The World of Hemp

HEMP SEEDS

Image by U. Leone from Pixabay

HEMP FLOWER
HEMP FIBER

A Tour of the Hemp Plant

The information below is provided as a courtesy and does not reflect the opinions/views of Coastal Hemp Company.  Consumers are encouraged to educate themselves regarding CBD products before purchasing CBD products.

Hemp Flower: The hemp plant flower an leaves are dried and the CBD and THC is extracted to produce CBD products.

 

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Hemp Seed & Hemp Seed Oil: Used as food for human and animal consumption in the seed form or as an oil (like sunflower seed oil),  in beauty products (shampoo, lip balm, facial creams, and more.

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Hemp Leaves: Because of its absorbant quality, hemp leaves are used for animal bedding, mulch, compost, and more.

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Hemp Stems & Stalk: Used to create fiber to be used to create clothing, animal bedding, paper, rope, building materials like hempcrete, shoes and more.

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What is Hemp

Hemp or Industrial Hemp is a variety of the cannabis plant that are part of the Cannabaceae plant family.  Hemp is also a close relative to the Marijuana plant, both are members of the Cannabaceae plant family.

Industrial Hemp is derived from the Cannabis Sativa L. plant and is bred to produce high levels of CBD (cannabidiol) and low levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) (0.3% or less).  Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA): industrial hemp is defined as,  “Cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.), and derivatives of cannabis with extremely low (less than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis) concentrations of the psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). ” (Ref: FDA Statement. Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on signing of the Agriculture Improvement Act and the agency’s regulation of products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds.  20Dec2018. ).   

Source: FDA Statement. Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on signing of the Agriculture Improvement Act and the agency’s regulation of products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds.  20Dec2018.

Hemp is a very versatile plant with over 50,000 uses identified for this plant.  Every part of the hemp plant can be used from roots to flowers. 

Industrial Hemp can processed to create many different types of products.  The three main markets in which industrial hemp is processed for, they are:

  1. Seed and Grain for human and animal consumption as food, cooking oils, cosmetics, food additives, etc.
  2. Fiber for clothing, textiles, shoes, gas, hempcrete for building, etc.
  3. Extracts from hemp Flower for CBD products.

 

HEMP OIL & HEMP SEED OIL

This terms can be used interchangeably.  These products refer to oil that is extracted from the hemp seed or parts of the hemp plant (stalk).  The oils can be used for cooking, beauty products, etc.

 

HEMP EXTRACT OR CBD OIL

Hemp extracts or Cannabidiol (CBD) oils contain cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids and are used for their suggested medicinal properties.

 

The Benefits ofHemp

Hemp is considered a ‘Super Plant’ because it has so many uses, over 50,000 uses have been identified to date.  

 

 

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table of hemp benefits

Hemp seeds themselves are very nutritious and rich in healthy polyunsaturated fats, essential fatty acids Omega-6 (linolenic acid), Omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid), Gamma linolenic (GLA) as well as protein (2-3 tablespoons of hemp seeds provide 11 grams of protein), vitamin D & E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc and many more. 

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, a 2 tablespoon serving of hemp seeds weighing 20 grams (g) contains:

  • 111 calories
  • 6.31 g of protein
  • 9.75 g of fat
  • 1.73 g of carbohydrates (including 0.8 g of fiber and 0.3 g of sugar)
  • 14 milligrams (mg) of calcium
  • 1.59 mg of iron
  • 140 mg of magnesium
  • 330 mg of phosphorus
  • 240 mg of potassium
  • 1.98 mg of zinc
  • 22 micrograms (mcg) of folate

As well as vitamin C, some B vitamins, and vitamins A and E.

Hemp seeds also contain phytosterols, which help in reducing the amount of cholesterol in the body by removing fat build-up in the arteries.

Magnesium deficiency — which is especially prevalent in older populations — is linked to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease, and osteoporosis. Nuts and seeds like hemp are some of the best sources of magnesium. 

Hemp is also known to be resistant to mildew, bacteria, and UV rays. It is also highly durable and moisture wicking, which means hemp can positively impact the health of your skin and body.

(Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/308044.php)

Hemp and the Endocannabinoid System

NOTE: Images are available for download below in the Educational Poster section.

