Hemp, CBD, THC – the UK’s new gold rush

Leading entrepreneurs anticipate the UK following the USA and Canada to relax cannabis laws. Their forward looking brands are positioning for a mighty harvest

Leading entrepreneurs anticipate the UK following the USA and Canada to relax cannabis laws. Their forward looking brands are positioning for a mighty harvest

Cannabis, hemp, marijuana – these words all come loaded with historical baggage and widespread confusion. For decades Western governments have waged an expensive propaganda war against this plant as part of a self defeating “War On Drugs”. Many people understand ganja to be a plant primarily used for recreation and “getting stoned”. This doesn’t even come close. Cannabis is probably the single plant that offers the widest range of useful functions to humanity.

Hemp is one of the fastest growing plants. It was first used over 10,000 years ago and was one of the first plants spun into a usable fibre. It is used as a raw material in: paper, textiles, clothing, plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed. Hemp was so fundamental to the UK’s historical naval dominance (used in ropes and sails) that it used to be illegal in the UK not to grow hemp. Hemp is so useful, grows so fast, draws carbon out of the atmosphere so effectively whilst offering a crucial alternative to chopping down trees that some enthusiasts even argue that hemp can save the world.

Hemp contains cannabidiol (CBD) which has a wide range of health benefits. The medicinal form of the species Cannabis sativa also contains the psychoactivecomponent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD can now be bought legally across the UK in health food shops and online. Recently, doctors and parents won a critical legal battle with the Home Office enabling them to prescribe medical cannabis containing THC to treat such symptoms as epilepsy. This brings the UK’s policy closer to Canada, Holland, Portugal and the majority of US states. We are a step closer to full decriminalisation with all the benefits that will bring… not least economically.

Currently, the global cannabis market is estimated to be worth $7.7 billion and may see a compound annual growth rate of 60 percent as other countries liberalize their marijuana laws. The market is projected to hit $31.4 billion by 2021, according to a new report from the Brightfield Group. According to Stephen Murphy, co-founder of Prohibition Partners, the european market alone is set to explode – “There are some wild estimates out there but we think it’s going to go from zero to €56bn (£49bn) in a decade. It’s an incredible opportunity.”

Clearly, the companies that are already established and operational, making profits from this extraordinary plant are in the best position to benefit from the imminent bonanza. EcoHustler has been speaking to the UK’s leading brands operating in this space and discovered passionate people who are deeply dedicated to working with this incredible plant and bringing her full range of gifts to market to help humanity.

Photo by Radski Studio

THTC – The Hemp Trading Company

THTC Clothing is the UK’s leading ethical streetwear label, producing ecologically and socially-conscious garments from hemp, organic cotton and other sustainable materials. Since 1999, they have clothed generations of consciously-minded individuals who all share a similar purpose – participating in building a more sustainable and inclusive future for humanity. Their style of design is heavily influenced by Hip Hop, Reggae and Drum’n’Bass, and draws inspiration from the great social and environmental activists of history.

THTC work with a range of designers from across the world – all renowned street graffiti artists and illustrators. They have produced over 200 designs and collaborated on a number of ranges with global charities, NGOs and companies looking for ethical and sustainable merchandise solutions. Their current campaign partners include Refugee Community KitchenWorld Land Trust and Momentum, to name a few.Founder Gavin Lawson says –

“Hemp is the most useful crop that can be grown. It has thousands of uses and can be grown with around 10% of conventionally grown cotton, which is one of the world’s thirstiest crops. It is easy to grow organically and in most climates and its uses include clean sustainable engine oil, bio-plastics, a paper source, fibreglass, a building material clothing textile and a very healthy food source. That is not to mention THC and CBD content strains which can be used very effectively to cure and treat many diseases and illnesses from cancer to epilepsy. It is one of the world’s worst travesties that it was outlawed in the 20th century and the survival of this entire planet and its inhabitants may very well depend on how we decide to use this wonder crop in the future.”

Mediweed

Mediweed is a Bournemouth-based business that was founded in 2002. The company is based solely around the mission to get top quality CBD to the people who need it most. They grow, harvest and distribute the best strains there are and make them available direct to the public and wholesale market.

Established in 2002 Mediweed, founder Jimmy Ward has seen it all. He is optimistic about the current state of play saying – “In principle we are delighted with the latest home office directive and congratulate the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid in making this decision. It is vital however, licensing be available to all in a fair manner so everyone can benefit from this exciting emerging market’

Mediweed’s Hemp and CBD Entourage oils offer affordable natural health products high in CBD but Jimmy and his partner Helena are keen to emphasise the plant’s medicinal benefits beyond CBD. Helena says –

“Our oils also contain an Entourage of further Cannabinoids, creating the healing ‘Entourage Effect’. Helena also crafts teas, chocolates, lip balm, CBD infused local honey, with other ‘Medibles’ in the pipeline.

