Back to our HEMP ROOTS…

Back to our HEMP ROOTS…

In the Beginning HEMP ROOT was Medicine for all…

Dating back to the earliest records of time we can see the cannabis plant was revered as the medicine for most all ailments. Why then is this all healing plant still illegal? Most of us know it’s the petrochemical and pharmaceutical industry who has monopolized our world since the early 1900’s. We have been misinformed and deceived regarding the major benefits of Hemp/Cannabis. Moving forward we must begin to see why it is our human rights that have been taken, the right to choose the medicine we want not from drugs but fro seeds… This is our first amendment. It’s time we get back to our roots!!!

How do WE change things around…? Participate in standing for your rights, we the people have the power to choose…Information is power. As you read this article below from the National Institute of Health you will see clearly, the Cannabis plant has been used for eons for its many many healing properties as well as being the strongest fiber on the planet!!! Who knew, the Hemp root, not the flower, was the basis for most medicines!

HEMP was used Traditional Therapy with Future Potential for Treating Inflammation and Pain with this earliest recording in the 1500’s. Again why all the study, the proof is already in recorded history!

Introduction: The roots of the cannabis plant have a long history of medical use stretching back millennia. However, the therapeutic potential of cannabis roots has been largely ignored in modern times.

Discussion: In the first century, Pliny the Elder described in Natural Histories that a decoction of the root in water could be used to relieve stiffness in the joints, gout, and related conditions. By the 17th century, various herbalists were recommending cannabis root to treat inflammation, joint pain, gout, and other conditions. There has been a subsequent paucity of research in this area, with only a few studies examining the composition of cannabis root and its medical potential. Active compounds identified and measured in cannabis roots include triterpenoids, friedelin (12.8 mg/kg) and epifriedelanol (21.3 mg/kg); alkaloids, cannabisativine (2.5 mg/kg) and anhydrocannabisativine (0.3 mg/kg); carvone and dihydrocarvone; N-(p-hydroxy-β-phenylethyl)-p-hydroxy-trans-cinnamamide (1.6 mg/kg); various sterols such as sitosterol (1.5%), campesterol (0.78%), and stigmasterol (0.56%); and other minor compounds, including choline. Of note, cannabis roots are not a significant source of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol, or other known phytocannabinoids.

Conclusion: The current available data on the pharmacology of cannabis root components provide significant support to the historical and ethnobotanical claims of clinical efficacy. Certainly, this suggests the need for reexamination of whole root preparations on inflammatory and malignant conditions employing modern scientific techniques.

Hemp Root is Medicinal

The cannabis plant is known for its multiple uses: the leaves, flowers, seeds, stalks, and resin glands have all been exploited for food, fuel, fiber, medicine, and other uses. One of the first mentions of the medical use of cannabis root was by the Roman historian, Pliny the Elder, who wrote in his Natural Histories that “a decoction of the root in water relaxes contractions of the joints and cures gout and similar maladies.”1 By the latter part of 17th century, various physicians and herbalists recommended cannabis root to treat fever,2,3 inflammation,4–9 gout, arthritis, and joint pain,1,5,6,8,10–12 as well as skin burns5,8,10 and hard tumors.6–8 There are also accounts of cannabis root being used to treat postpartum hemorrhage,13 difficult child labor,14 sexually transmitted disease,15 and gastrointestinal activity16,17 and infection.3,8 Despite a long history of therapeutic use (Table 1), the roots of cannabis plants have been largely ignored in modern medical research and practice.

Gout, arthritis, and joint pain

In earlier times, cannabis root was used to treat gout.1,5,6,8,10–12 In 1542, Leonhart Fuchs, the German physician and botanist, wrote in his herbal book “hemp root, boiled in water, and wrapped—is also good for gout.”10 Similarly, the French physician and writer François Rabelais noted “the root of this herb, boiled in water, soothes muscles, stiff joints, gout pains, and rheumatism.”11 In 1613, Szymon Syrenski, the Polish botanist and academic, recorded the uses of hemp roots boiled in water for “curved and shrunken body parts.”12 In 1640, John Parkinson, the English botanist and herbalist, also noted “the decoction of the rootes, easeth the paines of the goute, the hard tumours, or knots of the joynts, the paines and shrinking of the sinewes, and other the like paines of the hippes.”5 In 1710, the English physician Dr. William Salmon recorded “the decoction of the root.—it is said … to ease the pains of the gout, to help hard tumors or knots in the joints, cramps, and shrinking of the sinews, and to ease the pains of the hip, or sciatica, being applied thereto by fomentation, and afterward mixed applied made up into a cataplasm with barley flower, renewing of it every day.”6 In 1758, the French writer M. Marcandier reported in Traité du Chanvre, “its root, boiled in water, and coated in the form of a cataplasm, mollifies and softens the joints of the fingers that are shrunken. Is quite good against the gout, and other inflammations; it resolves tumors and callosities of the joints.”8 In general, the historical records indicate that cannabis root is most often extracted with boiling water8,10–12 and applied topically to treat gout and arthritis.6,8

Fever

In the 12th century, the Persian Philosopher Ibn Sina (Avicenna) wrote in the Canon of Medicine that “the compress with the boiled roots of cannabis decrease fever.”2 In Argentina, cannabis root was also recommended for fever due to infection with malaria—“the root bark, provides a fairly harsh taste mainly due to the presence of tannin, is used fresh in cooking at the rate of thirty grams per liter of water, or dry, fifteen grams, for abbreviating bouts of fever in malaria.”3 From these accounts, cannabis roots were administered both topically2 and orally3 for fever.