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Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
CBD Receptor Sites

An Endogenous Cannabinoid System (ECS), commonly referred to as an “Endocannabinoid System,” is found in every animal and regulates a broad range of biological functions. The ECS is a biochemical control system of neuromodulatory lipids (molecules that include fats, waxes, sterols and fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E and K and others) and specialized receptors configured to accept certain cannabinoids. In general, a given receptor will accept only particular classes of compounds and will be unaffected by other compounds, just as a specific key is needed to open a lock.

Specialized receptors are located throughout the human body, including but not limited to, in the hippocampus (memory, learning), the cerebral cortex (decision-making, emotional behavior), the cerebellum (motor control, coordination), putamen (movement, learning), the hypothalamus (appetite, body temperature) and the amygdala (emotions). When a specific cannabinoid or combination of cannabinoids bind to a specialized receptor, an event or a series of events, is triggered in the cell, resulting in a change in the cell’s activity, its gene regulation and/or the signals that it sends to neighboring cells. This process is called “signal transduction.”

Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CEDC) is a proposed spectrum disorder that has been implicated in a range of illnesses, including fibromyalgia, migraine and irritable bowel syndrome. So far, very little clinical research has been conducted on this speculative disorder. It is quite possible that these very common conditions may respond favorably to cannabinoid therapies. However, this will only happen if more research is conducted.

Phytocannabinoid or Cannabinoid Receptors

The primary cannabinoid receptors are identified as Cannabinoid type 1 receptors (CB1-R) and Cannabinoid type 2 receptors (CB2-R). The receptors can be “unlocked” by three kinds of cannabinoids:

  1. Endocannabinoids – endogenous-fatty-acid cannabinoids produced naturally in the body (e.g., anandamide and 2-AG)
  2. Phytocannabinoids – concentrated in the oily resin of the buds and leaves of plants such as cannabis (e.g., THC and CBD)
  3. Synthetic cannabinoids – manufactured by artificial means such as in a laboratory

First detected in the brain, science now shows that CB1-R are also located in many other organs, connective tissues, gonads and glands. CB1-R are not found in the medulla oblongata (the part of the brain stem responsible for respiratory and cardiovascular functions). CB1-R play an important role in the coordination of movements, spatial orientation, sensory perceptions (taste, touch, smell, hearing), cognitive performance and motivation.

The most important function of the CB1-R is the reduction of excessive or inadequate signaling by the neurotransmitters (messengers) in the brain. By the activation of the CB1-R, the hyperactivity or hypoactivity of the messengers (e.g., serotonin, dopamine) is regulated back into balance. For example, when THC binds to CB1-R, activity in the pain circuits is inhibited, thus resulting in reduced pain. Many other symptoms such as nausea, muscle spasticity and seizures can be alleviated or diminished with cannabinoid therapy.

CB2-R are primarily associated with the immune system and found outside of the brain in such places as the gut, spleen, liver, heart, kidneys, bones, blood vessels, lymph cells, endocrine glands and reproductive organs. For example, CBD is keyed to CB2-R, and good evidence shows CBD is a beneficial therapeutic strategy to lessen the impact of inflammatory and neuro-inflammatory diseases. Until recently, it was believed that CB-2R played no role with nerve cells or bundles. However, studies now show that it also plays an important role in the signal processing of the brain.

A third receptor that gets little attention is the transient receptor potential vanilloid-type one (TRPV1). The function of TRPV1 is to detect and regulate body temperature. In addition, TRPV1 is responsible for the sensations of extreme external heat and pain and is subject to desensitization. Therefore, if continuously stimulated, the pathway will eventually slow down or even stop. This raises therapeutic possibilities for agents to effectively treat certain kinds of neuropathic pain.

Since the initial discovery of the CB1 receptor site by Allyn Howlett and William Devane in 1988, it has been an “accepted” fact that CBD, unlike THC, has little binding affinity for the CB1 receptor. Unfortunately, this assumption was not based on science. New data emerging from the international cannabinoid research community indicates that CBD interacts directly with the CB1 receptor site in ways that are therapeutically relevant. CBD parks at a different docking site on the CB1-R that is functionally distinct from THC’s orthosteric binding site. CBD attaches to what’s known as an “allosteric” binding site on CB1-R. When CBD docks at the receptor, it does not initiate a signaling cascade. It does, however, influence how the receptor responds to stimulation by THC and the endogenous cannabinoids. Allosteric modulation of CB1-R changes the conformation (shape) of the receptor, and this can have a dramatic impact on the efficiency of cell signaling.

