HEMP, CANNABINOIDS AND THE HUMAN CONNECTION
The first uses of hemp dates back more than 10,000 years to early Asia. In fact, it was one of the first plants to be domesticated. Originally hemp was used to make clothes, shoes, ropes, and paper. As people became more and more familiar with the plant, hemp seeds and oils were used in cooking or eaten raw. The first recorded medicinal use of hemp is dated around 2700 B.C. Hemp has been used for thousands of years for various purposes but we are only now touching the surface of what this amazing plant has to offer.
Hemp contains naturally occurring phytocannabinoids, which when consumed interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. This central regulatory system is known to affect bodily processes such as appetite, mood and sleep. Without any external influence, the body naturally produces its own cannabinoids that bind to cannabinoid receptors in both the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. This existing internal infrastructure is what enables phytocannabinoids (or cannabinoids found in plants like hemp) to provide such powerful benefits. Think of phytocannabinoids as beneficial, akin to how we use vitamin C to kick start our immune system – phytocannabinoids kick start this central regulatory system.Of the phytocannabinoids currently being studied the one that’s best known and most researched is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is a compound that carries sometimes less desirable psychoactive properties. However, there are more than 100 other cannabinoids that are less known like Cannabidiol (CBD), Cannabinol (CBN), and Cannabichromene (CBC). CBD, CBN, and CBC have all shown promise maintaining the mind and body while promoting everyday health and wellness without these aforementioned psychotropic effects.
WHOLE-PLANT HEMP AND THE ENTOURAGE EFFECT
As cannabis science continues to build substantiation, many companies are developing products that attempt to apply classic pharmaceutical principles to cannabis products. They figure that by separating a specific cannabinoid from the rest of the hemp plant, they can target treatment more accurately. Sounds logical, right? But this is not the case with hemp. The use of whole plant extracts that include trace cannabinoids and terpenes have shown a greater effect than a single cannabinoid isolate.The whole-plant extract yields dose-dependent results—meaning there is a proportional increase in response and condition management as more whole-plant product is administered, without any plateau in benefits. Conversely, isolated cannabinoids yield bell curve results. This means there is only a small dosage range where these isolated compounds are beneficial, limiting their therapeutic value. Additionally, these researchers now believe that phytopharmaceuticals, or formulations derived from whole plant extracts, have fewer adverse effects and lower overall toxicity than formulations composed of isolated plant components.
the entourage effectThe efficacy that cannabinoids offer in conjunction with terpenes and other ingredients is what we call the entourage effect. And it’s why Aceso products are formulated with a lot more than just isolated compounds.
THE FUTURE OF CANNABINOID RESEARCH.
There are more than 100 different cannabinoids that can be found in hemp. Each cannabinoid interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system in a different way—which is what leads researchers to believe that phytocannabinoids have the power to successfully ease a wide array of conditions.
Here are a few other cannabinoids that can be found in hemp and the benefits currently being studied:
- CBG has the possibility to be able to ease minor aches and pains along with minor gastrointestinal problems.
- THCV could prove to be an appetite suppressant and might aid with memory.
- CBN could be used as a sleep aid and might help ease stress
- CBC is being tested for anti-proliferation treatments and acid reflux remedies
TERPENES AND THE SMELL OF WHOLE-PLANT COMFORT.
Terpenes are organic compounds found in all of earth’s flora. You’ll recognize them as aroma and taste molecules. Terpenes are what make a rosebush smell like rose and an orange smell like orange. They’ve already been used medicinally for centuries, and in recent years, researchers believe that terpenes are equally as therapeutic as CBD. And thanks to the entourage effect, when researchers combine the two, they end up with remarkably powerful solutions.Here are a few of the most commonly studied terpenes and their benefits.
This terpene is known for its sedative effects and shows promise as a sleep aid. Its scent is often described as earthy, citrusy and clove-like. And while myrcene is naturally found in hemp, it’s most abundantly present in hops.
Medically useful as a sleep aid and general sedative, terpineol is generally described as having a lilac or orange blossom fragrance. In nature, terpineol is usually found in conjunction with pinene.
Commonly used in aroma therapy as a mood booster, limonene is a potent anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-carcinogen. It’s also known for its ability to alleviate acid reflux and depression. In addition to hemp, limonene can be found in highest ratios in citrus fruits.
A calming agent in many essential oil blends, linalool has been shown to reduce anxiety and pain. It also shows promise in clinical studies as an anticonvulsant and has antibacterial properties that may be effective in treating the core causes of acne. While linalool can be found in over 200 plant species, it’s most commonly associated with lavender.
A potent bronchodilator, this terpene may be helpful in the treatment of asthma. Alpha-pinene is the most abundant terpene found in nature, and as the name suggests, it plays a big role in the smell of pine trees.
WHAT IS HEMP? WHAT IS MARIJUANA? AND HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT?
While hemp and marijuana are very different, they share a lot in common. Both come from a plant species call Cannabis Sativa. However, like many plants, the difference in “cultivar” or “strain” means a lot. Strain type determines everything from plant height to cannabinoid ratio to industrial applications. Over decades, these cultivars have been bred to possess specific, desirable traits. In recent history, breeders have been after the highest possible THC content. However, centuries ago, cannabis sativa was sought after for its fibrous content and industrial applications (like paper production). The cultivar that grew in popularity then is what we know today as industrial hemp.
While marijuana and hemp come from a similar plant, they have some key differences. Most notably, marijuana is high in THC while Hemp has virtually no THC. The industrial hemp that we use to make all Aceso products has THC levels so low that the product is federally legal and can be shipped across the country. This gives more people in more places access to the powerful cannabinoids in hemp.
At Aceso, every product we make is derived from industrial hemp.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE MAGIC
At Aceso, we formulate our products with high-quality ingredients and ground-breaking research. This is where you’ll find recaps of a few studies we’ve used to inform our formulations. If you want to delve a little deeper, we’ve also provided links to the full-length articles below.
The wide array of benefits cannabinoids have been shown to have supports their efficacy at fostering general daily wellness. For instance, CBD, a naturally occuring constituent of hemp, has been shown to help regulate the body’s endocannabinoid system, which works to stabilize many of the body’s systems—from gastrointestinal function to mood and emotional state*. And it’s been shown to possibly prevent neuronal toxicity*. When combined with terpenes such as limonene, linalool and pinene, it can have a greater effect than cannabinoid alone*.
A wide range of studies have come out in recent years indicating that cannabinoids might be effective in reducing nervousness. Some studies suggest that CBD, a naturally occuring constituent of hemp, can have calming effects, and that those effects are amplified in those with mild social anxiety.