AN INFORMED APPROACH
Throughout human history, there have been numerous plants held in high esteem and even in some cases, worshiped.
The plant of our time is cannabis
Cannabis is a controversial plant undoubtedly and by far the most talked about plant in recent history.
It is probably a good point to clarify the difference between hemp and cannabis. Hemp is a variety of cannabis sativa. Hemp does not contain high levels of psychoactive compound THC but rather has higher levels of non-psychoactive compound CBD and therefore is not psychotropic. Instead throughout history hemp has been utilized as an incredibly useful source of industrial fiber and to the modern day it has been its medical potential that has really brought this plant to our attention again. Many feel that the research will lead to more people admiring this plant’s capabilities.
There are 3 Species of Cannabis:
– Cannabis Sativa – tall plant with narrow leaves
– Cannabis Indica – shorter plant with darker green and thicker leaves
– Cannabis Ruderalis- notably smaller plant
There are 3 species but many, many different varieties of Cannabis plant and they are of great interest because we see variation in therapeutic actions and medicinal potentials due to the different levels of active constituents.
GENERALLY : Varieties Higher In THC are Regarded as Stronger Recreational Plants, and Varieties Higher in CBD more with Therapeutic Value.
Active Constituent in Cannabis
The therapeutic activities attributed to the various varieties of Cannabis occur because of the active constituents within the plant.
There are glandular structures called Trichomes in the cannabis plant which produce resin. We found Trichomes in the highest concentration on the buds, the flowers, and the leaves. There are some present on the stems too. Within these Trichomes there are TERPENES the therapeutic cannabinoids produced by the plant. It is believed that cannabis plant evolved to make and secrete resin as a form of defense mechanism against UV rays, against being eaten and as anti-fungal mechanism.
From Terpenes are delivered compounds called Terpenoids with diverse range of therapeutic actions. They have a big impact on the nature of the therapeutic activity within cannabis.
For example: terpenoid Linalool and Myrcene contribute to the anti-migraine qualities meanwhile terpenoid caryophyllene contributes to an anti-inflammatory action.
The distinctive aroma of cannabis plant comes courtesy of the plant’s terpenes.
There are over 200 terpenes in cannabis plants, though not all are present in quantities high enough to be therapeutically significant. Terpenes are secondary metabolites seen across the plant kingdom, which display an array of therapeutic actions.
These are the best-known constituents in cannabis. Cannabinoids have ability to interact with cannabinoid receptors in our bodies. There are 2 well known cannabinoids within the cannabis plant:
- THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabidiol) is well known as the psychotropic constituent of cannabis
- CBD (cannabidiol ) now becoming well known as the active constituent in CBD oils and other products. It is not psychoactive but does have many therapeutic benefits.
Thanks to a vast variety of Cannabis plants, we see wide variations of Cannabinoid and Terpenoid levels from plant variety to variety.
Cannabinoids are not actually exclusive to cannabis plants, they are found in other plants too, notably Echinacea and Electric Daisy.
Industrial use of Hemp plant
As we already mentioned all parts of the hemp plant can be used. Hemp plant can be used to make anything that is currently made of cotton, timber, or petroleum: hemp textiles, hemp paper, hemp rope, hemp plastic, hemp building materials, hemp biofuel, hemp vehicles.
Saving the planet with hemp
Because of its multiplicity of uses, the hemp plant is legendary among ecologically oriented individuals and entrepreneurs involved in environmentally friendly businesses. It is stated that 80% of our ongoing ecological problems are caused by four human activities:
- Driving cars and light trucks
- Meat and poultry production
- Nonorganic agriculture
- Home construction and maintenance
By incorporating hemp into design and manufacturing process, the ecological harm in each of these categories is reduced or eliminated. All products made solely from hemp fibers are biodegradable, compostable and recyclable.
Hemp seeds, Hemp seed Oil & Hemp Leaves
Hemp seeds, hempseed oil and CBD oil are more and more popular in the holistic, therapeutic and nutritional worlds and for a good reason. They are sourced in plants, ensuring that they are completely natural.
Hempseed oil, CBD oil all come from the same plant – Cannabis Sativa and /or Indica. Hempseed oil and CBD oil are only cousins, derived from different parts of the plant. And because they have their differences, they deliver different benefits to your body. They can open up your body to natural and plant-based benefits.
The Hemp seed is a complete protein source. The oil from hemp seeds has the highest percentage of essential fatty acids of nearly any seed on Earth. Hemp seed’s essential fatty acid and protein profile provides a healthy alternative to fish.
