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Cannabinoids explained

How Could Cannabidiol Benefit the Gut?

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Diagram of the digestive system to show areas affected by IBD

The digestive system. While Crohn’s disease can affect any area, ulcerative colitis is confined to the colon and/or rectum (Tortora & Derrickson) Source: Leysi24

Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at 18, Dan McMahon has years of experience with gut issues and many of the ways to treat it. Even with 22 pills a day, including steroids, bi-monthly injections and dietary advice from his gastroenterologist, the pain and discomfort was always there. However, a few years ago, his father suggested that he try cannabis, but simply smoking “regular” cannabis had no positive effects. Then one day, a friend gave him a CBD oil-infused blueberry muffin, and after his initial disappointment over the lack of “buzz”, realised that he wasn’t really in any pain, for the first time in years.

Did Cannabidiol Benefit the Gut?

He states that CBD has given him back quality of life that he never thought he would see again and has enabled him to avoid prescription medications, and takes CBD products almost every day now. Another patient with Crohn’s disease has stated that cannabis use along with pharmaceutical medications has allowed him to have only one other flare-up of his symptoms in five years, and avoid surgery. Crohn’s disease, along with ulcerative colitis, is known as an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), after the root cause of the disease.

Look at the evidence

But what evidence is there to back up these claims? In one study of 30 Crohn’s disease patients before and after cannabis use, 21 patients “improved significantly” and were able to reduce usage of pharmaceutical medications. At first, 15 of the 30 patients needed a collective total of 19 surgeries over an average period of 9 years before cannabis use.

Fewer surgeries

During an average period of 3 years of cannabis use, only 2 patients needed surgery. In comparison, the National Institute of Health estimates that 70-90% of patients with Crohn’s disease will need surgery. Almost two-fifths, 39%, will need repeat surgeries.

All 30 patients reported improvements in their symptoms, the number of patients requiring steroids fell from 26 to 4, and the mean number of bowel movements fell from 8 to 5 daily. This was thought to be due to the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabinoids, which can regulate immune cells and the amount of inflammatory chemicals they produce. In another, placebo-controlled trial, 10 of the 11 patients who received cannabis cigarettes showed a clinical response, with 5 reaching “remission”.

So how could Cannabidiol benefit the gut? And what about CBD itself?

A study on both mice with intestinal inflammation and biopsies of patients with ulcerative colitis, the other IBD, found that CBD could ease inflammation in both by reducing the activation of glial cells. These are a type of nerve cell that communicate with the immune system. In the biopsies of human patients, CBD significantly reduced glial cell activation and inflammatory activity of other immune cells in a dose-dependent manner. That means a higher dose of CBD produced a stronger effect. This could be seen in both biopsies of patients who were in “remission”, and those having flare-ups. The strongest effects were seen on the glial cells.

Other components of hemp, including other cannabinoids and some of the many terpenes, have also demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects. However, more research on low-THC, whole hemp extracts is required for the management of IBD.

If you suffer from IBS, IBD, Crohn’s disease or any other inflammatory bowel problem, you might like to try a CBD supplement and see if it will reduce your symptoms. Research does show some impressive results so far. Find out more about our CBD products and how to order them.

References

http://www.honeycolony.com/article/cbd_crohns_disease/

http://unitedpatientsgroup.com/blog/2015/01/13/a-cannabis-patients-guide-to-crohns-disease-by-crohns-patient-daniel-towns/

http://www.ima.org.il/FilesUpload/IMAJ/0/39/19985.pdf

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0028159

bioavailability of cannabidiol

What Do Bioavailability and Sublingual Mean For Me?

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Bioavailability explained

There are many reasons why we may want to take CBD-rich hemp extracts, whether it be to manage a chronic condition, prevent illness or just for general health maintenance and wellbeing. In all cases, we want to get as much out of every dose as possible. For this, the bioavailability of CBD and other cannabinoids must be maximised. Bioavailability means how much of a substance is able to enter the bloodstream unchanged.

Maximizing Bioavailability

So how can we maximise bioavailability1? When a drug is given intravenously, the bioavailability is 100%, because it gets past barriers such as the intestinal wall, as well as liver metabolism. When a medicine is taken orally, it may not be absorbed through the intestines because of insufficient time. Being highly water soluble or not dissolving enough are two reasons why a drug may take longer to be absorbed. Poor digestion, binding to other substances and use by the intestinal bacteria are other reasons why it may not be absorbed. After a nutrient, medicine or something else is absorbed into the bloodstream, it passes through the liver2. In the liver, a portion of an absorbed substance is changed, which makes the affected substance more water soluble. This is to prepare it for the next time it enters the liver, where it is readied for excretion.

