Zumo de Cannabis

Durante los últimos años se han proclamado, de manera considerable, los beneficios de los zumos de cannabis crudo, aunque se han publicado muy pocos datos empíricos que aborden las afirmaciones realizadas por los diversos partidarios del cannabis crudo. Sin embargo, la evidencia anecdótica aumenta, y muchos la confirman—pero ¿conlleva algún riesgo?, y si es así, ¿cuáles son?

¿Qué hay Detrás de esta Publicidad?

Cannabis Juice 1

La pregunta más adecuada podría ser “¿quién está detrás de tanto bombo y platillo?”, ya que todo se debe en gran medida a los esfuerzos promocionales de un solo hombre—el Dr William Courtney, médico situado en California, licenciado en Microbiología por la Universidad de Michigan, Doctor en Medicina (MD) por la Universidad Estatal de Wayne y Posdoctorado en Análisis Forense y Medicina Legal.

Kristen, la esposa del Dr. Courtney, combatió con éxito los síntomas del lupus utilizando zumo fresco de cannabis, y desde entonces, la pareja ha promovido con entusiasmo el tratamiento, alegando que es beneficioso para una serie de enfermedades, aunque su eficacia al respecto aún no se ha evaluado.

Muchas de las afirmaciones del Dr. Courtney aún no han sido demostradas y se pueden descreditar fácilmente, por lo que la tendencia de usar zumos de cannabis se encuentra en grave peligro de ser olvidada como una moda pasajera—pero ¿hay alguna base para realizar estas afirmaciones? Apenas hay fuentes acreditadas de las que extraer una conclusión; la mayoría de los artículos disponibles vienen de blogs sobre estilos de vida alternativa y contra-cultura, y no se basan en estudios reales ni probados.

¿Qué Son los Ácidos Cannabinoides?

En la planta en crecimiento, hasta el 90% de Δ9-THC está realmente presente en la forma de Δ9-THCA, un ácido carboxílico (al que en lo sucesivo nos referiremos como THCA). El cannabidiol (CBD) está presente en la forma de CBDA, el cannabigerol (CBG) como CBGA, el cannabicromeno (CBC) como CBCA, y así sucesivamente.

Los ácidos carboxílicos (el grupo más abundante de ácidos orgánicos) se definen como tales por la presencia de al menos un grupo carboxilo unido por un único enlace covalente a otro grupo funcional. En química orgánica, un grupo funcional simplemente se refiere a un grupo de átomos dentro de una molécula que es responsable de reacciones características de la molécula.

Un grupo carboxilo se compone de un grupo carbonilo (C=O; un átomo de carbono unido por un doble enlace covalente a un átomo de hidrógeno) y un grupo hidroxilo (OH; un átomo de oxígeno unido por un único enlace covalente a un átomo de hidrógeno)—lo que en general se expresa normalmente como -COOH ó -CO₂H. Para simplificar, THCA se expresa como THC-CO₂H (aunque su fórmula química es C₂₂H₃₀O₄; la del THC es C₂₁H₃₀O₂), la del CBDA es CBD-CO₂H y la del CBG es CBG-CO₂H.

Cuando el cannabis se seca o se somete a calor, la ácidos transmutan en sus formas neutras y psicoactivas en una reacción conocida como la descarboxilación.

La Descarboxilación de los Ácidos Carboxílicos

Cannabis Juice 2

Cuando se produce la descarboxilación, el dióxido de carbono (CO₂) se pierde, eliminando el grupo carboxilo. El átomo de hidrógeno restante forma un único enlace covalente con la parte restante de la molécula, suministrando de este modo un protón adicional (un átomo de hidrógeno consta de un protón y un electrón; el electrón es compartido para formar el enlace covalente).

Con los ácidos cannabinoides, el proceso de descarboxilación se produce muy rápidamente a través de la exposición al calor (por ejemplo, fumando el cannabis o calentándolo para hacer mantequilla). También se produce muy lentamente a temperatura ambiente, aunque para cuando el cannabis se ha secado el proceso puede estar más que completado.

Varias semanas de curación después del secado deberían dar tiempo suficiente para que se produzca la descarboxilación completamente, pero también pueden hacer que el THC se degrade a CBN. Para evitar esto, el cannabis no debe exponerse al aire o a la luz del sol durante la curación.