Inflammation

There are numerous mentions of cannabis root as a treatment of inflammation.4–9 In the 17th century, Nicholas Culpeper, an English botanist, herbalist, and physician, stated in his book Culpeper’s Complete Herbal that “the decoction of the root allays inflammations of the head or any other parts.”4 In 1640, Parkinson also noted “hempe is cold and dry—The decoction, of the roote is sayd to allay inflammations in the head or any other part.”5 In 1710, Salmon recorded “the decoction of the root.—it is said to be good against, viz. to allay inflammations in the head, or any other part.”6 In 1747, the English physician Robert James wrote in his book Pharmacopoeia Universalis: or, A New Universal English Dispensatory, “the root boil’d, and applied by way of cataplasm, mitigates inflammations.”7 In the 18th century, M. Husain Khan also wrote in the Persian medical text Makhzan-al-Adwiya, “A poultice of the boiled root and leaves for discussing inflammations, and cure of erysipelas, and for allaying neuralgic pains.”9 In general, a decoction of the cannabis root4–6 or boiled water extraction7,9 administered topically7,9 is the preferred method for using cannabis root to target overactive inflammation.

Skin burns

Cannabis root has also been used topically to treat skin burns. In 1542, Fuchs recorded “hemp root … the raw root, pounded and wrapped, is good for the burn.”10 In 1640, Parkinson also noted “hempe is cold and dry—The decoction, of the roote … it is good to be used, for any place that hath beene burnt by fire, if the fresh juyce be mixed with a little oyle or butter.”5 In 1758, Marcandier reported that cannabis root “pounded and ground fresh, with butter in a mortar, one applies it to burns, which it soothes infinitely, provided it is often renewed.”8 Overall, cannabis root has been used topically to soothe skin burns in a variety of ways, including raw root,10 as a juice,5 and mixed with fat (butter).5,8

Hard tumors

There are mentions of cannabis root for treating tumors, however, the term “tumor” may have been used to describe any kind of “abscess, sores, ulcers, or swelling,” but it is unclear if these tumors included what we consider today to be cancerous tumors. In the 12th century, Ibn Sina wrote “the compress with the boiled roots of cannabis … resolve the indurations if applied on the hot tumors and hardened places [of the body].”2 In 1710, Salmon recorded “the decoction of the root—it is said … to help hard tumors or knots in the joints.”6 Similarly, in 1747, James wrote “the root boil’d, and applied by way of cataplasm, discusses tumors, and dissolves tophaceous Concretions at the Joints.”7 Furthermore, in 1758, Marcandier reported that cannabis root “resolves tumors and callosities of the joints.”8 In general, topical application of boiled cannabis root is used to help with hard tumors.2,6,7

Childbirth

In the ancient Chinese pharmacopeia, the Pên-ts’ao Ching, it is stated that the juice of the cannabis root has been used to assist with the cessation of hemorrhage after childbirth. “The juice of the root is thought to have a beneficial action in retained placenta and postpartum hemorrhage.”13 Similarly, other accounts from China report “Ma gen, Cannabis Radix, cannabis (hemp) root: This is the root of the cannabis plant. Ma gen dispels stasis and stanches bleeding. It is used in the treatment of strangury, flooding and spotting, vaginal discharge, difficult delivery, retention of the placenta, and knocks and falls. It is taken orally, either as a decoction or crushed to extract its juice (in its fresh form).”14 Interestingly, to assist with difficult childbirth, cannabis root is administered orally, either as juice or decoction.14

Sexually transmitted disease

There is a report of cannabis root being used to help treat the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea.15 In the 17th century, a German-born botanist employed by the Dutch East India Company in what is now known as eastern Indonesia noted “in Hitu [Ambon Island, Indonesia] the Moors took the root of the male or flower-bearing plant (which in European herbals are not readily distinguished) from my garden, and gave it to eat to those who were held fast by unclean Gonnorhaea.”15 It is unclear from this account how the cannabis root was prepared to eat.

Gastrointestinal activity

Cannabis root has been used to protect against vomiting (antiemetic) in Réunion, a French island in the Indian Ocean: “boiled roots were used to reduce infants’ vomiting…”.16,17 In Chile, hemp roots have also been used to induce vomiting (purgative).17 In Argentina, hemp root was recommended, “the bark should be collected in the early spring, when it is also a good tonic, successfully administered pulverized and mixed with wine for weakness and pains of the stomach. It tones at the same time the entire digestive apparatus, removes toxins and infections caused by the weakness of them. Its same fruits [seeds] can replace the root.”3

Infection

There are several mentions of cannabis root for treating infection. In the Persian medical text Makhzan-al-Adwiya, “a poultice of the boiled root and leaves for … cure of erysipelas,”9 which is a bacterial infection of the upper skin layer. In modern Argentina, hemp root was recommended “to remove toxins and infections.”3 Marcandier also noted in 1758 that “its juice and decoction placed in the buttocks [anus] of horses, in fact, also brings out the vermin.”8 To assist with infection, cannabis root has been administered topically,9 orally,3 and intrarectally.8

See the rest of this article here

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5628559/

Scientists Discovered a Weed Compound That May be 30 Times More Powerful Than THC

Scientists Discovered a Weed Compound That May be 30 Times More Powerful Than THC

A newly discovered cannabis compound has been shown in the lab to potentially be 30 times more potent than THC, the most studied psychoactive compound in marijuana. 

