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The Endocannabinoid System and Space Exploration

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posted on Aug, 12 2017 @ 10:37 PM
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The Endocannabinoid System and NASA

NASA is the sponsoring agency of endocannabinoid research and its implications on modulating bone health in astronauts via conducting research at the ISS with the help of the Italian Space Agency (Sponsor Organization).

The endocannabinoid system is the body's homeostatic regulatory system. It regulates every physiological process—from the womb to the grave.

Astronauts face the potential of bone loss and damage on extended space missions. The ECS modulates bone development and growth, disease, healing, and health. Cannabinoids also inhibit and diminish biofilm formation which can hinder bone development. Cannabinoids also facilitate bone repair and growth in fractures and prevents and treats infections. This NASA sponsored research is geared towards stem cells. Well, the ECS plays an important and vital role with stem cells not only in the body but in regenerative medicine that utilizes stem cell therapy. This bodily system is of utmost importance to the health of humanity. I'm not surprised we are so ignorant we are forced to literally blast off into space to realize how important it is.

I have hope that this small research endeavor, lead by one of the leading endocannabinoid scientists today, Mauro Maccarrone, could potentially catapult a revelation of awareness and understanding within the closed minds that run this country, and have deprived Americans of a vital nutrient that is essential for our health and well-being.

So, I am not a space expert but I am space ignorant. I love this particular forum on ATS though and find space fascinating and inspiring. For the more space savvy folks here, you tell me what you think of this, and what other areas of research could be of importance for human health and disease concerning long-term space flight, living and exploration with humans and even animals. Do astronauts endure long-term health consequences from spending a long time at ISS? To what order of magnitude is Health effected at that altitude? Do they have to constantly exercise etc?
I'm not suggesting astronauts go terraform Mars with Cannabis plants.
But, I am suggesting that certain chemovars could be grown on a spaceship or at ISS to complement whatever synthetic and/or semi-synthetic drugs are used for maintaining their health and that stuff they consider food. I would imagine it could become an invaluable resource while in space, for so many reasons it is essentially an essential nutrient. Not to mention, it would certainly be something useful to give as a peace offering on the chance an alien encounter happened


Anyways, what do y'all think—could the fact that NASA is endorsing/funding endocannabinoid research be what could wake up the minds of all the Jeff Sessions or maybe even facilitate an executive order or maybe just Congress ending Prohibition?

So, enough of me ranting—let's blast off and discuss.

Role of the Edocannabinoid System in Pluripotent Human Stem Cell Reprogramming under Microgravity Conditions (SERISM) — 07.26.17


ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Two previous missions documented the involvement of lipid signaling molecules called endocannabinoids in production of human immune cells. This Italian Space Agency investigation, Role of the Endocannabinoid System in Pluripotent Human Stem Cell Reprogramming under Microgravity Conditions (SERISM), evaluates the role of this system in bone metabolism changes seen in microgravity. Astronauts experience bone loss on extended missions and the identification of novel biomarkers that are involved during osteogenic differentiation in microgravity of an innovative stem cell model could contribute to ways of countering that loss.

Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

-----------------------------------
The following content was provided by Mauro Maccarrone, Ph.D., M.S., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
-----------------------------------

Experiment Details

OpNom: Reprogramming Stem Cells

Principal Investigator(s) 
Mauro Maccarrone, Ph.D., M.S., University of Rome Biomedical Campus, Rome, Italy


Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s) 
Information Pending


Developer(s)
 Kayser Italia Srl., Livorno, Italy 


Sponsoring Space Agency
 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Sponsoring Organization
 Italian Space Agency (ASI)
Research Benefits
 Scientific Discovery 


ISS Expedition Duration
 April 2017 - September 2017; September 2017 - February 2018 


Expeditions Assigned
 51/52,53/54 


Previous Missions 
Information Pending

Experiment Description

Research Overview
The goals of the Role of the Endocannabinoid System in Pluripotent Human Stem Cell Reprogramming under Microgravity Conditions (SERISM) investigation are:
• Identification of biomarkers to be exploited in contrasting bone loss in space using an innovative stem cell model. Indeed, bone loss is a major thread to astronauts’ health during (extended) space missions.
• Evaluation of the role of the endocannabinoid system in the alterations of bone metabolism in microgravity.
• Identification of a novel therapeutic target for bone regeneration under microgravity conditions.

Description
 Information Pending

Applications

Space Applications 
This investigation, by helping to identify biomarkers involved in microgravity induced bone loss in an innovative stem cell model, contributes to development of therapies for bone regeneration in space.

Earth Applications 
The abnormal physiology seen in otherwise healthy astronauts during their adaptation to space has many similarities with accelerated aging, including bone loss. On Earth, older people experience bone loss and fractures: both representing a serious health concern. This investigation could contribute to better treatment for this and other disabling conditions caused by aging.

Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols
 Information Pending

Decadal Survey Recommendations Information Pending

Results/More Information Information Pending

Related Websites

Imagery


www.nasa.gov...
edit on 12-8-2017 by M4ngo because: Fixed format




posted on Aug, 12 2017 @ 11:11 PM
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There are SO many things that I want to say... I would probably be banned.

I just wonder if there will be a "NASA Payload Specialist Tommy Chong"?

..."NASA Mission Commander Willie Nelson"...?
edit on 12-8-2017 by madmac5150 because: Driving to nearby Washington State




posted on Aug, 12 2017 @ 11:22 PM
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They can poke and prod at me all they want just so long as I get to go to Mars with some goodies to take along for the ride.



posted on Aug, 12 2017 @ 11:26 PM
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originally posted by: madmac5150
There are SO many things that I want to say... I would probably be banned.

I just wonder if there will be a "NASA Payload Specialist Tommy Chong"?

..."NASA Mission Commander Willie Nelson"...?


I had written a rant that took up the entire OP so decided to delete it and keep it casual. I know what you mean trust me it is the ultimate hypocritical irony ain't it. But this isn't about Cannabis, but the endocannabinoid system. Even though, it is ignorant to accept one and ignore the other, so there's where hypocritical irony sets in.

Cannabis Prohibition better end soon.
edit on 12-8-2017 by M4ngo because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 13 2017 @ 05:10 AM
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Apparently understanding the endocannabinoid system and how to turn that knowledge into useful applications is essential not just to NASA but all space travelers.

Here's an interesting article I found.

Cannabis Research Saves NASA Astronaut’s Spaceflight Risks

—June 6, 2014


There are infinite reasons why NASA has sustained interest in mining the Heliosphere for discoveries and benefits for humanity to bring back to Earth, perhaps even unfolding the secrets to sustaining life for as long as possible. The International Space Station (ISS) is an unprecedented human achievement, the orbiting laboratory provides a unique microgravity environment to conduct multidisciplinary research and technology development that drives space exploration, basic discovery, and transformative Earth benefits. The ISS is the size of a football field orbiting around Earth once every ninety minutes at 17,000 mph, 400 km above Earth. Inside the ISS, the human body is in a constant state of free-fall that gives the appearance of being weightless in the microgravity environment. Intuitively, it is understood that spinning around Earth in this fashion provides many reasons why humans are not equipped for such space explorations. However, formulating a connection with the indigenous angiosperms from Central Asia and South Asia Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis have catalyzed an answer for eliminating high spaceflight risks for devoted NASA astronauts. These flowers have led to the discovery of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which could prove to be a very insightful neuroimmunological target of investigation.



Before space tourism becomes an objective reality, these high spaceflight risks must be addressed and one way to accelerate this process would be to begin a working towards a healthy dialog of truths discovered by medicinal cannabis research and technology development. The ECS is a potentially revolutionary answer to many future studies to be conducted on the ISS. The discovery of the ECS was a direct result of the genus Cannabis and its phytocannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBN). THC molecules bind like a lock and key to plasma membrane embedded cannabinoid receptors (CB1, CB2). These receptors are the most abundant G-protein coupled receptor in the mammalian brain. It is known to also mediate neuroimmunological communication. Organically, the biosynthetic production of these little complicated machines, the endocannabinoids (i.e. bioactive lipids that bind to fatty acid binding proteins, or FABPs) like Anandamide (AEA) and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are in every living animal except insects. The ECS is indeed evolutionary very ancient. It is a multidimensional neuroimmunomodulator controlling neurotransmitters and metabolites. During acute stress, the ECS communicates between the hypothalamus (i.e. major hub of synaptic traffic) and the adrenals, causing levels of 2-AG to go down in hypothalamus, and levels of corticosterone go up in the adrenals. The opposite is true for chronic stress, this system is very specific and requires ideal spatial and temporal signaling. This is why Dr. Vincenzo Di Marzo has characterized them with “Good cop, Bad cop” roles within the body.



Overall ECS Programs:
Thermoregulation, Pain/Nociception modulation, Fear-Learning, appropriate stress responses (fight-or-flight/rest-and-digest), regulation of appetite, energy homeostasis, synaptic plasticity, neuroinflammation, and even more to be discovered. The cellular communities within the ECS consisting of FABPs and bioactive lipids have been intricately engineered to integrate and communicate with rest of the body.



