Recent Study Shows the Significance of Whole Plant Medicine in Cannabis
You may have noticed that here at Nature’s Breakthrough we promote and discuss full spectrum CBD or that we post about specific cannabinoids on a regular basis. There is an important reason for this and why The Hemp Haus features only high-quality, full spectrum CBD oil: It’s not the CBD and the THC alone that make medicinal marijuana and hemp-derived CBD so effective.
A recently study published by chemists at the University of British Columbia (UBC) revealed that it is not the CBD and THC in cannabis that gives it its distinct effects.
“A high abundance compound in a plant, such as THC or CBD, isn’t necessarily responsible for the unique medicinal effects of certain strains,” lead study author and chemistry professor Elizabeth Mudge told Science Magazine.
“Understanding the presence of the low abundance cannabinoids could provide valuable information to the medical cannabis community.”
About the Study
The researchers at UBC examined the cannabinoid profiles of 33 strains of cannabis (marijuana) from five licensed producers. (This study examined marijuana, not hemp, which contains .3% or less THC and can not get you high. However, both plants can have an abundance of the same cannabinoids.)
What they found was that most strains, regardless of their origin or name, had the same levels of THC and CBD. They further discovered that breeding highly potent strains of cannabis impacts the genetic diversity within the crop, but not THC or CBD levels.
However, Mudge and her colleagues discovered differences in a number of previously unknown cannabinoids. It is these low abundant cannabinoids that could be responsible for pharmacological effects. This points to two things:
- That the cannabinoids present in cannabis work synergistically.
- That the many lesser known and undiscovered cannabinoids of the cannabis plant could serve as a source of new medicines.
Cannabinoids Work Synergistically
The UBC study shows that CBD and THC are not what differentiates strains. But those who have visited marijuana dispensaries and tried different strains would argue that those strains have very different effects. People who use medicinal marijuana to treat specific ailments and their physicians would argue the same. And they would not be wrong.
Currently, licensed producers only have to report THC and CBD levels in the strains. But most people are not aware that there are more than 100 known cannabinoids. This new research highlights how those cannabinoids may be doing a lot of the work that differentiates the therapeutic effects of strains, and that the real profiles of what makes the strains distinct is not being identified.
Additionally, the study discusses that:
“Breeding of cannabis cultivars in the hemp industry has focused on morphological improvements through established breeding programs, while marijuana, or drug-type cannabis, has primarily taken place in underground/clandestine programs through crossing landraces and/or ‘indica’ and ‘sativa’ lineages.”
This points to a need of more scientifically studied and documented marijuana strains—with a clarified, scientific definition of what exactly determines a strain. The study also reports that with regard to hemp, breeding has been more carefully tracked.
Ananda Hemp is a company that has spent nearly two decades developing “the world’s largest private cannabis seed bank consisting of over 300+ cultivars and ascensions gathered from nearly every continent on the planet.” And it believes in the importance of using the combined benefits of the whole plant.
Full spectrum CBD refers to the pure oil extracted from a hemp plant, containing unmodified cannabinoids and compounds. Unlike isolated or synthetic cannabinoids, full spectrum CBD contains an assortment of cannabinoids, along with many essential vitamins and minerals, fatty acids, flavonoids and terpenes. These compounds have been proven to work more effectively in a specifically designed, synergistic manner than when isolated into purified molecules.
Cannabinoids as a New Source of Wellness
Wellness is not about treating one particular symptom of one particular condition with one particular solution at a time. Wellness is an architecture of components, and those components require a balance of maintenance and attention.
As the UCC study implies, CBD has been getting a lot of attention. But there are 113 known cannabinoids in industrial hemp, and it is important to understand that there are many cannabinoids that offer a variety of contributions to the homeostasis of the human endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Cannabichromene (CBC) and cannabicyclol (CBL) are cannabinoids that may be able to contribute, along with other cannabinoids, to an entourage effect of wellness. Pairing the unique qualities of different cannabinoids can offer a more holistic approach to wellness and treatment.
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) are cannabinoids that also have revealed unique therapeutic profiles, which suggests great benefit in the further study of their effects, especially working synergistically alongside CBD, THC and other cannabinoids.
Our bodies are complex systems, and they require the maintenance and attention proportional to that complexity. Whenever possible, we should promote the overall wellness of our bodies, even when treating a specific condition, because optimal health is balanced health.
Humans have been using the benefits of cannabis for centuries, and we are only now taking a scientific approach to understanding what has been practiced naturally for so long. Research has enabled us to discover how particular cannabinoids can treat some of the most devastating diseases and disorders, such as debilitating epilepsy in children. But we should not ignore investigating the preventative health benefits of the wealth of cannabinoids now available to us. After all, isn’t that the ultimate goal? To prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer, before they need treatment?
If you or a loved one would like to know more about CBD or cannabinoids, but are not sure where to start, the Hemp Haus team is always available to help guide you. Feel free to come into the store in Kansas City or contact them by phone or email. It is important to them that you are confident and comfortable with your CBD experience.