Cómo se Produce la Descarboxilación

Si el cannabis se maneja de forma brusca cuando está fresco, las glándulas de resina se rompen y empieza el proceso de descarboxilación, aunque lentamente—por consiguiente, el hachís frotado a mano y los extractos a base de plantas frescas podrían causar intoxicación, por lo que necesitan de semanas de secado y curado antes de estar listos para el consumo. En algunos climas (particularmente en los calientes y tropicales), la descarboxilación de los ácidos cannabinoides pueden incluso comenzar mientras que la planta crece, cuando empieza a madurar.

Es posible acelerar el proceso calentando ligeramente el cannabis en un horno eléctrico a una temperatura de alrededor de 110-120°C durante 30-60 minutos. Esta temperatura es lo suficientemente alta como para que se produzca la descarboxilación, pero no lo bastante como para causar la degradación de los cannabinoides, flavonoides y terpenoides.

Los Ácidos Cannabinoides en el Cuerpo

Cannabis Juice 3

Aún no se tiene un conocimiento profundo del biomecanismo de los ácidos cannabinoides en el cuerpo; los investigadores suelen interesarse más por las acciones de los propios cannabinoides.
La conversión del THCA a THC en el cuerpo es al parecer muy limitada, por lo que si una persona consume cannabis fresco y sin secar, debería haber pocos o ningún efecto psicoactivo (aunque los terpenoides y los flavonoides pueden producir algún cambio en el estado de ánimo).

Según un estudio, no todo el THCA presente en la planta fresca se descarboxila en THC; hasta un 30% puede permanecer como THCA y puede ser ingerido o fumado. Por lo tanto, una de las ideas propuesta y defendida por el Dr. Courtney—según él, al consumir cannabis seco o calentado se sacrifican numerosas interacciones inducidas por el THCA en el cuerpo—es muy cuestionable.

El Metabolismo del THCA en el Cuerpo

Se ha demostrado en un estudio que el THCA está presente en la sangre y en la orina (en concentraciones de 5,0 a 18,6% de THC) después de la ingestión de cannabis. El estudio también indicó que el cuerpo elimina el THCA más rápidamente que el THC, ya que se encontraron proporciones mayores de THCA que de THC en los individuos que habían fumado cannabis más recientemente.

Otro estudio investigó con ratas a las que se había administrado THCA por vía oral, analizando las muestras de orina en busca de metabolitos que pudieran indicar una vía bioquímica. Descubrieron que el THCA sufre hidroxilación para formar una sustancia conocida como 11-OH-THCA, que luego se oxida para formar 11-COOH-THCA (de manera similar, el THC hidroxila a 11-OH-THC, que luego se oxida a 11-COOH-THC).

Posibles Beneficios de Consumir Cannabis Crudo

Cannabis Juice 4

Se ha demostrado que tanto el THC como el THCA ejercen un efecto neuroprotector, y pueden ayudar a prevenir la degeneración de la dopaminérgica (una transmisora de dopamina) en neuronas con parkinsonismo (un conjunto de síntomas que suele ser causado, aunque no siempre, por la enfermedad de Parkinson).

El cannabis crudo aún contiene todos los terpenoides, flavonoides y alcaloides de la planta que de otro modo se habrían perdido durante el calentamiento o el secado, además de abundante clorofila. La investigación sobre los beneficios para la salud potencialmente conferidos por estos compuestos no es exhaustiva, pero hay indicios de que los terpenoides y los flavonoides pueden aumentar el flujo sanguíneo cerebral y mejorar la actividad cortical (beneficioso para enfermedades como el Alzheimer), así como destruir patógenos respiratorios además de ejercer un contraefecto inflamatorio en general. Aunque no se consideran generalmente psicoactivos, pueden producir algún efecto sedante.

Inconvenientes y Riesgos de Consumir Cannabis Crudo

Las hojas de cannabis tienen un contenido de ácido cannabinoide variable y sin pruebas que requerirían mucho tiempo es casi imposible establecer si se ha alcanzado la dosis correcta. El Dr. Courtney ha afirmado que debería consumirse una “dosis dietética” de 600-1.000 mg de THCA, pero para alcanzar esta cantidad de cannabinoides en la práctica sería necesario consumir grandes cantidades de hojas o de cogollos.

El Dr. Courtney ha declarado que las personas con problemas de vesícula biliar o renales no deben consumir cannabis crudo; ni debe recetarse a individuos que tomen medicamentos anticoagulantes de la sangre, debido a su contenido en vitamina K (la vitamina K es la única vitamina que se encuentra en el cannabis y puede evitar que se metabolicen dichos fármacos en el hígado).

