How 15 Minutes of Strength Training Can Reduce Pain Via Endocannabinoid System

We all know working out is good, even if we don’t like doing it. Now, new research sheds light on just how strength training effects the endocannabinoid system, and how this in turn can help reduce pain and inflammation. And it brings several implications with it.

Let’s be honest, exercise is good and we should all be doing it. If 15 minutes of daily strength training can activate the endocannabinoid system, and lower inflammation and pain, this could be a great answer for many people. For those who want to stimulate their endocannabinoid system in other ways, there are tons of cannabis compound out there to help. Remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter for deals on legal cannabis products, as well as all the latest news and industry stories. Also save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!


What’s the news?

In a recent study through the University of Nottingham, in England (The anti-inflammatory effect of bacterial short chain fatty acids is partially mediated by endocannabinoids), it was found that short daily strength training periods of approximately 15 minutes, are enough to reduce the pain of people suffering from arthritis, as well as lower inflammation, while increasing endocannabinoid levels in the endocannabinoid system.

The overall purpose of the study was to “explore the functional interactions between the endocannabinoid system and the gut microbiome in modulating inflammatory markers”. To do this, 78 participants were used in the study, all with arthritis. The group was split into two, with 38 participants engaging in 15 minutes of muscle strengthening exercises, on a daily basis for six weeks. The remaining 40 participants did no strength training exercise in that time period. After six weeks, the groups were compared.

It was found that the group which engaged in strength training exercise had a reduction in pain, lower levels of cytokines which cause inflammation, and higher levels of endocannabinoids in the endocannabinoid system. It was also found that this exercising group had a higher level of gut microbes which are known to produce anti-inflammatory compounds.

endocannabinoid system

These microbes are also linked to the higher levels of endocannabinoids (2-arachidonoylglycerol [2-AG] and anandamide [AEA]), in that the gut microbes produced – SCFAs, seem to be related to endocannabinoid levels. The scientists measured that about 1/3 of the anti-inflammation changes in the gut, were due to increases in endocannabinoids.

According to the researchers, “Our data show that the anti-inflammatory effects of SCFAs are partly mediated by the EC system suggesting that there may be other pathways involved in the modulation of the immune system via the gut microbiome.” They went on to say: “Our study clearly shows that exercise increases the body’s own cannabis-type substances. Which can have a positive impact on many conditions.”

What is the endocannabinoid system?

Basically, the endocannabinoid system is a system within the body made up of endocannabinoids, which are lipid-based neurotransmitters that bind to receptors to produce a response, as well as the receptor proteins they bind to, which can be found all throughout both the central and peripheral nervous systems. This system is incredibly important for CNS function, as well as aiding in synaptic plasticity (changes in synaptic behavior), and in how our bodies respond to relevant stimuli from within the body or outside.

Though the endocannabinoid system is still under much investigation, with many question marks attached, research has pointed to it being related to cognitive function, along with physiological processes like fertility and pregnancy, and natal and early growth and development.

Research also shows it likely playing a part in immune function, mood regulation, emotion, motivation, learning and memory, appetite, pain sensitivity and modulation, addiction behaviors, motor coordination and control, and of course, for providing us the psychoactive effects of cannabis cannabinoids like delta-9 THC.

The endocannabinoid system has several receptors of interest when it comes to cannabis, like CB1, CB2, and the more newly discovered GPR55, sometimes referred to as CB3. CB1 and CB2 receptors can be found in the brain, nervous system, immune system, and gastrointestinal system. CB1 receptors are known for regulating neural transmissions and peripheral aspects, while CB2 receptors are more known for the regulation of immune and inflammatory pathways.

GPR55 is less well understood, but is expected to be responsible for how many different cannabinoids effect the body, with receptor action being identified in the nervous system, in the frontal cortex, cerebellum, striatum, hypothalamus, and brain stem of the brain, in dorsal root ganglia neurons, in the spleen, tonsils, adrenals, bones, endothelial cells, intestines, lungs, kidneys, and fat tissue. It is thought GPR55 is involved in the experience of neuropathic pain, and inflammation.

receptor sites

What other implications does the study have?

The first thing to remember is that the Nottingham University study was conducted on arthritics. This means that the results shown, a reduction in inflammation and pain, are not related to a healthy person, but one who has a specific disorder which increase both inflammation, and the experience of pain. The study showed that strength training exercise was able to decrease the inflammation and pain in people with arthritis, at least partially by way of activation of the endocannabinoid system.

This implies that a healthy person who undergoes the same exercise regimen should also be able to reduce inflammation, and that such exercise could therefore help regulate standard inflammation issues not related to a specific illness.

Healthy people also suffer inflammation from injuries, from stress, and from other environment factors, so understanding what exercise can do for those with a specific issue, also sheds light on what can be expected for those who only deal with standard problems.

It also implies the ability to help with other medical issues that involve pain and inflammation, like asthma and allergies, autoimmune disorders, IBS, coeliac disease, and hepatitis. Does it mean exercising 15 minutes a day will cure these things? Or even arthritis? No, but it does show a possible ability to help. And for people suffering ailments specifically related to bad lifestyles and faulty health, simply adding in such an exercise regimen might actually be capable of completely reversing some problems.

Can the endocannabinoid system be overly-activated?

The answer to this seems to be yes, based on previous research. While the topic hasn’t been 100% flushed out, there is good indication that those with obesity have an overactivated endocannabinoid system and elevated endocannabinoid levels.

In fact, in the study Overactivation of the endocannabinoid system alters the antilipolytic action of insulin in mouse adipose tissue, researchers specifically looked into whether “obesity-related metabolic dysregulation is associated with overactivation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which involves cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R), in peripheral tissues, including adipose tissue (AT).” Adipose tissue is fat tissue.

over-active endocannabinoid system

The researchers found a link between obesity and the endocannabinoid system over-functioning, drawing the conclusion that their “study indicates the existence of a functional interaction between CB1R and lipolysis regulation in AT. Further investigation is needed to test if the elevation of ECS tone encountered in obesity is associated with excess fat mobilization contributing to ectopic fat deposition and related metabolic disorders.”

This is a good time to remind that too much of anything tends to be bad, even good things. For example, fruit is good for you, but eating too much means the overconsumption of sugar. Or, eating carrots is good for your eyes, but eat too many and you’ll turn orange. So, it suffices to say that there is a point at which too much function in the endocannabinoid system could be a bad thing too.

Weirdly enough, though cannabis is so often associated with the munchies and being hungry, a strange fact can often be missed: regular cannabis users tend to have lower BMIs, suffer less obesity, and tend to have better metabolic health, than others who consume less calories but don’t smoke cannabis.

In the study Theoretical Explanation for Reduced Body Mass Index and Obesity Rates in Cannabis Users, it’s posited by researchers: “We provide for the first time a causative explanation for this paradox, in which rapid and long-lasting downregulation of CB1R following acute Cannabis consumption reduces energy storage and increases metabolic rates, thus reversing the impact on body mass index of elevated dietary omega-6/omega-3 ratios.”

Conclusion

With some things in life, its hard to know if they’re necessary or not. Maybe taking vitamins helps, maybe they never get absorbed. Maybe eating meat helps, and maybe it leads to other health issues. But I never see anyone say anything bad about exercise, especially in the 15-minutes-a-day range.

Sometimes it really is hard to know what’s good for you, and what’s not. However, sometimes there isn’t an argument at all. Whether a person exercises to stay in shape physically, as a form of stress-release, or to regulate a health issue, the one thing that seems to be a general fact, is that exercise is good. That 15 minutes of strength training a day could have such positive benefits for the endocannabinoid systems of arthritics patients, to the point of decreasing pain and inflammation, says a whole lot about what we should all be doing every day to stay healthy.

Welcome to CBDtesters.co! Your one-stop-shop for all the best and most current cannabis and psychedelics-related news from everywhere in the world. Check us out daily to stay aware of what’s going on in the always-moving universe of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and sign up for The THC Weekly Newsletter, to ensure you never miss a single thing.

