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The Cannabinoids Part 2: Canna-What?

A quick guide through nature’s mysterious healing compound

The medical industry has discovered a new strain of chemical compounds that have the potential to revolutionize modern medicine.   Cannabis Cannabinoids [pronounced: kuh-nab-uh-noid]. Last week, we learned that cannabinoids are beneficial chemical compounds inherent in each and everyone one of us as well as virtually the entire animal kingdom.   This week, we focus on the powerful cannabinoids inherent to the plant kingdom and how those found in the cannabis plant are reforming healthcare.  

Tom[ay]to, Tom[ah]to, Cannabis?

Plant cannabinoids are groups of chemicals that have specific biological purposes to support survival.  They are released through plant trichomes, which are essentially plant hair.

You see trichomes every time you look at a plant. And each of these trichomes is oozing with self-preservative properties in the form of cannabinoids. 

Tomato Plant

Cannabinoids and trichomes are a part of our life.  Albeit the ones we interact with on a daily basis are a tad bit less interesting than those of cannabis.

The Cannabis Cannabinoids

They:

  • Repel Insects
  • Guard against disease
  • Attract bumblebees and other pollinators
  • Defend against frost
  • Retain moister

Many of these functions have a healthy synergy with the human endocannabinoid system and enhance our ability to protect ourselves.  

Health Warriors

Eating tomatoes as part of a well-balanced diet is healthy.  That is a commonly accepted fact. But have you ever wondered why tomatoes are healthy?  Hint: Cannabinoids. Tomatoes have a host of healthy cannabinoids that have positive synergies with the human body.  Some fantastic health benefits of eating tomatoes include healthy skin and protection against deadly carcinogens.  

Similarly, the cannabis plant contains plenty of healthy cannabinoids for the human body. Five of the more well-researched cannabis cannabinoids that are healthy to the human body are: 

CBD (Cannabidiol)

  • A non-psychoactive compound, currently being used to treat seizures in both adults in children as well as limit anxiety-symptoms in chronic stressors. 
  • CBD has been shown to alleviate symptoms of depression, and these results are exacerbated when paired with another positive stimulus, such as citrus scent.

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)

  • A psychoactive compound, responsible for the “high” sensation.  Similar to CBD, it has been shown to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, also seeing larger, compounded results when paired with an essential oil. 
  • Increases focus and attention for students in the musical arts by providing a perceived extenuation of time and enhanced visualization ability 

THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin)

  • A mildly psychoactive compound, that provides energy akin to caffeine. 
  • Appetite suppressor and effective for managing blood glucose levels, benefiting individuals with Type II Diabetes

 CBG (Cannabigerol)

  • Most potent cannabinoid that attacks cancer cells.
  • Extremely effective in lowering intraocular pressure – medical jargon for eye pressure – combating the debilitating effects of glaucoma

CBC (Cannabichromene)

  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Works with other cannabinoids to fight cancer

So why not just cut to the chase and post the “Health Warriors” section alone?  This is a cannabis-website after all..

Because it is important to understand the nature of cannabinoids in the plant kingdom.  An understanding of cannabinoids can lead to a healthy appreciation for the potential health benefits and health risks inherent of all plants, especially cannabis.   Reframing our personal perception of cannabis from “drug” to “plant” is a great first step in deciding if its cannabinoid properties may be beneficial to yourself or a loved one.  Cannabinoids are, as they always have been, an essential element of life. The question is: Which cannabinoids could be helpful for yours?

Read Cannabinoids Part 1: Cannabinoids are Human

References:

  • Izzo AA, Borrelli F, Capasso R, Di marzo V, Mechoulam R. Non-psychotropic plant cannabinoids: new therapeutic opportunities from an ancient herb. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2009;30(10): 515-27. doi:10.1016/j.tips.2009.07.006
  • Saunders, M. E.  Insect pollinators collect pollen from wind‐pollinated plants: implications for pollination ecology and sustainable agriculture. Insect Conserv Divers. 2018;11: 13-31. doi:10.1111/icad.12243
  • Kiriakopoulos E. MSc and Patel A. MD.  Epilepsy Foundation. Medical Marijuana and Epilepsy. https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/treating-seizures-and-epilepsy/other-treatment-approaches/medical-marijuana-and-epilepsy. Published: 2018. Accessed: March 5, 2019. 
  • Holeywell, R. TMC News. Treating Epilepsy with CBD Oil. https://www.tmc.edu/news/2018/06/treating-epilepsy-with-cbd-oil/. Published 2018. Accessed: March 5, 2019.
  • Russo, E. B.  Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid‐terpenoid entourage effects. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2011;163: 1344-1364. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x
  • Fachner, J. An Ethno-Methodological Approach to Cannabis and Music Perception, with EEG Brain Mapping in a Naturalistic Setting. Anthropology of Consciousness. 2006;17(2): 78-103. doi: 10.1525/ac.2006.17.2.78
  • Jadoon KA, Ratcliffe SH, Barrett DA, et al. Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol and Tetrahydrocannabivarin on Glycemic and Lipid Parameters in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Group Pilot Study. Diabetes Care. 2016; 39(10) 1777-86; doi. 10.2337/dc16-0650
  • Atakan Z. Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals. Ther Adv Psychopharmacol. 2012;2(6):241-54.
  • Wargent ET, Zaibi MS, Silvestri C, et al. The cannabinoid Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) ameliorates insulin sensitivity in two mouse models of obesity. Nutr Diabetes. 2013;3(5):e68. doi:10.1038/nutd.2013.9
  • Nadolska K, Goś R. [Possibilities of applying cannabinoids’ in the treatment of glaucoma]. Klin Oczna. 2008;110(7-9):314-7. Review. Polish. PubMed PMID: 19112869.
  • DeLong GT, Wolf CE, Poklis A, Lichtman AH. Pharmacological evaluation of the natural constituent of Cannabis sativa, cannabichromene and its modulation by Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2010;112(1-2):126-33

2 Comments

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