The hemp leaves are also edible. Dried hemp leaf tea has phenomenal taste as well as antimicrobial action.
The Hemp seed oil is utilized for nutritional and beauty-based resources, while CBD is more impactful, helping with pain management, and a wide range of ailments.
CBD oil is made from the stalks, leaves and flowers (buds). CBD is short for Cannabidiol, one of the Cannabinoids – compounds found in Cannabis plant.
CBD and other cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system, a signaling mechanism throughout the human body responsible for regulating many aspects of its homeostasis (the state of balance of body). This ability to ‘regulate regulation’ is a valuable and distinctive attribute of cannabis as a medicine but requires an informed approach to be used effectively. Today, research into endocannabinoid system and cannabinoids is flourishing, and the promise of cannabis as an effective treatment is increasingly supported by strong evidence.
Production of the CBD Oil
CBD oils have been growing increasingly in popularity, legal in UK when it has no or very low, up to 0.2% THC content.
Thanks to breeders, there is a vast array of cannabis plant varieties, and when it comes to creating CBD oil, those varieties which are high in CBD and low in THC are chosen.
One popular extraction method which is the same process used for extracting certain essential oils is used to extract CBD. This is known as a Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Extraction.
This is an expensive process as the equipment required to manage the CO2 is costly. When purchasing a manufactured CBD oil, this expense is reflected in the price. The truth is, you get what you pay for, because this method produces the highest quality purest and most importantly the safest final product.
CBD OIL PRODUCTS
It is important to choose the right method of administration when working with CBD oil to best suit the presenting condition.
- Paste– is a first final product of CO2 Extraction, it can be taken orally or diluted into an oil
- Oils are easy to take, usually kept in small bottles with a pipette for easy sublingual application.
- Capsules This method of administration allows for a carefully measured dose of CBD oil and is therefore useful for those who would struggle with measuring out a liquid such as elderly and bedbound or debilitated by their health issue.
- It is easy to add CBD pastes/ oils to a cream or lotion base. The CBD oil within a cream interacts with CB2 receptors in the skin. A cream made using the CBD oil will have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties which means CBD oil cream can be used for musculoskeletal aches and pains, inflamed skin issues and they can be used for itching. You can also apply CBD oil creams to the forehead and neck to help address headaches and migraines. You can make your own CBD oil cream by adding drops of the oil to a cream base. You can use essential oils to add further therapeutic actions such as Roman Camomile or lavender essential oil to boost the anti-inflammatory action or promote skin healing. Or adding peppermint, lavender and eucalyptus oil to ease headache. Warming essential oils such as ginger, black pepper or rosemary can be added when the CBD oil cream is being used to address musculoskeletal pain or spasm.
- CBD oil can be infused into an adhesive patch which, when placed onto the skin, warms and encourages the absorption of the oil trans-dermally. Patches are popular as a localized method of easing musculoskeletal pain and inflammation. Sometimes, those who suffer from stress and anxiety (and particularly social anxiety, agoraphobia and panic attacks) find that there is something comforting about wearing a patch when they are out and about. Patches may be tried for those suffering from insomnia too.
- Chewing gum / gummies / other edibles
- Suppositories & Pessaries
THE ENDOCANNBINOID SYSTEM (ECS) AND THE ENDOCANNABINOID RECEPTORS
In the 1980’ first cannabinoid receptors were discovered, which in turn led to the discovery of brand-new regulatory mechanism within the human body and was termed The Endocannabinoid system.
It was also found that it was not just humans who exhibited endocannabinoid system, all complex animals have one too. It is an incredibly complex system and one which has its part in regulating:
This system is composed of cannabinoid receptors and the endocannabinoids which interact with them, and the enzymes which create and break down these endocannabinoids. The Endocannabinoid system is present and active inside your body even if you do not use cannabis products.
The endocannabinoids are our endogenous (produced in your body naturally) versions of the cannabinoids from plants.
Not only is your ECS a natural part of your body, it’s also a critical one.
There are 2 main types of cannabinoid receptors- CB1 and CB2. Such receptors are scatted throughout the central nervous system (and brain) and within the immune system too. Cannabinoid receptors have also been found in the:
- Digestive system
- Cardiovascular System
- Endocrine System
- Urinary system
- Reproductive System
CB1 receptors are found in both, the peripheral and central nervous system, but also in kidneys, the liver and the lungs. They are involved in the regulation of pain, mood, sleep, memory, an appetite and number of other bodily functions.
CB2 receptors are present throughout the nervous system, and they associate with an inflammation response. They are mostly in the peripheral part of the nervous system.