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All about sublingual administration

So what does sublingual mean, and what does it have to do with bioavailability? Sublingual administration of medicines is when it is designed for absorption under the tongue3, not in the stomach and intestines like food. “Sub” means “under”, and “lingual” means “relating to the tongue”. As this also means direct transfer into the blood, it avoids issues relating to the intestinal barrier. These include inability to be absorbed, interaction with other nutrients or drugs, or use by normal intestinal bacteria. It also avoids being directly shuttled to the liver and resulting changes to its structure.

Of course, CBD is also vulnerable to issues that can affect intestinal absorption, as well as being processed by the liver. Because of this, a small study4 in 2003 set out to find any differences in the bioavailability of CBD and THC when taken in different ways. The dosage methods tested were oral, oro-pharyngeal (throat), buccal (inside of the cheek) and sublingual. When CBD was taken sublingually, the half-life was 86 minutes, while oral use had a half-life of 65 minutes. The term “half-life” means the time taken for half of the tested substance to be removed from the body. Another measure of bioavailability, known as “area under the curve” (AUC), also showed a superior score for sublingual CBD. The two AUC scores for sublingual use were 408.53 and 427.33. However, the scores for oral use were 345.68 and 362.04. The AUC measurement shows the total exposure of the body to a medicine once it is given. Therefore, a higher AUC can mean a greater potential to be effective.

Liposomes offer increased bioavailability

Liposomal hemp extracts may be even more bioavailable, as the type of fat that the hemp extract would be surrounded by can enable easy, efficient absorption. While more human trials are needed, sublingual CBD and CBD-rich hemp extracts may be better than taking a regular capsule, as it could bypass many obstacles between the cannabinoids and their intended destination.

cannabidiol bioavailability

If you need bioavailable CBD as a sublingual dose, head on over to our CBD oil products page and see the great range of CBD oils we offer.


References

1: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/clinical-pharmacology/pharmacokinetics/drug-bioavailability

Preston, A, 2014, Nutritional Biochemistry Explained, Lulu Press.

3: http://www.pharmtech.com/considerations-developing-sublingual-tablets-overview

4: http://www.cannabis-med.org/data/pdf/2003-03-04-4_0.pdf

Cannabinoids, Hemp and Severe Nausea

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Cannabinoids, Hemp and Severe Nausea is an interesting topic indeed. One of the most common reasons why medical cannabis is prescribed is to relieve nausea, and may be why you purchase Elixinol CBD oil. Nausea can be caused by many things: physical illness, pharmaceutical drugs, too much alcohol or psychological stimuli. But how can hemp and cannabinoids work to treat nausea and vomiting?

Some research figures relating to nausea control using Hemp

The psychoactive cannabinoid THC, which is drastically reduced in hemp plants, has been studied for years for its effects in relieving the nausea and vomiting that many cancer patients experience1. In an early trial from 19752, 14 out of 20 patients taking THC experienced reduced nausea and vomiting. Of those who finished the study, THC was effective in 12 of 15 cases. In another3 trial from the 1980s, THC reduced nausea and vomiting in 23 of the 36 patients assigned to receive it. Only one of the 36 patients taking the pharmaceutical control experienced relief. It works by stimulating our cannabinoid receptors, but not everyone can tolerate the “high”.

nausea and hemp

Cannabidiol is a promising anti-nausea agent

Cannabidiol (CBD) doesn’t cause a high, but research on shrews showed that it can also reduce nausea and vomiting1. Its non-heated form, CBDA, was able to produce this effect at a much lower dose, 0.1 and 0.5 mg/kg of body weight instead of 5 and 10mg/kg doses. This effect was partly explained by stimulation of receptors called 5-HT

CBDV, which may relieve nausea.

A CBDV molecule.

1A receptors

CBD also does not directly stimulate the cannabinoid receptors. However, it can increase the levels of our own, naturally occurring cannabinoids, by reducing their breakdown and uptake into cells. Additionally, beta-caryophyllene, one of the terpenes in hemp4, has also been found to stimulate the cannabinoid receptors. While its anti-nausea abilities have not been specifically tested, this action may mean it has supporting effects.