El cannabis crudo también puede albergar bacterias y otros patógenos que pueden causar enfermedades si se ingiere—se ha encontrado tanto salmonela como E. coli en marihuana—al mismo tiempo que los pesticidas y los nutrientes foliares pueden dejar rastros de sustancias químicas nocivas en el cannabis ya cosechado. Por estas razones, se aconseja únicamente zumo de cannabis obtenido del cultivo vegano (cultivado orgánicamente, sin el uso de productos de origen animal como el estiércol).

¿Es Seguro Consumir Cannabis Crudo?

Cannabis Juice 5

Son necesarias más pruebas empíricas que establezcan la relativa eficacia del cannabis crudo por encima de cualquier otra forma. No parece que existan riesgos graves, a excepción de los de las enfermedades anteriormente mencionadas. Es cierto que las preparaciones a base de cannabis crudo se llevan usando desde hace miles de años, y si pudieran producir algún riesgo grave, probablemente ya se habría establecido.

Sin duda, el consumo de frutas y verduras crudas y orgánicas es beneficioso para la mayoría de los individuos sanos, y no parece haber ninguna razón por la que no debamos incluir el cannabis—pero cuando hablamos del tratamiento de enfermedades, confiar en el cannabis crudo para proporcionar una cura puede no ser la mejor apuesta para la gran mayoría de los pacientes que utilizan cannabis medicinal.

Beneficios de la Cannabis

Cannabis Benefits
Category
  Condition
THC
CBD
CBN
CBC
THCa
CBG
THCv
Pain /Sleep
  Pain
x
x
x
x
x
  Arthritis
x
x
x
  Inflammation
x
x
x
  Muscle Spasms
x
x
x
  Fibromyalgia
x
x
x
  Phantom Limb
x
x
  Spinal Injury
x
x
  Insomnia
x
x
x
  Migraine/Headache
x
  Cramps
x
  Neurological
  Alzheimer’s
x
x
x
x
x
  Parkinson’s Disease
x
x
x
x
x
x
  Multiple Sclerosis
x
x
x
x
  Spasticity
x
x
x
  Epilepsy
x
x
x
x
  Seizures
x
x
x
x
  Tinnitus
x
x
  Tourette’s
x
  Mood
  Anxiety
x
x
  Bipolar
x
x
  Depression
x
x
  PMS
x
x
  PTSD
x
x
  Stress
x
x
  Eating/Gastrointestinal
  Anorexia
x
x
  GI Disorders
x
x
  Nausea
x
x
x
  Appetite Loss
x
  Cachexia
x
  Crohn’s Disease/IBS
x
x
x
  Diabetes
x
x
  Other
  Hypertention
x
  Lupus
x
  ADD/ADHD
x
x
  Asthma
x
  Fatigue
x
  Glaucoma
x
  HIV/AIDS
x
x
x
  Cancer
x
x
x
x
x
x
  Muscular Dystrophy
x
x
  Psoriasis
x
Cannabinoids
About Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids
are a class of diverse chemical compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors on cells that repress neurotransmitter release in the brain. These receptor proteins include the endocannabinoids (produced naturally in the body by humans and animals), the phytocannabinoids (found in cannabis and some other plants), and synthetic cannabinoids (manufactured chemically). Here is a brief description of the compounds and their therapeutic uses.
THC

delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC)

THC is the most well-known cannabinoid and the most psychoactive. THC has the ability to alter behaviour, mood, perception and consciousness. It is responsible for the euphoric feeling some people consider as being “high”. It is not the only THC in cannabis; it is joined by THCa, THCv, and Δ8-THC.

Therapeutic Uses:

Analgesic – Relieves pain.
Anti-Emetic – Reduces vomiting and nausea.
Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.
Antioxidant – Prevents the damage of oxidation to other molecules in the body.
Antispasmodic – Suppresses muscle spasms.
Anxiolitic – While not fully recognized as an anxiolitic compound THC does seem to assist in the anxiety associated with PTSD.
Appetite Stimulant – Δ9-THC is the only cannabinoid identified that is an appetite stimulant, giving people the stereotypical “munchies” many users describe.
Euphoriant – Produces feelings of euphoria, promotes happiness and relaxation.
Neuroprotective – Slows damage to the nervous system and brain.