For the good of humanity Mediweed wants to take hemp medicines mainstream and with their dedication and determination it will soon be a household name once again.

Ohana CBD

Ohana-CBD is an all-natural skincare range which combines CBD (an active extract from hemp called cannabidiol) with plant-based natural ingredients to promote healthy skin and maintain a well-balanced, toxin-free skin care range.

CBD, which is the core ingredient for all of their products has been proven to hold anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-ageing properties. They anticipate increased demand from smart women concerned that cities are becoming more polluted and mindful that we all have to do more to protect our skin.

Jasmin Thomas the Founder of Ohana CBD – “We consume vitamins and antioxidants on a daily basis to maintain optimum health. It goes without saying we should take the same approach with our skin”

Jasmin also co runs a group called: entOURrage Network which is cultivating a platform and network for women to engage, empower and explore opportunities in the legal cannabis market. we believe we are stronger together. This is our entourage effect. For more updates on entOURage Network event follow @ohanacbd on Instagram.

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Cannnabinoids and the Entourage effect

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Entourage Effect

The term entourage effect refers to a concept and proposed mechanism by which compounds present in cannabis which are largely non-psychoactive by themselves modulate the overall psychoactive effects of the plant (these resulting principally from the action of the main psychoactive component of cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)).

Cannabidiol (CBD) is believed to be the major modulatory component of cannabis, mitigating some of the negative, psychosis-like effects of THC, and is included in some medicinal formulations alongside THC.[1][2] CBD co-administration also reduces the negative effects of THC on memory.[2] Myrcene, which is recognized as a sedative component in hops, may be responsible for the sedative effects (“couch lock”) of certain cannabis strains (sedative effects are commonly ascribed to the indica cannabis type). Linalool may also contribute to the entourage effect, modulating the glutamate and GABA neurotransmitter systems to produce sedative and anxiolytic effects.[3]

 

[wcps id=”6301″]

 

Background

The phrase entourage effect was introduced in 1998 by S. Ben-Shabat,[4] and by Raphael Mechoulam,[5] to represent a novel endogenous cannabinoid molecular regulation route. The phrase refers to the compounds present in cannabis supposedly working in concert to create “the sum of all the parts that leads to the magic or power of cannabis”, according to Chris Emerson.[1] Other cannabinoids’, terpenoids’, and flavonoids’ contribution to clinical cannabis effects has been espoused as an “entourage effect”.

The entourage effect is considered a cannabinoid system modulator and is achieved in pain management through increasing receptors affinity to enhance endogenous anandamide activity and/or reducing enzymatic anandamide degradation.[6]

Pharmacology

Endogenous 2-acyl-glycerols can increase 2-arachidonoylglycerol biological activity, which alone shows no significant activity. This entourage effect may represent a novel endogenous cannabinoid activity molecular regulation route.[4] Cannabinoid system modulators like N-palmitoylethanolamine may be said to exhibit the entourage effect, increasing receptors affinity to enhance endogenous anandamide activity and/or reducing enzymatic anandamide degradation.[7]

References

  1. Jump up to:a b c Chen A (20 April 2017). “Some of the Parts: Is Marijuana’s “Entourage Effect” Scientifically Valid?”Scientific American. Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  2. Jump up to:a b Fine PG, Rosenfeld MJ (2013-10-29). “The endocannabinoid system, cannabinoids, and pain”Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal4 (4): e0022. doi:10.5041/RMMJ.10129PMC 3820295Freely accessiblePMID 24228165.
  3. Jump up^ Russo EB (August 2011). “Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects”British Journal of Pharmacology163 (7): 1344–64. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.xPMC 3165946Freely accessiblePMID 21749363.
  4. Jump up to:a b Ben-Shabat S, Fride E, Sheskin T, Tamiri T, Rhee MH, Vogel Z, Bisogno T, De Petrocellis L, Di Marzo V, Mechoulam R (1998). “An entourage effect: inactive endogenous fatty acid glycerol esters enhance 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol cannabinoid activity”. European Journal of Pharmacology353 (1): 23–31. doi:10.1016/S0014-2999(98)00392-6PMID 9721036.
  5. Jump up^ Gupta S (11 March 2014). “Medical marijuana and ‘the entourage effect’ – CNN”CNN. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  6. Jump up^ Jerome, Bouaziz (April 1, 2017). “The Clinical Significance of Endocannabinoids in Endometriosis Pain Management”Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research2 (1). doi:10.1089/can.2016.0035. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  7. Jump up^ Bouaziz J, Bar On A, Seidman DS, Soriano D (April 1, 2017). “The Clinical Significance of Endocannabinoids in Endometriosis Pain Management”Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research2 (1): 72–80. doi:10.1089/can.2016.0035PMC 5436335Freely accessiblePMID 28861506.