Whether the new cannabinoid, named tetrahydrocannabiphorol, or THCP, will deliver 30 times the high of THC — or any high at all — is unclear.

Italian scientists also discovered a second previously unknown compound they named CBDP. It appears to be a cousin of CBD, the medicinal compound known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticonvulsant activity.

The discoveries were recently published in the journal Nature, Scientific Reports.

Discovering the compounds 

The compounds were isolated and identified from the Italian medical cannabis variety known as FM2 using mass spectrometry and metabolomics, processes used to find the basic chemicals of a sample or molecule. 

The authors assessed the ability of THCP to bind to human cannabinoid receptors found in the endocannabinoid system by sending the compound to a lab to be tested in a tube.

The endocannabinoid system’s job is to keep our body in homeostasis, or equilibrium, and it regulates everything from sleep to appetite to inflammation to pain and more. When a person smokes marijuana, THC overwhelms the endocannabinoid system, latching on to cannabinoid receptors and interfering with their ability to communicate between neurons.

THCP bound strongly to both receptors — 33 times more than THC does, and 63 times more than another compound called THCV. The finding led the authors to wonder if THCP might explain why some particularly potent cannabis varieties have a stronger effect than can be explained by the presence of THC alone.

“This means that these compounds have higher affinity for the receptors in the human body,” said Dr. Cinzia Citti, lead author of the research and post-doctoral fellow in life sciences at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy. “In cannabis varieties where THC is present in very low concentrations, then we can think that the presence of another, more active cannabinoid can explain those effects.” 

The role of alkyl side chains

The alkyl side chain is the driving force behind a cannabinoid’s effects on humans. For most of the nearly 150 cannabis compounds, including THC, the chain is only five atoms long, the authors said. 

However, THCP has a seven-atom chain, meaning that in its natural form it has surpassed the potency of THC.

A cannabinoid with more than five atoms has never been previously reported as naturally occurring, according to the authors. Additionally, most of them have neither been isolated nor characterized because of how challenging it is. 

“The challenge is that it can take a long time to isolate, especially with rare sources,” said Dr. Jane Ishmael, associate professor in Oregon State University’s College of Pharmacy. “I get the impression that these products were present in small amounts, so it’s a surprise to find the natural products from a cannabis plant that we’ve known about for a long time.”

Potential effects in humans 

CBD has mostly been the focus of studies on the health benefits of cannabis, but because THCP appears to show stronger binding abilities and potency, the authors think there is potential for health benefits. 

The findings could enable the production of cannabis extracts for targeted physical effects; more testing with the study’s methods could further the discovery and identification of new compounds, the authors said.

“There are other minor cannabinoids and traces in the plant that can be hard to study, but by isolation we can continue to assess the effects they might offer,” Ishmael said. 

“Historically, many of our medicines have been derived by or inspired by natural products. By having new compounds that bind with very high affinity, that will give scientists a new probe into biological sciences.” 

This story first appeared at CNN. CNN’s Sandee LaMotte contributed to this report.

Cannabis Compound Could be Weapon in Fight Against Superbugs

Cannabis Compound Could be Weapon in Fight Against Superbugs

Mice cured of MRSA, raising hopes of treating antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

A compound made by cannabis plants has been found to wipe out drug-resistant bacteria, raising hopes of a new weapon in the fight against superbugs.

Scientists screened five cannabis compounds for their antibiotic properties and found that one, cannabigerol (CBG), was particularly potent at killing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), one of the most common hospital superbugs.

Tests in the lab showed that CBG, which is not psychoactive, killed common MRSA microbes and “persister” cells that are especially resistant to antibiotics and that often drive repeat infections. The compound also cleared up hard-to-shift “biofilms” of MRSA that can form on the skin and on medical implants.

Having seen how effective the substance was against bacteria in the lab, the researchers decided to test CBG’s ability to treat infections in animals. In a study that has not yet been published, they found that CBG cured mice of MRSA infections as effectively as vancomycin, a drug widely considered to be the last line of defence against drug-resistant microbes. The study is under review at the ACS Infectious Diseases journal.

Eric Brown, a microbiologist who led the work at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, said cannabinoids were “clearly great drug-like compounds”, but noted it was early days in assessing the compounds for use in the clinic. “There is much work to do to explore the potential of the cannabinoids as antibiotics from the safety standpoint,” he said.

Antibiotic resistance has become a major threat to public health. England’s former chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies has said the loss of effective antibiotics would lead to “apocalyptic scenarios”, with patients dying from routine infections and many operations becoming too risky to perform.

In the study, the researchers describe how the rapid global spread of drug resistance, caused by microbes developing mutations that protect them against antibiotics, has driven an urgent need to explore new sources of drugs. Among antibiotics in use today, the newest date back to discoveries made more than 30 years ago.