Currently Being Studied For:

Cancer: THC has been shown to halt the growth of tumors, and in some cases shrink them, through various methods not fully understood.

Pain Management: THC has been shown to have great prospect in treating chronic pain because it seems to change the way the nerves function. THC also has been studied heavily for its use in treating neuropathic pain, including the pain associated with HIV and cancer. Recent studies seem to agree that THC changes how we feel pain and makes it more bearable. It is not a pain killer in the sense that it numbs the ability to feel pain, instead it seems to raise an individual’s pain tolerance making the same amount of pain less significant.

Anorexia Nervosa: THC shows great promise in reversing the weight loss associated with anorexia in studies on mice as well as humans.

HIV/AIDS: Aside from assisting with the pain and nausea often associated with HIV/AIDS, THC directly fights the virus in unique ways that have only recently been identified. A 2012 study shows THC assisting in HIV treatment by activation of CB2 receptors and CD4 receptors.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Though THC is not commonly considered a treatment for anxiety it has shown promise for anxiety, specifically with PTSD.

Gastrointestinal Inflammation: THC lowers the incidence of blockages and other gastrointestinal inflammation associated with use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs. THC protects against diclofenac-induced gastric inflammatory tissue damage at doses insufficient to cause common cannabinoid side effects. A recent survey of Irritable Bowel Disorder sufferers found that one in six use THC-rich cannabis to treat the inflammation.

CBD

Cannabidiol

Cannabidiol is the principal non-psychoactive cannabinoid present in the cannabis plant, occurring in the largest concentrations after THC. Beyond being not psychoactive, CBD is a powerful anti-psychotic drug and valuable for anyone with psychosis or schizophrenia. CBD has been shown to be a better anti-inflammatory than THC and Ibuprofen; it is also at least as effective as THC for treating pain and managing tumors. CBD has a wide range of therapeutic uses ranging from physical ones like pain relief to mental ones like relief of anxiety and depression. Strongly medicinal even in small doses, CBD is highly recommended for treatment of children, the elderly, and anyone who wants to remain clear headed yet medicated. CBD appears to change how THC affects the body, making it less psychoactive and more therapeutic.

Therapeutic Uses:

Analgesic – Relieves pain.
Antibacterial – Slows bacterial growth.
Anti-Diabetic – The only cannabinoid that helps lower blood sugar levels.
Antidepressant – Relieves symptoms of depression.
Anti-Emetic – Reduces vomiting and nausea.
Anti-Epileptic – Reduces seizures and convulsions.
Anti-inflammatory – Reduces inflammation systemically.
Anti-Insomnia – Aids sleep.
Anti-Ischemic – Reduces risk of artery blockage.
Antipsioratic – CBD is the only cannabinoid identified to treat psoriasis.
Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.
Antipsychotic – Tranquilizing effects to relieve symptoms of psychosis.
Antioxidant – Prevents the damage of oxidation to other molecules in the body.
Antispasmodic – Suppresses muscle spasms.
Anxiolitic – CBD is the only cannabinoid identified that relieves anxiety.
Bone Stimulant – Promotes bone growth.
Immunosuppressive – Reduces function in the immune system.
Intestinal Anti-Prokinetic – Reduces small intestine contractions.
Neuroprotective – Slows damage to the nervous system and brain.
Vasorelaxant -The only cannabinoid identified that reduces vascular tension.

Currently Being Studied For:

Cancer:
By inhibiting the gene Id-1(which is responsible for the growth of cancer cells in the body), CBD shuts down the growth of cancer cells, potentially stopping or even reversing tumor growth.

Dravet Syndrome/Epilepsy:
In October of 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (USA) approved two clinical trials assessing the therapeutic uses of CBD in treating intractable epilepsy in children.

Depression/Anxiety: CBD stimulates the region in the brain involved in the re-uptake of serotonin and other processes that aid with depression and anxiety.

Schizophrenia/Psychosis: CBD is a powerful antipsychotic currently being considered for use in treating schizophrenia and other psychoses.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease/Crohn’s Disease: CBD shows a lot of promise for controlling the inflammatory responses and discomfort caused by Crohn’s disease and IBD. CBD has so much potential to regulate these diseases that it is being considered for a new class of IBD drugs.

Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia/Memory Loss: CBD’s strong neuroprotective and antioxidative effects work together to counteract the effects of aging on our brains, fighting off memory loss and dementia.

