Ministry of Hemp

Ministry of Hemp

America's leading advocate for hemp

Tag: Cannabinoids

CBD Vs. CBG: Comparing The Many Benefits Of CBD & CBG

There’s a new cannabinoid in town, and it’s called CBG (cannabigerol). With an impressive list of potential health benefits, could CBG be the new CBD? Keep reading to find out more about CBG and how it compares with CBD.

Over the last few years, CBD (cannabidiol) has become a darling of the natural health world. And with minimal side effects, no addictive potential, and a long list of health benefits, it’s not hard to see why this cannabis extract has become almost as famous as its cousin, THC.

But you might be surprised to learn that CBD and THC are not the only cannabinoids out there. As CBD’s popularity grows, interest in cannabinoids has ignited, setting the stage for researchers to explore the therapeutic potential of other cannabis compounds.

One cannabinoid that’s attracting a lot of interest is CBG (cannabigerol). It seems to have plenty of health benefits to offer, but how does it stack up against CBD? In this article, we’ll compare these two potent cannabinoids and cover everything you need to know.

A PRIMER ON CANNABINOIDS

Cannabinoids seem almost too good to be true. After all, cannabis, and specifically CBD, has been praised for its ability to relieve pain, reduce seizures, lower anxiety, improve sleep, and more. But there’s actually a simple explanation for why cannabis has so many potential health benefits: the endocannabinoid system.

We wanted to compare CBD vs. CBG to help people understand how these two potent cannabinoids are similar, yet different. Photo: Two people in warm clothes share mugs of tea, while a teapot and a bottle of Every Day Optimal rests nearby.

We wanted to compare CBD vs. CBG to help people understand how these two potent cannabinoids are similar, yet different. (Photo: Every Day Optimal)

The endocannabinoid system refers to receptors found throughout the body, and these receptors help regulate physiological processes such as pain, mood, sleep, digestion, and more. Cannabinoids like CBD, THC, and CBG bind to these receptors, interacting with these different areas of human health.

Hemp is the best source for CBD, as it contains much higher concentrations than psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”) (though this can vary by strain). On the other hand, you’ll find only trace amounts (1 percent or less) of CBG in the cannabis plant, although hemp strains can be cultivated to be higher in CBG. Young cannabis plants tend to be higher in CBG than mature plants, because CBG breaks down into other cannabinoids — including CBD and THC — as the plant ages.

COMPARING THE BENEFITS OF CBG AND CBD

Both CBD and CBG are non-psychoactive, meaning they won’t get you high. They’re both all-natural, have minimal or no side effects, and offer a wide range of health benefits.

Like CBD, the benefits of CBG are vast due to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system. For example, a 2015 study found CBG potentially effective at treating bladder dysfunction, while a 1990 study found that CBG can lower glaucoma-related pressure. CBG also has neuroprotective properties, may protect against colon cancer, and shows promise as a treatment for irritable bowel disease (IBD). It’s also an appetite stimulant with anti-inflammatory benefits and antibacterial properties.

Some of these benefits overlap with those of CBD, which has also been used to reduce pressure from glaucoma and reduce tumor growth. Like CBG, CBD shows neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory benefits; it has even been used for spot treatment of acne. CBD is also proven to be an effective anxiety reliever, with multiple studies supporting its potential for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Perhaps most famously, CBD also can reduce epileptic seizures and alleviate pain associated with fibromyalgia, arthritis, migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, and more.

An infographic comparing CBD vs. CBG: while both are non-psychoactive, their health benefits differ.

An infographic comparing CBD vs. CBG: while both are non-psychoactive, their health benefits differ.

Though the effects of CBD and CBG when combined haven’t been studied, we do know that combining different cannabinoids results in what’s called the entourage effect. This means that each cannabinoid’s effects are enhanced when they’re combined. This effect has been well-studied relating to the relationship between CBD and THC; for example, both CBD and THC are more effective at reducing pain when taken together.

It’s possible that the benefits shared by CBD and CBG — like those for glaucoma, cancer, and inflammation — may also be enhanced when these two cannabinoids are combined, but further research is needed on the subject.

WHAT TYPE OF CBD OIL CONTAINS CBG?

If you’re looking to get the most out of your cannabinoids, and/or take multiple cannabinoids at once to experience the entourage effect, look for full spectrum CBD oil products. This type of CBD oil contains all the cannabinoids and terpenes that were extracted from the cannabis plant, including THC, CBD, CBG, and many others.

The downside of full spectrum products is that the ratios and percentages of each cannabinoid can vary widely based on the strain of cannabis the oil was made from. This makes it harder to control what kind of response you’ll have; you may find yourself reacting differently based on the batch, type, or brand of CBD oil due to these variances. It’s also important to keep in mind that full spectrum CBD oils contain traces of THC, and while it’s not enough to get you high, it may be enough to show up on a drug test.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to experience pure CBD without additional cannabinoids and terpenes, or you need to avoid THC due to sensitivities or drug testing, you’ll want to look for either isolate CBD products or broad spectrum CBD. Broad spectrum is similar to full spectrum in that it contains other cannabinoids and terpenes, but it’s processed to remove all traces of THC. Isolate CBD oil, meanwhile, is processed to remove all cannabinoids and terpenes aside from CBD, leaving you with a pure CBD product.

CLOSING THOUGHTS ON CBD VS. CBG

As our knowledge of cannabinoids continues to grow, so will our understanding of their uses and benefits. Although CBD is certainly the front runner, CBG shows a lot of promising uses. At Every Day Optimal we believe that CBG will have a big future in years to come and are looking forward to learning more about this amazon cannabinoid.

Questions? Be sure to reach out!

No Comments on CBD Vs. CBG: Comparing The Many Benefits Of CBD & CBG

Cannabis Testing Labs: The Problem With Hemp & Cannabis Lab Testing

Hemp and cannabis brands depend on cannabis testing labs to verify the purity and quality of their products. The inconsistency of cannabis testing labs is indicative of a much bigger problem, which is the lack of checks and balances in the cannabis industry.

The inconsistency of cannabis testing labs is indicative of a much bigger problem, which is the lack of checks and balances in the cannabis industry.

One of the largest problems in the cannabis industry is the inconsistency of quality control.

Buying a cannabis product, from CBD oil to psychoactive cannabis, can be quite scary for a consumer. Due to the lack of standardized product testing, you don’t fully know if the producer’s claims are truthful, if the correct dosage is listed, or exactly what’s is in the product.

The government maintains strict controls over the quality of our food, and supplements and medicines we buy over-the-counter and get from pharmacists. Right now, the cannabis industry doesn’t have that. Instead consumers are forced to trust the word of companies which can obviously leads to issues.

There's growing demand on cannabis & hemp product testing labs, but also renewed attention on their inconsistencies too. Photo: A gloved scientist with a vial of CBD and a hemp leaf.

There’s growing demand on cannabis & hemp product testing labs, but also renewed attention on their inconsistencies too.

This problem isn’t simply due to the companies that produce the products, but also to the cannabis testing labs themselves. There’s no doubt that testing is important, but without better standards can we rely on those test results?

THE FLAWS IN LAB TESTING CANNABIS PRODUCTS

As revealed by Forbes, not all cannabis testing labs are created equal.

There’s no minimum requirements for things such as equipment, certifications, and merit for lab testers. As a result, cannabis testing labs can vary dramatically from each other.

The biggest problem though, is the lack of a standardized method for testing the various cannabis products. This can mean that the testing procedures for quality and potency of a hemp plant varies dramatically from hemp oil, distillates, to edibles and beyond. The problems multiply since different labs all have different testing methods, claiming that their methods are more effective than others and can give superior results.

The problem is that this creates inconsistencies in the results, since not all labs are using the same method for testing. This obviously can’t continue to happen. Without standardized testing methods for each cannabis product, the results will continue to be inconsistent which defeats the purpose for testing the product in the first place.

DISHONESTY IN LAB TESTING HEMP?

When a company markets a certain product, they want certification for their product, so their consumers can trust the quality of their product. To get these certifications, the companies have to send a batch of product to a testing facility to test for things such as potency, effectiveness, etc.

