What Are Endocannabinoids?(endogenous cannabinoids) are molecules that are produced naturally inside the body; Anandamide (AEA) and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG).
- Anandamide (AEA) is sometimes referred to as the “bliss molecule”, it synthesizes in areas of the brain where memory, motivation, cognitive processes and movement control are managed. AEA provides symptomatic relief and influences physiological systems like pain, stress response, appetite regulation, pleasure and reward.
- 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) is a signaling lipid and neuroprotective in the central nervous system. It is the most abundant endocannabinoid found in the body. It is a key regulator of neurotransmitter release and plays an important role in the regulation of the circulatory system and immune system.
What Are Phytocannabinoids?(exogenous cannabinoids) are natural occurring chemical compounds found in and extracted from cannabis plants, (marijuana or hemp). The Cannabis plant is unique in the fact that it contains more than 400 chemical compounds, of which 80+ have been identified as cannabinoids. THC and CBD are currently the most widely researched phytocannabinoids, however there is a lot of research being conducted now on some of the more prolific cannabinoids. Currently EPIDIOLEX® is the only Phytocannabinoid product approved by the FDA, this CBD oral solution is used for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare types of childhood epilepsy; Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Check out the list below for more details about some of the different cannabinoids.
Cannabimimetics: a compound that is not structurally a cannabinoid, but which can evoke a biological response similar to those produced by structural cannabinoids by acting directly or indirectly on cannabinoid receptors in the body.
- Nature-identical cannabimimetics come from plants, they mimic some of the biological activity of cannabinoids, but do not share the same structure. Here are a few plants that contain natural cannabimimetic compounds; Coneflower (Echinacea), Electric Daisy (Acmella oleracea), Strawflower (Helichrysum), Liverwort (Radula marginata), Black Pepper (Piper nigrum), Black Truffles (Tuber melanosporum). These compounds are not the same to those found in cannabis, but they still provide positive benefits to the endocannabinoid system.
- Artificial cannabimimetics are chemically created compounds that are created in a lab. These compounds are made to mimic the natural effects of phytocannabinoids found in cannabis. There are currently 3 FDA approved THC synthetics on the market and are available by prescription only, they are, nabilone (Cesamet®) and dronabinol Marinol® or Syndros®) All three drugs are used to treat severe nausea and vomiting affiliated with cancer chemotherapy treatment. Dronabinol is also used to treat loss of appetite and weight loss associated with anorexia and in patients with HIV AIDS infections. These FDA-approved drugs also come with product information that includes their safety and known side effects; one of these side effects although rare is the risk of death.
What is the Endocannabinoid system?
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS for short) is a complex cell communication system in every body (human and animal) made of endocannabinoid molecules and enzymes to help create and break down endocannabinoids and the CB1 and CB2 Receptors that are activated by the molecules. The ECS system contributes to the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis. It is directly linked to the body's major systems including:
- Skin and nerve function
- Stress response system
- Cardiovascular system function
- Appetite, digestion, and metabolism
- Motor control and muscle formation
- Reproductive and endocrine systems
- Cognitive processing, memory, and mood
- Immune system health, including pain and inflammation response
- CB1 receptors are found in high concentration on nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord additionally are distributed in lower concentration in some peripheral organs and tissues such as the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts, white blood cells, endocrine gland, parts of the reproductive system, and spleen.
- CB2 receptors are found highly concentrated on immune cells, the tonsils, thymus gland, the gut, and the spleen. CB2 receptors are also found within the brain although not as densely.
Why add phytocannabinoids to your daily routine?The body is a complex machine. There may be times when it needs more vitamin D, C, magnesium, or iron for example. In those instances, you might take a vitamin supplement to provide the additional minerals that you aren't getting from food. We know cannabinoids produce effects in the Endocannabinoid System, and just like vitamins and minerals, cannabinoids can also diminish because of external stressors and internal imbalances. Supplementing the body’s natural cannabinoids with hemp-derived phytocannabinoids may help bring the body back to balance, and in doing so, may optimize whole body wellness.
Are there other ways to stimulate the Endocannabinoid System?YES, and here are some things that you could do.
- Get a massage.
- Make time to exercise
- Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.
- If you’re up to it, take a cold shower.
- Add a serving of extra virgin olive oil into your diet.
- Enjoy a serving of dark chocolate, the darker the better.
- Take some probiotics, amino acids, and omega 3 fatty acids
- Fill your plate with organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices.
