Give Me the Science!
*Disclaimer: Cannabis products are not intended to prevent, treat, diagnose or cure any disease or condition and have not been tested or approved by the FDA.*
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis is a plant that has been used for various purposes for thousands of years. It belongs to the Cannabaceae family and has two primary species: Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. Hemp and Marijuana fall under the Cannabis sativa classification. Cannabis plants contain a diverse range of chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, which interact with the body's endocannabinoid system when consumed. Don't know what the Endocannabinoid System is? Click here
Historical evidence suggests that cannabis has been cultivated and utilized by various civilizations for different purposes throughout human history.
One of the earliest known records of cannabis usage dates back to ancient China around 5000 BCE. Chinese agricultural texts from that period mention cannabis as a source of fiber for textiles and rope. Cannabis seeds were also used for food, and its medicinal properties were recognized, with references to cannabis being used to treat various ailments.
In ancient India, cannabis had significant cultural and religious significance and was mentioned in sacred texts known as the Vedas, which date back to around 1500 BCE. Cannabis was believed to have medicinal properties and was used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.
Throughout history, cannabis was also used in ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Greece, and the Roman Empire. It was employed for medicinal, religious, and recreational purposes in various forms, including as an intoxicating substance.
In the Americas, evidence of cannabis usage has been found among indigenous cultures. For example, archaeological findings suggest that cannabis was used by ancient civilizations in what is now present-day Chile and Peru.
In more recent history, cannabis was introduced to Europe and other parts of the world through various trade routes, and its usage spread across different cultures.
What is Delta 9 THC?
Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9-THC) is the primary psychoactive compound found in cannabis, responsible for the "high" or intoxicating effects commonly associated with marijuana use. It is one of over 100 different cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant.
When cannabis is consumed, Delta-9-THC binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and central nervous system, specifically CB1 receptors. This interaction activates various neurological pathways, leading to altered perception, mood changes, relaxation, and an overall sense of euphoria.
The potency of Delta-9-THC can vary widely depending on the cannabis strain, growing conditions, and other factors. It is often measured as a percentage of the total weight of THC in a particular cannabis product or strain.
What is an Isomer?
An isomer is a term used in chemistry to describe molecules that have the same molecular formula but different structural arrangements or spatial orientations. In simpler terms, isomers are compounds with the same number and types of atoms but varying structures. Delta-8-THC and Delta-9-THC are isomers. There are multiple isomers in the THC family.
What is Delta 8 THC? Does it get me "high"?
Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-8-THC) is one of the many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It is chemically similar to Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9-THC), sharing 99.99% the same molecular make-up. While both Delta-8-THC and Delta-9-THC share similar chemical structures, they have slight differences in their atomic arrangement, leading to differences in their effects on the body. Delta-8-THC is reported to have a more subtle psychoactive effect compared to Delta-9-THC, leading to a milder "high." Some users describe Delta-8-THC as providing a more clear-headed and focused experience, with less anxiety and paranoia compared to Delta-9-THC. In short, because of the double-bond placement illustrated below, Delta-8-THC is less cerebral and more of a bodily feeling. Delta-8-THC is a minor cannabinoid, meaning it is present in much lower concentrations compared to Delta-9-THC in most cannabis strains.
What does Indica and Sativa mean? That's how I'll know what the affects will be, right?
The terms "indica" and "sativa" are used to categorize different species of the cannabis plant. Historically, these terms were used to describe the physical characteristics of the plants and their growth patterns. However, they are often misunderstood as indicators of the subjective effects or feelings experienced by individuals consuming these cannabis varieties.
Indica plants are typically shorter and bushier with wide leaves. They have a shorter flowering time compared to sativa plants.
Traditionally, indica strains were thought to have more sedative and relaxing effects. People often associated indicas with a "body high" that could induce feelings of calmness, relaxation, and even sleepiness.
Indica strains were commonly recommended for evening or nighttime use to promote relaxation and help with sleep-related issues.
Sativa plants are generally taller with thinner leaves and a longer flowering time compared to indicas.
Sativa strains were historically believed to have more uplifting and energizing effects. People often associated sativas with a "head high" that could lead to increased creativity, focus, and sociability.
Sativa strains were often recommended for daytime use to boost mood and productivity.
However, the idea that indica strains always produce relaxation and sedation, while sativa strains always provide stimulation and energy, is now considered an oversimplification and somewhat outdated. The effects of cannabis are influenced by various factors, including the specific cannabinoid and terpene profiles, individual body chemistry, tolerance levels, and the method of consumption.
