Cannabis is a controversial plant undoubtedly and by far the most talked about (and debated) plant in recent history. Those who enjoyed cannabis in the 1960's and 1970's certainly held the plant in high esteem, but in our more recent history, it has been the medicinal potential that has really brought the plant to our attention again. Many feel research will lead to more people admiring this plants capabilities.
it's hypothesised that over 27 million years ago, the cannabis plant evolved from hops in central Asia. Twenty-seven million years of cannabis plants growing on this planet. Its funny to think of such an ancient plant creating such a stir. all these millions of years on.
The cannabaceae is an exclusive plant family, containing only 170 species or so, including hops, hackberries and, of course, cannabis. So whilst cannabis belongs to the cannabaceae family there is some debate as to whether there are two species of cannabis - Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica, or whether there is just one single species of cannabis, but with two subspecies - Cannabis sativa subsp sativa and Cannabis sativa subsp indica.
Cannabinoids aren't actually exclusive to cannabis plants, they're present in other plants too, notably Echinacea and Electric Daisy.
The cannabinoids are perhaps the best known constituents in cannabis. Cannabinoids (in whichever plant they're present in) have the ability to interact with cannabinoid receptors in our body. There are two particularly well-known cannabinoids within the cannabis plant, and these are:
- THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) - which is known as being the psychotropic constituent in cannabis.
- CBD (cannabidiol) - now becoming well-known as the active constituent in CBD oils. It isn't psychotropic but it does have many therapeutic benefits.
As Ganjika Holistics is a UK based company. The laws state that only CBD can legally be used in tinctures and products.
The Endocannabinoid system in our body
In the 1980s, the first cannabinoid receptors were discovered which, in turn, led to the discovery of a brand new regulatory mechanism within the body, which was termed the endocannabinoid system. it has a part in regulating:
- Motor Function
- Neural tissue protection
- Blood Pressure
Endocannabinoid receptors are scattered throughout our central nervous system, brain and immune system. These receptors have also been found in the:
- Digestive tract
- Cardiovascular system
- Respiratory system
- Endocrine system
- Urinary tract
- Reproductive system
The receptors are involved in the regulation of pain, mood, sleep, memory, appetite and a number of other bodily functions. Studies have shown that CBD may help reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters as you can see this plant works mini miracles throughout our system.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the therapeutic cannabinoid, harnessed within CBD oils. It is linked to various therapeutic actions, such as:
- Anxiolytic and antidepressant
- Appetite stimulant
- Anti-angiogenic (helps to destroy the blood vessels which feed tumours)
- Anti-proliferative and anti-tumour activity (which, with the action above account for CBD's reputation as a potential cancer treatment)
- Palliative benefits
- Antipsychotic (it has allosteric modulatory activity reducing the psychotropic activity of THC by, it's thought, changing the shape of the cannabinoid receptors frequented by THC)
Within the body, CBD molecules bind to both cannabinoid receptors and those receptors which which are usually visited by neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers within the nervous system. However, it's thought that CBD doesn't bind strongly to cannabinoid receptors and rather it produces its actions by influencing various molecular signalling systems within the endocannabinoid system by interacting with their receptors.