As a medical cannabis patient, you have probably heard a lot of talk about the different cannabinoids and their medical benefits. There is still much about cannabinoid science that remains a mystery, but the last two decades have given medical professionals a lot more valuable information to consider.
Today, we will take a moment to review the current research behind cannabis medicine and how this awesome plant interacts within our bodies.
What are Cannabinoids and How Do They Stimulate the Endocannabinoid System?
The flowers of cannabis plants produce hundreds of different chemical compounds. Each of these compounds is absorbed by our bodies in different ways. Cannabinoids are some of the chemical compounds that are (mostly) specific to cannabis plants.
Phytocannabinoids, which come from the plant, are compounds like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). This is an important distinction because every human produces endocannabinoids within their own bodies. Receptors throughout the body take in both endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids and in turn, regulate the flow of neurotransmitters throughout the different systems within the body.
Cannabinoids interact with what has come to be known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Certain receptors have an affinity for specific cannabinoids, meaning that different areas of our bodies want to absorb different ratios of cannabis compounds. For instance, the brain has a large proportion of CB1 receptors, which have a greater affinity for THC. The peripheral nervous system, on the other hand, is better regulated through the compound CBD because of CB2 receptors.
It is very important to understand that there are scores of different cannabinoids, and researchers continue to identify new compounds. THC and CBD are the two most widely discussed at this point in time because they are the most commonly produced by cannabis plants as a result of human breeding and hybridization.
Why You Should Consider Both THC and CBD
The past two decades have revealed so much about cannabis science that explains how this plant provides healing properties. One of the most prolific studies was published in early 2015 and titled Overcoming the Bell-Shaped Dose-Response of Cannabidiol by Using Cannabis Extract Enriched in Cannabidiol.
The study was conducted at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the findings have changed the overall approach to cannabis medicine. The result of the study was empirical proof that CBD is less effective as an isolated compound than when taken in conjunction with the other compounds that naturally occur within cannabis flowers.
This is an incredibly important discovery, as popular belief and anecdotal evidence had commonly represented THC as the “fun” cannabis compound, and CBD as the “medical” cannabis compound. Now we know that THC and CBD have the most potential benefit when taken alongside one another.
What is the Importance of Full-Spectrum and Whole Plant Cannabis Extracts?
Whole plant cannabis extracts are also referred to as full-spectrum cannabis extracts. This is because the entire chemical profile available in the cannabis flowers is present in the final medicinal form. While researchers are still playing catch-up to understanding medical benefits beyond THC and CBD, there is a lot of evidence that other natural compounds like flavonoids and terpenoids (terpenes) are equally as effective in helping the healing process.
The process for extracting the full spectrum of the available compounds is complicated and requires exceptional precision. Even ten years ago, when CBD was not yet being discussed with much vigor, extraction experts knew their concentrates tasted better when they successfully included the flavors and smells from the original cannabis flowers.
Now there is clear evidence that medical efficacy is improved when concentrates contain as many of the terpenoids, flavonoids, and cannabinoids from the plant material.
Whole Plant Extracts Available from Yerba
Yerba is committed to offering cannabis products that meet the needs of every patient. Our menu currently lists a few different options for patients looking for cannabis medicine that includes the full spectrum of compounds from cannabis flowers.
TreatWell Health is one of our most popular brands, and rightly so. TreatWell cares deeply about the efficacy of their medicine, and offers tinctures containing whole plant extracts from different cannabinoid ratios. While this sounds complicated, it is actually the foundation of all cannabis medicine. Different ratios of THC and CBD can be effective for different medical conditions.
Certain conditions, often marked by inflammation, are effectively treated with high ratios of CBD (TreatWell has a 20:1 CBD to THC option), while pain relief and sleep issues are often associated with more THC, like TreatWell’s 3:1 and 1:1 Tinctures.
YAK edibles also creates products based on full spectrum cannabis extractions. The YAK capsules are all derived from whole plant material so that the end result includes naturally-occurring amounts of THC, CBD, and other compounds available from the flowers. YAK capsules are available in a few options, including sativa-dominant and indica-dominant whole plant extractions, as well as a High CBD option that comes from low-THC plants.
Yerba will continue the expansion of our menu to include even more whole plant extracts, concentrates, and edibles.
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