Problem arise when those results vary from lab to lab, leading to confusion about the quality of the product. This may even be due to the “friendliness” of certain labs over others, freely manipulating the results to meet the expectations of the producers. Manufacturers aren’t the only ones who test their products. Growers test their cannabis for quality too. With their reputations on the line, they want the best test results possible, so it proves the quality of their cannabis or hemp and hopefully leads to more companies wanting them as a supplier.

But again, with the lack of oversight, growers can substitute the product sent to the labs with a more expensive and higher-quality product, thus producing false results for their crops. Of course, this imply doesn’t that all cannabis testing labs and growers do this, but with the lack of standardized guidelines and someone to enforce those guidelines, it’s something that can happen without any real repercussions.

A FLAWED BUSINESS MODEL?

On top of all of this, the business model for the labs themselves are flawed. The costs for lab equipment, buildings, electricity, accreditation, and salaries for lab testers are all very expensive. On the contrary, the going rate for a test on a single batch is typically under $200. Meaning in order for these testing facilities to make a profit and succeed as a business, they have to operate in a high-volume capacity.

While cannabis companies grow at a stunning pace, demand for the labs which test these products grows too. These cannabis testing labs are much different from their government-ran cousins, which have access to more capital, a better talent pool, more experience, and the power of the federal government behind them.

From the expensive startup costs, ferocious competition, increasing pressure from growers & manufacturers and no one to keep them in check, why wouldn’t a laboratory fix their reports for better results? Again, we’re not claiming any or even most labs do this, but there’s little oversight on their results.

SUPPLY CHAIN: THE BIGGER PROBLEM IN HEMP & CANNABIS

This issue goes beyond the testing companies, as the lack of regulation affects the entire supply-chain of the cannabis and hemp industries.

In other words, if no one is keeping the cannabis testing labs in check, then there is certainly no one keeping the growers, transporters, dispensaries, or producers in check. All of this leads to a lower quality product, and one that consumers can’t trust. If this continues to be the case, a distrust can develop between company and consumer. The cannabis industry has grown both in popularity and revenue in the past decade, and a loose-knit system that depends on hand-shake deals and trust is quite simply just not enough for long-term growth.

Fortunately, industry leaders are trying to improve the cannabis supply-chain.

IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF HEMP & CANNABIS

So how do we solve this problem and all the other problems present in the cannabis and industries? How do we make sure that the companies we purchase from are actually telling the truth, and that there aren’t any unwanted substances in the product?

Increased federal oversight could help improve the quality of cannabis testing labs, and cannabis and hemp products in general. Photo: A scientist in gloves and a white lab coat examines a test tube of green liquid, with a microscope nearby.

Increased federal oversight could help improve the quality of cannabis testing labs, and cannabis and hemp products in general.

We do this by getting support from the federal government. The federal government is the only entity that can effectively enforce regulations upon the cannabis industry that will keep the different sectors in check. Not only do they have the power of enforcement, but they are the only ones to have the resources capable of quality-checking every part of the cannabis supply-chain.

To add to that, the federal government also has the power to enhance other parts of the industry. In addition to quality control, they can regulate things such as financing, shipping, and further research into cannabis. In fact, federal regulatory support is the single greatest challenge to the entire industry. The support for cannabis is already here, with a large portion of congressman and senators publicly backing the plant. Now we need those people in power to start implementing systems that help build up the industry.

There are signs that this is happening, especially thanks to the recent legalization of industrial hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill. But there’s still a long way to go.

No Comments on Cannabis Testing Labs: The Problem With Hemp & Cannabis Lab Testing

CBD vs. CBN: Differences, Benefits, And Uses For Two Potent Cannabinoids

In this article, we compare the benefits of CBD vs. CBN. Both of these cannabinoids help create the “entourage effect” in hemp and cannabis that can help us live better lives.

Cannabidiol — also known as CBD — has been getting a lot of attention lately.

As it dominates headlines, sparks controversies, and finds its way onto menus in coffee shops across the country, you could even say that CBD is on track to becoming as well-known as its cousin, THC.

With all the focus on CBD, it’s easy to forget that there’s over 100 other cannabinoids out there, of which CBD and THC are only two. And among all of these naturally occurring cannabis-derived compounds, many have their own powerful therapeutic benefits that are on par with CBD. So with that in mind, which cannabinoid is next in line for its time in the spotlight?

In this article, we compare the benefits of CBD vs. CBN and explain how both can help us live better lives. A seated person cups a mug of coffee in their hands in front of a laptop. Arranged nearby are a small plant, a notepad, a smartphone, a bottle of Every Day Optimal CBD, and decorate letters spelling the word DREAM.

In this article, we compare the benefits of CBD vs. CBN and explain how both can help us live better lives. (Photo: Every Day Optimal)

Our nominee: CBN, short for cannabinol. In this article, we’ll dive into what CBN is, what its benefits are, and how it compares with CBD.

A QUICK PRIMER ON CBD AND CBN

Just in case you’re new to the world of cannabinoids, CBD is one of the primary compounds found in the cannabis plant (which includes both hemp and marijuana). CBD can make up anywhere from 1 percent to 25 percent of the plant, and in most strains, it’s the second most dominant cannabinoid next to THC. While THC is best known for its psychoactive properties, CBD won’t get you high; rather, its skyrocketing popularity is based entirely on its wide range of therapeutic benefits. Many consumers are touting the benefits of using CBD gummies and edibles for daily stress and anxiety, while others use the oils, balms and capsules for ailments like muscle pain, insomnia, and depression.

CBN is a bit different from CBD for a few reasons. Its content in cannabis tends to be pretty low – 1 percent or even less — but this is subject to change over time as the plant is exposed to oxygen or heat. Specifically, as cannabis ages, its THC content breaks down into CBN. Additionally, while CBD has zero psychoactive properties, the same can’t be said for CBN; that said, its psychoactive properties are very, very mild, so you’d likely need to take a massive dose of CBN to feel any sort of high.

Although CBN may be new to you, it was among the very first cannabinoids ever identified, and was successfully isolated for the first time in the 1930s. In fact, prior to the discovery of THC, CBN was considered to be the cause behind the psychoactive effects of marijuana.

BENEFITS OF CBN AND CBD

Despite CBN being on scientists’ radar for so long, research on its use is very limited — especially when compared to the wealth of information available for both CBD and THC. That said, what we know so far about this cannabinoid is promising.

One of CBN’s biggest benefits is that it’s a strong sedative, making it effective as a sleep aid and anti-anxiety drug. According to Steep Hill Labs, CBN’s relaxing effects are comparable to the pharmaceutical diazepam, while a 1995 study on mice found that CBN can increase sleep time as well. Additionally, CBN’s effectiveness for sleep is enhanced when taken alongside CBD, which has been praised for its ability to increase REM sleep, reduce nightmares, and treat sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea.

Aside from sleep benefits, both CBN and CBD are potent anti-inflammatories with powerful pain relieving properties. Again, these benefits appear to be even more effective when both cannabinoids are taken together. Both CBN and CBD can also relieve pressure related to glaucoma, and both have antibacterial properties, including against antibiotic-resistant MRSA. Among other benefits, CBD is a powerful treatment for epilepsy and anxiety disorders, and CBN shows promise as an appetite stimulant as well.

Full spectrum hemp extracts feature both CBD and CBN among other cannabinoids, promoting the "entourage effect." A person drops a dropperful of CBD oil from a bottle of Every Day Optimal into a cup of espresso.

Full spectrum hemp extracts feature both CBD and CBN among other cannabinoids, promoting the “entourage effect.” (Photo: Every Day Optimal)

WHAT TYPE OF CBD OIL CONTAINS CBN?

If you’re looking to get the most out of CBD and CBN, you’ll want to pick up some full spectrum or broad spectrum CBD oil, as these types of CBD oil contain both compounds. Full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD oils are similar, with one crucial difference: THC.

Full spectrum CBD oil contains all the cannabinoids and terpenes that were extracted from the cannabis plant, including CBD, THC, CBN, and a variety of other compounds that vary depending on the strain. Broad spectrum CBD oil, on the other hand, goes through additional processing to remove all traces of THC, while keeping all other cannabinoids intact.