CBDV

Another cannabinoid known as CBDV5 may also reduce nausea and vomiting. CBDV is the “raw” version of CBD, which turns into the more well-known cannabinoid after heating. Research on rats found that it was able to prevent nausea caused by a toxin, by stimulating the cannabinoid receptors. This was unlike the drug Rimonabant, which works against cannabinoid receptors and increased nausea.

CBD and CBDA

CBD and CBDA can both relieve nausea caused by toxins and prevent anticipatory nausea, which is caused by psychological conditioning1. Other terpenes4 present in hemp besides beta-caryophyllene may also be able to play a role in reducing anticipatory nausea. This is typically treated by prescription of benzodiazepines, which increase a neurotransmitter called GABA, but may be too sedating and addictive. Linalool, a terpene present in both hemp and lavender, has been found to reduce anxiety and promote mild sedation by increasing GABA. It also reduces glutamate, a neurotransmitter which can be overstimulating in excess. Myrcene is another terpene which has shown sedative effects; it is also found in hops, a plant often used to aid sleep in Germany.

Unfortunately, while there is abundant research on THC and relief of nausea and vomiting, CBD and other non-psychoactive components of hemp have largely been neglected. However, the currently available research and reported experiences suggest that CBD-rich hemp oil could be a promising preventative for vomiting.

control nausea with CBD oil


References

1: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4960260/

2: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1099449/

3: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2847994/

4: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/

5: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3792004/

Could Vaping Cannabinoids Help Me Quit Smoking?

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Vaping Cannabinoids Could Help You Quit Smoking

Vaping, with the use of e-cigarettes, is a popular alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes because of the belief that it is non-toxic. However, e-cigarettes still contain nicotine as well as other potentially harmful chemicals1. Researchers have found that e-cig vapour can contain formaldehyde, the “probable carcinogen” glycidiol, and the irritant acrolein. Increasing voltage, heat and usage of the device may also worsen the levels of these toxins. Fortunately, vaping hemp oil rich in cannabinoids could help kick nicotine addiction, while still providing something to “smoke”.

Cannabidiol (CBD), the primary cannabinoid in hemp oil, may be useful in fighting nicotine dependence2. This is because the CB1 cannabinoid receptors may control how “rewarding” nicotine and other drugs feel to the user. These findings have led to trials testing the effects of Rimonabant, a drug which acts against the CB1 receptors. Rimonabant has since been withdrawn from the market and clinical trials after it was discovered that the medication increased the risk of depression and suicide. CBD, however, has a much better safety profile.

Research into CBD assisting in addiction recovery

Pre-clinical research has suggested that CBD may assist in recovery from addiction. In rats, CBD was able to reduce cue-induced drug seeking, even 14 days after administration. But what about us humans? Studies have shown that smoking cannabis high in CBD significantly reduced the reinforcing effect of stimuli related to THC-containing cannabis in those who were addicted. Because of this research, another trial was published in 2013 testing the effect of CBD inhalers on cigarette use for one week. Twenty-four smokers received either an inhaler containing CBD, or a placebo inhaler, which they were instructed to use whenever they were craving a cigarette. Among volunteers inhaling CBD, there was a significant drop in the number of cigarettes smoked during the week; the much smaller drop seen in the placebo group was insignificant2.

can CBD help you quit smoking?

Reduce tobacco withdrawal symptoms

CBD and other cannabinoids may help to reduce withdrawal symptoms when quitting smoking, such as anxiety or a depressed mood3. A study on 24 patients with social anxiety found that a dose of CBD before a public speaking test significantly reduced anxiety during the speech4. When compared to 12 other people without social anxiety, there were no differences in anxiety, cognitive impairment or discomfort.

Other components of hemp, such as the terpenes5, may also help relieve the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine and help you quit smoking. Limonene, a terpene also found in citrus oils, was able to dramatically reduce depression in hospitalised patients in one trial. Even though researchers just diffused the oil into the air, some patients experienced a normalisation of depression scores and could even discontinue antidepressants. Beta-myrcene, another terpene, has been recognised as a sedative as part of hops, which is often used to aid sleep. Also found in lavender, linalool may contribute to the sedative and anxiolytic abilities of the hemp plant.

Overall, CBD-rich hemp oil could be a helpful tool in kicking a nicotine addiction, although more clinical trials are needed to reach a definitive conclusion. It is important to always consult a qualified professional when looking at treatment options to quit smoking cigarettes.