Bacteria fall into two classes depending on the makeup of their cells. MRSA bugs are known as gram positive bacteria, and have a single, thick cell membrane. Gram negative bugs differ in having inner and outer cell membranes, and these infections can be harder to treat. In the World Health Organization’s priority list of drug-resistant bacteria, all three ranked as a “critical” priority are gram negative, namely Acinetobacter baumanniiPseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacteriaceae.

Brown found that CBG and other cannabinoids did not work well against gram negative multi-drug resistant bugs. But the team went on to show that when CBG was used with small quantities of polymyxin B, an existing antibiotic that disrupts the outer membrane of gram negative bacteria, the cannabis compound wiped out the drug-resistant pathogens.

Cannabis plants are thought to make the compounds to fight off invading pathogens, but there are other ways to produce CBG. To study the compound, Brown’s team synthesised it in the lab using the chemicals olivetol and geraniol. “We are now pursuing the required paperwork to work with a wide variety of cannabinoids,” he said.

Mark Blaskovich, who studies antibiotic cannabis compounds at the University of Queensland, said cannabis seemed to be particularly rich in antibiotics, though other plants such as tea tree, garlic and the spices turmeric and curcurmin also contained antibacterials.

“These are likely made as a defence mechanism to protect the plant from bacterial and fungal infections, but to date have not been very useful for human infections as they really only work outside the body,” he said. “That’s what makes this new report potentially exciting – evidence that cannabigerol is able to treat a systemic infection in mice.”

This story first appeared at The Guardian.

How CBD HEMP oil deals with Anxiety and Depression

How CBD HEMP oil deals with Anxiety and Depression

“Depression isn’t an emotion, it is a Disease,” More than 300 million people experience Depression once in their lifetime, but not everyone will experience Depression in the same way. And dealing with it on a day-to-day basis is the most difficult part. 

Depression can be arguably tormenting as it tends to affect the daily errands and routine of a person significantly. On a deep introspection with several communities, CBD Hemp oil has seemed to help a large number of groups in dealing with the disorder.

Of course, what works for one may not work for the other. 

There are common misconceptions about Depression- it is often synonymously used with “being sad.” However, the two are not the same. Depression is a clinical condition that thwarts the emotional well-being.

Recognizing the difference between the two can help a person process both in a healthy way.

It’s Okay to be Sad and Not Depressed!

Firstly, Sadness is a common human emotion that we experience in stressful times. Certain life events can lead to subtle feelings of unhappiness or anxiousness. The events could range from losing a loved one, a job, or financial troubles. These factors can affect mood in a negative way. However, pulling oneself up once again isn’t tough. Sadness usually passes with time. 

Depression, on the other hand, has an overpowering effect and could paralyze reasoning, cause feelings of hopelessness, etc., and for a longer duration. It is often too difficult to deal with.

In 2015, approximately 16.1 million people aged 18 years or above in the U.S. had reported experiencing at least one major depressive episode. 

The Symptoms usually include:

  • Feelings of discouragement/hopelessness
  • Sadness
  • Lack of motivation
  • a loss of interest in activities that the individual once found enjoyable

When Are You Diagnosed With Depression?

If you experience any of these symptoms for more than 2 weeks, it is considered a medical problem rather than a prolonged experience of Sadness. Also, to be diagnosed as a major depressive disorder, the symptoms should be linked to Depression alone and not an underlying condition. 

Types of Depression

Depression takes many forms. The Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (5th Edition) lists nine distinct types:

  1. Major Depression: It includes recurrent depressive episodes throughout their lives.
  2. Dysthymia: It is a state of persistent low mood over a long period of time, even a year or more. 
  3. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression brought on from a lack of natural sunlight.
  4. Atypical Depression: Feeling of heaviness in the limbs. Symptoms include irritability and relationship problems, as well as overeating and oversleeping.
  5. Bipolar Disorder: Is Manic Depressive Disorder, which alternates between mania and depressive episodes.
  6. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder: It is a severe Depression that shows up during the second half of the menstrual cycle. It affects the ability to function normally.
  7. Situational Depression: It is triggered by a life-changing event. It could be anything, from losing your job to the death of an immediate family member.

Though there are multiple types of Depression, CBD oil has been deemed lucrative in helping deal with it. 

Can CBD Hemp Oil Help Deal With Depression and Anxiety

CBD Hemp Oil is considered a natural treatment to cure Depression. Though the research around CBD Hemp oil and its effectiveness is limited, the benefits of CBD for Depression in humans is in question. However, CBD Hemp Oil has been observed to have remarkable benefits for Depression, and anxiety, along with:

  • Cognitive impairment
  • Public Discomforts

CBD may be helpful for conditions potentially related to Depression, such as severe pain.

Research Findings

CBD’s potential benefits for Depression are linked to its effects on serotonin receptors in the brain. 

Low serotonin levels are connected to Depression. CBD does not necessarily boost serotonin levels. It makes your brain chemical receptors respond to the existing serotonin.

A 2014 animal study reported that CBD’s effect on these receptors in the brain produced both antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects.

Having said this, this area is still being actively studied, and new research and reviews are being published every year. This information on how effective it is in dealing with Depression and related ailments is subjected to change.