Full spectrum CBD oil is a popular choice due to what’s called the “entourage effect.” Essentially, the benefits of each cannabinoid are enhanced when taken together. This includes THC and CBD, CBD and CBN, and so on. Meanwhile, broad spectrum CBD oil is ideal for those who desire the benefits of full spectrum CBD oil, but who can’t have any traces of THC.

CLOSING THOUGHTS ON CBD VS CBN

As you can see, CBN shows a lot of promise for a wide spectrum of issues.

At Every Day Optimal, we believe, that just like CBD, it can be quite powerful for pain relief, sleep troubles, and anxiety. When CBN is taken with CBD, these benefits are often even more potent. With all the attention CBD’s gotten lately, it’s likely that we’ll see much more research into the benefits of CBN and other cannabinoids in the near future.

And who knows – maybe CBN will start showing up in coffee shops next, right alongside CBD. We’ll be keeping an eye out for it!

No Comments on CBD vs. CBN: Differences, Benefits, And Uses For Two Potent Cannabinoids

CBD For Bipolar Disorder: Can Cannabinoids Help Treat Bipolar Affective Disorder?

4.4 percent of adults are estimated to experience bipolar affective disorder. We took a look at research suggesting CBD and other cannabinoids could help.

We wanted to take a closer look at the science behind using CBD for bipolar affective disorder.

The National Mental Health Institute estimates 4.4 percent of adults in the United States will be given a diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder (BPAD) in their lifetime. Adults with BPAD experience the highest rate of impairment among psychiatric patients; an estimated 82.9 percent suffer from severe disablement.

Bipolar affective disorder and its variants can be treatment resistant, which may explain the high rate of disability. Anecdotal evidence, supported by preliminary studies, suggest that cannabinoids have the potential to improve the symptoms of BPAD in some individuals by regulating the endocannabinoid system.

WHAT IS BIPOLAR AFFECTIVE DISORDER?

Bipolar affective disorder is a mental illness that causes significant changes in mood, motivation and energy. A process known as cycling, which involves periods of euphoria (manic episodes) followed by hopelessness (depressive episodes), is a hallmark of the illness.

A man hands holding a white paper sheet with two faced head over a crowded street background.

Some preliminary research supports the use of CBD for bipolar affective disorder treatment.

There are four variants of bipolar affective disorder: bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymic disorder and bipolar spectrum disorders. The severity and frequency of symptoms are used to determine which variant is diagnosed. Bipolar I is the most severe form of the disease.

SYMPTOMS OF MANIC EPISODES

Manic episodes, sometimes referred to as mania, are characterized by exaggerated self-esteem, insomnia, racing thoughts and abnormal speech, inability to focus, and impulsive behaviours. True manic episodes only affect those diagnosed with bipolar I disorder. However, patients with other variants of BPAD experience hypomania, a less severe form of mania.

Although mania is considered to be the “high” stage of BPAD, it can have disastrous consequences. Many manic episodes result in hospitalization, psychotic symptoms or grave impairment (e.g., risky behaviour leading to legal trouble). Untreated manic episodes can develop into psychosis.

SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSIVE EPISODES

Depressive episodes mimic a severe form of depression known as major depressive disorder. Symptoms can include feelings of sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in activities. Additional traits of depressive episodes are changes in sleep patterns and appetite, trouble concentrating, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, and suicidal thoughts or attempts.

This cycle of bipolar disorder is the “low” point of the disease. Like mania, depressive episodes vary in severity depending on which variant of bipolar disorder is present. Patients with Bipolar I disorder may have what are known as mixed episodes, during which they show signs of both mania and depression.

CONVENTIONAL TREATMENTS OF BIPOLAR DISORDER

Prescription drugs used in conjunction with psychotherapy can help alleviate symptoms of BPAD in most patients. However, bipolar affective disorder can be treatment-resistant, making it difficult to manage in some people. Treatment-resistant BPAD is cause for concern, as up to 50 percent of individuals diagnosed will attempt suicide at least once in their lives.

Medications prescribed for BPAD include anticonvulsants, antimanic drugs and antidepressants. Use of antidepressants alone can lead to the onset of mania or rapid cycling. Mood stabilizers or anticonvulsants are often taken to negate these possible side effects.

The only pharmaceutical shown to have a consistent, positive effect on suicide rates in bipolar patients is lithium. However, newer research has shown there may be a possibility to control BPAD through manipulating the endocannabinoid (EC) system. These are the neurotransmitters responsible for binding cannabinoid proteins to receptors.

ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM DYSFUNCTION AND BPAD

The endocannabinoid system, discovered in the mid-1990s, is comprised of two receptors, CB1 and CB2. Cannabinoids, a type of compound found in both the human body and cannabis plants, bind to these receptors to alter brain function. Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters produced naturally in the body, while phytocannabinoids are found in cannabis plants.

 

An illustration of neurons firing in a human head. Post-mortem studies of human brains of people with bipolar affective disorder found some abnormalities in how they process cannabinoids.

Post-mortem studies of human brains of people with bipolar affective disorder found some abnormalities in how they process cannabinoids.

Postmortem studies have found that brains of patients diagnosed with mental illness, including BPAD variants, show abnormalities in the endocannabinoid system. A similar study, conducted using brain slices from mice, showed dysfunctional CB2 receptors inhibited the release of serotonin, suggesting a healthy EC system helps to regulate mood.

An investigation of endocannabinoid gene variants in 83 patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), 134 with BPAD, and 117 healthy control participants found two marked differences in the patients afflicted with MDD and BPAD. Specifically, the CB1 receptor (CNR1) and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) genes of the ill participants were found to be abnormal when compared to the control group.

REGULATING THE EC SYSTEM WITH PHYTOCANNABINOIDS

Because of the distribution of endocannabinoid receptors throughout the brain, many of the areas they affect overlap with regions thought to be responsible for BPAD, along with other mental illnesses. Studies have shown patients with specific abnormalities in the CNR1 gene are at a higher risk of being resistant to pharmacological treatment, leaving them more vulnerable to the effects of bipolar affective disorder.

For these patients, phytocannabinoids could provide a way to manipulate the EC system and regulate the level of chemicals traditionally targeted by pharmacological medications. As always with hemp and cannabis research, these studies are still preliminary. More research will be needed to prove whether CBD and other cannabinoids can help treat bipolar affective disorder.

Anandamide and THC

Anandamide, called the bliss molecule, is naturally produced in the body and is similar in molecular structure to THC. Both anandamide and THC bind to CB1 receptors, altering areas of the brain responsible for memory, concentration, movement, perception, and pleasure.

FAAH genes are responsible for activating anandamide; indicating people with FAAH gene mutations may not have the appropriate levels of anandamide in the brain. Supplementing brains deficient in anandamide with THC may help restore chemical balances. Theoretically, this could alleviate cycling between manic and depressive phases.

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Cannabidiol has been shown to inhibit serotonin reuptake in rats, suggesting it repairs abnormalities in CB1 receptors found to inhibit release in mice. If CBD functions the same in human brains, it could provide an alternative to conventional antidepressants, especially for individuals with treatment-resistant BPAD.

A randomized clinical trial found CBD reduces abnormal brain function in regions associated with psychosis, implying it may have therapeutic effects on symptoms associated with the manic phase of BPAD. If CBD regulates both depressive and manic symptoms, it could help treat individuals who do not react well to lithium.

Other Cannabinoids

Cannabis is a complex compound, made up of over 500 chemicals. Over 100 of these compounds are suspected to be cannabinoids. There is little information on the effects of these chemicals, apart from CBD and THC, because few studies have focused on determining what reactions they produce in the EC system.

Among cannabinoids that have already been isolated, CBG and CBCV seem to show a potential for treating mood disorders, such as depression. Further study may help isolate more of these chemicals and determine what effect they have on the EC system.

A gloved scientist with a vial of CBD and a hemp leaf. Preliminary research supports further investigation into using CBD to treat bipolar affective disorder.

Though research is just beginning, it seems likely that CBD and other cannabinoids could help people with bipolar affective disorder.

