What is Your Pineal Gland and What Does Cannabis Do for It?
For thousands of years, the pineal gland has been referred to as the third eye of humans. It is found at the epithalamus, the point at which the brain’s two hemispheres meet. Scientists have inferred that the pineal gland has a massive impact on the brain and has defined it as a sensitive endocrine gland that produces crucial hormones. Speculations have gone round about the impact of cannabis on the pineal gland. Some say the herb can help open/activate glands.
This is a comprehensive report of various investigations into what sort of effect cannabis plants have on this essential neurological organ.
General Overview of the Pineal Gland
Cultures across the world believe the pineal gland depicts the unity between a man’s spiritual and humanistic forms.
The Egyptians, Indians, and Greeks symbolized the pineal gland through their art. In Ancient Egyptian art, it appears as a third eye; in India, the Hindus illustrate this gland with a red dot (traditionally called bindi) on the forehead to indicate humanity’s link to the spiritual world. In Greece, it is referenced in ancient mythology.
Philosopher René Descartes also referenced the pineal gland in his medical research. He called this point the fundamental seat of the soul and where all emotions and feelings spring from. Although several of Descartes’s works have been discredited over the years, his rendition of the pineal gland has been corroborated by different cultures.
Physiologically, the pineal gland is an essential point in the brain. It is a pinecone-shaped endocrine gland structurally similar to the eyes that can sense light. Its depictions in art usually take the pine cone shape symbol.
Functions Of The Pineal Gland
Production of Melatonin
This is the pineal gland’s primary function. According to a John Hopkins sleep expert, melatonin is a hormone that puts a person in a state of “quiet wakefulness.” With the aid of the pineal gland, the brain can translate light and dark signals in the environment into the beginning or stop the production of melatonin.
Each day, once the brain is able to detect the dark environment, it sends a message to the pineal cells called pinealocytes to kickstart the production of the sleep hormone. During the day, melatonin levels are significantly low, and during the night, these levels are amplified to at least eight times what they are during the daytime. Production of melatonin peaks around 3-4 am, after which it begins to decrease. Chemically, pinealocytes convert tryptophan, an essential amino acid, to melatonin through a series of complex enzymatic reactions.
Serotonin, also called the happy hormone, is another essential hormone that allows brain cells to relate. The communication between these cells helps regulate emotions like happiness, sadness, and anxiety. With the aid of the pineal gland, serotonin acts as a catalyst for the production of melatonin. It also uses tryptophan as a precursor in its several bodily functions.
Psychoactive Substances and the Pineal Gland
Many studies have been carried out to explain why psychoactive substances affect the pineal gland. Many researchers have offered their opinions on this. However, a common factor in all conclusions is that the pineal gland is in the best position to obtain almost every substance not adequately screened by the blood-brain barriers.
The pineal gland is vital to regulating a person’s emotional state at all times of the day. It helps maintain a healthy and positive state of mind. This is the primary reason why the consumption of psychiatric medications affects the complex reactions in the pineal gland. These psychoactive substances alter the normal state of perception permitted by the pineal gland.
The Effect of Cannabis on the Pineal Gland
Many traditions and spiritually inclined groups believe that marijuana activates the third eye and assists other body organs in sensing deep layers of spirituality and reality.
Scientifically, researchers have discovered that cannabinoids impact the endocannabinoid system (ECS). In the ECS, THC, CBD, and other compounds in the herb either bind to receptors in the ECS or catalyze enzymatic reactions. These reactions with receptors, enzymes, and signaling molecules control various secondary responses in the body’s physiology.
In 2008, a publication in the Journal of Pineal Research confirmed the availability of ECS components in the pineal glands of rats. The authors wrote that they were able to detect enzymes and ECS receptors in tiny animals. This discovery implies that the pineal gland may be governed by the ECS. The paper categorically stated that CB1 and CB2 receptors were detected. Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) was also identified.
Scientists in the cannabis industry are currently studying the many reactions in the pineal gland when cannabis is consumed. They are also trying to figure out the roles of each molecule in the Pineal gland area, especially the molecules that inhibit FAAH to increase the levels of anandamide in the system. Once this mechanism is understood, researchers have a shot at regulating the activities of the pineal gland gives favorable results.
Relationship between cannabinoid and melatonin
Researchers are exploring the role of ECS activities in melatonin production. In 2006, some scientists discovered that a series of cannabinoids, THC, CBD, and CBD, interfered with the production of the sleep hormone in mice. However, this research was done over a decade ago, and the number of strains experimented with was limited, so many people are a bit skeptical about the published results.
From the publication’s conclusion, it was gathered that cannabinoids inhibit the production of melatonin levels.
The pineal gland is a vital part of a complex system, that is, the endocrine system. Scientists are still very far from uncovering all the complex interpreted reactions in the pineal gland, as well as the full impact of cannabis on this fascinating gland.
Both cannabis and the pineal gland are revered for their significant spiritual functions by many cultures; however, it is still unresolved whether or not the magic herbs increase the spiritual inclinations of the “third eye.” It would be exciting to discover just how well cannabis alters the fundamental reactions of the pineal gland.
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