A positive allosteric modulator that enhances CB1 receptor signaling indicates that CBD could be helpful treating diseases linked to endocannabinoid deficits (such as anorexia, migraines, irritable bowel, fibromyalgia, and PTSD), in addition to treating conditions associated with endocannabinoid excess or overactivity (obesity, metabolic disorders, liver disease, cardiovascular issues).

(Source: https://www.medicaljane.com/category/cannabis-classroom/cannabis-science/#cannabinoids-101) (Source Photos: Wholistic Research and Education Foundation)

Hemp Phyto Cannabinoids

NOTE: Images are available for download below in the Educational Poster section.

Cannabinoids are a diverse set of chemical compounds, produced in the trichome glands in the flowers of the female cannabis plant,  that bind to special receptors in the human body that make up what is known as the endocannabinoid system. The “key and lock” metaphor is often used to describe this process. The human body possesses specific binding sites (“locks”) on the surface of many cell types, and our body produces several endocannabinoids (“keys”) that bind to these cannabinoid receptors (CB) to activate or “unlock” them.

In 1992, researchers detected an endogenous substance that binds to cannabinoid receptors for the first time. This substance, known as anandamide, comes from the Sanskrit word “Ananda” for bliss and “amide” due to its chemical structure. A second endocannabinoid was discovered in 1995, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). These two endocannabinoids are the best studied so far. Today, it is thought that about 200+ related substances exist, which resemble the endocannabinoids and complement their function in what has been termed the “entourage effect.” Several endocannabinoids do not only bind to cannabinoid receptors, but also to a possible CB3 receptor (the GPR55 receptor), to vanilloid receptors and further receptors.

In addition to endocannabinoids, scientists have now identified cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant (phytocannabinoids) that work to mimic or counteract the effects of some endocannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids and terpenes are manufactured in resin glands (trichomes) present on the flowers and main fan leaves of late-stage cannabis plants. The amount of resin produced and its cannabinoid content varies by plant gender, growing conditions and harvesting time. The chemical stability of cannabinoids in harvested plant material is affected by moisture, temperature, light and storage, but will degrade over time in any storage conditions.

(Source: https://www.medicaljane.com/category/cannabis-classroom/cannabis-science/#cannabinoids-101)

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Most Studied Cannabinoids

What is the Entourage Effect??

NOTE: Images are available for download below in the Educational Poster section.

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Entourage Effect
Common Cannabis Terpenes

The concept of the entourage effect was introduced in 1998 by Israeli scientists Shimon Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam. The theory is that cannabinoids within the cannabis plant work together through a network of coincidental relationships as part of a greater organism and affect the body in a mechanism similar to the body’s own endocannabinoid system. Basically, these compounds work better together than in isolation.

The longstanding, successful use of cannabis as a whole makes it necessary to find a rationale for its medicinal superiority in comparison to products containing isolated, single components of the cannabis plant, or synthetic cannabinoids trying to replicate the natural components.

Research on the benefits of THC and CBD in isolation is well established. THC demonstrates analgesic, anti-emetic, and anti-inflammatory properties. CBD possesses anti-psychotic, anti-seizure, and anti-anxiety properties. However, evidence is mounting that by isolating these cannabinoids or creating them in a lab, that the resulting effects may have limited therapeutic use. It is also the reason visits to a doctor or emergency room have increased. When delivered in high concentrations, THC can cause overdosing. Although an acute THC overdose rarely requires medical intervention, the side effects can be very unpleasant. Good evidence now shows that THC and CBD work together. CBD is known to lock out THC at the CB1-R. Therefore, applying the entourage effect, increasing CBD in the case of an overdose may lessen the effects of THC.

The synthetic cannabinoid, Marinol, is another example. Marinol is a pure, synthetic form of THC. When the drug was first introduced in the mid-80s, it was thought it would have the same effect as the cannabis plant as a whole. However, it soon became clear that most patients were not responding the same as when THC is consumed by smoking or ingesting naturally-grown cannabis. Researchers soon realized that other compounds, such as CBD and various terpenes, play a larger role than previously realized.

(Source: https://www.medicaljane.com/category/cannabis-classroom/cannabis-science/#cannabinoids-101)

Things to ConsiderWhen Purchasing CBD

NOTE: Images are available for download below in the Educational Poster section.