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post How 15 Minutes of Strength Training Can Reduce Pain Via Endocannabinoid System appeared first on CBD Testers.

Why Stoners Are Skinny: The Endocannabinoid System, Obesity, and THCV

We all associate smoking weed with that gnawing hunger that feels like starvation, and the term ‘munchies’ is well known for its association with sweet, salty, and fatty foods. So why are stoners generally skinny? It’s an age-old question that is starting to have some answers through recent research. In fact, one of the interesting components of smoking cannabis, might be in keeping the endocannabinoid system in check, as an over-active cannabinoid system, is often associated with obesity.

If the endocannabinoid system is related to obesity, then cannabis could play a big role in dealing with it, particularly with compound THCV. THCV is one of many cannabis cannabinoids to make it to store shelves, along with the likes of delta-8 THC, HHC, and THC-O-A. If you’re concerned about your weight this holiday season, think about giving THCV a shot, you never know, could make a difference. We’ve got tons of deals for the holidays, so go ahead and start your shopping today, (or finish it if you didn’t wait til the last minute)! Make sure to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter for deals on legal cannabis products, as well as all the latest news and industry stories. Also save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!


First off, what’s obesity?

To simply say that ‘obese’ means ‘fat’ is a bit of an understatement. We all know the term ‘fat’ to be wide-ranging of course. We use it for anything from a little extra gut flab to a person twice the size they technically (and healthily) should be. But ‘obese’ is actually way more specific. Whereas simply being overweight means having a BMI over 25%, ‘obese’ specifically relates to a BMI of over 30%. The two terms, ‘overweight’, and ‘obese’ also come with the connotation of not just excess fat, but enough to present a health risk.

If you’re wondering what ‘BMI’ means, this stands for ‘body mass index’, and is a measure of a person’s weight in kilograms, divided by height in meters squared. Therefore, its written as mg/kg, so a BMI of 25 looks like this: 25kg/m2. While there is no ‘right’ BMI, since we all vary in our builds, particularly in bone density, it suffices to say that a standard or average adult BMI is between 18.5-24.9. Being above or below does not have to indicate a weight issue, but it does make it more likely.

It suffices to say that this is a growing problem (no pun intended). While some like to point at more sedentary lifestyles as the culprit, the much more concerning factor is the food we eat, and the increasingly lower quality of it, which has allowed for this ballooning out. That developing countries have this same issue (when they used to be the skinnier countries, and without intervention, places without a lot of processed foods) says a lot of awful things about what rich agricultural companies push on those who can’t afford to say no. But that’s an article for a different time, probably for a different publication.

obesity

How big is the obesity problem?

When it comes to America – the home of obesity, the statistics can get quite staggering. According to the CDC, in 2017-2018, a staggering 42.4% of the population weighed in as obese. That means that nearly an entire half of the population was not only overweight, but qualifying as obese. When measuring the increase, the rate shot up 30.5% between the years of 1999-2018. In the same time period, severe obesity (BMI greater than 40) went up from 4.7% to 9.2%.

On a larger scale (no pun intended again), the WHO’s global burden of disease statistics state that in 2017, over four million people died worldwide due to being overweight or obese. The rates have been growing quite quickly, with an increase of 4% to 18% in children alone (ages 5-19) between the years of 1975-2016. Funny thing is, it’s usually stated that the majority of obese children are from developing countries due to poor nutrition issues, with those areas seeing a 30% bigger increase in such cases. Yet the US, one of the richest countries, still remains #1.

In terms of the problems caused by obesity, the list is endless. Being overweight, especially to intense degrees, will have a negative impact on nearly every body function. Just think how much harder your heart has to work if it has to pump blood for a body double the size it’s supposed to be. And then consider diabetes, and how many Type II cases are out there as a result of bodies being too big to produce enough insulin to account for the amount of sugar being ingested.

Diabetes in and of itself has become an insanely big health issue, effecting 422 million in 2014, up from 108 million in 1980, according to WHO. Globally the number increased threefold since 1975. Premature death rates have increased by 5% between the years of 2000-2016 because of diabetes, with 1.5 million deaths directly related to it in 2019. In the US alone, as of 2018, a massive 10.5% of the population had diabetes, equaling 34.2 million people.

What’s the endocannabinoid system?

There are a myriad of reasons that obesity has gotten so out of control, with a highly adulterated food system taking the #1 spot, followed, possibly, by more sedentary lifestyles. But genetics are a part of it too, and for this reason, how a person’s endocannabinoid system acts and responds, could very well help to dictate the ability for obesity. And it could say something about using cannabis to fight obesity.

As recent research has been showing, obesity issues seem to have at least some relation to the endocannabinoid system, and in many cases, the person shows an overactive endocannabinoid system, something not seen as much in pot smokers. The endocannabinoid system, as we know, is a system of lipid-based neurotransmitters, and the receptors which they attach to. While a decent amount is understood about this system, there are still plenty of question marks about it operationally. It’s currently thought that the system relates to CNS function, synaptic plasticity (changes in synaptic behavior), and in how we respond to stimuli from outside and within.

endocannabinoid system

Research points to its involvement in cognitive functions, and physiological processes like fertility, pregnancy, and natal and early growth and development. It also appears to play a role in immune function, mood regulation, emotion, motivation, learning, memory, appetite, pain sensitivity, addiction issues, motor coordination, and with allowing us to feel the super awesome effects of compounds like delta-9 THC.

That last point is important, as it’s the endocannabinoid system that contains receptors for cannabis compounds, namely CB1, and CB2 receptors, with possibly plenty more that are less known about, like GRP55. These are the receptor sites that determine how a person will respond to different compounds within the plant.

So why are stoners so skinny?

Now we come back to that idea of the munchies. Of all drugs, cannabis is known for being one that induces hunger more than others, right? So why do so many potheads (seemingly the majority) look like they could use a burger and fries? And especially in light of cramming in all that munchie style junk food?

According to research published in 2017 called Overactivation of the endocannabinoid system alters the antilipolytic action of insulin in mouse adipose tissue, a link was found between obesity and the endocannabinoid system over-functioning. The purpose of the study was to investigate how “obesity-related metabolic dysregulation is associated with overactivation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which involves cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R), in peripheral tissues, including adipose tissue (AT)”. Adipose tissue is fat tissue.

As per the study investigators, the study: “indicates the existence of a functional interaction between CB1R and lipolysis regulation in AT. Further investigation is needed to test if the elevation of ECS tone encountered in obesity is associated with excess fat mobilization contributing to ectopic fat deposition and related metabolic disorders.” Essentially, though more research is required to gain a more firm understanding, it appears that those with elevated endocannabinoid system functioning, are more likely to be obese.

In fact, to add to the confusion, regular cannabis smokers are actually known to have lower BMIs, less issues with obesity, and overall better metabolic health. And this despite often consuming more calories than non-smokers who weigh more. So how does this happen? Well, other research has been done into this.

endocannabinoid system obesity

Like the study Theoretical Explanation for Reduced Body Mass Index and Obesity Rates in Cannabis Users from 2018, in which researchers attempted to find an explanation for this contradiction of potheads being skinny. The research shows a possible explanation by way of a long-lasting downregulation of CB1R after cannabis use, which in turn reduces the storage of energy and increases metabolic rates. This would then reverse the impact that elevated dietary omega-6/omega-3 ratios cause on body mass. And this would help keep a person skinny.

What about THCV?

The cannabinoid market in America is sometimes seedy and completely unregulated, offering products based on different cannabinoids that can be extracted or synthesized from the cannabis plant. While many do occur naturally, the inability to get large amounts means even those naturally occurring are being sold as synthetics. One such cannabinoid of mention here, is THCV, or tetrahydrocannabivarin. THCV comes from precursor CBGVA, which breaks down to form THCVA, which in turn is decarboxylated to create THCV.