Is it Better Than Antidepressants?

CBD has some benefits over antidepressant medications.

Most antidepressants usually take weeks to start working. However, CBD Hemp Oil has a fast and sustained antidepressant-like effect.

Moreover, CBD has fewer side effects like Imsominia, sexual dysfunction, and so on, rather than antidepressant medications. 

CBD Hemp Oil Can Be Consumed In Three Ways:

  • Oral: This includes tinctures, capsules, sprays, and oils. These may be used in other preparations, such as smoothies or a coffee.
  • Vaping: This is the quickest way to ingest the compounds. However, there’s debate over the long-term safety of this method.
  • Topical: You can use CBD-infused beauty products, lotions, and creams directly to your skin. This formulation is likely best for pain, not for mental health or treating Depression.

Where Can You Buy CBD Hemp Oil?

You’ll need to find a reputable seller or reputed brands that conduct third-party lab testing of their products. To buy CBD Oil. Hemp-derived CBD is easily available in many areas. You may easily find it in some health food stores too. 

Marijuana-derived CBD is only sold in dispensaries in states where it is legalized.

To Conclude:

Recovery is a journey and not a destination. You cannot dodge bad days, but with a well-targeted treatment, you can overcome extreme lows or depressive states. CBD Hemp Oil, in fact, will help you overcome mental distress to a large extent.

If you or a loved one is experiencing depression and anxiety, reach out to a qualified mental health professional. 

Hemp, Phytocannabinoids & The Endocannabinoid System: New Perspectives Clinically & Legally! An Interview with Carl Germano, CNS, CDN

Hemp, Phytocannabinoids & The Endocannabinoid System: New Perspectives Clinically & Legally! An Interview with Carl Germano, CNS, CDN

Knowledge of the health benefits of cannabinoids appears to be spreading to the general population and many people are asking how cannabinoids work to benefit health. The short answer is that cannabinoids act through the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to modulate the activity of many organs.

If the biological action of cannabinoids is a new subject to you, let’s begin with a few facts about hemp. First, hemp is not Marijuana. Hemp does not contain significant amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound in Marijuana. Secondly, hemp has been an important crop in the USA for its industrial and health uses since the early settlers of this country. U.S. Presidents including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, and Franklin Pierce grew hemp as a cash crop and for personal health use. Ben Franklin owned a paper mill that used hemp as a raw material for paper. Hemp has saved millions of trees from being cut down for paper.

Hemp has advantages over many materials and once was a multi-billion-dollar crop accounting for about 80% of textiles and fabrics. However, the Uniform State Narcotic Drug Act in 1934 and the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 lumped hemp in with Marijuana, which led to falsely making hemp illegal. As a result, millions of citizens were not able to achieve their best health as they couldn’t optimize their ECS.

Fortunately, my colleague Carl Germano, CNS, CDN, has recently written a book that explains why cannabinoids are important for optimal health, so I have called upon him to chat with us.

Carl Germano, CNS, CDN, is a NY Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist and Vice President for Verdant Oasis. He holds a master’s degree in clinical nutrition from New York University and has over 37 years’ experience as VP of product development for several of the largest vitamin supplement companies in the trade. He is a prolific author with several bestselling trade books including The Misled Athlete, Nature’s Pain Killers, The Osteoporosis Solution, The Brain Wellness Plan and his most recent Road To Ananda: The Simple Guide To The Endocannabinoid System, Phytocannabinoids & Your Health. He has also held a progressive nutrition practice at The Nutrition Therapy Center in New York and is a frequent lecturer and radio guest.

Passwater: Well, it has been a quite a while since I have collaborated in this column with my old colleague and friend Carl Germano, CNS, CDN. Far too long. He has always been ahead of his time and an interesting and informative lecturer. 

Carl, you have written a new book called “Road To Ananda: The Simple Guide To The Endocannabinoid System, Hemp Phytocannabinoids, and Your Health.” You have written several groundbreaking books over the years, and this book undoubtedly covers one of the most important topics for this decade and many to come. Please provide a glimpse as to this subject and its importance.

Germano: Thank you for your kind words and thank you for the decades of education, contributions and support you have given so many—it is truly a pleasure to be your friend. The subject of cannabinoids, while controversial, has always intrigued me and the way hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) has been mistreated in the U.S. for the past 80 years has served as a springboard for me to further investigate the science and unravel the truth about this plant. It is without question that hemp signifies the most important botanical on this planet. Its active class of compounds called phytocannabinoids (CBD being only 1 of almost 100 phytocannabinoids in hemp) represents the most important, clinically relevant plant compounds to come to the marketplace since the inception of this industry.

Passwater: That covers a lot of ground.

Germano: I make such a bold statement based on the fact that phytocannabinoids help to influence and support one of the most important physiological systems in the human body called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).

Passwater: As important as the ECS is, many readers are not familiar with it yet. Please explain a little about the ECS and why it is so important.

Germano: The ECS is composed of cannabinoid receptors (CB1, CB2, and others presently being investigated) and the components that attach to them called endocannabinoids (anandamide and 2-AG). Our CB1 and CB2 receptors are doorways into the cell to pass on information activated by endocannabinoids. While anandamide and 2-AG initiate activity to the CB receptors found on every organ, they are quite promiscuous in that they influence other receptors such as the GABA, 5HT3, PPARS, TRP, opioid, and endorphin receptors as well. 