USING CBDS & OTHER CANNABINOIDS FOR BIPOLAR AFFECTIVE DISORDER

CBD rarely causes adverse reactions. Still, there are risks associated with both conventional methods of treatment and using cannabis derivatives as treatment. The most dangerous side effect of any treatment for BPAD is the potential worsening of symptoms.

Individuals experiencing symptoms of bipolar affective disorder, or previously diagnosed with any of the variants, should consult with a medical professional before starting or changing treatment. Even those who present with treatment-resistant variations of the disease can benefit from traditional methods (such as psychotherapy).

Regulating the EC system through phytocannabinoids may provide a way to alleviate symptoms in those with treatment-resistant BPAD. Further clinical trials in humans are needed to validate preliminary data, but the future of cannabinoids as a BPAD treatment looks promising.

No Comments on CBD For Bipolar Disorder: Can Cannabinoids Help Treat Bipolar Affective Disorder?

Hemp vs. Marijuana: What’s The Difference Between Hemp & Marijuana?

Today we’re going to talk about Hemp vs. Marijuana. With the rising legalization of all forms of cannabis, things can get a little confusing sometimes.

I’m Jessica with Ministry of Hemp, America’s Leading Hemp Advocate.

Today we’re going to talk about hemp and marijuana. With the legalization of both of these industries, there’s a lot of information popping up, and with more information comes more MISinformation.

So today we’re gonna talk about how they are both similar and totally different! Let’s get to it.

HEMP VS. MARIJUANA: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE? 

Classification

Cannabis is a family of plants with two primary classifications – indica and sativa. While marijuana can be a member of either the indica or sativa families, hemp is only a member of the cannabis sativa family.

Composition

Cannabis contains a variety of different cannabinoids. The two most dominant are tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, and cannabidiol, known as CBD. While both have been shown to have benefits to the human body, THC, has psychoactive effects, which means you “get high,” while CBD does not.

While hemp contains 0.3 percent THC or less, marijuana is abundant with THC, different strains can contain anywhere from 5-35 percent THC.

Usage

Marijuana is grown for medicinal and recreational purposes. Due to its psychoactive properties, marijuana is usually consumed by smoking, vaping or in edibles.

Hemp, on the other hand, has over 25,000 possible applications such as dietary supplements, skincare and body products, clothing and fabric, and even paper, construction, and fuel!

Legality

Hemp is legal to purchase in all 50 states and is legal to ship in the U.S.

Marijuana, however, is not legal in every state at this point. It’s still illegal in many states, some have only legalized medical marijuana, and some states have both legal medical and recreational marijuana.

No Comments on Hemp vs. Marijuana: What’s The Difference Between Hemp & Marijuana?

CBD Vs. THC For Chronic Pain: Comparing Two Potent Cannabinoids

Are you trying to decide between CBD and THC for relieving chronic pain? In this article, we’ll explore how these two popular cannabis compounds work to relieve chronic pain — both separately and together.

Are you trying to decide between CBD and THC for relieving chronic pain?

Maybe you’re just curious about the differences between the two. It’s easy to assume that these two compounds are similar, since they both come from the same plant. But while they can both play an important role in managing chronic pain, CBD and THC are very different substances, and each one works differently in the body.

In this article, we’ll explore how these two popular cannabis compounds work to relieve chronic pain — both separately and together.

THE BASICS OF THC AND CBD

CBD (short for cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) belong to a group known as cannabinoids, and they are derived from the cannabis plant – either hemp or psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”). There are over 100 different cannabinoids, but CBD and THC are the most dominant substances in cannabis, making them responsible for most of the effects that marijuana is famous for.

A seated person stirs Every Day Optimal CBD Oil into a cup of tea. When it comes to chronic pain, there's no clear winner in the CBD vs. THC debate: both have their uses.

When it comes to chronic pain, there’s no clear winner in the CBD vs. THC debate: both have their uses. (Photo: Every Day Optimal)

Both CBD and THC work by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, which refers to a group of receptors in the body that regulate various physiological processes, including pain, digestion, mood, and sleep. Cannabis is well-known for its versatility, helping people worldwide with problems like insomnia, PTSD, and pain – and it’s all because these endocannabinoid receptors are involved in so many different bodily functions.

By far, the most notable difference between CBD and THC is that THC causes a high, while CBD does not. CBD’s lack of psychoactive effects is one of the reasons it has become so popular as of late. In fact, CBD can counteract some of THC’s psychoactive effects (like euphoria and anxiety). This is why high-CBD strains of cannabis are often popular for pain relief, since they allow one to keep a clear head.

THC is also associated with more side effects than CBD, although these tend to be mild and are temporary. Some well-documented side effects of THC are dry mouth, red eyes, and hunger. Most people who use CBD report little to no side effects, with sleepiness being the most common, especially at high doses.

CBD BENEFITS FOR CHRONIC PAIN AND INFLAMMATION

Research has established that CBD is an effective anti-inflammatory, with strong evidence that it can relieve pain from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. For example, a 2017 study concluded that CBD can reduce osteoarthritis-related pain and inflammation, and prevent nerve damage.

Other studies support CBD for relief of neuropathic pain and incision-related pain. CBD’s effectiveness at relieving different types of pain has led to its popularity among people with conditions such as fibromyalgia, IBS, multiple sclerosis, and cancer.

THC BENEFITS FOR CHRONIC PAIN AND INFLAMMATION

Although there is plenty of research supporting the use of cannabis for pain relief in conditions like Crohn’s disease, chronic migraine, and fibromyalgia, less attention has been paid to the specific benefits of THC. The few studies that are available tend to be small and show conflicting results.

A recent study in Neurology found THC is effective for alleviating chronic nerve pain. A larger study, involving 177 cancer patients, found that while THC was not effective at reducing pain, the patients who took a CBD/THC combination had their pain reduce by over 30 percent when compared to placebo. Another double-blind study supported this conclusion when using THC for post-surgery pain. Meanwhile, a 2017 study found both THC and CBD, when taken alone, were effective for reducing chemotherapy-related pain in mice.

The same study also discovered that when combined, previously ineffective doses of CBD and THC could relieve pain. This relates to an important benefit of THC – it can enhance the pain-relieving properties of CBD through what’s known as the entourage effect.

HOW CBD AND THC WORK TOGETHER: THE ENTOURAGE EFFECT

Although CBD and THC are the most dominant compounds in the cannabis plant, they aren’t alone. There are dozens of other cannabinoids and terpenes that work together to provide different synergic effects. For example, the third most dominant compound in cannabis, cannabichromene (CBC) has shown anti-inflammatory benefits similar to those of CBD.

A seated man holds his glasses in one hand while wincing and holding his neck, as if in pain, with the other. Both CBD and THC can relieve symptoms of chronic pain and inflammation in unique ways, both alone and working in concert with other cannabinoids.

Both CBD and THC can relieve symptoms of chronic pain and inflammation in unique ways, both alone and working in concert with other cannabinoids.

The entourage effect refers to the benefits that one can experience by ingesting multiple cannabinoids together, including CBD and THC. In short, while CBD and THC have their own powerful benefits, they tend to be more potent when combined – especially when it comes to pain relief. An analysis of 18 studies on cannabinoids for multiple sclerosis pain found that the combination of THC and CBD was slightly more effective for pain reduction than CBD on its own.

The entourage effect is why CBD products fall into two categories: full spectrum and isolate. Full spectrum CBD products contain all the cannabinoids and terpenes that were extracted along with CBD. On the other hand, isolate CBD products remove all traces of these other substances, resulting in a product that is pure CBD.

Some people have better success using full spectrum CBD products for pain relief because of the entourage effect. However, due to the variety of cannabinoids and terpenes, full spectrum products can be somewhat unpredictable in their effects. Isolate CBD products are often favored by those who can’t tolerate any traces of THC, or need to avoid it due to drug testing.

LEGALITIES AND LIMITS OF THC IN CBD PRODUCTS

The majority of CBD products you’ll find on the market today are made from hemp, which by law can contain up to a maximum of 0.3 percent THC. This means hemp-derived, full spectrum CBD products are likely to contain low amounts of THC. There are CBD products available that are made from marijuana instead of hemp, and therefore contain a higher percentage of THC. For legal reasons, these products tend to be restricted to dispensaries.