References

1: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160727090350.htm

2: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23685330

3: http://www.quit.org.au/about/frequently-asked-questions/faq-smoking-withdrawal/faq-withdrawal-symptoms.html

4: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079847/

5: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21749363

Could Inhaled Cannabinoids Help Neuropathic Pain?

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Neuropathic pain is a complex and chronic set of pain conditions caused by damage to the nerves, which penetrate all areas of our bodies. The worst part? Chronic neuropathic pain, or neuropathy, often responds poorly to the standard, well-known ways to treat pain. It can get worse over time, and even lead to serious disability. But if you do suffer from neuropathy, there may be some good news. A new clinical trial has recently been published, which suggests that cannabinoids could be an effective alternative way to manage neuropathy1.

Clinical trial results for cannabis and neuropathic pain

In this trial, 16 participants were administered cannabis at one of three different potencies (1%, 4% or 7% THC) or a placebo, which they took by aerosol inhaler. Use of an inhaler may mean that consuming cannabinoids or hemp extract by the increasingly popular method of vaping could be effective. All of the participants had diabetic neuropathy, a common complication of diabetes. Currently, diabetes affects around 387 million people around the world1. At each increasing dose, there was a greater reduction in spontaneous pain – pain without anything even touching them. At the highest dose, there was even a reduction in induced pain. Unfortunately, it also caused a drop in mental performance.

neuropathic pain and cannabinoids

Statistics on neuropathic pain and cannabinoids

Negative effects on mental performance is one of several reasons why many choose CBD-rich hemp extracts, such as Elixinol, over THC-containing products. But can CBD, and other components of hemp extracts, also help relieve the pain seen in neuropathy? Another trial, this time on 177 patients2 with advanced cancer pain, tested the effects of THC and CBD together versus THC alone and a placebo. Only those taking the THC and CBD together saw a significant reduction in pain. The THC alone did not show a significant difference from the placebo. In the THC and CBD group, 43% showed at least a 30% improvement in pain scores. Both the THC only and placebo group had 12% of patients experiencing an at least 30% reduction in pain. This may mean that not only does CBD have its own pain relieving abilities, but also that THC requires its presence in order to have any effect on many people.

Vanilloid receptors and CBD

CBD may fight neuropathic pain in a different way to just acting on our cannabinoid receptors. A study on rats with neuropathy showed that CBD was working on a type of receptor called the vanilloid receptors, but did not need the cannabinoid receptors3. The vanilloid receptors control pain sensation, and if you’ve ever heard of chilli being able to reduce pain, they are why it works. CBD also reduced activity of the inflammatory PGE-2 substances. Inflammation contributes to pain and sometimes even long-term tissue damage.

Other cannabinoids and neuropathy

Other cannabinoids may also help to relieve neuropathic pain.4 CBC and CBG are both anti-inflammatory and analgesic, but have not been studied as much as THC or CBD. CBC is weaker in these respects than THC, but CBG has stronger analgesic ability, and a stronger ability to block an inflammatory enzyme called lipoxygenase. Even flavonoids found in hemp could assist in relieving neuropathy. Cannflavin A, which is unique to hemp and cannabis, can inhibit PGE-2 30 times more potently than aspirin in the laboratory, but has not been thoroughly studied. Some terpenes, such as myrcene and beta-caryophyllene, are also anti-inflammatory. Overall, CBD-rich hemp may be an effective way to relieve neuropathic pain, but clinical trials are needed specifically on high-CBD, no-THC hemp oil.
neuropathic pain and CBD cannabidiol


References

1: https://www.medicaljane.com/2015/07/07/study-supports-efficacy-of-inhaled-cannabis-for-neuropathic-pain-caused-by-diabetes/

2: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19896326

3: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17157290

4: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18728714

Cannabinoids Could Help Migraine Sufferers Find Relief

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Migraine sufferers may find relief with cannabinoids

In the USA alone, over 37 million people suffer from migraines, with an estimated 2-3 million experiencing chronic migraines1. Around 5 million have at least one migraine per month, and 11 million say that it causes them moderate to severe disability. Over 90% say that it interferes with work or everyday functioning, and most say that their migraines cause relationship problems. But a migraine is just a headache, right? Actually, migraines can involve severe, painful headaches, over-sensitivity to light, nausea, vision impairment, disorientation and problems with co-ordination – far more than just feeling uncomfortable2. Even worse, sometimes these symptoms can last for several days.