Therefore, quantifying the mosaic of each individual astronaut’s neurotransmitters and metabolites will be a giant leap towards gathering the knowledge necessary to reverse spaceflight risks. In regards to the ECS, each of its functions is relevant to a NASA astronaut’s journey through microgravity environment missions. They exhibit a lack of appetite, energy imbalance, fear, stress, pain, spinal misalignments, muscle atrophy, neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration and more not mentioned. Pioneer researchers publishing literature on medicinal cannabis have stretched our imagination with the ingenuity of the ECS. These bioactive lipids and FABPs are all essentially communicating with DNA-binding proteins to express a variety of genes and make epigenetic modifications. These genes can produce a helpful or harmful effect depending on each individual’s programs in place.


Cannabis Research Saves NASA Astronaut’s Spaceflight Risks
edit on 13-8-2017 by M4ngo because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 13 2017 @ 05:34 AM
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a reply to: M4ngo

You do realise this is about stem cell research, right?



posted on Aug, 13 2017 @ 07:16 AM
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originally posted by: Chadwickus
a reply to: M4ngo

You do realise this is about stem cell research, right?


No, it is about the endocannabinoid system and it's role on human health in space. The stem sell research is just one aspect of the entire picture.

Here's a couple studies:


Abstract
In the not too distant future, humankind will embark on one of its greatest adventures, the travel to distant planets. However, deep space travel is associated with an inevitable exposure to radiation fields. Space-relevant doses of protons elicit persistent disruptions in cognition and neuronal structure. However, whether space-relevant irradiation alters neurotransmission is unknown. Within the hippocampus, a brain region crucial for cognition, perisomatic inhibitory control of pyramidal cells (PCs) is supplied by two distinct cell types, the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1)-expressing basket cells (CB1BCs) and parvalbumin (PV)-expressing interneurons (PVINs).


Mice subjected to low-dose proton irradiation were analyzed using electrophysiological, biochemical and imaging techniques months after exposure. In irradiated mice, GABA release from CB1BCs onto PCs was dramatically increased. This effect was abolished by CB1 blockade, indicating that irradiation decreased CB1-dependent tonic inhibition of GABA release. These alterations in GABA release were accompanied by decreased levels of the major CB1 ligand 2-arachidonoylglycerol. In contrast, GABA release from PVINs was unchanged, and the excitatory connectivity from PCs to the interneurons also underwent cell type-specific alterations. These results demonstrate that energetic charged particles at space-relevant low doses elicit surprisingly selective long-term plasticity of synaptic microcircuits in the hippocampus. The magnitude and persistent nature of these alterations in synaptic function are consistent with the observed perturbations in cognitive performance after irradiation, while the high specificity of these changes indicates that it may be possible to develop targeted therapeutic interventions to decrease the risk of adverse events during interplanetary travel.

Acknowledgements
This work was supported by NASA NSCOR grants NNX10AD59G and NNX15AI22G (to C.L.L. G.N. and I.S.,...)

Neurophysiology of space travel: energetic solar particles cause cell type-specific plasticity of neurotransmission



Abstract:
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an important role in the regulation of physiological functions, from stress and memory regulation to vegetative control and immunity. The ECS is considered a central and peripheral stress response system to emotional or physical challenges and acts through endocannabinoids (ECs), which bind to their receptors inducing subsequent effecting mechanisms. In our studies, the ECS responses have been assessed through blood concentrations of the ECs anand- amide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol. In parallel, saliva cortisol was determined and the degree of perceived stress was quantified by questionnaires. This report summarizes the reactivity of the ECS in humans subjected to brief periods of kinetic stress and weightlessness during parabolic flights and to prolonged stress exposure during life onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Both conditions resulted in a significant increase in circulating ECs. Under the acute stress during parabolic flights, individuals who showed no evidence of motion sickness were in low-stress conditions and had a significant increase of plasma ECs. In contrast, highly stressed individuals with severe motion sickness had an absent EC response and a massive increase in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity. Likewise, chronic but well-tolerated exposure to weightlessness and emotional and environmental stressors on the ISS for 6 months resulted in a sustained increase in EC blood concentrations, which returned to baseline values after the cosmonauts’ return. These preliminary results suggest that complex environmental stressors result in an increase of circulating ECs and that enhanced EC signaling is probably required for adaptation and tolerance under stressful conditions.

Acknowledgments:
Supported by the DLR on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi 50WB0719 and 50WB0919), the European Space Agency (ESA; ELIPS 3 programme), the Russian Space Agency (Ros-cosmos), and the Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP). We thank Simone Thomas, Hilde Stenuit, Mark Mouret, Patrik Sundblad, and Eric Istasse (ESA), Galina Vassilieva (IBMP), Clarence Sams and his team (NASA) Didier Chaput (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, France), Ulrike Friedrich, Ulrich Hoffman, and Günther Ruyters (DLR), and Marion Hörl, Andrea Boltendahl, Camilla Ladinig, and Sandra Matzel (Ludwig Maximilian University) for their support and the crews and volunteers (parabolic flights) who have realized these studies with outstanding professionalism.