With CBD’s increasing popularity, more an more consumers are curious and looking to find out more about CBD before they try CBD.  The problem is that there is no ‘how to’ book  or dosing manual and many health care providers are just as in the dark as the consumer. As a result, many consumers are tasked with having to do the  research on their own.  Because CBD is not currently regulated, consumers run the risk of purchasing products that have no CBD and/or  have other questionable additives or bacteria, heavy metals, etc. that may be harmful.  Below is a short list of some items that should be considered when purchasing CBD products.  Pictorials are located on the right side.  

  1. Certificate of Analysis (COA): has the product been tested  by a third party, meaning another company other than the party that grew, manufactured or labeled the product. There are several reasons for checking for a COA: a)  a COA can tell you if the CBD is industrial hemp, based on the type of hemp strain (Sativa L), the % of THC content (should be 0.3 mg or less), the % and concentration of CBD in your product; b) the COA can tell you if there are any neurotoxins present in your CBD product (like hectane, butane, propane, etc).  Neurotoxins are poisonous to our central nervous system and possibly dame nerves and nerve tissue; c) the COA can tell you if there are any bacteria (e.coli, staphylococcus, listeria), molds, fungus, yeast, pesticides, heavy metals (lead, mercury, arsenic) in your CBD products. This is important depending on the type of CBD product you are consuming.  For instance, if you are smoking CBD flower or pre-rolls,   you would not want fungus levels to be above what is acceptable as these could harm your lungs;
  2. Manufacturing date, Expiration date, Lot or Batch numbers:  these are important because they tell you how old the product is, based on the ingredients used , when you should stop taking the product (expiration date).  For instance, CBD oils utilize some type of oil and oils will turn bad or go rancid after a certain period of time, this is referred to as ‘shelf life’.  MCT oil has a shelf like of 2 years if unopened and 1 year if opened.  The batch number is good to have for instances when you get a product that is questionable, looks bad, or you get sick after using the product.  This helps when you are trying to find and warn others about a bad or recalled product;
  3. List of ingredients, Serving  sizes, Instructions for use:  since CBD is not regulated, it is good to know what additional ingredients are in your CBD product (are there any recalled herbs like Ma Huang), what is the recommended dosage or suggested serving size and how the CBD should be taken.  This information will help a consumer to figure out how the CBD product is to be taken (by mouth, sublingually – under the tongue, inhalation, topically), what is the consumers optimal dosing range. 
  4. The Type of CBD:  there are three types of CBD products and you need to consider these when deciding the type of CBD product you would like to purchase:
    • Full Spectrum: includes all of the plants cannabinoids (THC included), Terpenes and Flavonoids
    • Broad Spectrum: includes all  plant cannabinoids (except THC), Terpenes , Flavonoids
    • Isolate: includes just the 1 cannabinoid (CBD), no THC.  No other plant compounds are included.
  5. The Form of CBD: CBD comes in various form and applications.  CBD Form and your purpose for trying CBD should be considered when deciding what CBD product to purchase:
    • Ingestible: forms that can be taken by mouth (Oils, Tinctures, Pills, Powder, Gummies, Coffees, Teas, etc.). Takes about 30-40 mins. before effects are noticed. Exception: holding the tincture or oil sublingually (under the tongue for 1-3 mins) instead of just swallowing, bypasses the digestive tract and allows for a much faster delivery;
    • Topical: forms that can be applied to the body (oils, lotions, salves, creams, etc.). takes about 10 mins. before effects are noticed;
    • Inhalation: forms that can be inhaled into the lungs (pre-rolls, vaping, flower, dabs, etc.).  This is the quickest form of CBD and effects can be noticed within minutes. 

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COA - Cannabinoid & Terpene Profiles
COA - Pesticides, Mycrobials, Mycotoxins, Heavy Metals, Residual Solvents.
COA - Pesticides
Illustration of Full Spectrum CBD
Illustration of Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum and Isolate

UsefulReferences

Educational Posters

Below are some very useful posters that explain the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), CBD Receptor Sites (provided by Mana Artisan Botanics and Wholistic Research and Education Foundation), Examples of Certificate of Analysis (COA) testing (compliments of Kurativ Premium CBD) and other various illustrations related to CBD types, Terpenes and Cannabinoids and the Entourage Effect.

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