Globally, the ECS acts as the conductor of the beautiful symphony of intricate communication that occurs between organs and cells throughout the entire body. There is no physiological function that is not influenced by the ECS. Its proper support is essential to maintain health and its dysregulation is associated with numerous disease conditions. Unfortunately, due to the stigma attached to cannabinoids, the ECS has been buried since the 1990s and there has been little to no education or research conducted here in the U.S. In December 2018, the Farm Bill was signed into law that deregulated hemp and we are just beginning to unravel the stigma and begin the process of education and research into the ECS.

Unfortunately, decades of stifled education and research on hemp, phytocannabinoids, and the ECS has represented both a travesty and tragedy in medicine. Therefore, in order for people to embrace and understand phytocannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), it is crucial to understand how they influence and support the ECS. Road To Ananda (roadtoananda.com) was necessary for me to write so that people can begin the journey into this very subject.

Passwater: Your book is indeed an excellent road to the ECS scientific literature, and you make it easy for the non-scientist as well as the scientist to understand. There are many faces behind its discovery. Who has been your inspiration on this subject and why is it so important?

Germano: While the U.S. has been in the dark ages regarding the ECS, hemp and phytocannabinoids, Israel and Europe have been championing research on the ECS as well as cultivation and commercialization of hemp. The 1990s happened to be a most
important decade of discovery for the ECS, and at the helm of this unearthing was the work of Dr. Raphael Mechoulam at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has been my source of inspiration in this field. He is best known for his work on the isolation and synthesis of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) as well as the cannabinoids we produce in the body(endocannabinoids) called anandamide and 2-AG (2-arachidonylglycerol). He has been called the “Father of Cannabinoid Research” and has published over 350 scientific articles and the recipient of numerous prestigious awards. In addition, there were several of his colleagues that played instrumental roles in the discovery of the ECS and its inner workings including Hanus, Devane, Howelett, and Herkenham who collectively belong on what I call Mt. Hempmore.

Passwater: I notice that he wrote an Introduction to your book.

Germano: Yes. While there were several players involved in the discovery of the ECS, Dr. Mechoulam stands out the most. Due to its role in modulating most, if not all, physiological functioning in the body, the ECS is one of the most important medical discoveries in quite some time. Thanks to Dr. Mechoulam’s work and many others around the world, we are getting closer to unraveling the enormous potential of how supporting the ECS can impact health and its usefulness in preventing and treating diseases. From the earliest moments of development to the last stages of your life, your ECS is involved in constant mass communication with every organ system in your body and intimately involved with modulating their activity.

Passwater: Briefly, in what ways? We’ll discuss this in more detail later.

Germano: Through its communication with all organ systems, the ECS helps regulate all biological functions, including your appetite, digestion, immune function, inflammation, motor control, mood, memory, sleep, etc. It does so by influencing various intricate pathways that the CB, TRVP, GABA, 5HT3, etc. receptors control. At the cellular level, the ECS exerts numerous regulatory roles too lengthy for this article, but here is a glimpse:

Brain: The ECS governs neurotransmission, brain cell development, mood and memory, and provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that help protect the brain from further damage after trauma or stroke.

Metabolism: The ECS governs energy storage, involved in energy production, insulin sensitivity.

Stress: The ECS regulates the HPA pathway by altering stress response hormones.

Bone: The ECS influences brain to bone communication, suppresses osteoclast activity (cells that break down bone) and stimulates osteoblasts (cells that build up bone).

Inflammation/Pain: The ECS is intimately involved in nociceptive pain signaling to the brain and as well as being intertwined in many inflammatory pathways including the eicosanoid pathways that omega 3’s influence.

Anxiety/Depression: The ECS exerts its regulatory effects on various hormones and neurotransmitters involved in the development of several psychological pathologies.

Passwater: Many people will be surprised to learn that their bodies produce cannabinoids. About how many naturally produced compounds in the body activate the cannabinoid receptors, and are any of the phytocannabinoids produced in hemp bioidentical (the same) as cannabinoids produced in the human body?

Germano: In addition to anandamide and 2-AG, other lipid-based molecules have also been classified as endocannabinoids due to their effects on cannabinoid receptors including arachidonoyl dopamine, virodhamine, palmitoyl ethanolamide, oleoylethanolamide, and several byproducts of omega-3 fatty acids. Which brings us to an important relationship between omega-3s and the ECS. Several papers have been published to demonstrate this intimate relationship. Basically, when you are omega-3 deficient, your ECS suffers and we see the same conditions as those who are endocannabinoid deficient—pain/inflammation, stress/anxiety, etc. With omega-3 deficiency, your CB receptors are not as active, and omega-3s are used as backbone materials to produce cannabinoids in the body. Therefore, it makes sense to take omega-3s when taking hemp phytocannabinoids—the collectively serve as a “multivitamin” for your ECS.

Passwater: What happens when they don’t produce enough cannabinoids?