One of the interesting features of THCV is that it shows in research to effect appetite, by way of being a CB1 receptor antagonist. Unlike delta-9, which works as a CB1 agonist, promoting hunger, THCV does the opposite. Human testing is a little behind on this subject, but tests on mice have revealed appetite suppression, and lower food intake accordingly. This compound therefore could be useful in getting people to simply eat less.

But it does something else of value too. THCV has also shown an ability to help with glucose intolerance, something often experienced in obese populations. These studies have only been done on mice as well, with results showing a reduction in glucose intolerance both with genetically obese mice, and mice with dietary-induced obesity. THCV was able to improve glucose tolerance, and insulin signaling in mice, and for mice that were obese due to being overfed, it increased the animal’s sensitivity to insulin.

All of this could help explain why cannabis users are often so skinny, and how the endocannabinoid system in general can be related to obesity.

Conclusion

Sure, there are some obese stoners out there, no doubt. And no one is saying that cannabis is an all-out answer to obesity, at least not yet. But with more coming out linking the endocannabinoid system to obesity, and more being learned about compounds like THCV, it could very well be that weed ends up being the unlikeliest answer to our expanding population.

Hello and welcome! Thanks for stopping by CBDtesters.co, your #1 web source for cannabis and psychedelics-related news, offering the most interesting stories of today. Join us frequently to stay on-top of the quickly-moving world of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and remember to check out The THC Weekly Newsletter, to ensure you’re never late on getting a story.

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post Why Stoners Are Skinny: The Endocannabinoid System, Obesity, and THCV appeared first on CBD Testers.

Cannabichromene – How CBC Interacts With Our Brain’s “Bliss” Molecule to Target Depression

An average of 9.5% of American adults ages 18 and over will suffer from an ongoing depressive illness every year – that’s roughly 17 million people. For many, finding relief is a daily struggle between managing symptoms, avoiding triggers, and trying to find a treatment plan that actually works – the latter often proving to be more difficult than most would expect. The reason for that is simple: pharmaceutical antidepressants just aren’t that effective. Natural compounds that interact with existing receptors in our bodies… that is what really works, and that is what certain cannabinoids like Cannabichromene (CBC) have to offer.

Are you a cannabis aficionado who would like to learn more about cannabichromene, as will as other cannabinoids and all aspects of this incredible plant? If so, make sure to subscribe to The CBD Flowers Weekly Newsletter for the best of the best that this industry has to offer, as well as access to exclusive deals on flowers and other products. Or you can check out the Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter for the best deals on Delta 8 THC.

Wholesales: Click HERE for Delta 8 & Delta 10 THC wholesale opportunities


What is Cannabichromene (CBC)?

Although much of the global discourse regarding cannabis is focused on THC and CBD, cannabichromene (CBC) is next in line as the third most prominent compound in the plant, and of equal importance therapeutically. In most strains (both marijuana and hemp), CBC ranges from 0.3% to 0.9% of the total plant constituents. Just like other cannabinoids, CBC starts out as a plant acid – cannabichromenic acid to be specific – and eventually drops the carboxyl acid group becoming just cannabichromene.

CBC is non-psychoactive and interacts with the endocannabinoid system differently than both THC and CBD. THC binds directly with both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, and CBD interacts indirectly to these receptors via secondary pathways. CBC, however, is an agonist of only the CB2 receptors, which play a vital role in immune function, pain management, inflammation, and overall homeostasis.

Researchers have been looking at CBC for a few decades now, with studies dating back to 1981. In one of the earlier studies, the anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties of CBC were put to the test. It was discovered that CBC was more powerful than phenylbutazone (an NSAID anti-inflammatory/pain medication) at controlling inflammation. It was also found to be a potent antibacterial and a moderately effective antifungal treatment as well.


NEW: Delta 8 + CBC Vape Carts

The most incredible entourage effect you can imagine!


Limitless Delta 8 CBC Vape Cartridge Bundle

Limitless Delta 8 CBC Vape Cartridge Bundle

Fast forward to a 2006 study, in which numerous cannabinoids were examined to see if they could be used to shrink tumors. Among the cannabinoids tested was cannabichromene, and it scored equally well as THC and CBD at suppressing tumor growth in the animal subjects. 

And finally, in this 2010 scientific study, the anti-depressant activity of CBC and other cannabinoids was tested on mice. In one part of the study – a forced swim – CBC, CBD and Delta 9 THC all showed significant anti-depressant effects. In the second part of the study – a tail suspension test – CBC and Delta-9-THC were said to have the most significant mood-elevating properties compared to other cannabinoids as well as the pharmaceutical antidepressants they were tested against.

Additional studies over the years echoed these findings, and also found that CBC produced an antinociceptive response that helped control pain, minimize digestive issues, and offered neuroprotective qualities. As with other cannabis compounds, research on the full potential of cannabichromene is still ongoing, but it has shown potential as both a standalone treatment and working synergistically with other cannabinoids.

Anandamide and Homeostasis – The Bliss Molecule

When it comes to happiness, the majority of it is situational; but according to newer global studies, the levels of happiness one feels on a regular basis can have some genetic components as well. If you know any people that seem just naturally happier than others, it might be because they have higher levels of anandamide in their brains.

Anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamine) is first endocannabinoid, discovered and isolated by Lumír Hanuš (Israel) and William Devane (United States) in 1992. The name comes from the Sanskrit word “ananda,” translating to “internal bliss, joy, or delight.” Anandamide is a fatty acid neurotransmitter that activates the same receptors as THC.

NEW: DELTA 10 THC

NEW: Delta-10 THC Tincture
NEW: Delta-10 THC Tincture

Wholesales: Click HERE for Delta 8 & Delta 10 THC wholesale opportunities

Normally, anandamide is broken down by the fatty acid amino hydrolase enzyme (FAAH), at which point it is no longer in the body and thus, no more blissful effects are felt from this compound. Some people and animals produce less FAAH enzymes, and these people report feeling overall happier, experiencing less fear and anxiety than those who produce more FAAH. In addition to mental health, anandamide has been found to positively impact fertility and inhibit the growth of breast cancer tumors.

People whose bodies break down anandamide faster, can benefit greatly from supplementing with phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids created by plants); but the key is knowing which ones most closely mimic the bliss molecule’s effects. CBC, CBD, and THC all offer positive effects, but due to CBC’s affinity for the CB2 receptor, it seems to work best for elevating mood without producing any unwanted psychoactive side effects.

CBC’s Effect on Anandamide

The only reason cannabis actually works and has an effect on us at all is because of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which is responsible for numerous different psychological and physiological functions. Researchers have discovered two different endocannabinoids so far, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA).

In addition to the naturally produced cannabinoids, there is also a large web of receptors that allow AEA and 2-AG to function the way they do. The two receptors that have been studied most extensively are CB1 and CB2. Cannabinoid receptors sit on the surface of cells and monitor conditions on the outside. Once they sense changes and the body begins falling out of a state of homeostasis, they signal the appropriate cellular response to restore balance.

When we don’t produce enough endocannabinoids to complete this cycle, our bodies become unstable and no longer perform optimally, leading to the onset of numerous different diseases and disorders. This is where supplementing with the phytocannabinoids found in cannabis becomes extremely beneficial.

BEST CHOICE:

Delta 8 Vape Cartridges – Premium Bundle

Delta 8 Premium Vape Carts - Coupon: Delta25
Delta 8 Premium Vape Carts – Coupon: Delta25

All of the cannabinoids studied have their place, but cannabichromene was shown to have the strongest antidepressant effects when compared to THC, CBD, and CBG. Because CBC has such strong effects on a group of ion channels located on the plasma membrane, known as the transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, it also has strong effects on anandamide and dopamine. When CBC turns on these receptors, increased levels of the body’s all-natural endocannabinoids like anandamide are released.

One of the greatest medicinal qualities of CBC is that, since it does not interact with the CB1 receptors like THC, it works efficiently at elevating the mood without any intoxicating, psychoactive effects.  

