organs, acting and reacting to internal and external stimuli to direct correct and overall manage your health.  So although a gross simplification, the endocannabinoid system can be broken down into four core components.  First up we have the cannabinoid receptors like cb1 and cb2.  And Counting next we have the ligands that bind to those receptors and initiate an action called endocannabinoids or body made cannabinoids like an anandimide and 2-AG.  And we have the synthesizing enzymes that make these endocannabinoids on demand when they’re needed, and the decorative enzymes that break them down after they’re used and it works through something called retrograde signaling.  So illustrated in this diagram is the route of an endocannabinoid that’s made in a postsynaptic neuron in response to neurotransmitter stimulation.  It then travels backwards or retrograde across the synapse where it binds to a cannabinoid receptor on the presynaptic  membrane to initiate an action.  In this case, blocking the release of neurotransmitters.  So let me break it down a little bit simpler.  It’s an analogy so… let’s say the endocannabinoid system is your dormitory or your apartment building, and your neighbor across the hall is making a lot of noise and they’re getting really loud.  You just walk across the hall and you politely ask them to turn the volume down.  So you can imagine how important this function is when cells are sending signals of stress, pain or inflammation.  Like your noisy neighbor, these processes need to  be checked and it’s through this mechanism that the endocannabinoid system checks these processes back into balance so that your body can relax, remember to eat, fall asleep, forget traumatic experiences and protect itself along with a host of other mediating and restorative processes.  The endocannabinoid system keeps your body in balance.  Now up until now you guys probably thought the brain was the boss, right?  We all did!  But the brain is not the boss.  The endocannabinoid system is and we had it wrong!  So with all that said,  you guys might be confused by this really awesome well kept secret for so long.

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