Modern cannabis cultivars are often hybrids, containing traits from both indica and sativa plants. Additionally, the distinction between indica and sativa effects is not consistently observed, as many people report experiencing different effects even when using the same strain.
Instead of relying solely on the terms "indica" and "sativa" to predict effects, consumers are encouraged to consider the cannabinoid and terpene profiles of specific strains, as well as their personal preferences and experiences.
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are a large and diverse class of organic compounds found in various plants, including cannabis. They are responsible for the distinct aroma and flavors of different plants and have been used by humans for centuries in perfumes, aromatherapy, and traditional medicine.
In cannabis, terpenes are synthesized and stored in the same glands as cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD. They play a crucial role in the entourage effect, where the combination of cannabinoids and terpenes is believed to produce a more significant impact than each compound individually.
There are over 100 different terpenes found in cannabis, each with its unique aroma and potential effects. Some common terpenes found in cannabis and their characteristic aromas include:
Myrcene: Earthy, musky, and herbal aroma. Also found in hops and mangoes.
Limonene: Citrusy, lemony aroma. Also found in citrus fruits.
Pinene: Pine-like, woody aroma. Also found in pine trees.
Linalool: Floral, lavender-like aroma. Also found in lavender.
Caryophyllene: Spicy, peppery aroma. Also found in black pepper.
Humulene: Earthy, woody aroma. Also found in hops.
Terpenes are not unique to cannabis, and many of them are found in other plants, herbs, fruits, and trees. They can have various potential effects on the human body, which may include relaxation, stress relief, focus enhancement, and mood elevation, among others.
When choosing cannabis products, some individuals pay attention to the terpene profiles along with the cannabinoid content (CBD, THC) to find strains that align with their desired effects and preferences. Different strains of cannabis can have varying terpene profiles, contributing to the wide range of experiences people have with different strains.
What is CBD? Can it get me "high"?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant. It is one of over 100 different cannabinoids present in cannabis, along with its more well-known counterpart, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive, which means it does not produce the "high" or intoxicating effect typically associated with cannabis use.
CBD's interaction with the ECS occurs through a variety of mechanisms, but the primary targets are the two main cannabinoid receptors:
CB1 Receptors: CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain and central nervous system. They play a role in regulating functions such as mood, pain perception, appetite, and memory.
CB2 Receptors: CB2 receptors are primarily located in the immune system and peripheral tissues. They are involved in modulating inflammation and immune responses.
CBD's interactions with the ECS are more complex than THC's, and it doesn't bind strongly to CB1 or CB2 receptors. Instead, CBD influences the ECS in the following ways:
Indirect Activation: CBD does not directly activate CB1 or CB2 receptors. Instead, it influences these receptors by enhancing the effects of endocannabinoids like anandamide. CBD inhibits the enzyme that breaks down anandamide, allowing it to remain active for longer, leading to increased activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Allosteric Modulation: CBD can also act as an allosteric modulator, which means it can change the shape of the CB1 or CB2 receptor to either enhance or reduce their activity, depending on the situation.
Interaction with Non-Cannabinoid Receptors: CBD interacts with other receptors in the body, such as serotonin receptors (5-HT1A), vanilloid receptors (TRPV1), and adenosine receptors. These interactions are thought to contribute to CBD's potential therapeutic effects, including its effects on anxiety, pain perception, and inflammation.
What is the difference between Cannabis and Hemp?
Cannabis and hemp are both members of the Cannabis sativa species. The main difference between cannabis and hemp lies in their THC content, legal classification, and primary uses. Cannabis has higher THC levels and is commonly associated with recreational and medicinal use. Hemp, on the other hand, has low THC levels and is cultivated for industrial purposes and CBD extraction. Cannabis and Hemp grow the same, look the same and smell the same. Differences can only be identified on a molecular level. Cannabis and hemp also share the same cannabinoid profiles, meaning you can find cannabinoids such as Delta-8-THC and Delta-9-THC in hemp as well.
How is CBD made?
CBD is typically extracted from the cannabis plant, including both hemp and marijuana varieties, using various extraction methods. The primary goal is to separate the CBD compound from the plant material, leaving behind a highly concentrated CBD extract. Here are some common methods of CBD extraction:
CO2 Extraction: This method uses pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2) to extract CBD from the plant material. CO2 acts as a solvent under specific temperature and pressure conditions, allowing it to pull out the CBD and other beneficial compounds. The resulting CBD extract can be further refined to remove any impurities.