Dangers of Pharmaceutical Antidepressants

Depressive disorders are on the rise, they have been for years, but we’ve seen an even sharper uptick of cases since the COVID-19 pandemic began. By the age of 19, roughly 25% of adolescents have experienced a depressive or major anxious episode, and that number jumps sharply to 53% by 30 years of age. Recent studies show that a growing number of young adults are using antidepressants, which can be beneficial for the mental state but, like all medications, come with a slew of unwanted side effects.

When it comes to the exact figures of how many Americans are taking antidepressant medication on a regular basis, here are the estimates: 4% of children 6-12 years of age, 7% of adolescents 12-18 years of age, and 10-22% of adults (a number that, as explained above, increased with age).  

CBC Distillate 99%

CBC Distillate 99%
CBC Distillate 99%

Common antidepressant side effects:

  • headaches
  • dry mouth
  • blurred vision
  • digestive issues, such as stomach upset, nausea, and constipation
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • trouble sleeping
  • memory problems
  • fatigue
  • weight gain
  • sexual problems such as low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, or ejaculation problems
  • trouble urinating
  • fast heart rate
  • sweating
  • increased risk of suicidal thoughts and actions (especially in users under the age of 25)

To add to the dilemma, newer research and scientific reviews have found that, on average, antidepressants in children and young adults only led to very miniscule psychological improvements when compared to placebo treatments. This was especially true for children and adolescents, who face the greatest risks from taking these medications.

Also keep in mind that physical health is often the catalyst that sets mental health conditions in motion, so it would be a bit of a catch 22 to take antidepressants for depression, and end up with some type of physical ailment that leaves you feeling anxious and depressed all over again.

Final Thoughts

Depression affects millions of people, here in the U.S. and globally. Throughout the world, one in four people suffer from mental and/or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a therapeutic solution that was safe, natural, and actually worked? Cannabis science is still in its infancy but the research we do have shows that it certainly is promising, and in some studies, cannabinoids like cannabichromene performed better than prescription medication (thanks to the presence of anandamide in our endocannabinoid systems). It says a lot and really emphasizes the need for more research and better regulations, especially in the field of mental health.

Hello.. Welcome to CBDtesters.co, the #1 spot for the most relevant cannabis-related news from around the world. Give us a read-thru every day to stay abreast of the quickly-changing world of legal marijuana, and sign up to receive our newsletter, so you always know what’s going on.

The post Cannabichromene – How CBC Interacts With Our Brain’s “Bliss” Molecule to Target Depression appeared first on CBD Testers.

How a Rare Cannabinoid Interacts With Our Brain’s “Bliss” Molecule to Target Depression

An average of 9.5% of American adults ages 18 and over will suffer from an ongoing depressive illness every year – that’s roughly 17 million people. For many, finding relief is a daily struggle between managing symptoms, avoiding triggers, and trying to find a treatment plan that actually works – the latter often proving to be more difficult than most would expect. The reason for that is simple: pharmaceutical antidepressants just aren’t that effective. Natural compounds that interact with existing receptors in our bodies… that is what really works, and that is what certain cannabinoids like Cannabichromene (CBC) have to offer.

Are you a cannabis aficionado who would like to learn more about cannabichromene, as will as other cannabinoids and all aspects of this incredible plant? If so, make sure to subscribe to The CBD Flowers Weekly Newsletter for the best of the best that this industry has to offer, as well as access to exclusive deals on flowers and other products. Or you can check out the Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter for the best deals on Delta 8 THC.


What is Cannabichromene (CBC)?

Although much of the global discourse regarding cannabis is focused on THC and CBD, cannabichromene (CBC) is next in line as the third most prominent compound in the plant, and of equal importance therapeutically. In most strains (both marijuana and hemp), CBC ranges from 0.3% to 0.9% of the total plant constituents. Just like other cannabinoids, CBC starts out as a plant acid – cannabichromenic acid to be specific – and eventually drops the carboxyl acid group becoming just cannabichromene.

CBC is non-psychoactive and interacts with the endocannabinoid system differently than both THC and CBD. THC binds directly with both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, and CBD interacts indirectly to these receptors via secondary pathways. CBC, however, is an agonist of only the CB2 receptors, which play a vital role in immune function, pain management, inflammation, and overall homeostasis.

Researchers have been looking at CBC for a few decades now, with studies dating back to 1981. In one of the earlier studies, the anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties of CBC were put to the test. It was discovered that CBC was more powerful than phenylbutazone (an NSAID anti-inflammatory/pain medication) at controlling inflammation. It was also found to be a potent antibacterial and a moderately effective antifungal treatment as well.


NEW: Delta 8 + CBC Vape Carts

The most incredible entourage effect you can imagine!


Limitless Delta 8 CBC Vape Cartridge Bundle

Limitless Delta 8 CBC Vape Cartridge Bundle

Fast forward to a 2006 study, in which numerous cannabinoids were examined to see if they could be used to shrink tumors. Among the cannabinoids tested was cannabichromene, and it scored equally well as THC and CBD at suppressing tumor growth in the animal subjects. 

And finally, in this 2010 scientific study, the anti-depressant activity of CBC and other cannabinoids was tested on mice. In one part of the study – a forced swim – CBC, CBD and Delta 9 THC all showed significant anti-depressant effects. In the second part of the study – a tail suspension test – CBC and Delta-9-THC were said to have the most significant mood-elevating properties compared to other cannabinoids as well as the pharmaceutical antidepressants they were tested against.

Additional studies over the years echoed these findings, and also found that CBC produced an antinociceptive response that helped control pain, minimize digestive issues, and offered neuroprotective qualities. As with other cannabis compounds, research on the full potential of cannabichromene is still ongoing, but it has shown potential as both a standalone treatment and working synergistically with other cannabinoids.

Anandamide and Homeostasis – The Bliss Molecule

When it comes to happiness, the majority of it is situational; but according to newer global studies, the levels of happiness one feels on a regular basis can have some genetic components as well. If you know any people that seem just naturally happier than others, it might be because they have higher levels of anandamide in their brains.

Anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamine) is first endocannabinoid, discovered and isolated by Lumír Hanuš (Israel) and William Devane (United States) in 1992. The name comes from the Sanskrit word “ananda,” translating to “internal bliss, joy, or delight.” Anandamide is a fatty acid neurotransmitter that activates the same receptors as THC.

NEW: DELTA 10 THC

NEW: Delta-10 THC Tincture
NEW: Delta-10 THC Tincture

Normally, anandamide is broken down by the fatty acid amino hydrolase enzyme (FAAH), at which point it is no longer in the body and thus, no more blissful effects are felt from this compound. Some people and animals produce less FAAH enzymes, and these people report feeling overall happier, experiencing less fear and anxiety than those who produce more FAAH. In addition to mental health, anandamide has been found to positively impact fertility and inhibit the growth of breast cancer tumors.

People whose bodies break down anandamide faster, can benefit greatly from supplementing with phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids created by plants); but the key is knowing which ones most closely mimic the bliss molecule’s effects. CBC, CBD, and THC all offer positive effects, but due to CBC’s affinity for the CB2 receptor, it seems to work best for elevating mood without producing any unwanted psychoactive side effects.

CBC’s Effect on Anandamide

The only reason cannabis actually works and has an effect on us at all is because of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which is responsible for numerous different psychological and physiological functions. Researchers have discovered two different endocannabinoids so far, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA).

In addition to the naturally produced cannabinoids, there is also a large web of receptors that allow AEA and 2-AG to function the way they do. The two receptors that have been studied most extensively are CB1 and CB2. Cannabinoid receptors sit on the surface of cells and monitor conditions on the outside. Once they sense changes and the body begins falling out of a state of homeostasis, they signal the appropriate cellular response to restore balance.