Hemp and Cannabis-derived Phytocannabinoids-A Closer LookWhile cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the most commonly heard of cannabinoids, there are more than 80 different phytocannabinoid types that scientists have identified and more are thought to exist. All cannabinoids stimulate the brain, however, not all cannabinoids will give you that “high” feeling like the one associated with delta-9-THC. What’s more interesting, is that each cannabinoid produces different effects. For example, while the phytocannabinoid THC creates a psychoactive high when interacting with CB1 brain cell receptors, CBD will not. In fact, it actually interferes with THC binding to the receptors and is thought to mellow the unwanted THC effects associated with that high a person is experiencing. Let’s take a closer look at some of the more popular cannabinoids.
- Cannabidiol (CBD) - By now you have probably heard all the buzz over the past few years. CBD is non-psychoactive, non-intoxicating, and reduces the intoxicating effects of THC. Much research has been done on this fabulous phytocannabinoid that has shown much promise for its ability to help with many issues, it’s known to support the body’s immune, nervous, circulatory, and cellular systems. Increase focus, boost mood, support memory, and stress response. Interacts with and supports the motor cortex and pain signaling system. CBD lights up and activates much of the endocannabinoid system.
- Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (D8) - Is a mild psychoactive cannabinoid - Similar to how THC turns into 11-Hydroxy in the body and CBG changes to other phytocannabinoids during plant growth when hemp goes through the extraction process some of the CBD converts to Delta-8 and can be sequestered. Research suggests Delta-8 has similar benefits to Delta-9 but without unwanted side effects. Delta-8 activates the brain's “creative hub”, increases the desire to snack, relieves upset stomach and occasional nausea.
- Cannabigerol (CBG) - Is known as “the mother” or “stem cell” phytocannabinoid. Most phytocannabinoids start their life with CBG as a precursor. Over the plant's growing cycle CBG “gives birth” to the most abundant phytocannabinoids. Just like many moms in life, CBG is a protector for the plant and possibly more than we know thus far for people. Cannabigerol appears to support and activate the ECS in many places and ways including but not limited to; cellular, nervous and immune system support, interact with pain signaling, support muscular, bone, and ocular health.
- Cannabinol (CBN) - Is naturally created as THC ages and is exposed over time to oxygen, UV rays and heat. CBN is potent but has little to no psychoactive effects. A study done by Steep Hill Labs showed that CBN could be the most sedative of all phytocannabinoids, other research shows that CBN interacts with pain signaling, supports the immune system and ocular organs.
- 11-Hydroxy (11-OH-THC) - Is produced in the body within the GI tract and liver by metabolic enzymes, these enzymes also modify and break down the foods we eat. After ingesting delta-9-THC, it too is metabolized, however when it breaks down it’s converted to a metabolite known as 11-hydroxy-THC, it's believed that this 11-hydroxy metabolite is why edibles containing delta-9-THC have longer-lasting effects and can feel more potent than if you were to smoke cannabis.
- Cannabichromene (CBC) - You might not have heard of CBC yet because it has not been spoken about much however, it's very abundant in hemp plants. Just like CBD, it’s a powerful, non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid. There is an indication that CBC increases and prolongs the effects of other phytocannabinoids. Research has shown CBC may offer cellular support, aid the digestive and nervous system as well as boost mood.
- Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCa) - is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in raw fresh cannabis, THCa possesses the same therapeutic benefits as THC without the high. However, THCa slowly converts to THC as cannabis dries and also when it’s decarboxylated (heated). THCa can be isolated as a stand-alone phytocannabinoid and can be ingested as such also providing therapeutic benefits without the high, just remember once heated to a temperature of 230-250°F it will convert to photoactive THC.
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9-THC, THC for short) - Found highly concentrated in marijuana and very sparsely in hemp. THC is an intoxicating phytocannabinoid commonly described as feeling ‘high’ or ‘stoned’ with potential therapeutic value. Synthetic THC has been created by pharmaceutical drug manufacturers used to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in patients that don't respond to other therapies, as well as anorexia and bulimia related to weight loss, additionally in patients with HIV/AIDS.
- Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) - Is similar to THC in molecular structure and psychoactive properties, but manifests a variety of very different effects. THCV can intensify the euphoric high of THC although people who consume THCV have reported feeling calmer, clear-headed, and energetic. It’s been coined “Diet Weed'' because it curbs the desire to snack. THCV activates the motor cortex and why it’s believed to support muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones.
|See & Feel The Difference||Bioavailability & Absorption||Blood Circulation||Surfactants & Suspension||Emulsifiers & Emulsion||Oil Based Carrier||Particle Stability|
|Nano & Liposome||20-25%||Medium||Yes||Yes||Generally||Moderate|
|Standard Oil Bas||4-6%||Short||No||Yes||Yes||Marginal|