Effects of parabolic flight and spaceflight on the endocannabinoid system in humans



posted on Aug, 13 2017 @ 07:53 AM
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a reply to: M4ngo

And no smoking pot anywhere.

I mena this is the point of all your threads about endocannabinoid receptors, right?

You think because it has cannabid in the name it must mean pot...



posted on Aug, 13 2017 @ 07:59 AM
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a reply to: Chadwickus

I'm really really hoping that is not where he is going with this, because the EC system has a tad more to do with the regulatory body functions then with just interactions with pot...
edit on 13-8-2017 by MuonToGluon because: Added + Fixed



posted on Aug, 13 2017 @ 09:58 AM
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originally posted by: Chadwickus
a reply to: M4ngo

And no smoking pot anywhere.

I mena this is the point of all your threads about endocannabinoid receptors, right?

You think because it has cannabid in the name it must mean pot...


I'm not sure if you have even read anything I have provided in this thread. No, it's not about Cannabis.

The ECS doesn't mean Cannabis. Not sure where you're coming up with these remarks.

I included two studies that have to do with space flight, space conditions, mental health, physical health, etc. and the role the ECS plays in all the various physical and mental experiences and health and what modalities, interventions and future research focus is necessary in order to be fully aware of how the body actually operates so astronauts can be as prepared as they possibly can.

I think this is actually a really interesting area of research, because so many aspects of space can effect bodily function and cause long-term healt consequences, all of which are regulated in a large degree by the ECS.

I did mention Cannabis, yes, but I didn't make Cannabis the priority of this thread. This is what I am interested in, so this is what I create threads about.



posted on Aug, 13 2017 @ 10:05 AM
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originally posted by: MuonToGluon
a reply to: Chadwickus

I'm really really hoping that is not where he is going with this, because the EC system has a tad more to do with the regulatory body functions then with just interactions with pot...


It's not. No worries. The two studies a couple posts above are really interesting and worth the read.

Like I said, I know very little about space and what all it entails. This is really a very interesting area of research because space conditions are not Earth conditions, so I could see some very novel approaches/modalities being developed from this, and possibly some new discoveries/insights that can be used for people on Earth.



posted on Aug, 13 2017 @ 10:14 AM
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a reply to: M4ngo

No problems, I just had to be sure first, your other thread types made me half question this one so I just wanted to know first.

I've never actually considered how in-depth they're studying all aspects of human anatomy with space flight, I think I have to start actually going through this.



posted on Aug, 13 2017 @ 06:37 PM
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a reply to: M4ngo



M4- You might also look into past ATS™ threads w/the cell regeneration product (NDA+)

See attached:
www.lifeextension.com...

www.youtube.com...

This included trying for cell regeneration for the trip(s) to Mars. I don't recall if the EndoCannabinoidSystem was included in that/those thread(s)..

I've been taking the NDA+ for about 4 months now and My blood work has improved.. I had lost 70 lbs. and gotten off of 5 Rx. meds. (BigPHarma™ poisons) but My Dr. had voiced concern about My blood work. Now I'm in better shape physically (minus broken back and neck) than when I went through the police academy and when I played pro baseball..

Asante

Stay Hydrated....



posted on Aug, 13 2017 @ 06:43 PM
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a reply to: M4ngo

I'm actually hanging out for "The Endocannabinoid System and Pokemon", an expose of the other use pokeballs where you can hide your weed or 'what is it with Koffing and other tokemon?'




posted on Aug, 14 2017 @ 12:38 AM
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originally posted by: JimNasium
a reply to: M4ngo



M4- You might also look into past ATS™ threads w/the cell regeneration product (NDA+)

See attached:
www.lifeextension.com...

www.youtube.com...

This included trying for cell regeneration for the trip(s) to Mars. I don't recall if the EndoCannabinoidSystem was included in that/those thread(s)..

I've been taking the NDA+ for about 4 months now and My blood work has improved.. I had lost 70 lbs. and gotten off of 5 Rx. meds. (BigPHarma™ poisons) but My Dr. had voiced concern about My blood work. Now I'm in better shape physically (minus broken back and neck) than when I went through the police academy and when I played pro baseball..

Asante

Stay Hydrated....


As far as I know, the only three things that can completely prevent cell death are cannabinoids, 5-LOX inhibitors and caspase inhibitors. What are you taking it for and what medications did you get off of?

I stay far away from life extension. Not sure why you would choose that as a source.

• reasons why someone might:
www.lifeextension.com...



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