A survey was just recently conducted which concluded that half of those who take Cannabidiol based products stop taking traditional medications. But what is Cannabidiol?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound found in hemp and marijuana plants utilized for its different medical benefits. Hemp and marijuana are different varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant. Hemp is traditionally cultivated for seeds, oil and fiber, while marijuana is cultivated for its high content of THC, utilized for its psychoactive properties. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found throughout the cannabis plant which, when ingested or inhaled, can provide a range of beneficial treatments to an array of different symptoms and ailments. Currently there are 85+ cannabinoids known to medical science, including THC and Cannabidiol, which is the compound prevalent in most CBD products. Individuals looking for alternative means of relief for treating anxiety, sleep related disorders, inflammation, pain, psychosis, seizures, spasms, and nausea have experienced great success using CBD.
But what many individuals are wondering is what to look for when purchasing CBD. According to research, it’s important to buy a product that retains the full plant profile, which ensures the full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, and fatty acids from the natural plant is present.
The Whole Plant for CBD Extraction
When researching CBD products at first it will seem rather confusing, as what seems to be the same product has a large discrepancy in price. What’s important to understand when researching full spectrum CBD oil or CBD capsules is that to extract the CBD from the host plant while maintaining the integrity of the plant is far more expensive then just separating CBD from either the cannabis or hemp plant. The reason for maintaining the integrity of the host plant is to ensure medicinal effectiveness of the end product. A whole plant CBD extraction is important for a full cannabinoid spectrum, so that the many compounds of the host plant interact synergistically to create an end product that is greater than the sum of its parts. Scientific researchers and medical professionals refer to this as the “entourage effect”, which means that if the integrity of the medicinal plant is maintained during the extraction process, the medicinal or therapeutic benefits are significantly increased. This idea in maintaining the host plant integrity to maximize therapeutic values is referred to as “whole plant medicine”.
A recent study in Israel entitled "Overcoming the Bell-Shaped Dose-Response of Cannabidiol by Using Cannabis Extract Enriched in Cannabidiol" spelled out the different between CBD extract and whole plant medicine enriched CBD. The study was published in the journal Pharmacology & Pharmacy. The study shed scientific light on the CBD community’s intuitions about the effectiveness of whole plant CBD-rich extracts. They found that whole plant CBD products are substantially more effective at combating physical ailments like inflammation than synthetic single-molecule CBD. This is incredibly useful information for those new to the CBD industry and can assist those tempted by shopping bottom shelf CBD to steer towards companies which spend the time and money attempting to harness all the possible benefits of the host plant. Though at first you’ll be saving money buying a synthetic CBD product, you have to remember that you’re putting this in your body for a purpose and to receive the best therapeutic benefits per dollar it is important to pick a company which retains as much of the host plant as possible. The findings of this study are significant and can help the medical community and CBD industry as a whole better treat patients for a variety of different ailments.
The Science Supporting The Use of Whole Plant CBD
In the study, both CBD and synthetic (titled “clone 202”) prevented paw swelling of mice. Both synthetic clone 202 CBD and whole plant CBD performed much better than traditional anti-inflammatories like aspirin. The researchers explained that “Aspirin, but not tramadol, showed a slight inhibitory effect on TNFα production, that was negligible in comparison to the strong inhibitory effect of CBD and clone 202 extract (p < 0.01) (Figure 5(c)). Thus, CBD and clone 202 extract are endowed with different traits than aspirin and tramadol, making them superior with respect to anti-inflammatory properties. In conclusion, we recommend standardized plant extract of the Cannabis clone 202 for treatment of various inflammatory conditions."
Doctor Ethan Russo M.D. is a neurologist who has spent a considerable amount of time studying the different cannabis compounds and how they interact with each other, as well as how patients could possibly benefit from their interaction. Dr. Russo released a study called, “Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects,”. In this study he outlines how cannabinoids and other cannabis compounds interact and how we can possibly benefit from each individual component of the plant. He explains: “Considered ensemble, the preceding body of information supports the concept that selective breeding of cannabis chemotypes rich in ameliorative phytocannabinoid and terpenoid content offer complementary pharmacological activities that may strengthen and broaden clinical applications and improve the therapeutic index of cannabis extracts containing THC, or other base phytocannabinoids. Psychopharmacological and dermatological indications show the greatest promise.” The study ends with this incredibly interesting notion: “Selective cross-breeding of high-terpenoid- and high-phytocannabinoid-specific chemotypes has thus become a rational target that may lead to novel approaches to such disorders as treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, drug dependency, dementia and a panoply of dermatological disorders, as well as industrial applications as safer pesticides and antiseptics. A better future via cannabis phytochemistry may be an achievable goal through further research of the entourage effect in this versatile plant that may help it fulfil its promise as a pharmacological treasure trove.”
Conclusion on Whole Plant CBD
We are just at the beginning of what is possible with these types of discoveries. Whole plant medicines and being able to extract certain aspects of a plant to combat specific ailments is an intriguing and hopeful future for those suffering from medical conditions and the unfortunate side effects which come from traditional medications. According to The National Cancer Institute, “Because cannabinoid receptors, unlike opioid receptors, are not located in the brain stem areas controlling respiration, lethal overdoses from Cannabis and cannabinoids do not occur.” So it’s important not to be scared or confused about concentrations of CBD in your product. As long as you adhere to advised consumption rates you will be fine. As these types of studies continue we are better understanding exactly why the cannabis and hemp plants are so incredibly useful at combating such a wide variety of disorders.
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