Solvent Extraction: In this process, a liquid solvent (such as ethanol, butane, or propane) is used to dissolve the CBD from the plant material. The solvent is then evaporated, leaving behind a CBD-rich oil. While effective, this method can sometimes leave trace amounts of solvent in the final product, so proper purification is essential.
Olive Oil Extraction: This traditional method involves heating the plant material with olive oil to extract the CBD. The resulting oil is not as concentrated as other extraction methods, but it is relatively easy to perform at home.
Once the CBD is extracted, the resulting oil or extract can undergo further processing to refine the product and remove any remaining impurities or unwanted compounds. This may involve winterization (removal of waxes and lipids), decarboxylation (heating to convert CBDa to CBD), and distillation to achieve a highly purified and potent CBD product.
After extraction and refinement, the CBD extract can be used as-is or incorporated into various products, such as tinctures, edibles, topicals, capsules, and more.
What is "Full Spectrum" CBD?
Full-spectrum CBD refers to a type of CBD product that contains not only cannabidiol (CBD) but also a wide range of other naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant. These additional compounds include other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and trace amounts of THC.
The main components found in full-spectrum CBD products include:
Cannabinoids: In addition to CBD, full-spectrum products contain other cannabinoids like CBG (cannabigerol), CBC (cannabichromene), and trace amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). The presence of these cannabinoids is attributed to the synergistic effects they may have when combined, potentially enhancing the overall therapeutic benefits of the product.
Terpenes: Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in various plants, including cannabis. They are responsible for the distinctive scents and flavors associated with different cannabis strains. Full-spectrum CBD products retain the natural terpene profile of the plant, which can contribute to what is commonly referred to as the "entourage effect." The entourage effect suggests that the combination of cannabinoids and terpenes working together may have a more significant impact than isolated CBD alone.
Flavonoids: Flavonoids are phytonutrients found in plants that have antioxidant properties and potential health benefits. Like terpenes, flavonoids are also preserved in full-spectrum CBD products.
THC: Full-spectrum CBD contains trace amounts of THC, usually below the legal limit of 0.3% THC by dry weight. This minimal THC content it is present due to the nature of full-spectrum extraction, which retains all the compounds found in the plant. This amount of THC can still strongly affect users who are sensitive to THC.
It's important to note that while full-spectrum CBD products can offer the potential benefits of the entourage effect, they may not be suitable for everyone, especially those sensitive to THC or subject to drug testing. Individuals who prefer to avoid THC altogether or have concerns about drug testing may opt for CBD isolates or broad-spectrum CBD products, which are THC-free or have had the THC removed.
Is CBD regulated in America?
Most CBD products are not regulated by the FDA. The 2018 Farm Bill: In December 2018, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, commonly known as the 2018 Farm Bill, was signed into law. This bill removed hemp (cannabis with less than 0.3% THC by dry weight) from the federal list of controlled substances. As a result, hemp-derived CBD is no longer classified as a controlled substance at the federal level. Legalization of Hemp-Derived CBD: Following the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD became federally legal in the United States, as long as it meets the criteria of containing less than 0.3% THC.
Given the growing cannabidiol (CBD) products market, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration convened a high-level internal working group to explore potential regulatory pathways for CBD products. As of January 2023, after careful review, the FDA has concluded that a new regulatory pathway for CBD is needed that balances individuals’ desire for access to CBD products with the regulatory oversight needed to manage risks. The FDA is preparing to work with Congress on this matter. Always obtain a Certificate of Analysis to ensure your CBD is free of pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, etc.
What is a COA?
A COA stands for "Certificate of Analysis." It is a document issued by a laboratory that provides detailed information about the quality and composition of a product. In the context of CBD and other cannabis-related products, a COA is essential for ensuring transparency and verifying the contents of the product.
The COA will list the levels of various cannabinoids present in the product, including CBD, THC, CBG, CBC, and others. It shows the exact concentrations of these compounds in the product, helping consumers understand what they are ingesting.
The COA will include results for tests that screen for the presence of pesticides, herbicides, and other chemical residues. This ensures that the product is free from harmful substances that could have been used during cultivation or processing.
The COA may indicate whether the product has been tested for heavy metals like lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury, which can be harmful if present in high concentrations.
The COA will show the results of tests for microbial contaminants, such as bacteria, yeast, and mold, to ensure the product is safe for consumption
For products made using certain extraction methods, the COA may include tests for residual solvents used during the extraction process.
Reputable manufacturers will make their COAs readily available to consumers, either by providing them directly on their websites or by making them available upon request. When purchasing CBD products, it's essential to check for a valid COA to ensure the product's quality and safety.
Please don't hesitate to reach out with any other questions!