Updated: May 26, 2022
These past few years have been a whirl wind for the Cannabis industry. Now days, it’s hard to come across the health and wellness industry without finding some reference to cannabinoids and the benefits it poses for the body and the environment. Because of the many questions I have been receiving, I decided to create an easy reference explaining the major players in the world of Cannabidiol (CBD) and why it is important for everyone to grasp an understanding of them; even if you decide not to support the industry. Taking a few minutes to familiarize yourself with CBD oils, what cannabis is and how it affects our bodies, will allow you to make fully informed decision that will only serve to benefit your family and loved ones.
Cannabis contains well over 100 different cannabinoids, which includes the two everyone is raving about; CBD and THC. Cannabinoids are phyto-compounds that are produced by the cannabis plant.
News Flash: All cannabis is NOT "weed". All cannabis is NOT marijuana. Now that we have cleared that up, we can move on.
To further clarify, cannabis, in itself, is neither Hemp nor Marijuana, it is just cannabis. Marijuana (a slang term) is a classification of the cannabis plant variety that has a sizeable amount of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis varieties that is associated with the “high” feeling that some cannabis users experience.
With the introduction of the Farm Bill, S.227 – Hemp Farming Act of 2018 , the United States government now states “The term ‘hemp’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. And any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis”.
Simply put, cannabis plants with no more that 0.3% of THC are classified as Hemp. Cannabis plants with more than 0.3% THC are classified as THC-rich, or Marijuana. For the purpose of “weeding” out the term, I will use the phrase THC-rich for the duration of this post.
There are three original major classes of cannabis; Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. Another class was added, Cannabis hybrid, a cross between sativa and indica, to produce a cannabis variety that is high in CBD.
One of the most commonly known cannabinoids in hemp is non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD). Due to the thousands of university and non-profit supported studies we have learned that our bodies have, what we identify as, the Endocannabinoid system. This system is responsible for regulating bodily functions to create a state of hemostasis. Hemostasis is a point where your body’s systems function together seamlessly. It is composed of three main players; enzymes, Endocannabinoids, and receptors. "Endo-", meaning native or internal, refers to the cannabinoids your body makes naturally. Cannabinoids are the “worker bees” that the ECS uses to bring about the desired effects that create homeostasis.
Let me give you an example: Your heart pumps blood to deliver oxygen to your arms as you are exercising. While lifting the weights, the tissue structure changes rapidly and your arms begin to tire. Your system is excreting lactic acid from your muscles as a byproduct of their use. But wait, something is wrong, and you feel the cramp, inflammation and pain associated with it. It’s due to, amongst other things, lactic acid buildup. This can occur when there is not enough oxygen in the blood stream to carry the glucose and glycogen out of the muscles. This is where the Endocannabinoid system steps forward. Working from your nerve synapses, the ECS alerts your body that there is a buildup and it calls for your existing Endocannabinoids to bind to those nerve receptors. These cannabinoids signal your body to bring forth certain proteins that prompt the body to repair cells, to remove toxins, to grow, to relieve, etc.; whatever it needs to reach a state of homeostasis.
So why do we still experience lasting Dis-Ease? Well, the problem is that our bodies do not make enough cannabinoids, therefore, the pain, discomfort, and injuries are not fully repaired nor relieved. This means, if we want to build and maintain a state of homeostasis, we must supplement the necessary amount of cannabinoids. Consider this, we make H2O but not enough to sustain life, so we supplement by drinking water. Why not supplement our Endocannabinoids by taking plant cannabinoids?
Research has discovered that our ECS helps to regulate:
Appetite and digestion
Functions of the reproductive system
Nervous system and so much more.
Now that you have a better understanding of the differences between THC-rich and Hemp Cannabis, you should now be able to make a well informed decision as to whether or not you would like to introduce CBD into your health regimen. If you still have questions, do not hesitate to reach out to Natural Medicine Specialist, Liam Adair, founder and CEO of Wholesome Healing by scheduling a no-cost consultation.