A number of years ago when the outcry for pushing medical marijuana through legislation to help children with specific medical conditions created a frenzy of emotional and political resistance, I said outloud, “Why isn’t anyone simply using the CBD from our Hemp plant instead?”
And the reasoning was simply, the Hemp crop contains higher levels of CBD than it’s sister cannabis crop, Marijuana. The hemp crop contains very low levels of THC and when extracted into high levels, still remains far below (at 0.01%) the legal limit set forth by the US government (0.3%). The hemp crop is also grown organically, because it is so hardy – it does not require the use of pesticides putting us at risk for neurotoxin exposure (as the marijuana crop does). So why don’t we find another way, around the politics and emotional reactions, and look the way of Hemp?
Fortunately, I wasn’t the only person who said this out loud. The process was not simple however, it is actually illegal to grow Hemp in the United States (we used to grow Hemp abundantly, our livestock ate it and so did we, we used to get these nutrients in our systems, but the crop was replaced with Corn, and banned). Fortunately, it is not illegal to IMPORT hemp into the US and use it – as long as your product remains to have less than 0.3% THC levels in it.
Some dedicated manufacturers of the finest Hemp oil out there traveled to European farmers and established long lasting relationships, they developed lab techniques and high quality CO2 extraction techniques to cold press the oil out of the stalks to retain highest purity levels, and they created an incredibly refined product.
10 Years ago the US government recognized the medicinal impact of CBD (Cannabidiol) that is found in the cannabis strains (marijuana and hemp). So they patented it.
|Publication number||US6630507 B1|
|Application number||US 09/674,028|
|Publication date||Oct 7, 2003|
|Filing date||Apr 21, 1999|
|Priority date||Apr 21, 1998|
Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants
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 cannabidoil, 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.
Based on what the government patented over 10 years ago we can focus the direction of therapeutic benefit on the following things:
- Neuroprotection: The mechanisms and strategies used to protect against neuronal injury or degeneration in the Central Nervous System (CNS) following acute disorders (e.g. stroke or nervous system injury/trauma) or as a result of chronic neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Migraines, Autism, etc)
- Antioxidant: These powerful substances prohibit (and in some cases even prevent), the oxidation of other molecules in the body. They assist in modulating the expression of hundreds of genes, including not only the familiar antioxidant enzymes, but large numbers of genes that control seemingly disparate processes such as immune and inflammatory responses, tissue remodeling and fibrosis, carcinogenesis and metastasis, and even cognitive dysfunction and addictive behavior.
ECS and CBD As Immunoregulator
The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, is a remarkably complex signaling network that has widespread effects within the body (regulation of appetite, metabolic health, blood sugar regulation, obesity, pain sensation, oxidative stress, thermoregulation, eye health, mood, memory, and much more.) including the ability to help regulate or vary the properties, tone, and overall function of our immune system. For instance, at optimal concentrations, certain cannabinoids can reduce inflammatory responses in patients with autoimmune diseases (e.g., multiple sclerosis, arthritis, lupus, encephalomyelitis, Parkinson’s). Cannabidiol is particularly potent in this regard.
Scientists studying the effects of the Endocannabidiol System on the immune system, neuroinflammation, inflammatory arthritis joint health, and even systemic inflammation have uncovered remarkable benefits from naturally occurring and endogenously produced cannabinoids.
Various phytocannabinoids from cannabis, including agricultural hemp, are showing enormous potential for optimizing and restoring balance to the immune system. Ultimately, understanding the intricate plasticity of cannabinoid compounds, cannabinoid receptors, and the enzymes that synthesize, hydrolyze, and metabolize them, and the complex cross-talk that exists with other organ systems in the body, will undoubtedly rewrite medical textbooks worldwide.
Fernandez-Ruiz J, et al. (2013). Cannabidiol for neurodegenerative disorders: Important new clinical applications for this phytocannabinoid? Br J Clin Pharmacol. 75(2): 323-333.
Tanasescu R and CS Constantinescu. (2010). Cannabinoids and the immune system: An overview. Immunobiology. 215: 588-597.
Klein TW, et al. (2003). The cannabinoid system and immune modulation. 74: 486-496.
Downer EJ. (2011). Cannabinoids and innate immunity: Taking a toll on neuroinflammation. The Scientific World Journal. 11: 855-865.
Croxford JL, Yamamura T. (2005). Cannabinoids and the immune system: potential for the treatment of inflammatory diseases? J Neuroimmunol. Sep;166(1-2):3-18.
Massi P, Vaccani A, Parolaro D. (2006). Cannabinoids, immune system and cytokine network. Curr Pharm Des. 12(24):3135-46.
On Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2018 the USDA released the text of its interim final rule for regulations establishing a domestic hemp production program. Since this is an interim final rule, it will be in effect immediately upon being published in the Federal Register. The 2018 farm bill legalized the production of hemp as an agricultural commodity while removing it from the list of controlled substances (2018 Farm Bill Provides A Path Forward for Industrial Hemp). Industrial hemp is defined as Cannabis sativa L. and required to be below a THC threshold of 0.3%.