Could-CBD-Prevent-and-Stop-Migraine

So how could cannabidiol (CBD) and the other cannabinoids help?

If cannabinoids could help migraine sufferers find relief how would it work? The human body produces its own cannabinoids, anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG); together with the cannabinoid receptors, they make the endocannabinoid system. This regulates many processes in the body, such as blood vessel dilation. When cannabinoids interact with their receptors, they reduce blood vessel dilation, which is important in migraines because the expansion of blood vessels in an area with no extra space (ie the brain) creates pressure, and therefore pain.

The endocannabinoid receptors known as CB1 receptors are also present in higher than usual levels in an area of the brain strongly associated with migraines3. While our own cannabinoids regulate our bodies in ways that prevent migraines, levels of AEA have been found to be lower in people who suffer from migraines4. Also, women with migraines may have

Cannabidiol.

higher levels of the enzyme that degrades AEA.

Cannabinoids may help reduce Glutamate

Cannabinoids such as CBD may also directly relieve the pain seen in migraines. The stimulating neurotransmitter known as glutamate is responsible for the secondary and tertiary (horrible) pain in both migraines and fibromyalgia5, but cannabinoids can block the release of glutamate from nerve cells. Cannabinoids may also stabilize the platelets, which are responsible for blood clots, and inhibit serotonin release, which in excess can amplify pain4.

Hemp medicine has a long history

Although the scientific evidence behind the use of hemp and cannabinoids to relieve migraines is largely lab studies, hemp medicines have a long history in migraine treatment4. Dr Clendinning in London was the first Western physician to prescribe cannabis (which had a much lower THC content back then) for migraines in the 1840s. In the 1870s, another doctor, Dr R. Greene, was recommending daily doses of cannabis to prevent migraines. In 1890, Sir John Russell Reynolds, physician to the British royal family, highlighted migraines as an indication for the prescription of cannabis in a review of his 30 years of clinical experience.

In more modern times4, a case was reported where a patient suffering from migraines found relief in small doses of smoked cannabis, after failing conventional therapies. The author had previously encountered multiple patients with migraines who had failed pharmaceutical drugs, but responded positively to cannabis. Other case reports described patients finding relief from other types of chronic headache.

Overall, the evidence behind using CBD-rich hemp oil to manage migraines is in need of clinical trials, but laboratory studies, historical use and case reports do show a potential benefit. If you suffer from migraines you might like to try our high-potency CBD oil products to reduce that migraine pain.

migraines and cannabinoids


References

1: https://migraine.com/migraine-statistics/

2: https://www.leafly.com/news/health/cannabis-and-migraine-treatment/

3: http://theroc.us/images/Clinical%20endocannabinoid%20deficiency%20(CECD)%20revisited%20Can%20this%20concept%20explain%20the%20therapeutic%20benefits%20of%20cannabis%20in%20migraine,%20fibromyalgia,%20irritable%20bowel%20syndrome%20and%20other%20treatment-resistant%20conditions.pdf

4: http://theroc.us/images/Comprehensive%20Review%20of%20Medicinal%20Marijuana,%20Cannabinoids,%20and%20Therapeutic%20Implications%20in%20Medicine%20and%20Headache-%20What%20a%20Long%20Strange%20Trip%20It%E2%80%99s%20Been.pdf

5: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2503660/

Cannabinoids May Help in Huntington’s Disease

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Huntington’s Disease and Cannabinoids.

It may not have the publicity of multiple sclerosis or even Motor Neuron Disease, but Huntington’s disease is a truly grim condition. Huntington’s disease is a fatal genetic condition that causes seizures and a progressive loss of neurological function. Conventional medicine does not have a cure, or even treatments that significantly suppress its symptoms. But like many people, Erin and her mother Cindy were willing to try anything – even cannabis oil – and to the surprise of many, it worked1.

Huntington’s Disease is a very serious condition. In a video that Erin and her family posted online, we first see her struggling to stand; in fact she is almost completely unable to do so. After taking cannabis oil, she is able to quickly stand up like an able-bodied person typically can, and smile to the camera. It’s all easy for us, but what about Erin? To see the significance, we must first understand her condition.