CLOSING THOUGHTS ON CBD VS. THC

As you can see, there isn’t a simple answer for whether CBD or THC is better for chronic pain. Both compounds bring their own benefits to the table, and in regard to chronic pain, there is evidence that they’re more effective when taken together due to the entourage effect.

Either way, it’s clear that cannabis has plenty to offer for chronic pain patients, and cannabis products can vary widely in effectiveness. So if you don’t have success with one product, don’t give up; try something new, whether it’s a different blend of cannabinoids, or a different potency.

No Comments on CBD Vs. THC For Chronic Pain: Comparing Two Potent Cannabinoids

Terpenes: Everything You Need to Know About These Scented Wonders

Terpenes give hemp and cannabis, along with many other plants from citrus fruits to lavender, their unique scents. They offer unique benefits too, especially paired with cannabinoids like CBD and THC.

Terpenes are natural compounds found in all forms of hemp and cannabis that give the plant its bouquet of smells.

In addition, terpenes work in concert with the better known compounds found in the plant such as the cannabinoids THC and CBD to provide their own unique health benefits.

One reason we enjoy writing about hemp is the opportunity to learn new cannabinoid science and then get to share it with our readers. We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating, there really is so much more to the cannabis plant than just CBD and THC.

Of course, both of these two cannabinoids, along with the other hundred or so cannabinoids, are instrumental in the healing and feel better properties of the cannabis plant. But increasingly researchers believe other parts of the hemp plant work synergistically with the cannabinoids to maximize the healing properties, Today’s article focuses on one of those parts: terpenes. While all forms of hemp contain terpenes, some are especially prevalent in psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”), which we’ve noted below.

WHAT ARE TERPENES?

Cannabis isn’t the only plant that produces terpenes. According to Wikipedia, terpenes “are a large and diverse class of organic compounds, produced by a variety of plants, particularly conifers.” Terpenes give these plants their unique scents and assist plants in a variety of ways.

Terpenes attract pollenating insects for plant reproduction. They also ward off or even kill predators. They slow plant maturation and regulate metabolism. Terpenes are a major component of plants’ essential oils. Aromatherapy treatments frequently use terpenes due to their medicinal properties. Some terpenes develop because of stress to a plant, like excessive heat.

The exact number of terpenes found in the cannabis plant ranges between 100-200 depending on different variations in scientific classification.

A woman smells a lemon from her refrigerator. Limonene is a terpene that creates the unique smell of citrus fruits.

Limonene is a terpene that creates the unique smell of citrus fruits.

For example, the popular terpene limonene gives citrus fruits their unique smells. It is found in both lemons and oranges, but in different concentrations thus creating a different scent, or variations.

Here we discuss nine primary terpenes found in hemp and share the healing properties of each.

DIFFERENT TERPENES EXPLAINED

Below, we look at 9 of the most prominent terpenes: mycerne, limonene, carophyllene, pinene (Alpha/Beta), terpineol, borneol, linalool, eucalyptol, and nerolidol.

Mycerne

Mycerne is the most common terpene found in hemp. In some strains, over 60% of the essential oil is made up of mycerne. It smells very similar to cloves. Scientists consider myrcene a potent analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antibiotic.

Mycerne blocks cytochrome, aflatoxin B, and other pro-mutagenic carcinogens. It has a relaxing, calming, anti-spasmodic, and sedative effect. Myrcene works synergistically with THC and may also increase the psychoactive potential.

The essential oil of  citrus fruits contains high levels of myrcene. Many claim that eating a mango 45 minutes before consuming psychoactive cannabis results in a faster onset and greater intensity.

Limonene

Limonene is often the second, third or fourth terpene found in cannabis resin and produces the smell we find in citrus fruits. Like mycerne, limonene contains anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-carcinogenic properties. It is also said to protect against Aspergillus and other carcinogens found in smoke.

Even more, a cancer study from 2013 revealed that terpene reduces tumors in women with early-stage breast cancer. Limonene quickly and easily penetrates the blood barrier, which increases systolic pressure. What’s more, some experts say limonene increases attention, mental focus, well-being, and sex drive.

Citrus fruit rinds, rosemary, juniper, peppermint, and several pine needle oils all contain limonene.

Caryophyllene

Many herbs and spices contain caryophyllene. Black pepper contains high amounts, giving it that spicy flavor.

As with the previous two terpenes, caryophyllene has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-fungal properties. It has affinity for our bodies’ CB2 receptors making it a common ingredient for anti-inflammatory topicals and creams. Topical application of caryophyllene also relieves toothaches.

A cluster of peppercorns.

The terpene Caryophyllene gives black pepper its spicy scent. It also has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties.

One interesting note about this terpene is its promising role in alcohol rehabilitation. In a study on mice, scientists found that caryophyllene reduces the voluntary intake of alcohol.

In addition to black pepper, Thai basils, cloves, and cinnamon leaves have caryophyllene. Lavender also produces caryophyllene in small quantities.

Pinene

Pinene, as the name implies, creates the smell associated with pine and fir trees. Doctors use pinene in medicines as an expectorant, bronchodilator, anti-inflammatory and local antiseptic. Pinene also improves concentration, personal satisfaction, and energy. Patients suffering from arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, and cancer may benefit from pinene.

A unique fact about pinene: Smoking cannabis with high levels of Pinene may give the sensation of sucking more air, which can lead to coughing or hyperventilation.

Many conifers and non-coniferous plants, balsamic resin, pinewoods, and some citrus fruits produce pinene.

Terpineol

Terpineol smells of lilacs, crabapple, blossoms, and lime blossoms. Plants with high-levels of pinene often also produce terpineol. If you’ve ever enjoyed Lapsang souchong tea, part of the flavor came from the terpineol in the pine smoke used during processing.

Terpineol creates a sedative effect often connected to indica strains of psychoactive cannabis. During tests on mice, terpineol reduced mobility by 45 percent. Experts also believe terpineol has antibiotic and antioxidant properties.

Commercial producers of terpineol often derive this terpene from Monterey cypress trees.

Borneol

Borneol smells like mint and camphor. Chinese herbalists use borneol in medicines against fatigue, stress, lingering illness.

Some researchers believe this terpene’s natural insect repellent properties and could be used against diseases caused by ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes such as West Nile Virus. One study published even show that borneol kills breast cancer cells.

Linalool

Linalool has a floral smell similar to lavender and spring flowers. It is currently being used in the treatment of various cancers.

Linalool has a calming action, antianxiety, and produces sedative effects. Linalool is responsible for the sedative effects of certain psychoactive cannabis strains. In tests on mice their activity decreased by 75%. It also has analgesic and anti-epileptic properties.

A mug of peppermint tea on a saucer, garnished with fresh mint leaves. Often found in hemp and cannabis, the mint family of plants also produces the terpene

Often found in hemp and cannabis, the mint family of plants also produces the terpene linalool.

Patients suffering from arthritis, depression, seizures, insomnia and cancer have all found relief with this terpene.

The Lamiaceae plant and herb family, which includes mints, laurels, cinnamon, rosewood, and Birch trees, all produce linalool. Linalool is a precursor in the formation of Vitamin E.

Eucalyptol

Eucalyptol is the main ingredient in eucalyptus essential oil. It has a minty smell and found in small amounts in psychoactive cannabis.

Eucalyptol relieves pain, improves concentration, and inner balance. Plants containing eucalyptol enhance meditation and concentration. It is showing promise as a treatment for Alzheimer’s, but it’s still in early stages of research.

The Eucalyptus plant, bay leaves, sage, sweet basil, and cardamom contain notable quantities of eucalyptol.

Nerolidol

Nerolidol has a unique woody and fresh bark aroma. Nerolidol contains anti-fungal, anti-cancer, and anti-malarial properties. It may prevent certain kinds of parasites.

Neroli, ginger, jasmine, lavender, and tea tree oil contain nerolidol.

UNDERSTANDING AND USING TERPENES

Again, these are just some of the most common terpenes found in hemp and cannabis. There are many more. These profiles were summarized from Alchimia and Greencamp, where you you can read more on terpenes.

