Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most researched Phytocannabinoid molecules, out of the more than 100 known molecules, produced by the cannabis plant (Cannabis Sativa L.). It is not psychoactive, it does not cause intoxication, it is not toxic even in large quantities, but it has many of the same health benefits as THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another active compound and is best known for its psychoactive properties.
Phytocannabinoids are formed mostly in the resin glands on the buds and flowers of the female cannabis plant, but are found in small amounts in the leaves, stems, and even in the seeds of the hemp. The seeds are used to make hemp seed oil, which is not to be confused with hemp oil (CBD oil) as a dietary supplement.
Cannabis is an extremely versatile herb with impressive therapeutic potential and a very long history. It is used in many ways in medicine, nutrition, cosmetics and other industries. More than 400 types of active compounds have been identified in terms of chemical composition. The most important of these are Phytocannabinoids such as CBD, CBDa, THC, THCa, CBDV, CBG, CBN, CBC…. but a significant role remains for the plant’s scent terpenes (Linalool, Limonene, Humulene, Beta-myrcene, Beta-Caryophyll), flavonoids, lipids and other useful ingredients.
It is important to know that Phytocannabinoid molecules are produced in an acid form in the crude plant that did not pass yet the natural drying (the combined effect of light and air) or artificial heat treatment (a process called decarboxylation). For example, CBDa (Cannabidiolic Acid) and THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid) become active compounds upon heat exposure, thus becoming CBD and THC. Although most research is about compounds that are already active, there is a growing research about the crude intake of these acids that says it’s also very effective.
The optimal coexistence of Phytocannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids can exert an entourage effect in the use of cannabis-derived products.
CANNABIS: Industrial hemp or marijuana?
Cannabis is a plant genus known as Cannabaceae. There are two main varieties of cannabis that are grown for human consumption, namely Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa. Hemp is often mixed up with marijuana, although its composition and use are different. While marijuana is mainly used for recreational and medicinal purposes, hemp is found as an ingredient in dietary supplements, skin care products, clothing, building and other supplements.
Industrial hemp can be legally grown in many parts of the world because of its typical 2-4% CBD content and low THC levels (less than 0.3%), as opposed to marijuana hemp with more than 10-15% with the same or lower CBD content.
Phytocannabinoid extracted from industrial hemp collectively called hemp oil, cannabis oil, or most commonly known as CBD oil, can be used in some pharmaceuticals, medical devices, dietary supplements, cosmetics or animal products.
Folium Biosciences possesses special, protected plant genetics, so they can produce 10-20% CBD with less than 0.3% THC in organic hemp grown for organic CBD. CBD oil in USA medical products is made from a CBD-rich strain called PCR hemp. PCR stands for “phytocannabinoid-rich”, which refers to ten times the concentration of CBD. During the production and refining operations, the minimum THC content in the plant is reduced to 0.0%, so it can be safely used in accordance with legislation.
CBD oil and the Endocannabinoid system
If we look back in the past, we find out that the Endocannabinoid system was discovered by researching into the molecules of Cannabis Phytocannabinoid. That’s where the name comes from. Cannabinoid, more specifically endocannabinoid molecules (anandamide and 2-AG) are produced by the human body and vertebrate animals, which are similar in structure to the Phytocannabinoids produced by cannabis. We also have receptors (CB1 and CB2) to which the Endocannabinoid or the Phytocannabinoid molecule is directly and indirectly attached and fits like “a key in the lock”. By activating it, it initiates changes in cells that can result in a number of useful processes.
The Endocannabinoid system is a complex cellular signaling system identified by researchers in the early 1990s for the well-known cannabinoid molecule THC. Experts are still trying to understand the exact functioning of the Endocannabinoid System. But, we know that it plays a role in the regulation of many functions and processes including: sleep-wake cycle, mood, appetite and digestion, metabolism, chronic pain, inflammation and other immune reactions , learning and memory, motor control, cardiovascular function, muscle formation, bone remodeling and growth, liver function, reproductive system function, tension, skin and nerve function, social behavior.
These functions all contribute to homeostasis which refers to the stability of the internal environment. For example, when an external force, injury or pain caused by fever upsets the body’s balance, the ECR will turn on to help the body function properly. Today, experts believe that the primary role of the endocannabinoid system is to maintain homeostasis.
Research and studies are ongoing in many parts of the world and more and more people are reporting the positive effects of CBD oil. Its effect is difficult to predict before use, as it affects the consumer’s endocannabinoid system, which is very likely to be found in very different states for people of different ages and lifestyles.