Juvenile Huntington’s disease

Juvenile Huntington’s disease is the most severe form of HD, with a more rapid progression and ten-year life expectancy. The later symptoms appear, the slower it progresses. If a child’s parent has HD, they have a 50% chance of developing it themselves. Progressively worsening cognitive, motor, behavioral and psychiatric symptoms destroy the remaining life of HD patients. The apparent intractability of this disease makes Erin’s transformation all the more amazing. And what type of cannabis oil did Erin take? Not a high-THC strain, but one rich in cannabidiol (CBD), the main cannabinoid in hemp.

Huntington's and CBD

The Endocannabinoid System and Huntington’s

But how does it work, and is there any scientific evidence to back it up? Well, the endocannabinoid system is actually tied to the progression of HD, as cannabinoid receptors have been found to disappear in some neurons during the early stages2. Other experimental evidence has found antioxidant and neuroprotective effects of CBD, which may be helpful in preventing the destruction of neurons in Huntington’s disease. In a recent pilot trial designed to test for safety, a combination of THC and CBD was found to be safe, tolerated and not associated with worsening of the disease. Unfortunately, there was no significant clinical improvement.

This again raises the question of how cannabis or hemp oil worked for Erin, as the nature of Huntington’s disease (and her years of activity in fighting the illness) rules out her being able to “fake it”. However, the authors did write that perhaps higher doses of the cannabinoid combination, or a longer period of treatment, may be effective in reversing progression. Additionally, studies on mice found that CBD can prevent the degeneration of the same type of brain tissue affected by HD3.

How Huntington's disease is passed down (autosomal dominant)

 

Other cannabinoids, such as cannabigerol (CBG), may be the answer

Mouse models of HD have shown that CBG may activate the PPAR-gamma receptors in the affected neural tissue, thereby relieving the inflammation and symptoms. PPAR-gamma receptors can also regulate neural progenitor cell growth and differentiation, which means they may aid in tissue repair.

The clinical trial which showed no benefit from using cannabinoids did not use CBG, only THC and CBD. When CBG works with the other anti-inflammatory and protective cannabinoids and terpenes found in hemp, it may work even better, although clinical trials are needed to confirm this. In conclusion, more research is needed to determine how well hemp extracts can work in Huntington’s disease, but Erin’s story is nonetheless inspiring and amazing.


References

1: http://www.digitaljournal.com/life/health/op-ed-cannabis-oil-and-huntington-s-disease-yes-it-works/article/485214

2: http://hightimes.com/culture/first-clinical-trial-with-cannabis-for-huntingtons-disease-shows-promising-results/

3: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4949444/

Why Does CBD Have So Many Potential Uses?

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CBD is a Unique Molecule With Many Potential Uses

Here at Elixinol, we have covered a wide range of potential therapeutic uses for cannabidiol (CBD), other cannabinoids and hemp oil. From epilepsy to PTSD, it can all sound too good to be true. So how could one plant have so many benefits?

many uses of CBD

Besides being the second most abundant cannabinoid in the Cannabis genus, and the most in hemp, CBD is now well-known for the sheer number of possible therapeutic uses1. Each use has different levels of evidence, from clinical trials where we see how effective it is in humans, to in vitro lab studies where we can see how it may work. The presence of endocannabinoid receptors in a range of tissues and organs help to explain CBD’s broad applications. However, it can also interact with other types of receptors in the body and brain. Endocannabinoid-CBD-PTSD

The brain seems to be built for cannabinoids

The brain is made up of billions of highly specialised cells called neurons, along with several types of supporting cell2. Each neuron communicates with many other neurons by the synapses. Synapses are where two tiny bulbs on the ends of projections from the neuron cell come to meet. Neurons communicate with these by using chemicals known as neurotransmitters. Whether or not a neuron can “understand” the use of a certain neurotransmitter depends on if it has a receptor for that chemical. These receptors can respond to other chemicals too, such as the cannabinoids.

CBD increases the level of our own Cannabinoids

CBD, unlike THC, does not directly interact with the cannabinoid receptors, but instead works to increase the levels of our own cannabinoids. It also indirectly affects the signaling of these receptors. One of the non-cannabinoid receptors that CBD can influence is the dopamine receptors. Dopamine is involved with motivation and reward, as well as other cognitive and motor functions. This may be behind how CBD could help to fight cigarette cravings. In a study of 24 cigarette smokers, volunteers were given either an inhaler with CBD, or a placebo inhaler, and instructed to use it whenever they craved a cigarette3. The number of cigarettes smoked in the CBD group dropped significantly during the week, but not for the placebo group.