After reading this article, we hope you understand how the benefits of terpenes and pair so perfectly with the benefits of CBD, and all the other cannabinoids. We hope you start incorporating them into your daily CBD regimen.

Bees pollinate from a field of lavender. If you can't find the terpenes you want in your hemp supplements, you may be able to supplement by adding other natural plants like lavender, which is high in nerolidol.

If you can’t find the terpenes you want in your hemp supplements, you may be able to supplement by adding other natural plants like lavender, which is high in nerolidol.

More and more CBD supplement companies recognize the importance of terpenes and now add different terpenes to their products to supplement those already found in hemp. Some brands even sell terpene concentrates for customers to incorporate on their own.

However, if you’re unable to find the terpenes you want through your local CBD store or online, try looking to a non-cannabis plant type or spice and simply combine with your CBD.  You might not achieve the same synergistic effect as when the terpenes are naturally present, but you should still receive the healing properties of the terpenes themselves and the healing properties of the CBD.

No Comments on Terpenes: Everything You Need to Know About These Scented Wonders

Other Cannabinoids Revisited: More Natural Chemicals Found In Hemp

In this article, we continue our look at other cannabinoids found in hemp and cannabis. This time we examine four more cannabinoids — CBC-a, CBDV, CBG-a, and CBCV — and how they can benefit humanity.

In this article, we continue our look at other cannabinoids found in hemp and cannabis.

In July, we published our first look at different naturally occurring cannabinoids that are less well known than THC and CBD. There, we discussed the benefits of CBG (Cannabigerol), CBC (Cannabichromene), THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin), and CBN (Cannabinol). The article sparked some good discussion on social media and we’re hoping for the same with this one as we follow up with four more cannabinoids of note.

Preliminary research into the various other cannabinoids found in hemp and cannabis reveals that there's more to healing than just THC & CBD. Photo shows a hemp leaf surrounded by beakers of green fluid in a lab.

Preliminary research into the various other cannabinoids found in hemp and cannabis reveals that there’s more to healing than just THC & CBD.

This time, we’re going to discuss CBC-a (Cannabichromenic Acid), CBDV (Cannabidvarin), CBG-a (Cannabigerolic Acid), and CBCV (Cannabichromevarin). While these cannabinoids do show promise, they seem to be a lower priority for researchers. But hopefully, as researchers and scientists continue studying other cannabinoids, more information will become available on these lower tiered compounds.

CANNABICHROMENIC ACID (CBC-A)

The first cannabinoid we’re going to discuss is CBC-a (Cannabichromenic Acid).

CBC-a is the precursor to one of the most highly sought after cannabinoids, CBC (Cannabichromene). Like four other cannabinoids, CBC-A appears in the cannabis plant through decarbing. CBCA is non-psychoactive like CBD and has strong antimicrobial and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. According to Maximum Yield, the most abundant levels of CBC-a are found in tropical strains of psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”) with much lower levels found in other types of cannabis. According to current research, plants begin secreting cannabichromenic acid in the early seedling stage, before they create THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). CBC-a can be converted to CBC through an aging and heating off the acid thru decarboxylation.

CBC-A Benefits:

  • Antimicrobial and analgesic properties
  • Anti-viral and anti-inflammatory

CANNABIDVARIN (CBDV)

Next up is CBDV (Cannabidvarin).

Like CBCA and most other cannabinoids we’ve discussed, CBDV is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has a similar makeup to CBD. Cannabis or hemp strains with higher levels of CBD tend to have higher levels of CBDV as well. Currently there hasn’t been much research on CBDV. Preliminary research shows that CBDV reduces nausea and seizures.

A researcher studies a hemp plant in a field. Hemp and cannabis contain numerous other cannabinoids beyond THC & CBD. These include CBC-a, CBDV, and many more.

Hemp and cannabis contain numerous other cannabinoids beyond THC & CBD. These include CBC-a, CBDV, and many more.

CBDV Benefits:

  • Anti-nausea. A study in 2013 by the British Journal of Pharmacology researched the potential of CBDV and THCV’s anti-nausea’s effect on rats’ brains. Researchers concluded that both cannabinoids “may have potential in reducing nausea.” Just by the quote alone, it’s apparent more research needs to be done.
  • Anti-seizures. Initial studies show that CBDV acts in a similar way to anti-convulsive medication Capsaicin, which targets the TRP channels (transient receptor potential channel) to combat the gradual process of brain development epilepsy. In fact, an Italian research team found that both CBDV and Capsaicin dephosphorylated TRPV1. CBDV’s effects on TRP channels are being studied to fully understand this cannabinoids anticonvulsive ability. One pharmaceutical company, GW Pharmaceuticals, is actively developing CBDV products for research in clinical trials. They are currently in a phase 2- trial CBDV product under the name GWP42006 that they’re hoping to be approved in treating adults with epilepsy.

CANNABIGEROLIC ACID (CBG-A)

The next in our list of other cannabinoids is CBG-a (Cannabigerolic Acid).

CBGA is considered the “cannabinoid stem cell.” Without CBGA, the amazing health benefits of THCa/THC, CBDa/CBD, CBCa/CBC, and CBG would not exist! These other cannabinoids form through biosynthesis, where chemicals combine to form new compounds. Studies show that industrial hemp contains high levels of CBGa, with some plants carrying up to 94% CBG!

CBG-A Benefits:

      • Analgesic. CBGa has been found to be an analgesic, meaning it provided pain relief.
      • Anti-bacterial. CBGA delays the growth of new bacteria.
      • Anti-inflammatory. CBGa reduces inflammation systematically.
      • Biosynthesis. Without CBGa the medicinal benefits of the other cannabinoids wouldn’t exist. This is important. So much so that scientists aren’t directly studying this cannabinoid. Instead, funding and research are all going to better understand how the biosynthesis itself works.

CANNABICHROMEVARIN (CBCV)

The last other cannabinoid we’re going to talk about is CBCV (Cannabichromevarin).

A researcher in a lab coat studies the leafy flower top of a hemp plant in a field. Research into other cannabinoids helps us understand how this amazing plant can benefit humanity.

Research into other cannabinoids helps us understand how this amazing plant can benefit humanity.

CBCV was first discovered in 1975 when researchers at the University of Nagasaki in Thailand islolated the compound from the cannabis plant. This cannabinoid is the precursor to Cannabichromene (CBC). Cannabis strains with lower levels of THC and CBD often have higher levels of CBCV.

CBCV Benefits:

  • Anti-convulsive.  One of the major benefits of CBCV is its anticonvulsant properties. Researchers from the Regents of the University of California have a patent on an anticonvulsant drug for infants dealing with seizures. Although the primary compound in the drug is CBD, the University of California mentions both CBCV and CBC in the patent as well.
  • Anandamide (AEA) reuptake inhibitor. Anandamide is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in humans. Researchers found that CBCV blocks Anandamide’s absorption by our brain and keeps it working for longer in our bodies.
  • Very similar medical benefits to CBC, CBCV is a powerful anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antibiotic, analgesic and antifungal and may be beneficial for patients suffering from:
  1. Chronic pain
  2. Major depression
  3. Inflammation
  4. Cancer
  5. Epileptic seizures
  6. Crohn’s disease
  7. Alzheimer’s disease

WAR ON DRUGS INTERFERES WITH RESEARCH INTO OTHER CANNABINOIDS

In the span of two articles we shared 8 different cannabinoids, plus CBD and THC, which we discuss at great lengths in other articles. That’s 10 of the most researched and medically beneficial cannabinoids!

This time around we weren’t able to go as in-depth as we normally would in these types of articles because there just wasn’t enough information on these other cannabinoids just yet. We know scientists believe there are over 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Research and funding opportunities are still very limited. Cannabis and hemp are both classified as a Schedule I drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration. This classification means the agency refuses to acknowledge that these plants have any medical benefits, despite the evidence to the contrary.

Until this changes, the war on drugs limits our knowledge of the benefits of these miraculous plants. Fortunately, we believe that this will soon change for the better.

In the meantime, read and get to know the cannabinoids we shared, and learn about how they might help people like you.

 

logo_leaf_dark-grey1

DISCOVER THE TOP CBD BRANDS

The market is getting saturated with many different CBD brands. We’ve compared the top brands to help you with your decision. Check it out.