When we don’t produce enough endocannabinoids to complete this cycle, our bodies become unstable and no longer perform optimally, leading to the onset of numerous different diseases and disorders. This is where supplementing with the phytocannabinoids found in cannabis becomes extremely beneficial.

BEST CHOICE:

Delta 8 Vape Cartridges – Premium Bundle

Delta 8 Premium Vape Carts - Coupon: Delta25
Delta 8 Premium Vape Carts – Coupon: Delta25

All of the cannabinoids studied have their place, but cannabichromene was shown to have the strongest antidepressant effects when compared to THC, CBD, and CBG. Because CBC has such strong effects on a group of ion channels located on the plasma membrane, known as the transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, it also has strong effects on anandamide and dopamine. When CBC turns on these receptors, increased levels of the body’s all-natural endocannabinoids like anandamide are released.

One of the greatest medicinal qualities of CBC is that, since it does not interact with the CB1 receptors like THC, it works efficiently at elevating the mood without any intoxicating, psychoactive effects.  

Dangers of Pharmaceutical Antidepressants

Depressive disorders are on the rise, they have been for years, but we’ve seen an even sharper uptick of cases since the COVID-19 pandemic began. By the age of 19, roughly 25% of adolescents have experienced a depressive or major anxious episode, and that number jumps sharply to 53% by 30 years of age. Recent studies show that a growing number of young adults are using antidepressants, which can be beneficial for the mental state but, like all medications, come with a slew of unwanted side effects.

When it comes to the exact figures of how many Americans are taking antidepressant medication on a regular basis, here are the estimates: 4% of children 6-12 years of age, 7% of adolescents 12-18 years of age, and 10-22% of adults (a number that, as explained above, increased with age).  

CBC Distillate 99%

CBC Distillate 99%
CBC Distillate 99%

Common antidepressant side effects:

  • headaches
  • dry mouth
  • blurred vision
  • digestive issues, such as stomach upset, nausea, and constipation
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • trouble sleeping
  • memory problems
  • fatigue
  • weight gain
  • sexual problems such as low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, or ejaculation problems
  • trouble urinating
  • fast heart rate
  • sweating
  • increased risk of suicidal thoughts and actions (especially in users under the age of 25)

To add to the dilemma, newer research and scientific reviews have found that, on average, antidepressants in children and young adults only led to very miniscule psychological improvements when compared to placebo treatments. This was especially true for children and adolescents, who face the greatest risks from taking these medications.

Also keep in mind that physical health is often the catalyst that sets mental health conditions in motion, so it would be a bit of a catch 22 to take antidepressants for depression, and end up with some type of physical ailment that leaves you feeling anxious and depressed all over again.

Final Thoughts

Depression affects millions of people, here in the U.S. and globally. Throughout the world, one in four people suffer from mental and/or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a therapeutic solution that was safe, natural, and actually worked? Cannabis science is still in its infancy but the research we do have shows that it certainly is promising, and in some studies, cannabinoids like cannabichromene performed better than prescription medication (thanks to the presence of anandamide in our endocannabinoid systems). It says a lot and really emphasizes the need for more research and better regulations, especially in the field of mental health.

Hello.. Welcome to CBDtesters.co, the #1 spot for the most relevant cannabis-related news from around the world. Give us a read-thru every day to stay abreast of the quickly-changing world of legal marijuana, and sign up to receive our newsletter, so you always know what’s going on.

The post How a Rare Cannabinoid Interacts With Our Brain’s “Bliss” Molecule to Target Depression appeared first on CBD Testers.

Are magic mushrooms synergistic with cannabis and your ECS?

Sometimes depression can hurt, literally. Interestingly, this has a lot to do with our Endocannabinoid Systems (ECS)—a network that consists of a few receptors and two neurotransmitters. Pain and emotions are tied together through these messengers. And, it is through the ECS that magic mushrooms and cannabis can often, although counterintuitively, have therapeutic effects. (1) […]

The post Are magic mushrooms synergistic with cannabis and your ECS? appeared first on Latest Cannabis News Today – Headlines, Videos & Stocks.

How Cannabis Stimulates Your Appetite And Gives You The Munchies

It is well known that many users experience the munchies after consuming cannabis. But why does cannabis have this effect on our appetite? When hunger strikes, there’s an urge to eat everything! The munchies feel different than just an ordinary hunger. All you can think about it what to eat and you can’t seem to […]

The post How Cannabis Stimulates Your Appetite And Gives You The Munchies appeared first on Latest Cannabis News Today – Headlines, Videos & Stocks.

Plant Power: Everyday Plants That Activate the Endocannabinoid System

When people hear about cannabinoids, they automatically think of cannabis (which makes sense, given the name). What most have yet to realize is that many other plants make cannabinoids too – a lot of everyday flowers, vegetables, and spices that you probably wouldn’t expect.

This train of thought was not exclusive to consumers though; until recently, even scientists had only been able to identify cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. But current studies have found these compounds in a handful of common, day-to-day plants, including clove, black pepper, cocoa, echinacea, broccoli, ginseng, hops, and even carrots.

But no matter how much of these plants you consume, they won’t feel any type of psychedelic effects. This is because they don’t have the cannabinoids we’re all familiar with, like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), or cannabigerol (CBN). Rather, they have their own compounds that directly engage our Endocannabinoid Systems (ECS).

The ECS is itself only recently discovered, and understanding how different phytocannabinoids interact with this network of neurotransmitters in our bodies can lead to important medical innovations in the future. Ones that are natural, safer for patients, and more focused on plant-based healthcare.

To learn more about cannabis, and for exclusive deals on flowers and other products, subscribe to The CBD Flowers Weekly Newsletter


Pain-relieving drugs made from plants

­Chronic pain affects at least 10 percent of the global population, which is approximately 60 million people. However, experts estimate that figure to be closer to 20-25 percent on some countries and regions. Finding a solution that doesn’t put patients at risk for addiction and addition problems, is paramount.

As we humans have done since the dawn of time, we continue looking to the plant world for ways to improve our health and wellbeing. Cannabinoids might be the trendiest at the moment, but they’re certainly not the only plant-based compound that’s been utilized to help fight pain.

Opiates

Opiates get a bad rap because of their high rate for addiction and abuse, but they do have an important place in the world of medicine. Very intense pain, post-surgical or from a broken bone for example, typically won’t respond to cannabinoids. Something stronger like morphine, codeine, and other opiate drugs are sometimes necessary. They have many added ingredients these days, but believe-it-or-not, these medicates have a natural element to them. Opiates are made from opium, which comes from the poppy plant. Just like cannabinoids, these pharmaceutical drugs interact with opiate receptors in the human brain, which is why they can be incredibly effective when used responsibly.

Aspirin

Dating back to ancient Egypt, tea made from the willow tree was used to manage pain and reduce fever. Fast forward a few centuries and scientists are looking at the willow tree yet again, this time isolating the active compound used in that ancient tea – salicylic acid – and used it to formulate numerous medications used to treat pain and inflammation; most notably, aspirin. Salicylic acid is also a very common active ingredient in acne medication.

Anesthetics

Common anesthetics like lidocaine, used routinely by dentists to numb the mouth before initializing treatment, are also distantly related to wild plant – Coca. The leaves of the coca plant were used in the ancient Incan Empire in South America to treat many different levels of pain, from headaches to fractures. Eventually, the coca plant gave way to the drug cocaine, which is an illegal drug of abuse but also a very effective anesthetic.   

Plant cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system

Cannabis has been used medicinally for centuries, but it wasn’t until recently that science started to catch up with what our ancestors have been telling us. Ancient texts from China, Egypt, Tibet, and many other parts of the world hail cannabis as a natural remedy for numerous ailments including pain, inflammation, nausea, anxiety, epilepsy, and even sexual dysfunction. But how can one plant serve so many different functions in the human body? It all boils down to a network of receptors and neurotransmitters known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).