Germano: They are so important that when we don’t produce enough, disruption in the normal state (homeostasis) occurs and sets the stage for acute and chronic conditions. In certain ways, our endocannabinoids serve as biomarkers and are associated with certain disorders when their levels are too low. Stress, anxiety, pain, inflammation, insomnia, eye health, bone health, neurological maladies are conditions where we see depressed levels of endocannabinoids requiring dietary ECS support. Clinically, we are seeing that utilizing hemp phytocannabinoids serves as the foundation for any nutritional protocol addressing these issues. Dr. Ethan Russo’s papers on this very subject provides greater insights into conditions such as migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and many other disorders associated with inflammatory and neurological origins to be what he called Endocannabinoid Deficiency states—all of which can be suitably treated by providing dietary phytocannabinoids. Hemp happens to be the richest and most important source!

Passwater: Disruption of homeostasis opens up one’s susceptibility to illness and the ECS plays a pivotal role in maintaining health, balance, and well-being. With that said, we have been hearing a lot about CBD these days and wondered how it fits in to supporting the ECS. What are your thoughts?

Germano: Homeostasis is critical to the body and your ability to adapt to the daily bombardment of stressors. When your ECS is not supported properly, you enter a state of imbalance that can jeopardize your health and well-being and set the stage for illness. In order to support the ECS, it is the entire family of phytocannabinoids that are required, and no single one can properly do so—this includes CBD!

CBD has been popularized due to the significant results achieved in trials on treating epilepsy and cancer therapy induced symptoms utilizing GW Pharmaceuticals FDA approved drugs that contain isolated CBD. Unfortunately, some companies have been trying to follow the popularity and media attention of CBD by big pharma and have myopically focused on single magic bullet CBD only. This is quite a disappointment for so many reasons. First, when has the dietary supplement industry ever followed big pharma’s single magic bullet approach to health and disease treatment—NEVER! So, why begin here? With all the botanicals sold in the industry, have we ever just focused on one compound in a plant? The answer is simply no.

There is not just one ginsenoside in ginseng, there is not just one curcuminoid in curcumin, there is not just one ginkgolide in ginkgo, etc.—I can go on, but you get the point. So, knowing there are close to 100 different phytocannabinoids in hemp, why in the world do we think that the only clinical relevancy of hemp is due to one phytocannabinoid—CBD? Those of us in botanical medicine know very well that the synergy of all compounds in a botanical is more important than singling out just one—no difference with hemp.

Dr. Ethan Russo wrote an eloquent paper on this very subject that was published in the British Journal of Pharmacology where he discussed how all of the phytocannabinoids in cannabis have unique properties that contribute to their clinical benefits and are greater than any single magic bullet approach. So, why all the attention given to just CBD when we know there are so many other phytocannabinoids that are equal to or have greater activity than CBD? There is no answer or excuse to focus just on CBD—period! Some of the more important synergistic players such as cannabigerol (CBG), beta caryophyllene (BCP), the cannabis flavonoids (CannFlavin A, B & C), and many others will share the spotlight as more research is unravelling their effects in the body. The bottom line is that the importance of the entire class of hemp phytocannabinoids and how they support the ECS should have been the lead-out story.

Unfortunately, it is bad enough that the U.S. government has misled us for the past 80 years, now we have been misled by companies trying to minimize the story and make it just about CBD, diminish hemp’s importance and efficacy of all of its phytocannabinoids, and insulting our intelligence by shoving the myopic CBD story down our throats.

Passwater: With many focusing on inflammation and stress, what are some of the more interesting conditions where the ECS is involved in?

Germano: With data supporting the role of the ECS in inflammation/pain, stress/anxiety, sleep, ocular health, bone support, and neurological conditions, emerging data reveals applications of hemp phytocannabinoids in addressing the GUT/brain/immune connection—a subject I covered in my book The Brain Wellness Plan many years ago. We know the ECS regulates motility and inflammation in the GI tract, but new studies demonstrate an interesting role for our endocannabinoids assisting with foreign antigen tolerance, HPA stress pathway, and immune response in our GUT—the largest immune organ in the body! In addition, what is unraveling is a major communication in the GUT between our microbiome and what I call the endocannabidiome.

It seems that probiotics and our endocannabinoids and receptors are involved with an intimate dance of communication to keep the GUT/brain/immune system functioning properly—a system that is crucial in maintain health and prevent disease.

Another fascinating topic is the role of the ECS in consciousness. Knowing the ECS governs neurotransmission and is involved with all aspects of how we perceive the external environment, it is no stretch to understand the connections here. In general, our consciousness is tied into our thoughts, sensations, and feelings. Every conscious thought, perception or feeling and everything we think of or do is influenced in many ways by the level of endocannabinoid tone in the body.

In subtle ways, the ECS helps to form our personality—are you clear thinking, focused, laid back, relaxed, anxious, etc.—all this is due to the ECS and its regulatory roles in the brain.
Lastly, the role of the ECS in sports medicine is about to explode. In my book The Misled Athlete, I cover many aspects of sports nutrition including energy production, reduction of inflammation, and recovery as major concerns to address nutritionally as opposed to stimulants and excess protein. Supporting the ECS with hemp phytocannabinoids will serve as a foundation to all nutritional protocols since is involved with ATP production, protecting mitochondria, reducing elevated inflammatory and oxidative markers after activity, and responsible for the “runners high.” Yes, you will have to rethink your thinking about feeling good after exercise being due to endorphins. We now know that elevated endocannabinoids influence the endorphin and opioid receptors responsible for the euphoric feeling after exercise.

