Most everyone is familiar with Marijuana, as it has been in the news for decades, but most recently for the number of states that are allowing its use for medicinal purposes or even recreational use. But really, there is nothing new about Cannabis. It’s been around humankind, well almost forever. But while we are familiar with the Cannabis plant as marijuana, we should also know that its lesser known sister, hemp, is also a cannabis plant.
Hemp and marijuana are just different varieties of Cannabis sativa. There are just some differences in their genetics, the way they are cultivated, the types of cannabidiols found in each and their legal status. Currently there are 25 states where it is legal for patients to use “marijuana” for medical purposes. Pending federal legislation may open up opportunities for federally-funded medical research, including human clinical trials. This will further prove cannabis’ track-record when it comes to healing a number of disease conditions − including cancer.
Cannabidiol is the second most prevalent of cannabis’s active ingredients and may produce most of its effects at moderate and mid-range doses. Cannabidiol becomes THC as the plant matures and the THC over time breaks down into cannabinol (CBN).
In Siberia, charred seeds have been found inside burial mounds dating back to 3000 BC. The Chinese were using cannabis as medicine thousands of years ago. And our first president, George Washington, grew hemp at his home on Mount Vernon. Indeed for most of this country’s history, cannabis was legal, commonly available in tinctures and extracts. In fact, in the 1930s the American pharmaceutical firms, Parke-Davis and Eli Lilly, were selling extracts of cannabis.
But when the news publisher, William Randolph Hurst began to publish some sensational stories about marijuana during that same decade, the dye was cast against its continued use. But Hurst was not concerned about people’s health in the least. You see hemp had extensive use then, and still does today, in the textile, paper and other fiber product industries. But Hurst had extensive financial interests in the lumber and paper industries and was clearly interested in eliminating any competition. And so in 1942 Cannabis was removed from the U.S. pharmacopeia.
But during the intervening years extensive research on cannabis was being conducted in Israel. And so in 1990 further scientific research had confirmed the presence of cannabinoid receptors in our cells – in all major organs, nerves and intestine. And by 1992 it was further confirmed that the body has its own endocannabinoid system whereby we produce our own cannabinoids. And since then it has been discovered that this system regulates a variety of biological processes, including pain, sleep, mood, appetite and inflammation. In fact it is now understood to be the master controller for all body systems, regulating and fine-tuning each one to maintain homeostasis and health.
So let’s be clear. We were created by God with a built-in system to have an overall regulating effect on multiple body systems. This system is the Endocannabinoid System. But we make cannabinoids ourselves to support this system and when we don’t make enough to properly regulate everything, we suffer from various ill effects including, pain, anxiety, depression and a variety of other ills described above. By adding CBD oils to this system, we support our body in the same way we use nutrients and other herbs to support our health.
Now understand that Cannabis associated with marijuana contains the two primary cannabinoids, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol – about 40% of the plant’s extract). THC has the psychoactive properties associated with “getting high” but also very helpful in modulating the pain of cancer and other diseases. But hemp, legally produced today in the US, contains primarily CBD and has virtually zero psychoactive properties. It particularly functions to modulate our neurochemistry, our immune system and multiple organs and systems. In other words CBD is far more extensive and profound in its effects than THC. In fact CBD has been found to:
- Act as an anti-bacterial decrease seizure activity
- Inhibit cancer cell growth decrease risk of artery blockage
- Act to protect brain neurons decrease nausea and vomiting
- Decrease blood sugar suppress muscle spasms
- Promote bone growth decrease inflammation
- Relieve pain and anxiety increase insulin sensitivity
- Improves mitochondrial function
Its effects in the body, as you can see, are deep and wide. Even the suckling reflex of a baby to receive milk from its mother stimulates part of the endocannabinoid system. And if you would suspect that chocolate, in some way might have some special effect on this system, you would be correct. But there is no drug that can treat this amazing body system.
Most people use CBD to reduce pain and anxiety, improve their mood, depression and sleep. With sleep it seems to decrease excessive REM sleep (dream stage) and increase stage 4 (deep) sleep. Thus, there is an improvement in the depth and duration of sleep. The gut is calmed, nutrient absorption is improved and many report improvement with brain fog. Some of these effects are perhaps due to its ability to assist in the correction, mobilization and elimination of toxins that affect our organs and systems. While it does not detoxify itself, it greatly assists the body’s detoxification activity – even accomplishing this on a system level as well as at the cellular level.