Unfortunately, the federally illegal status of cannabis and its use as a recreational drug has been a major hinderance on the ability of researchers to study the full capabilities of this plant. Until recently, most of the information we had came from scientists in Israel, where they had less restrictions when it came to using the plant compounds medicinally.

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is involved in multiple physiological processes including appetite regulation, pain threshold, sleep/wake cycles, memory, and mood. It plays a major role in allowing our bodies to achieve homeostasis, or internal balance. The discovery of the ECS shed new light on how and why plant-based cannabinoids, or phytocannabinoids, affect humans in the way they do. In cannabis alone, over 80 phytocannabinoids have been indexed and these compounds exist in many, many plants we consume regularly.

Other plants that engage the ECS

Like cannabis, many other plants have compounds that engage the endocannabinoid system, and with growing attention on this newly-discovered system, the more sources of phytocannabinoids we have the better. While these other plants don’t have cannabinoids as we know them, many of them contains Alkylamides, compounds that are structurally similar to endocannabinoids, and terpenes, that give plants their unique aromas – both of which effectively activate the ECS.

Plants of interest include (but not limited to):

  • Black pepper
  • Hops
  • Helichrysum
  • Oregano
  • Cinnamon
  • Carrots
  • Basil
  • Cloves
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Cocoa
  • Echinacea
  • Black truffles
  • Electric daisies
  • Liverwort
  • Kava

More about plant terpenes

Worth an additional mention since they often work synergistically with cannabinoids, in addition to activating the endocannabinoid system indirectly. Terpenes are a very large and diverse class of organic compounds that are produced by a wide variety of plants, including the ones listed above. In cannabis, they are secreted by the same glands that produce some of the more dominant cannabinoids including THC and CBD. Their role and effects are quite different, however.

Terpenes are aromatic plant oils that, when combined with other plant compounds, create a never-ending palate of scents and flavors. In nature, terps serve as a defense mechanism by deterring herbivores and by attracting predators and parasites that attack herbivores.

Chemically, terpenes are hydrocarbons, and they differ from terpenoids, which typically have added functional groups such as oxygen. The words “terpenes” and “terpenoids” are often used interchangeably but this is incorrect. Terpenes are also the major component of rosin, which a sap/waxy-like substance that is produced when cannabis buds are placed under high heat and pressure. Climate, weather, age and maturation, fertilizers, soil type, and light cycles can have an impact on the development of terpenes.

As far as cannabis goes, terpenes are the key to differentiating the effects and flavor of a strain. Some terpenes are relaxing, like those found in lavender, while others are energizing, like citrus. Some smell fruity, some are piney, others are musky, or even floral. There really is no limit to the variation. So far, over 100 different terpenes have been discovered in cannabis plants alone, and each strain typically has its own unique blend and composition of terps.

Terpenes have long been known to hold great therapeutic value, and some of the more common ones have been studied more extensively, considering they’re found in many different types of legal plants. More research is needed to determine the extent of their medicinal effects when combined with other cannabis plant compounds.

Conclusion

No matter how many veggies you munch on, or how many spices you add to your dish, you won’t get high from it like you would with actual cannabis. Our everyday plants don’t have THC, CBD, or any of the other major cannabinoids, but they have their own structurally similar compounds that engage with our Endocannabinoid Systems and can offer us natural, medicinal possibilities well beyond what science ever believed would be possible.

Thank you for visiting CBDtesters.co, your #1 spot for all cannabis-related news and information. Join us regularly to keep up with the world of legal cannabis, and sign up to our newsletter so you’re always in the know!


RESOURCES:

It Was Just a Matter of Time: GMO Cannabis on Its Way
Compared to Prescription Medication, Medical Cannabis Not Always Affordable Alternative
A Brief History Of CBD The Week in Review: Canadian Cannabis, Antibiotic Resistance, Father’s Day Gift Ideas, and more
Can You Treat COVID-19 With CBD and Reduce Mortality Rates? A New Israeli Research Believes You Can!

Not Just for Getting High – The Underreported Medical Uses of THC
In a world plagued with antibiotic resistance, look to cannabis as a natural alternative
The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers)
The Medical Cannabis Weekly newsletter (International medical cannabis business report)
Cannabis Heroes of History: How Robert Randall Beat the U.S.

The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc) and the Best Black Friday Delta 8 THC Deals 2020.  The best delta-8 THC deals, coupons and discounts.
The Medical Cannabis Weekly Review: Antibiotic Resistance, Cannabis in Italy, CBD for Weight Loss, and more Argentina Allows Cannabis Self-Cultivation
CBG Study Shows Antimicrobial Properties of Cannabis

The post Plant Power: Everyday Plants That Activate the Endocannabinoid System appeared first on CBD Testers.

Everything You Need to Know About the Science Behind Cannabinoids

The cannabis plant produces literally hundreds of specialized molecules — cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids — that have been shown to deliver medicinal efficacy, lifestyle enhancement and even performance enhancement to human beings. For those afflicted with disease, medical cannabis has been found to offer a wide range of health benefits, from killing cancerous tumors to alleviating the pain of arthritis to reducing the number of seizures experienced by epileptic children.

Of these molecules, cannabinoids are the most cited and understood. The most infamous cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the molecule responsible for most of the psychoactive (psychotropic) and euphoric effects of cannabis, but that also has been found to successfully treat serious conditions, such as PTSD and cancer. Another notable cannabinoid is cannabidiol (CBD), a mostly non-psychoactive chemical that has been found to provide a wide range of medicinal benefits, including reductions in pain, anxiety and depression.

Endocannabinoids vs. Phytocannabinoids

First discovered in 1964 by Israeli researcher Raphael Mechoulam, phytocannabinoids from the cannabis plant interact with the human body by mimicking the molecular characteristics of chemicals produced internally. Called endocannabinoids, these internally manufactured molecules include anandamide and 2-AG.

Anandamide has been dubbed the “bliss molecule” because of its ability to decrease depression in humans. It plays a central role in the regulation and modulation of critical bodily functions such as mood, appetite, sleep, immune system efficiency and one’s ability to deal with stress and anxiety.

Synthetic Cannabinoids

Synthetic cannabinoids emerged in the 1970s and are created in a laboratory. An example of it would be dronabinol (Δ9-THC synthetic), which is the active compound of Marinol, a medicine that comes in capsules and has been consumed in the US since 1985 to prevent nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and loss of weight.

The Endocannabinoid System

All mammals, not merely humans, have evolved with a network of specialized cellular receptors throughout their bodies that are designed to bind with cannabinoids — both endocannabinoids such as anandamide and phytocannabinoids from cannabis — that is called the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The fact that the ECS is present in all mammals is why companies and product lines dedicated to the health and wellness of household pets are beginning to emerge in legal cannabis markets. Dogs and cats suffering conditions such as arthritis, digestive issues, anxiety and pain can gain significant benefit from the cannabinoids in cannabis and hemp.

Anandamide production has been found to increase and temporarily spike in those who engage in endurance exercise on a regular basis. However, it metabolizes quickly, exhibiting a relatively short duration of effect. Anandamide hints at the chemical underpinnings of the significant health benefits of frequent and intense exercise—and the fact that the mere consumption of cannabinoids is not enough to establish and sustain optimal health of the ECS (a condition called homeostasis that means “balance”).

Both internally produced endocannabinoids and plant-based phytocannabinoids interface with the ECS via specialized cellular receptors that were discovered in the 1990s and called CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found mostly in the brain and central nervous system, whereas CB2 receptors are located primarily in the organs and tissues of the immune system—including the thymus, skin, bone marrow, lymph nodes, spleen, bowel and the mucous membranes of the bladder, genitals, nose and throat.

Major Cannabinoids + Acidic Precursors

More than 113 cannabinoids have been isolated and identified within the cannabis plant — which is, technically, also a vegetable. Beyond the two major cannabis-derived molecules, THC and CBD, are a plethora of healthful cannabinoids that deliver a slew of desirable and beneficial efficacies for lifestyle consumers and patients alike. Among these are cannabichromene (CBC), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN) and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV).

