A Full-Spectrum Perspective of Hemp and its Benefits
Presented by Ancient Aromas®
Lexington, KY 40505
It’s commonly accepted that there is very little research available on the effects and benefits of cannabis. In fact, there is a lot of misinformation that is commonly accepted surrounding cannabis. There are decades of documentation on the use and benefits of cannabis worldwide, including textile, agriculture, biologic, and spiritual applications. The current recognized research is not without its share of data supporting cannabis for use in the treatment of inflammation, anxiety, pain, skin disorders, sleep disruption, and mood enhancers. Cannabidiol (CBD) and the other cannabinoids available in hemp are shown to be non-addictive, making it a safe alternative to current pharmaceutical options for the same conditions.
WHAT EXACTLY IS CANNABIS? HEMP VS. MARIJUANA
Cannabis sativa is the scientific name for the plant that produces cannabinoids. There is a legal distinction between hemp and marijuana, namely the concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Hemp is legally defined as having 0.3% or less THC content, and marijuana is defined as having a THC content that is higher than 0.3%.
In addition to CBD and THC, the cannabis plant also produces a variety of other cannabinoids, each of which has its unique set of benefits and characteristics. These cannabinoids work sufficiently by themselves, however their combined effect is greater than the sum of their parts.
This compound is similar in structure to THC, but lacks the psychoactive effects of THC. It has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity in obese rats, reduce appetite, regulate blood sugar, mitigate inflammation, and anticonvulsant effects
CBG is known as the modulator of the endocannabinoid system. CBG may have therapeutic benefit in treating neurological disorders, such as Huntington disease, Parkinson disease, and multiple sclerosis, as well as exhibiting anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activity.
CBN is best known for its sedative effects. It also possesses antibacterial, anti-convulsive, and pain-relieving properties.
THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
The human endocannabinoid system consists of a system of receptors that utilize cannabinoids to create a negative feedback mechanism that helps regulate body systems and maintain homeostasis. This system helps regulate pain, sleep, mood, memory, learning, inflammation, the immune system, energy levels, muscle coordination, hunger, and body temperature.
The human body produces endogenous cannabinoids, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, which are active in pain suppression. Current research indicates that deficiencies in the endocannabinoid system are key in the pathologies underlying irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, migraines, multiple sclerosis, Huntington disease, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp and CBD legal in all 50 states. As the most dominant cannabinoid in commercial hemp products, it possesses potent benefits to support its popularity.
CBD regulates the production of cytokines through CB2 receptor activation in-vitro in allergic contact dermatitis models. In osteoarthritis models, CBD shows a dose-correlated, statistically significant pain and inflammation reduction.
Major effects of CBD on several membrane receptors (AEA, anandamide; 2-AG, 2-arachidonoylglycerol; FAAH, fatty acid amide hydrolase; AMT, AEA membrane transporter; ROS, reactive oxygen species; Ub, ubiquitin; p65, transcription factor NF-κB; Nrf2, nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2; ARE, antioxidant response elements. Blue arrows indicate agonist activity; red arrows indicate antagonist activity; dashed blue arrows indicate weakly agonistic activity; green arrows indicate endocannabinoid agonist activity; grey arrows indicate chemical and biological effects).
Pre-clinical evidence supports the use of CBD for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. These effects appear to be mediated by activation of 5-HT1ARs, with CB1R activation possibly playing a role.
Evidence suggests that prolonged use of CBD (>7 days) relieves chronic pain associated with sciatic nerve injury in mice in a cannabinoid receptor-independent manner. Several studies demonstrate analgesic effects targeting neuropathy associated with diabetes. The analgesic effect varies depending upon the dose and method of administration. CBD is shown to be effective for neuropathic pain, inflammatory pain, and arthritis-related pain shows promise in treating incision pain and myofascial pain. The clinical studies also indicate that CBD is safe, with a few mild side effects, such as ataxia, nausea, sedation, headache, and decreased appetite.
Endocannabinoid receptors are abundant in the skin. CBD shows therapeutic potential for acne, seborrhea, eczema/dermatitis, and skin barrier function due to its anti-lipogenic, anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties. Environmental stressors and oxidative stress are a primary source of skin damage and inflammation. CBD imparts protection to cell membrane integrity and can induce the expression of cellular antioxidant defense genes. Topical application of CBD has shown to penetrate the skin and increase expression and proliferation of wound repair keratins 16 and 17 in mice and balance the oxidative stress response to UVB and hydrogen peroxide in humans. Topical application of CBD also circumvents the central nervous system, thereby reducing negative side effects.
Initial research suggests that medium-high doses of CBD is associated with an increase in the percentage of total sleep and may suppress REM behavior disorder.
Safety of CBD Use
With acute administration of CBD, no adverse effects have been reported and only mild to moderate adverse effects with chronic administration. CBD has a better side effect profile compared to most other drugs. The most common side effects were tiredness, diarrhea, and changes in appetite. CBD is non-psychoactive and not addictive.
Pre-clinical and clinical studies have revealed that CBD, along with the many other cannabinoids found in cannabis, possesses therapeutic value. The potential for this plant is stymied only by our lack of data and reliance upon decades of false propaganda. Indeed, there is a need for more targeted research to further elucidate the pathways utilized by the cannabinoids so that therapies can be developed that are efficacious and safe.
ABOUT ANCIENT AROMAS®
Ancient Aromas® researches, develops, and manufactures CBD-enriched products using natural ingredients with ecological awareness. We source our hemp based on targeted cannabinoid and terpene profiles for efficacy and flavor. The development of our cosmetic products incorporates botanical extracts and essential oils to maximize the therapeutic benefit and quality of the final product. Ancient Aromas® boasts a GMP-compliant, 3300 ft2 facility and is dedicated to furthering cannabis education and promoting the responsible handling and marketing of cannabis-infused products.
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