External links

Cannabidiol And The Benefits Of CBD

cbd science

Scientists are rapidly discovering more and more about the rather amazing CBD benefits found in the cannabis plant. Most of them have shown therapeutic value, as have the terpenes, which give the plant its distinct odors. There are over 125 terpenes and over 80 cannabinoids in cannabis and each strain has its own unique blend that create its distinct effects.

CBD is just one cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are 21-carbon molecules that block or stimulate endocannabinoid receptors. It’s known that other cannabinoids, such as THC, THCV, CBN and CBD, bind to CB1 and/or CB2 receptors, just as do the brain’s own naturally occurring cannabinoids – AEA and 2 AG.

Many of these cannabinoids have therapeutic value and CBD is no exception. It is a non-psychotropic cannabinoid, meaning it does not contribute to the euphoria associated with certain strains of cannabis. It is, however, psychoactive, because it crosses the blood-brain barrier. Unlike THC, CBD can be administered at relatively high doses without undesired psychological side effects.

CBD also has the effect of reducing the undesirable effects of high-THC cannabis, such as anxiety and paranoia, which allows a patient to ingest more THC, which has its own incredible medical effects. CBD is a powerful anti-epileptic, anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, anti-nauseate, sleep aid, muscle relaxant, sedative and anti-proliferative.

What’s in A Name?

The US federal government seems schizophrenic when it comes to CBD. Some interpret the government’s position to mean CBD is legal if it comes from hemp, despite hemp, cannabis and marijuana all being the exact same thing. We should not be surprised. An odd distinction existed from 1916 until 1942 where what you called the plant made the difference between cannabis being legal and marijuana being illegal.

Marijuana was illegal in most states but cannabis was not only legal in all states, but widely prescribed by physicians and available in over twenty-five over-the-counter medicines. The marijuana laws were more often applied to Hispanics and African Americans while Anglo-Caucasian and other pharmacy cannabis customers could obtain the medicinal cannabis with impunity.

The US federal government has patented CBD. Here is what they say in their patent abstract:

Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia. Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention. A particular disclosed class of cananbinoids useful as neuroprotective antioxidants is formula (1) wherein the R group is independently selected from the group consisting of H, CH3 and COCH3.

CBD tincture

The big selling point for the surging popularity of CBD has been that it is non-euphoric. The idea that using medication to feel good is not appropriate, unusual or unacceptable seems to almost uniquely apply to cannabis. Tranquilizers, antidepressants and ED medicines are all intended to make us feel emotionally better, even euphoric. While some may not want the euphoria associated with THC and other euphorigenic constituents of the plant, there is the therapeutic consideration of the benefit of using the whole plant (the entourage effect). As with any therapeutic agent the physician will weigh the balance of the therapeutic effects to the side effects.

Many clinicians believe that using CBD as an isolated compound not only diminishes its therapeutic value but does not take full advantage of the medicinal value of cannabis. This is because of the entourage effect, the concept that the totality of the therapeutic constituents of the plant acting together are more effective than any single isolated compound acting alone.

The federal government promotes the concept that “Single-molecule pharmaceuticals are superior to ‘crude’ whole plant medicinals.” Here’s what Martin Lee, author of ‘Smoke Signals’ and ‘Acid Dreams’ had to say about this issue:

“According to the federal government, specific components of the marijuana plant (THC, CBD) have medical value, but the plant itself does not have medical value. Uncle Sam’s single-molecule blinders reflect a cultural and political bias that privileges Big Pharma products. Single-molecule medicine is the predominant corporate way, the FDA-approved way, but it’s not the only way, and it’s not necessarily the optimal way to benefit from cannabis therapeutics. Cannabis contains several hundred compounds, including various flavonoids, aromatic terpenes, and many minor cannabinoids in addition to THC and CBD. Each of these compounds has specific healing attributes, but when combined they create what scientists refer to as a holistic “entourage effect,” so that the therapeutic impact of the whole plant is greater than the sum of its single-molecule parts. The Food and Drug administration, however, isn’t in the business of approving plants as medicine. [See the scientific evidence].”

Route of Administration

When looking at the effects of cannabis we need to be cognizant that different routes of cannabinoid administration have different effects. Inhaled THC enters capillaries in the lungs, passes into general circulation through the pulmonary arteries and goes directly to the brain without passing through the liver. The cannabinoids then cross the blood-brain barrier to affect the endocannabinoid receptors. In addition, when cannabis is burned new compounds are created not found in the raw or dried plant.