Additional healthful cannabinoids include tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). These chemicals represent a class of cannabinoids dubbed acidic precursors. Think of acidic precursors as the larval caterpillar stage of what becomes the butterflies of THC and CBD.

While they provide significant benefits in terms of health and wellness, the exact effects of these molecules differ from their non-acidic versions. For example, while strains of cannabis that are potent in THC can exact a significant toll in terms of psychoactivity and euphoria, THCA delivers no such psychotropic effect. THCA does, however, offer anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects, making it helpful for conditions as wide-ranging as Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, cancer, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s.

Understanding Decarboxylation

The process by which the transmogrification from the chemical state of acidic precursor (THCA) to its child molecule (THC) occurs is significant (and can be accurately controlled by anyone). A process called decarboxylation, this conversion involves the application of heat (via flame, as in combustion, or from a hot surface or airstream, as in vaporization) to catalyze a chemical reaction in which the THCA molecule drops a carbon and two oxygen atoms (called a carboxyl ring, or COOH) to become THC — and gain its euphoric effects based on its newfound binding affinity with the CB1 receptors of the ECS.

Technically, maximum decarboxylation for a sample of cannabis flowers occurs most effectively when exposed to 220 degrees F (104 degrees C) for a period of 30 to 45 minutes. Decarboxylation is easy and convenient because it can be accomplished using a standard consumer oven.

Thus, one who eats the raw flowers of cannabis will gain significant medicinal benefits, but no euphoria. The simple application of a flame or hot air, however, leads to the nearly instantaneous transformation of these molecules into their chemical cousins, delivering beneficial — but sometimes very different — effects.

The Research

2017 research study entitled “Medicinal Cannabis: History, Pharmacology and Implications for the Acute Care Setting” that was published in the journal Pharmacy & Therapeutics found the cannabinoids of cannabis, such as THC and CBD, to be effective in the treatment of a wide range of diseases and conditions.

The study’s researchers stated, the “Beneficial cannabinoids exist, as evidenced by single-entity agents derived from cannabis containing the compounds THC and CBD.” The study concluded that “cannabis is relatively safe; therapy is self-titratable by the patient; and…therapy is relatively inexpensive compared with pharmaceutical agents.”

CBC is a powerful cannabinoid first isolated in 1964 by Israeli researcher Raphael Mechoulam. It is considered one of the “big six” cannabinoids that, according to Steep Hill Labs in Berkeley, California, is ten times more effective than CBD in treating anxiety and stress.

In a 2011 study conducted by cannabis research pioneer Ethan Russo entitled “Taming THC: Potential Cannabis Synergy and Phytocannabinoid-terpenoid Entourage Effects” and published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, Russo found that a CBC-extract displayed “pronounced antidepressant effect,” meaning it may be helpful for humans suffering from anxiety and depression.

Additional evidence of the medical benefits of cannabinoids derived from cannabis — this time for an ocular disease — was revealed in a 2008 study entitled “Possibilities of Applying Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Glaucoma” that was published in the journal Klinika Oczna. The study concluded that cannabinoids like CBG are “able to decrease intraocular pressure. These compounds are characterized by neuroprotection and vasodilatation properties that additionally substantiate their therapeutic utility in conservative treatment of glaucoma.”

Originally published on cannabisaficionado.com.

The post Everything You Need to Know About the Science Behind Cannabinoids appeared first on Cannabis Now.

The Endocannabinoid System and Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency

The discovery of the endocannabinoid system in the mid-1980s was a major breakthrough in modern medicine. Yet, if you looked at the curriculum for most medical schools, you might not know it. The finding would not have been possible without the help of the cannabis plant, which remains illicit in most countries around the world. After wide-spread legalization of medical cannabis and over three decades of research, knowledge about the endocannabinoid system and its associated pathologies, like clinical endocannabinoid deficiency, remain sorely overlooked.

The Endocannabinoid System: The Find of the Century?

Two decades before the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, a team of scientists led by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, a professor of medical chemistry a the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, had finally isolated the primary psychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant—tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). After the discovery, researchers around the globe began the quest to figure out exactly how the compound worked.  A group led by Dr. Allyn Howlett, a neuroscientist then with St. Louis University, finally cracked the mystery: THC produced its psychoactive effects through engagement with specialized cell receptors.

A cell receptor can be thought of as a lock that is embedded on the surface of a cell membrane. These locks only respond to specific chemical keys. In this case, THC was the key that engaged a cannabinoid receptor. As research would soon reveal, cannabinoid receptors are part of a larger endocannabinoid system (ECS), a neurotransmitter and cell signaling network like none other.  Made up of receptor sites, their respective chemical activators, and the enzymes that deactivate these compounds, scientists quickly unveiled that the ECS was ubiquitous throughout the human body. Cannabinoid receptors are nearly everywhere — connective tissue, the brain, the spinal cord, internal organs, the digestive tract, the skin, and immune cells.

After what surely was many long hours in the lab, Howlett and her team landed on something big. Why on earth would these receptors be found in so many places? Nearly three decades down the line, scientists are still exploring the wide-reaching ramifications of the endocannabinoid system, Howlett included. In the time since its first discovery, the ECS has been found to be a potent regulator of brain activity, hormonal function, and immune response, linking the three main regulatory systems together. It’s this pervasive modulatory network that responds to THC and other cannabis constituents. When a person consumes intoxicating forms of cannabis, THC hijacks the cannabinoid receptor sites that are normally inhabited by compounds that the body produces naturally.

These compounds are called endocannabinoids. The prefix endo- refers to endogenous or internal cannabinoids. In contrast, the cannabinoids found on the cannabis plant are phytocannabinoids with the prefix phyto referring to plants. As it turns out, endocannabinoids are molecules that help maintain a state of equilibrium, or homeostasis, throughout the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. Endocannabinoids play the part of harmonizers or middlemen, managing how each of these systems responds to stressful stimuli and communicates with the others.

Endocannabinoids are at least in part responsible for regulating the biological clock, managing things like hunger and sleep over the course of the day. Cannabinoid receptors are also highly concentrated in areas of the brain responsible for memory, emotion, and metabolism, giving them regulatory effects over a remarkable number of physiological functions. One endocannabinoid, called anandamide, even takes its name from the Sanskrit word for bliss Ananda thanks to its calming and relaxing effects.

With such a profound influence over so many basic bodily commands, it is now theorized that problems in the ECS may contribute to a wide variety of difficult-to-treat pathologies. These potential pathologies include ailments as diverse as migraines and autism.

Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency May Contribute to Disease

Howlett and Mechulam may have kicked off the first forays into the endocannabinoid system, but they are far from the only scientists who made serious contributions to this emerging arena of health and medicine. Back in 2001, Ethan Russo, a neurologist and medical researcher, first made the case for clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD). Russo is currently the Director of Research and Development with the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI). His theory? That many common diseases stem from deficiencies of the endocannabinoid system.

“Many human disorders relate to deficiencies of neurotransmitter function,” Russo told Cannabis Aficionado. “We know that a lack of acetylcholine, the memory neurotransmitter, is key to dementia in Alzheimer disease and related disorders. Parkinson disease is associated with a lack of dopamine function. Depression is related to problems with serotonin.”

Now, Russo suggests that something similar could occur in the endocannabinoid system. “In 2001,” he explains, “I hypothesized that various human disorders could be related to a lack of endocannabinoids, the natural chemicals within our brain and bodies that are similar in activity to THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis.”

Since endocannabinoids have wide-spread functions in the body, a lack or deficiency of these signaling molecules could cause a whole host of trouble. Symptoms like seizures, mood troubles, and generalized pain, nausea, and inflammation are all possible side effects of an endocannabinoid imbalance. Further, the universal nature of the ECS means that ailments which are seemingly unrelated to each other may now be classified together under the endocannabinoid umbrella.