Passwater: You and I have actively been involved in research and clinical practice for many decades and have witnessed the scientific/clinical story being diminished by not focusing on the entire class of phytocannabinoids. Nevertheless, the CBD story continues for now, yet legal issues abound. What are your thoughts?

Germano: I am thoroughly disappointed in the industry, legal counsel, and the FDA for letting an inept story and market develop the way it has. I am also perplexed by the complete dismissal by companies and legal counsel of a federal law you and I have been involved in back in 1994—the Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act (DSHEA). DSHEA law is very clear and tells us that if a substance has not been in commerce prior to 1994, it cannot be grandfathered as a dietary supplement.

CBD has not been in commerce prior to 1994, yet hemp and its naturally occurring class of phytocannabinoids have been as a food ingredient—strike one against CBD on a label being called a dietary supplement. The only option is to submit a New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) application to FDA for CBD. Why has no company submitted such? Probably due to the other clause in DSHEA that states if a pharmaceutical company takes a natural substance and obtains FDA approval as a drug, it’s hands-off to the dietary supplement industry. Well, GW Pharmaceuticals has done just that with its approved Epidilox drug with isolated CBD in it—strike 2 against CBD being a dietary supplement.

While there are some that make the case that CBD was on the market before GW’s approval, I have yet to see this challenged. Even if this was the case, you still have the issue that CBD was not in commerce prior to 1994—back to square one! So, while the scientific/clinical case was made in favor of phytocannabinoids as a naturally occurring class of compounds in hemp over single magic bullet CBD, so is the case legally. Why are we trying to waste our time fighting an uphill battle with the FDA about getting CBD approved as a dietary supplement? Unless FDA is planning to change or dismantle DSHEA, it is futile and wasting a great deal of time and money. Rather, the industry should be embracing hemp as a botanical, phytocannabinoids as the most important class of naturally occurring plant compounds, and how to nourish/feed/support the body’s endocannabinoid system. Lastly, FDA needs to enforce DSHEA and the simplistic and inaccurate CBD story will go away and make room for the more important story to be told.

Passwater: So, how best do we support our ECS and do we rely only on hemp?

Germano: While I have been telling people to get over the fact that we produce cannabinoids in the body, similar to some of the ones found in hemp, they are equally shocked by the fact that we have been eating phytocannabinoids in the diet! While hemp is undoubtedly the richest source of phytocannabinoids in the diet, there are other foods where they may be found. Yes, carrots, hops, chocolate, Echinacea, pepper, clove, thyme, etc. are all foods that have minute levels of phytocannabinoids in them. I said minute, so don’t rely on them to truly have therapeutic value unless you either consume huge quantities or they have been standardized in certain foods.

Just placing milligram levels of some of these spices/foods in a product is nothing more than marketing hype and comical at best. Nevertheless, the best example of a truly beneficial phytocannabinoid in food that can be standardized in large quantities is beta caryophyllene (BC) as found in abundance in clove and unripe black pepper seeds. When standardized in specially processed oils, BC is a perfect complement to CBD since it attaches to the CB2 receptor that CBD does not. It is the CB2 receptor that is involved in bone building, inflammation and pain, insulin sensitivity, and many other functions. This is yet another example of the importance of having other phytocannabinoids present and not to rely on just CBD. CBD cannot support the entire ECS on its own—you need the full family present—period!

Passwater: With that said, what should consumers look for in products in this category?

Germano: First and foremost, they should get to know the strains that are being used in products. It is important to know if the strains have a history of proven use in humans prior to 1994 (DSHEA). The EU Commission has a website where you can see what strains have been used for human use for decades. These are strains that have been cultivated and consumed by humans and represent many decades of what true industrial hemp looks like. Also, they can request DNA analysis and proof that the strains are actually coming from true industrial hemp as opposed to the genetically manipulated “Frankenstein” marijuana hybrids that pervade our industry that have no history of human consumption.

In addition, are the products non-GMO, organic, Kosher, solvent free, and tested for all pesticides including Monsanto’s glyphosate? Are the products free of CBD isolate?
CBD isolate is a drug yet is found in numerous products in the market—either directly or indirectly. I am amused by looking at chromatograms of products showing CBD to be 70%, 80, or 90+% calling themselves full spectrum oils. It is absurd to think that such products can be full spectrum and retailers/consumers need stop “drinking the Kool Aid” and be diligent about the products and companies they choose. Essentially, the term full spectrum has been diluted in the marketplace. Ask for chromatograms of the material that can be very telling about whether the oil is spiked with CBD isolate or come from marijuana hybrids.

Essentially, when millions of marketing dollars get spent by companies trying to follow the coattails of GW Pharmaceuticals CBD approved drug, it is apparent that botanical medicine, the science of the ECS, and the legal aspects that plague CBD got completely ignored. There are a lot of questionable companies out there that have no clue about the science nor the DSHEA law—it’s buyer beware at the moment until FDA does its job.

Passwater: Carl, you have been researching this topic for many years. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us about the Endocannabinoid System and the health benefits of phytocannabinoids.

This story first appeared at Whole Foods Magazine

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