The respiratory route of administration allows THC and other constituents of the plant to go directly to the brain without going through the liver. THC metabolites contribute significantly to the effects of cannabis consumption. On the first pass through the liver, 85% of THC is metabolized. Some of it is metabolized to 11-hydrox-THC, a THC metabolite that activates CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain. It induces a high more potently than THC itself.

When ingested orally, however, THC and other cannabinoids and terpenes are absorbed from the small intestine over several hours. THC and the other constituents are then carried to the liver, where THC is metabolized by subclasses of cytochrome P450 enzyme (abbreviated CYP), specifically the CYP2C and CYP3A enzymes. About 85% of the THC is metabolized on its first pass through the liver. Like any oral medication, it will take about 45-75 minutes before enough of the plant constituents are in the bloodstream to exert a therapeutic effect. Further, there will be a greater effect of a THC metabolic breakdown product, 11-hydroxy-THC.

Terpenes, Cannabinoids and The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

Let’s be very clear. All plants are chemically complex, containing hundreds of different molecules. A tomato has about 380 different molecules. Coffee 880. Cannabis 512. Of these 512 compounds, 80-100 are cannabinoids and over 125 are terpenes. Many of these chemicals have therapeutic value.

The ECS is the largest neurotransmitter system in the brain. It can be affected by both exogenous (from outside the body) and endogenous (from inside the body) cannabinoids that exert their many pharmacological effects. Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the researcher who first isolated and identified THC in 1964, also helped characterize the ECS system in 1992.

There are at least two types of cannabinoid receptors in mammalian tissues, dubbed CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are not only in the brain and spinal cord but in peripheral tissues as well. CB2 receptors are found primarily in immune tissues. It is quite likely that in the near future, research will identify more components of the ECS.

CBD Epilepsy

Epilepsy

In early 2014, a CNN documentary by Sanjay Gupta, M.D. pointed out the anti-epileptic properties of cannabis. He focused on a young child who had intractable seizures. Several years earlier, Dr. Mechoulam described an experiment by Paul F. Consroe and colleagues in Brazil where CBD was tested as a treatment for intractable epilepsy. Patients stayed on the anticonvulsants they had been on, which hadn’t eliminated their seizures, and added 200 mg/day of CBD or a placebo. The subjects were followed over the course of several months.

Mechoulam noted that of the seven patients getting CBD; three became seizure-free; one experienced only one or two seizures; and two experienced reduced severity and occurrence of seizures. Only one showed no improvement. CBD is one of the reasons that cannabis has been known for centuries as an anti-seizure medicine. Now in the second decade of the twenty-first century, there is increased public interest in this therapeutic property of cannabis.

As a side note, earlier this year Brazil approved the use of CBD to treat epilepsy. Prescribing is restricted to psychiatrists and neurologists.

Neuroprotective

There have been numerous studies that demonstrate cannabis’ neuroprotective capabilities. Cannabinoids help preserve brain matter in stroke and traumatic brain injury. Studies have shown that cannabidiol (CBD) at a concentration of 10 uM, was neuroprotective against both excitatory transmitter (glutamate) and oxidant (hydroperoxide) induced neurotoxicity. Mechoulam developed a synthetic cannabinoid, dextranabinol, that has been shown in basic science studies to help limit brain tissue death from decreased tissue oxygenation. This can be caused by stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI), or being placed on a heart-lung machine during cardiac bypass surgery.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Mechoulam has characterized post-traumatic stress disorder, certain phobias and forms of chronic pain as human situations which are conditioned and might be amenable to treatment with CBD.

“I know that many patients with PTSD take cannabis, self-administered,” Mechoulam said.

The Israeli Ministry of Health has tested CBD and THC at various ratios to treat PTSD. They currently have a successful program at Abarbanal Hospital in Israel where cannabis is used to treat PTSD.

Cannabinoids, Tumors and Cancer

Cannabis has been shown in both tissue culture and mice to be effective at inhibiting the growth of many cancers. CBD plays an important role in that effort. Other cannabinoids also contribute to cannabis’ anti-neoplastic (anti-cancer) effect. Cannabis is an anti-oxidant. Antioxidants have been shown to decrease the incidence of cancer. There are several mechanisms for this anti-cancer effect: cannabis affects a gene which controls metastasis so it decreases metastasis, encourages apoptosis (death of old or abnormal cells), and inhibits angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels).

In 1974, a research team at the Medical College of Virginia (acting at the behest of the federal government) discovered that cannabis inhibited malignant tumor cell growth in cell culture and in mice. This is the study that was published in the above referenced Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 1975, According to the study’s results, reported nationally in an August 18, 1974 Washing Post newspaper feature, administration of marijuana’s primary cannabinoid THC, “slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent.”