No Comments on Other Cannabinoids Revisited: More Natural Chemicals Found In Hemp

Cannabinoid Antibiotics: How Hemp & Cannabis Could Help Fight Antibiotic Resistance

In recent decades, society has started to lose its battle against harmful bacteria. However, a new class of antibiotics could be developed in the future that are derived from naturally-occurring compounds found in hemp and cannabis.

Cannabinoid antibiotics could prove to be part of the solution to the threat of antibiotic resistance.

In recent decades, society has started to lose its battle against harmful bacteria. Not only are some types of bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics, but researchers’ efforts to develop new classes of antibiotics have all but ground to a halt.

A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology in 2011 noted that more than 20 classes of antibiotics were marketed between 1940 and 1962, however just two new classes have emerged since then. This wasn’t always a problem with the development of existing antibiotics proving enough to stave off the threat. Now, antibiotic-resistant bacteria are worryingly common, with gram-negative bacteria a particular concern.

A pharmacist in a lab coat examines bottles of medicine. Though research is only in its preliminary stages, doctors and pharmacists could someday prescribe cannabinoid antibiotics to their patients.

Though research is only in its preliminary stages, doctors and pharmacists could someday prescribe cannabinoid antibiotics to their patients.

However, it’s not all bad news. Preliminary research shows that one set of compounds could help manage the threat of bacteria, and even destroy superbugs such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Developed from hemp and cannabis, cannabinoid antibiotics could be in your future.

ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE IS BECOMING A ‘MAJOR GLOBAL THREAT’

It’s possible that we could have prevented our antibiotic crisis if we’d used them appropriately. Doctors and patients misuse antibiotics up to 50 percent of the time, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Doctors aren’t always to blame for careless overprescribing. Patients sometimes pressure their GPs for antibiotics and some even self-medicate and buy antibiotics online.

However, there are no long-term benefits to taking antibiotics unnecessarily – even just as a precaution. Overprescribing and overuse just speeds up the rate that bacteria becomes resistant to antibiotics, which could lead to much more serious health issues, for the patient and the general public. The CDC estimates that every year there are more than 70,000 MRSA infections and 9,000 MRSA-related deaths in the US.

Ominously, former World Health Organization director general Dr Margaret Chan labelled antimicrobial resistance a “major global threat” in 2016, with the organization estimating that deaths from antibiotic-resistant infections could reach 10 million a year by 2050.

CANNABINOID ANTIBIOTICS TO THE RESCUE?

The antibiotic potential of cannabis, and therefore cannabinoids, was being studied as early as the 1950s, and the herb has a history of medical use dating back thousands of years to the times of ancient Egypt and ancient China. During the 1950s, cannabis sativa showed promising signs as an antiseptic, but with no individual components of the plant isolated at this stage, there was no way of telling which compounds were helping. It wasn’t until researchers began isolating cannabinoids in the 1960s that cannabis sativa really started to be understood.

Ground-breaking cannabinoid antibiotic research published in 2008 by Giovanni Appendino from the University of Eastern Piedmont and Simon Gibbons the University of London has developed our knowledge of cannabinoids as antibiotics significantly, although there’s still much we don’t know. Researchers aren’t quite sure why cannabinoid antibiotics work. Nor do they know how reliably those antibiotic effects would work in the body.

Most antibiotics target DNA gyrase or fatty acid synthesis, but cannabinoids appear to go after neither. Since the endocannabinoid system remained an unknown until the 1990s, it’s not unusual for us to be in the dark about how cannabinoids interact with the body, although given how effective these compounds are as antibiotics, they likely function in a specific mechanism, according to Gibbons.

A gloved hand holds a beaker containing amber liquid and a dropper, labeled CBD. Some research suggests CBD could be used as an antibiotic in clinical settings. Cannabinoid antibiotics represent the cutting-edge of research.

Some research suggests CBD could be used as an antibiotic in clinical settings. Cannabinoid antibiotics represent the cutting-edge of research.

Several non-psychoactive cannabinoids have displayed antibiotic properties, including cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG). Psychoactive THC has been studied more extensively and appears to have some therapeutic effects that other cannabinoids haven’t yet shown.

CBD AS AN ANTIBIOTIC

Appendino and Gibbons found CBD to be effective against several types of MRSA. This included two strains that have been prevalent in British hospitals.

When CBD proved effective in treating these unusual strains, the researchers realized that cannabinoids might work differently from conventional antibiotics.

CBG, CBN and CBC AS ANTIBIOTICS

Appendino and Gibbons also noted CBG as a promising antibiotic in their 2008 paper. Cannabinol (CBN) and cannabichromene (CBC) also look to have potential. If scientists develop a cannabis-derived antibiotic, it’s likely to have greater success if it’s non-psychoactive.

With CBD, CBG, CBN and CBC all having antibiotic effects, development of an all-encompassing cannabinoid-based antibiotic may be possible. Scientists might derive these from whole-plant extracts of hemp.

THC AS AN ANTIBIOTIC

Despite being a psychoactive cannabinoid, you won’t get high if you apply THC to the skin. Therefore, it’s wide-ranging antibiotic prospects are likely to be of great interest to mainstream science.

Studies into the antibacterial effects of THC have been under way since at least the 1970s, with a paper in 1976 demonstrating that the cannabinoid was effective against both streptococcus and staphylococcus – the latter is responsible for the notorious staph infection. In this study, THC proved most effective in concentrations of 1 to 5 micrograms per millileter. However, scientists found THC (and also CBD) were not as helpful against these gram-negative bacteria in blood, leading many to dismiss the antibiotic uses of THC. Other tests also found THC to be ineffective against various types of gram-negative bacteria.

A hospital operating room. A hospital operating room. As antibiotic-resistant bacteria become danagerously commonplace, some researchers are turning to cannabinoid antibiotics made from cannabis and hemp.

As antibiotic-resistant bacteria become danagerously commonplace, some researchers are turning to cannabinoid antibiotics made from cannabis and hemp.

More recent studies are challenging this narrative. Whole-plant cannabis sativa oil has demonstrated antibiotic efficaciousness against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and E.coli, two types of gram-negative bacteria.

ROOM TO GROW IN CANNABINOID ANTIBIOTIC RESEARCH

More than anything, this revolutionary science is showing us what could be done with cannabis in the future if its properties are harnessed correctly. The emergence of CBD oil in recent times is another example of how cutting-edge science is broadening the plant’s appeal.

The research into cannabinoids as antibiotics is new and far from complete or confirmed. We are certainly not recommending using cannabis to self-medicate against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

However, the early signs in this research are very intriguing. Cannabinoids seemingly bypass the mechanisms that other antibiotics use, and which bacteria have become wise to. If research continues in this vein, a doctor might someday prescribe cannabinoid antibiotics for you.

 

logo_leaf_dark-grey1

DISCOVER THE TOP CBD BRANDS

The market is getting saturated with many different CBD brands. We’ve compared the top brands to help you with your decision. Check it out.

1 Comment on Cannabinoid Antibiotics: How Hemp & Cannabis Could Help Fight Antibiotic Resistance

Other Cannabinoids: There’s More Than Just CBD & THC In Hemp & Cannabis

You’ve heard of CBD and THC, but how well do you know cannabinoids like CBG, CBN and THCV? In this article, we investigate 3 other cannabinoids and their potential healing benefits.

You’ve heard of CBD and THC, but how well do you know cannabinoids like CBG, CBN and THCV?

The miraculous benefits of hemp are all the rage these days! With this huge surge in popularity for CBD and all it has to offer, it seems that everyday we are now learning about new cannabinoids that also show potential health benefits.

In this article, we’re going to touch on four of those cannabinoids, their unique medicinal benefits and their full spectrum properties in both industrial hemp and marijuana.

Since cannabinoids work better synergistically, rather than individually, it’s important to take the time to learn about all the different ways the compounds in hemp and cannabis work together.

A scientist studies a hemp plant in a field. Preliminary research into other cannabinoids reveals a host of possible healing benefits to naturally occurring chemicals like THCV and CBG.