The detoxification effect is greatly enhanced by its effect on the gut where it is thought that it improves the tight junctions (helping to eliminate a leaky gut) and by modulating the gut contractions, it improves constipation and slows down diarrhea.
The activity of CBD on the immune system is equally remarkable. It has a modulating effect on the immune cells and actually has been found to decrease inflammatory cytokines and increase the anti-inflammatory substances. In this respect it tempers autoimmune activity and promotes apoptosis (cell suicide) in the cancer cell. But with cancer, their appears to be a synergistic effect when using CBD with THC as a few states are allowing.
Microbiologist Dr. Christine Sanchez of Compultense University in Madrid, Spain has been studying cannabinoids and cancer since the early 2000s. She was the first to discover the antitumor effects of cannabinoids. In a video interview for the web-based cable channel Cannabis Planet, Dr. Sanchez and other researchers have confirmed that the most potent effects against tumor growth occur when THC and CBD are combined. Cannabidiol, or CBD, has the ability to interfere with cellular communication in tumors as well as in its ability to instigate apoptosis, or cell suicide and affect genes involved in metastasis. THC has also been shown to reduce tumor growth in similar ways.
Studies have also been conducted on the combined effect of CBD and THC on lung, prostate, colon, pancreatic, liver, bladder, cervical, blood-based, brain, and other forms of cancer. These studies lend increasing evidence to the fact that cannabinoids are not only antioxidant phytonutrients but powerful “herbal chemo” agents.
Says Dr. Sanchez: “One of the advantages of cannabinoid-based medicines would be that they target specifically tumor cells. They don’t have any toxic effect on normal non-tumoral cells. This is an advantage with respect to standard chemotherapy that targets basically everything.”
But it even has an improving effect on some things you might not even expect, like gastric reflux. Here it decreases the number of reflux events apparently by increasing the tone of the lower esophageal sphincter muscle.
Indeed, studies have shown it has beneficial activity in many diseases including, epilepsy, Irritable Bowel Disease and most all the neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS. By its effect to dampen neurotoxicity, it has a powerful effect on brain function. In fact the research on the effects of CBD on the brain and body and disease is very extensive. According to Philip Blair, MD, who has used and extensively studied Cannabis and CBD, there are over 7,000 studies and 30,000 published articles on these compounds. Some of these have revealed its adaptogenic effect on the cortisol release keeping it from going either too high or too low.
And yes, the pharmaceutical industry would love to create a synthetic version of CBD and you would be foolish to think that they are not seriously attempting to do so. But while they will never be able to improve what the good Lord has provided us in nature, they would love to remove the natural and replace it with a much more expensive and far lower quality synthetic version.
In normal usage, experienced practitioners suggest 12 to 15 mg two to three times daily. Some individuals find a lower level works very well but a number of others find a need to increase dosage. If a normal dosage does not seem to have any effect you probably need to work with an experienced practitioner. They may have you double your dosage in a couple of days as CBD appears to be helpful in at least 75% of those who use the correct dosage.
My preference is to use CBD in a liposomal form. In this form the CBD oil is wrapped in a liposome made up of phosphatidylcholine, the very component that make up the walls of our cells. Thus, in this way, the liposome easily enters our cells and delivers its CBD payload inside. The liposomal form may be 3 to 5 times better absorbed then the standard forms of CBD oil.
But consider that when choosing a liposomal form, the size of the liposomes, are very important. Most liposomes are way too large in the range of 300 to 5,000 nanometers (NM). Liposomes in the range of 20 to 300 NM will be absorbed to a far greater extent. The reason is because the longer the particle the faster they are cleared before being used in the body. And when the liposome is much smaller size, the liquid will also be clear. Generally liposomal supplements greater than 200 NM are milky while those less than 100NM are clear. Most of the liposomes from Quicksilver Scientific, the one I have for patients, are from 50 to 100 NM.
The effects of CBD on the body can begin in 10 minutes to 1 hour and will last 2 to 4 hours but sometimes up to 6 hours. In addition, you should know that it is not a bad idea to pulse your use of CBD. You do this by using it for 5 to 6 days followed by a day or two of nonuse. This helps to maintain the efficacy of the oil without the need to increase the amount needed for resolutions of symptoms
CBD oil is legal in all 50 states and its cultivation and growth is regulated by the FDA. But know your source! Unfortunately, charlatans selling bogus products definitely exist. You should not have to pay exorbitant amounts of money for any cannabis product that you buy from regulated pharmacies, practitioners or online. Also, make quality a priority for you. Be sure that your product comes from an organic source and that you know that the plant has not been grown or processed using pesticides.