Since the 1960’s plenty of people around the world have been talking about the magic of cannabis. However, in recent years that cohort has really expanded, encompassing medical experts and scientists from around the world, who get ever more excited about the incredible health benefits it seems to offer. If cannabis had been discovered today and didn’t have the baggage of the war on drugs, it would likely be hailed as a miracle medicine to a multitude of diseases, ranging from cancer to PTSD and lots more in between.
The research remains young and there are a plethora of uses yet to be discovered, but the cannabis revolution has truly begun. This revolution largely centers around CBD, which appears to suppress the psychoactive elements of THC and gives users a host of benefits. Below is a brief exposition of what CBD is, how it works and what types of CBD are in existence. Please remember thathealth decisions should be made in reference to a medical expert: the information we are providing on our website is for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) refers to the way that our bodies naturally interact with certain phenomena that cause chemical interactions. The name endocannabinoid is a bit of a red herring because it suggests that it has something to do with cannabis. However, this is not the case. ‘Endo’ means inside and the word “cannabinoid” is linked with it because the ECS was discovered when examining the results of cannabis consumption on health.
The ECS essentially describes the way that a group of cell receptors and the corresponding stimulators interact. Imagine that the cell receptors in your body are a bit like the keyboard on a computer.Depending on the input that they get, they will enact different chemical processes. The things that cause these different inputs are known as agonists and every time that an agonist interacts with a cell, it gives it an instruction that causes a number of different chemical effects. The ECS itself is made up of a series of different cell receptors that interact with a number of agonists, with the two most important ones being Cannabinoid Receptor 1 (CB1) and Cannabinoid Receptor 2 (CB2).
Endocannabinoid receptors are located in most of our bodily systems, meaning that they can carry out a wide range of different functions. This includes helping to regulate things like sleep, appetite, mood, motor control, immune function, fertility, pleasure, pain, memory and temperature. Thus, if you are missing or defunct in receptors from the ECS, you are more likely to have problems with one of the things listed above.
Most people get their endocannabinoids from their diet to produce the necessary endocannabinoids for their bodily systems to function and stay balanced. Those with endocannabinoid deficiencies might experience symptoms such as migraines, fibromyalgia, muscles spasms, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammation, chronic pain, and anxiety. This is where non-psychoactive CBD can be helpful.Unlike the psychoactive variant, it simply increases the availability of endocannabinoids in our system, which can have dramatic health benefits.
How Cannabis Cannabinoids affect the ECS?
Once scientists discovered how the ECS works and how it regulates a multitude of important things in our body, the pressing question immediately became: could external cannabinoids do the same thing?Although the science remains relatively young and much remains to be discovered, scientists have already found a large number of cases where the introduction of cannabis cannabinoids have had amazing health benefits such as seizure control, reduction in chronic pain, reduction of inflammation, sleep assistance, mood enhancement, and reduction in muscle spasms.
Research is also continuing into its potential ability to inhibit cancers; however, this is at a fairly early stage. There is also productive research into its ability to treat other things such as mood disorders, diabetes, heart disease, glaucoma, asthma, stroke and many more. Thus, we are only at the very beginning of our exploration into how cannabinoids like CBD can help us medically, but so far, the benefits seem almost endless.
What’s the difference?
Hemp vs Marijuana
Many people make the mistake of confusing hemp and marijuana, which is entirely reasonable because they are both members of the cannabis family. However, despite having a family resemblance, there is a key chemical difference that you should know: marijuana contains high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), whereas hemp doesn’t. THC is the psychoactive chemical in marijuana and is responsible for all its psychological effects. Hemp has a maximum of 0.3% THC, as compared to marijuana’s 5-30%, making it impossible to get ‘high’ using hemp.
Hemp Extract Oil vs Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp seed oil is created by crushing hemp seeds and is generally used as part of a healthy diet.It is a food product just like sesame seed oil and is also used in things like soaps and ointments. It does not have any special medicinal qualities, but is high in fiber and fatty acids, making it an excellent nutritional source. In contrast, hemp oil is the extract of a hemp leaf. Unlike hemp seed oil, hemp oil contains a beneficial amount of cannabinoids that can be can consumed to positively affect the ECS.
Full SpectrumWhole Plant Extraction vs Isolate
Full spectrum extraction essentially uses the entire plant, capturing the full properties of the plant including terpenes, fatty acids, and important cannabinoids beyond CBD .
Full Spectrum extracts provide the ‘entourage effect’ where the many other compounds in the plant work in conjunction with each other to provide balance in the ECS. Cannabis plants have more than 100 unique compounds in them, offering a symbiotic blend of benefits. Full Spectrum extraction takes advantage of the plant’s full chemistry.
CBD isolate is essentially the opposite of the full spectrum extraction. It is a result of isolating only the CBD in the hemp extract, a process that turns the cannabinoid into a crystal form that contains only CBD. CBD on its own can be highly beneficial, and it is particularly helpful for athletes or professionals that cannot take a product with a trace of THC.
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