“The prime candidates for clinical endocannabinoid deficiency are migraine, fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome,” says Russo, describing conditions that are currently thought of as distinct and separate pathologies. “All [three] have compelling evidence in the interim that there are deficiencies in endocannabinoid function. Additional evidence has accumulated to include post-traumatic stress, autism, and other disorders.”

It is the ECS that perhaps describes why conditions like migraine and irritable bowel syndrome may share so many overlapping symptoms, including changes in mood, digestive distress, pain, and fatigue. These problems may be genetic in nature or acquired over time. At least one scientist has even gone as far as to describe the endocannabinoid system as a “bridge between body and mind”, connecting the physical reality with an emotional and intellectual one.

Toward Recognition of the ECS

Researchers have been investigating the influence of the endocannabinoid system in disease pathology for the past 30 years. Despite advancements in our understanding about the ECS, however, therapies targeting the endocannabinoid system are still few and far between. While some cannabinoid-based therapies are available to select patients, medical cannabis still remains one of the primary therapies that targets the ECS.

Yet, while the herb has been immensely helpful to patients around the world, both cannabis and endocannabinoid research still suffers from underutilization and harsh political barriers to research. In fact, a 2018 study from the Washington School of Medicine found that only a meager nine percent of medical schools teach their students about medical cannabis. This is despite the fact that the medicinal use of the herb is legal in 33 U.S. states and all of Canada.

“In my opinion, the media attention [on the endocannabinoid system] is not yet sufficient,” says Russo, “as the scientific evidence behind the theory is now quite solid based on serum and cerebrospinal fluid tests and other data.” He is referring to tests conducted in patients with schizophrenia,  migraine, and epilepsy. In each of these conditions, patients exhibited a dysregulation of endocannabinoid molecules in their cerebrospinal fluid. In post-traumatic stress, scientists at the New York University Langone Medical Center made a similar finding back in 2013. Compared with controls, PTSD patients demonstrated reduced endocannabinoid circulation.

“Considering the extreme amount of suffering and economic costs associated with clinical endocannabinoid deficiency disorders, it is necessary to have better research support and clinical investigations,” he presses. Better research and support would enable medical researchers and other scientists to more efficiently establish key therapies and interventions for endocannabinoid disorders. “While it is clear that cannabis in one form or another can be very effective in treating such disorders, certain lifestyle approaches, such as low impact aerobic activity, and dietary manipulations with prebiotics and probiotics may also be effective.”

Unfortunately, nearly 75 percent of medical schools also fail to provide students with the required amount of nutrition education. In a world of quasi-legal remedies and under-acknowledged illnesses, its past time that formal institutions look seriously into endocannabinoid health.

TELL US, have you heard of the endocannbinoid system?

Originally published on Cannabis Aficianado.

The post The Endocannabinoid System and Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Exploring the 3 Different Types of Cannabinoids: Endo, Phyto, and Synthetic

Cannabinoids are naturally-occurring chemical structures that exist in cannabis and hemp, as well as in other plants. These cannabinoids interact uniquely with receptors throughout the body in interesting ways.

Even though the cannabis plant has been under strong prohibition for decades, some research on it has been carried out over the years. Back in the 1960s, scientists in Israel led by Raphael Mechoulam identified chemical compounds in cannabis and hemp which they named “cannabinoids.”

These compounds react in a variety of ways with the endocannabinoid system present in all humans and other mammals, via CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body. The cannabinoids work in synergy with other compounds, terpenes, and flavanoids in the plants and have a unique effect on humans.

We know of more than 100 cannabinoids in cannabis, with the primary one being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is psychoactive but also has medicinal and therapeutic effects. The second most-studied cannabinoid is cannabidiol (CBD).

CBD has no psychoactive properties but does work as an anti-inflammatory, stress-reducer and as a sleep aid. There are also synthetic cannabinoids such as aminoalkylindoles, 1,5-diarylpyrazoles, and quinolines. These are made in a lab by replicating the chemical structure of naturally-occuring cannabinoids.

There are three distinct categories of cannabinoids, which we will discuss in detail today.

Use the sign up form to subscribe to the Medical Cannabis Weekly Newsletter.

Endocannabinoids

Endocannabinoids are the cannabinoids that we (and all other mammals) create within our bodies. Technically speaking, endocannabinoids are natural endogenous ligands produced by people and animals, connecting the cannabis receptors.

These endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors make up the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in all humans. This system regulates things like sleep, mood, and appetite, as well as other vital physiological functions. Two of the primary endocannabinoids are anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, and there are others.

Endocannabinoids act as a sort of access point for the main cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, as already discussed. CB1s are located in the central nervous system, while CB2s are situated in the immune system.

Endocannabinoids create balance – or homeostasis – within the body. A lack of endocannabinoids stemming from the inability to produce them, is linked to a slew of different health conditions including everything from migraines, to mental health disorders, to irritable bowel syndrome.

Phytocannabinoids

Phytocannabinoids are characterized by specific carbon atoms which only occur in cannabis. These phytocannabinoids exist inside the plant in both their acidic and neutral forms, although they degrade due to oxidization from exposure to light and air.

Are You Suffering From Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency?

Most people refer to phytocannabinoids simply as cannabinoids as the prefix, “phyto” just means “pertaining to derived from plants.” These compounds aren’t limited only to cannabis and are also found in the Echinacea purpurea plant and others.

Cannabinoids form primarily in the plant’s resin and within the trichome glands. These are located in the densest concentrations in the buds of the plant. Phytocannabinoids are also insoluable in water but soluable in alcohol and fats.

As mentioned above, when we don’t produce enough endocannabinoids, we are ‘cannabinoid deficient’, so bodies become destabilized and no longer function optimally. This is where supplementing with plant-based cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids) comes into play.

Synthetic Cannabinoids

Synthetic cannabinoids are a relatively new human invention and are mimicked natural compounds made under laboratory conditions. There are a few synthetic cannabis products on the market, including dronabinol, a THC-synthetic, and Marinol, which comes in capsule form and is used to treat symptoms of nausea, loss of appetite and weight loss.

Some of these products are approved for medicinal use in the US, UK, Switzerland, and Canada, among other countries. However, while synthetic cannabinoids were initially invented for study purposes, they haven’t proved themselves in their current form to be reliable and safe for humans, at least in clinical tests. More research into synthetic cannabinoids is needed so that more can be understood about the use of them for treating medical conditions in humans.

Real Cannabis vs Synthetic Marinol – Which One is Better?

Synthetic cannabinoids are also used in the recreational realm. It’s known by names like K2, spice, and nitro, and it’s readily available for kids to purchase from a variety of stores. Some of these synthetic cannabinoids are classified the same as heroin and crack cocaine, whereas others are legally sold as “herbal incense” or “potpourri”.

Often times, teens who don’t have access to real cannabis or people who know they will be drug tested, use these fake herbs to get high, although the effects are not even close to what you would feel from smoking real cannabis. There are numerous acute and long-term health risks associated with the use of synthetic cannabinoids. 

Final Thoughts

Of all the known compounds and chemicals inside cannabis, CBD is the most interesting for many people. CBD has been proven time and time again to treat anxiety, movement disorders, and pain, as well as a myriad of other conditions.

CBD is interesting as it doesn’t bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors in humans, instead just encouraging them externally to ensure the body and mind are working in tandem. As more research is carried out on CBD, it’s proving to be a miraculous little compound which has some significant effects on human health. Understanding how to use CBD correctly is also vital for anyone wanting to medicate with a natural alternative instead of pharmaceutical drugs.

In the coming years, there’s little doubt that more robust research will be carried out on the various cannabinoids in cannabis and hemp to understand how they can benefit people even more.

For more articles like this one and stay in-the-loop on all things cannabis related, make sure to subscribe to the Medical Cannabis Weekly Newsletter.

The post Exploring the 3 Different Types of Cannabinoids: Endo, Phyto, and Synthetic appeared first on CBD Testers.