CBD and Serotonin

Animal studies have also shown that CBD can interact with some types of serotonin receptors, which may explain its effects on depression and anxiety. Its ability to interact with the serotonin 1A receptor may explain the documented effects of CBD on neuropathic pain, opioid dependence, and nausea and vomiting. There have been many anecdotal reports of hemp oil relieving nausea, even in severe vomiting caused by pharmaceuticals used for cancer. In addition, a study on shrews showed an effect of CBD on the serotonin 1A receptors which significantly reduced nausea and vomiting4. Its non-heated form, CBDA, had the same effect, but at a much lower dose.

Supporting the wide-ranging effects of CBD are the other cannabinoids, such as CBG and CBC, terpenes and other phytochemicals. These have shown anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antioxidant and other effects. The number of potential benefits of hemp oil and CBD aren’t exactly “too good to be true”, but clinical trials are needed to confirm many of them.


References

1: https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/what-does-cbd-do

2: Tortora & Derrickson, 2012, Principles of Anatomy & Physiology, 12th edn, Wiley

3: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23685330

4: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4960260/

5: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/

Why Doesn’t Cannabidiol Make You High?

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Why Doesn’t Cannabidiol Make You High?

If you have heard of CBD that stands for Cannabidiol. But what are the differences between CBD and THC? What is the difference between hemp and marijuana? One of the reasons why many people prefer high-CBD hemp extracts that contain little to no THC is that they aren’t psychoactive – they won’t get you “high”. But why is this the case? If both THC and CBD act on the brain, using the cannabinoid receptors, and are closely related, why is CBD so different?

The “high” caused by THC involves the CB1 receptors, which are concentrated in the brain and nervous system1. While both THC and CBD can interact with the CB1 receptors, THC binds very well with them, but CBD only has a weak affinity. If you think of THC as an electric plug and the CB1 receptor as a socket, the THC is a perfect fit. CBD would be an ill-fitting plug that obstructs the THC plug when in the way. Therefore, CBD is thought of as an antagonist of substances that activate CB1 receptors.

You may remember the infamous drug Rimonabant, which is a CB1 antagonist and had its clinical trials stopped due to severe side effects. CBD is more like a modulator of the receptors’ effects, so it won’t completely stop them from working. The most common effects of CB1 receptors are relaxation and euphoria (a happy high), but also anxiety and short-term memory impairment, especially in large amounts. When those who partake in recreational cannabis use strains with higher levels of CBD, they often report fewer negative effects. However, many recreational strains have been bred to produce less CBD, in order to maximise the “high”. This would also significantly impair many therapeutic effects. In one study, participants who were given CBD before THC were much less likely to suffer from psychotic symptoms and paranoia2. They were also largely spared from episodic memory impairment, another common side effect of THC. Episodic memory is our memories of specific events, such as what you were doing last night at that party.

Cannabidiol-vs-THC

Along with CBD, the other cannabinoids in hemp are not psychoactive either, despite being related to THC3. Cannabichromene (CBC) is another cannabinoid, which may have anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) abilities. In mice, it was also found to reduce THC toxicity. Therefore, like CBD, there is no reason to condemn CBC on moral grounds. It works in a similar way to CBD, by increasing the available levels of our own cannabinoids, which may have a more balancing effect than a possible over-stimulating one. Cannabigerol (CBG) seems to also work this way, and could also have anti-depressant properties by acting on the serotonin receptors. CBD has been found to act on the serotonin receptors too, as a stimulant4. This could help to relieve nausea, depression, anxiety and even psychotic symptoms. Additionally, it has also shown effects on the dopamine receptors. Dopamine plays a critical role in aspects of cognition such as motivation and reward, as well as affecting co-ordination. With all of these potential therapeutic effects, CBD doesn’t need to stimulate the CB1 receptors directly.

References

1: https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/cbd-vs-thc-cbd-not-psychoactive

2: http://jop.sagepub.com/content/27/1/19.short

3: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/

4: https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/what-does-cbd-do

Hemp Oil May Be a Great Topical For Aging Skin!

By | Cannabinoids explained, Hemp Seed Benefits | No Comments

Aging is a universal complaint, and as a result, treatments intended to fight skin aging make up an industry worth millions of dollars. If you’re tired of face creams with unreadable lists of ingredients, and no guarantee that a therapeutic dose of the active compounds are used, it may be time for a more natural approach. Fortunately, hemp oil may be an effective alternative. Read More