The three we’ll discuss below are CBG (cannabigerol), THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin), and CBN (cannabinol). Keep in mind that cannabinoid research is in its preliminary stages, but what we’ve already discovered is extremely promising.

So, let’s jump in!

CANNABIGEROL (CBG)

The first up in our study of cannabinodis is CBG (cannabigerol). Like CBD, CBG does not produce a “high” like THC does.

In fact, both THC and CBD start out as cannabigerol. It’s an interesting process. Basically, cannabis plants produce cannabigerol acid. Specific enzymes in the plant then breaks down the CBGA into the the acidic form of THC and CBD (known as THCA/CBDA). Next, THC and CBD form  as the acid burns off via decarboxylation.

CBG works by increasing anandamide levels. Anandamide is an endocannabinoid, a naturally occurring cannabinoid found throughout our bodies, that helps regulate biological functions including appetite, sleep, and memory.

CBG Benefits:

  • Cannabigerol stimulates bone formation and healing. In a study published on pubmed.gov, “Age-related osteoporosis is characterized by reduced bone formation and accumulation of fat in the bone marrow compartment. Here, we report that the type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) regulates this process.” Results showed they could stimulate bone marrow stem cells by regulating osteoblast (bone formation) and adipocyte (fat accumulation in connective tissue) differentiation in marrow stromal cells.
  • Slows tumor growth! CBD, CBG, and CBC were all shown to slow the progression and growth of tumors and cancer cells. In a study published by cannabisinternational.org, CBG and other cannabinoids seem to have anti-proliferative/pro-apoptotic effects.
  • CBG has shown to have anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties, which make it a candidate for antifungal and antibacterial treatment. Some scientists believe CBG could be part of an effective treatment against MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus), a highly prevalent antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria.
  • CBG is also showing promising results for treating overactive bladder, Psoriasis skin treatment, Glaucoma, depression and anxiety, and neuroprotective effects

TETRAHYDROCANNABIVARIN (THCV)

Next up is THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin). The THCV compound makeup is very similar to the infamous THC cannabinoid, but it affects the body differently.

Both THC and THCV are psychoactive and will cause the user to get “high.” When THC binds to the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors it activates them initiating the “high” effect. At low doses THCV also binds to those same receptors, but it does not activate them, behaving more like CBD. At higher dosages, THCV will activate the CB1 receptor much like THC and will produce a psychoative “buzz.”

Preliminary research into the various cannabinoids found in hemp and cannabis reveals that there's more to healing than just THC & CBD.

Preliminary research into the various cannabinoids found in hemp and cannabis reveals that there’s more to healing than just THC & CBD.

The feeling THCV produces seems to come on faster than THC and fades out faster as well. Users report a more clear-headed and stimulating high.

THCV Benefits, according to Leafly’s Bailey Rahn:

  • THCV may have anti-convulsive properties and can raise the seizure threshold for those with epilepsy. As a result, they experience fewer seizures.
  • Researchers are studying THCV’s ability to stimulate bone growth as a potential treatment for osteoporosis and other bone conditions.
  • THCV counteracts feelings of anxiety and shown to be effective in PTSD treatment.
  • Improves motor control, reduce tremors, and lessen the effects of brain lesions caused by Alzheimer’s disease. However it’s important to know that research is in the early stages and much more information is still needed.
  • Researchers believe THVC blocks the rewarding sensations we experience when eating, especially the unhealthy, comfort foods.

There is an informative article on THCV by Northwest Leaf called “THCV: A potent, rare and promising cannabinoid.” It’s a great read.

CANNABINOL (CBN)

The third cannabinoid to share is CBN (cannabinol). This is an interesting cannabinoid as it is produced when THC is heated or exposed to oxygen. Unlike THC, Cannabinol does not bind well to CB1 and CB2 receptors. Scientists classify CBN as non-psychoactive. CBN is not an abundant cannabinoid. The CBN content found in the cannabis plant on average will be less than 1 percent.

CBN Benefits:

  • Bone tissue growth. Studies show that CBN causes an indirect recruitment of mesenchymal stem cells that surround bone marrow. These stem cells are able to turn into bone and other tissues making it a possible candidate for healing bone fractures. The Journal of Neuroimmunology offers more information on this subject.
  • Like other cannabinoids, CBN is an anti-inflammatory cannabinoid that also has pain relief properties and preliminary research shows promise that CBN combined with CBD may prove to be an effective treatment for burns.
  • Sedative. According to a Royal Queen Seeds article, research shows that CBN can sometimes be as effective as pharmaceutical sedatives.
  • Scientists are also studying CBN as a possible sleep aid, an appetite stimulant, and as an anti-convulsive agent. CBN seems to work best symbiotically with CBD and THC.

CANNABINOIDS IN INDUSTRIAL HEMP VS PSYCHOACTIVE CANNABIS (‘MARIJUANA’)

Now that you have some knowledge of these cannabinoids, it’s important to understand how their profiles differ between industrial hemp and marijuana.

Both hemp and marijuana come from the cannabis plant, but different varieties and different growing methods differentiate high THC psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”) from industrial low THC hemp plant. Both plants produce flower buds and both plants’ buds contain cannabinoids, but are the cannabinoids the same in both hemp and marijuana? The short answer is yes!

According to Franjo Grotenhermen, former Chairman of the International Association For Cannabinoid Medicines (2000-2003), “CBD is CBD.”

“The human body does not care where the molecule comes from,” Grotenhermen said.

A gloved scientist with a vial of CBD and a hemp leaf. 'Full spectrum' extracts contain more cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial chemicals found in hemp & cannabis.

A gloved scientist with a vial of CBD and a hemp leaf. ‘Full spectrum’ extracts contain more cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial chemicals found in hemp & cannabis.

Yet, there are distinct differences between the two. For example, psychoactive cannabis contains a high amount of THC, flavonoids and terpenes that hemp just doesn’t have. Marijuana also contains a higher concentration of cannabidiol than most forms of hemp.

‘FULL SPECTRUM’ MEANS MORE CANNABINOIDS, FLAVONOIDS & TERPENES

When consumers buy CBD that’s refined from industrial hemp, as in the majority of CBD products on the market today in the U.S., we always recommend purchasing a “full spectrum” extract. Full spectrum means that all of the cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes found in the plant have been extracted and used in the CBD or hemp oil. Psychoactive cannabis can also be made into a “full spectrum” extract.

When a consumer ingests full spectrum oil, many scientists believe that it takes advantage of the “entourage effect.” This effect means that all cannabinoids, flavonoids, fatty acids, terpenes, and other plant compounds are working in concert with one another to maximize their benefits.

It is important to know that not everyone agrees that there is an entourage effect. According to Scientific American, “many scientists see the whole thing as a pipe dream. The idea that botanical marijuana creates synergistic chemical effect … is highly contentious.”

In general though, cannabis consumers and experts report a more satisfying, better healing experience from full spectrum products.

THC and CBD are the two most active cannabinoids in marijuana. They share a special synergy that contributes most to the entourage effect. While many people report benefits from low-THC, hemp-derived CBD extracts and full spectrum hemp oils. Others find they need the presence of THC for maximum effect.

CBD products made from hemp should be legal in all 50 states, while only portions of the U.S. currently have access to recreational or medicinal marijuana. We recommend trying everything that’s available to you to find out what works best for your needs.

THE SCIENCE OF CANNABINOIDS IS JUST GETTING STARTED

In conclusion, the study and research of cannabinoid compounds is still fairly new. While scientists have already made huge leaps forward, even bigger leaps into the cannabinoid world still await. As the United States slowly changes its cannabis laws and the popularity of CBD increases, it can only be uphill from here!

In the meantime, if you’re suffering from chronic pain, PTSD or other mental illness, or even osteoporosis, exploring other cannabinoids might offer additional relief. As with any treatment, please do your own research and consult a doctor.

 

logo_leaf_dark-grey1

DISCOVER THE TOP CBD BRANDS

The market is getting saturated with many different CBD brands. We’ve compared the top brands to help you with your decision. Check it out.

1 Comment on Other Cannabinoids: There’s More Than Just CBD & THC In Hemp & Cannabis

Type on the field below and hit Enter/Return to search