What is the difference between Hemp and Medical Cannabis?
Hemp and medical cannabis sativa strains are actually both members of the same plant species, Cannabis Sativa L. There are many practical differences between hemp and other cannabis plants, and clear lines drawn between them.
Hemp is as close as you can get to how cannabis grows naturally. Hemp is grown all over the world for food, oil, and fiber so, the whole plant can be used, not just the flowers. With the hemp type of cannabis, male and female plants are grown very closely together, allowing for easy wind pollination. This results in very tall, hardy plants with less branching that look very different from the short, bushy medical cannabis plants.
Medical Cannabis is usually grown indoors and encouraged to remain short and grow lots of flowers. This is because the famously intoxicating delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is concentrated mostly in little resin-filled glands found on the flowers of the plant. Although you can find THC throughout cannabis, it is the flowers or buds that are harvested for recreational and medical purposes.
Hemp Oil vs Hemp Extract (CBD)
Hemp oil refers to cold-pressed food grade oil from the hemp seed, or industrial oil for polish or lubricants. Hemp extract, also known as CBD, is the term for oil that has been extracted from the hemp flower using a variety of methods, some more effective than others.
Both hemp oil and hemp extracts are currently being researched for health benefits, however hemp extract is what has been shown to provide relief for a variety of ailments.
While hemp oil can be a great source of essential fatty acids like Omega 3 and Omega 6, it is not a source of CBD. CBD is not extracted from hemp seeds, but rather the hemp flower.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS), first discovered by Dr. Lisa
Matsuda and colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health in 1990, is responsible for maintaining homeostasis for several vital functions, influencing sleep, mood, appetite, hormonal response, pain response, immune system response, and more. As both internal and external environments affect the body's baseline state of balance, the ECS is there to correct things when they swing one way or the other.
Homeostasis: the concept that most biological systems are actively regulated to maintain conditions that are just right. The body doesn't want its temperature to be too hot or too cold, blood sugar levels too high or too low, and so on. Conditions need to be just right for the body's cells to maintain optimum performance and exquisite mechanisms have evolved to draw them back into balance if they move out. The body's ECS is a vital molecular system for helping cells maintain homeostasis.
By understanding the biological concept of homeostasis, and how the ECS illustrates this at the cellular level, we can more deeply appreciate why the body has an ECS to begin with, and how a variety of cannabis-based therapies might actually work. The presence and critical function of the ECS across many systems of the body, including the nervous and immune systems, explains why such a wide variety of ailments and disease states are responsive to cannabis-based interventions.
This content is strictly for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. Readers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Creative Solutions does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information provided. All readers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutritional or supplement or lifestyle program.
RELIEF A 2012 study published for pain and inflammation in the Journal of Experimental Medicine found that CBD significantly suppressed chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain in rodents without causing analgesic tolerance. Researchers suggest that CBD and other nonpsychoactive components of cannabis may represent a novel class of therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic pain.
ANTIPSYCHOTIC EFFECTS Research shows that CBD benefits include producing antipsychotic effects. It appears to have a pharmacological profile similar to that of atypical antipsychotic drugs as seen using behavioral and neurochemical techniques in animal studies. Additionally, studies show that CBD prevents human experimental psychosis and is effective in open case reports and clinical trials in patients with schizophrenia, with a remarkable safety profile.
REDUCTION of ANXIETY Studies using animal models of anxiety and involving healthy volunteers suggest an anxiolytic-like effect of CBD. Cannabidiol has shown to reduce anxiety in patients with social anxiety disorder and researchers suggest that it may also be effective for panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. A 2011 study aimed to compare the effects of a simulation public speaking test on healthy control patients and treatment-native patients with social anxiety disorder. A total of 24 never-treated patients with social anxiety disorder were given either CBD or placebo 1.5 hours before the test. Researchers found that pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alertness in anticipation of their speech. The placebo group presented higher anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort.
INHIBIT CANCER GROWTH and METASTASIS Several scientific reports demonstrate that CBD benefits include possessing antiproliferative, and pro-apoptotic effects that inhibit cancer cell migration, adhesion and invasion. A 2006 study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics found for the first time that CBD potently and selectively inhibited the growth of different breast tumor cell lines and exhibited significantly less potency in non-cancer cells. In 2011, researchers added light on the cellular mechanism through which CBD induces cell death in breast cancer cells. They showed that CBD induced a concentration-dependent cell death of both estrogen receptor-positive and estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer cells. They also found that the effective concentrations of CBD in tumor cells have little effect on non-tumorigenic, mammary cells. CBD behaves as a non-toxic compound and studies show that doses of 700 milligrams per day for 6 weeks did not show any overt toxicity in humans, suggesting that it can be used for prolonged treatment. Not only does the research show that CBD benefits include being effective in fighting breast cancer cells, data also suggests that it can be used to inhibit the invasion of lung and colon cancer, plus it possesses anti-tumor properties in gliomas and has been used to treat leukemia.
RELIEF for NAUSEA A 2012 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that CBD benefits included possessing anti-nausea and antiemetic effects when it was administered to rats. Researchers found that CBD acts in a diphasic manner, meaning that in low doses it suppresses toxin-induced vomiting, but in high doses it increases nausea or has no effect.
MAY TREAT SEIZURES and OTHER NEUROLOGIC DISORDERS In 2014, researchers reported on preliminary results of a study involving children with treatment-resistant epilepsies in an expanded access,compassionate use program. Patients received a purified 98 percent oil-based CBD extract called Epidiolex, which is made by GW Pharmaceuticals. After 3 months of treatment, 39 percent of the 23 patients had more than a 50 percent reduction in seizures, with a 32 percent median reduction. These preliminary results support the animal studies and survey reports that CBD may be a promising treatment for treatment-resistant epilepsy and it is generally well- tolerated in doses up to 25 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.
MAY LOWER INCIDENCE of DIABETES A 2006 study found that CBD treatment significantly reduced the incidence of diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice from an incidence of 86 percent in non-treated mice to an incidence of 30 percent in CBD-treated mice. CBD benefits also showed a significant reduction of plasma levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. A histological examination of the pancreatic islets of the CBD-treated mice revealed significantly reduced insulitis.
PROMOTES CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH A 2013 study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology reports that CBD protects against the vascular damage caused by a high glucose environment, inflammation or the induction of type 2 diabetes in animal models; plus, CBD proved to reduce the vascular hyperpermeability (which causes leaky gut) associated with such environments.
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