CBN

Cannabinol

CBN is somewhat psychoactive at roughly 10% the activity of THC. CBN is a breakdown product that occurs when THC is exposed to light or heat.

Therapeutic Uses:

Analgesic – Relieves pain.
Antibacterial – Slows bacterial growth.
Anti-Emetic – Reduces vomiting and nausea.
Anti-Epileptic – Reduces seizures and convulsions.
Anti-inflammatory – Reduces inflammation systemically.
Anti-Insomnia – Aids with sleep.
Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.
Appetite Stimulant – CBN appears to be a mild appetite stimulant.
Bone Stimulant – Promotes bone growth by stimulating osteocytes.

Currently Being Studied For:

Analgesic: Both THC and CBN have been identified as pain killers, though THC is far more powerful. A 2002 study identified that both THC and CBN cause a release of certain gene-related peptides from sensory nerves and are the only identified cannabinoids to use this mechanism.

Appetite Stimulant: This effect appears to be not as strong as THC.

Cancer: A 2006 study revealed that CBN joins THC and numerous other cannabinoids in having the ability to control the growth of cancer cells. CBN specifically was found to control a type of lung tumor known as a Lewis carcinoma.

CBC

Cannabichromene

An anti-proliferative, slowing tumor growth and combating cancer, just like CBD and THC. CBC has also been shown to be ten times as powerful as CBD at reducing anxiety and stress.

Therapeutic Uses:

Analgesic – Relieves pain.
Antidepressant – Relieves symptoms of depression.
Antifungal – Inhibits the growth of fungus.
Anxiolitic – Relieves anxiety.
Anti-inflammatory – Reduces inflammation systemically.
Anti-Proliferative
– Inhibits cancer cell growth.
Bone Stimulant – Promotes bone growth.
Neurogenesis – Promotes the growth of new brain cells.

THCa
Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid

THCa is the acidic precursor to THC, the active component of cannabis. THCa is the most abundant cannabinoid in fresh, undried cannabis. Immediately after harvest, the THCa begins to be converted into THC, a process quickened by exposure to heat and sunlight. One main reason cannabis is cured is to convert the THCa into THC, as well as drying it out to make it easier to burn, thus releasing the remaining THCa as THC. THCa is non-psychoactive in itself.

Therapeutic Uses:

Analgesic – Relieves pain.
Anti-Emetic – Reduces vomiting and nausea.
Anti-Inflammatory – Reduces inflammation.
Anti-Insomnia – Aids with sleep.
Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.
Antispasmodic – Suppresses muscle spasms.
Modulates Immune System – THCa has been shown to both improve and potentially suppress the immune system functions.
Neuroprotective – Slows damage to the nervous system and brain.

CBG

Cannabigerol

CBG is not considered psychoactive and is known to block the psychoactive effects of THC. It stimulates the growth of new brain cells in a process called neurogenesis. Neurogenic compounds are extremely rare, which makes CBG a very worthwhile subject for more research. CBG also is antibacterial, anti-tumor, and aids with insomnia. CBG is considered a ‘stem cell’ cannabinoid and can change into different cannabinoids, altering the overall effects of the plant.

Therapeutic Uses:

Analgesic – Relieves pain.
Antibacterial – Slows bacterial growth.
Anti-Epileptic – Reduces seizures and convulsions.
Anti-Inflammatory – Reduces inflammation systemically.
Anti-Insomnia – Aids with sleep.
Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.
Bone Stimulant – Promotes bone growth.
Neurogenic – Helps stimulate the growth of new brain cells.

Currently Being Studied For:

Glaucoma: A 2009 study found both CBG and THC to be very effective for relieving the intraocular pressure from glaucoma.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Much like CBD, CBG shows a lot of potential for controlling the inflammation that leads to IBD.

Painkiller and Anti- Inflammatory: Recent research suggests that CBG has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and recommends further study.

5-HT1a Receptor Agonist/Antagonist?: CBG appears to do something at the 5-HT1a receptor that is not fully understood. It modulates the effects of other cannabinoids at this brain site, which is the hub of emotions and depression regulation in the brain. Depending on the study, evidence suggests that CBG may help with depression and anxiety, or possibly block certain anti-depressant drugs.

Dravet Syndrome/Seizures: Anecdotal evidence and some current studies suggest that CBG may be beneficial to patients with Dravet and other seizure conditions. A new tincture was just released at Harborside Health Center which is the first CBG-rich tincture on the market. This tincture, named Jayden’s Juice after Jayden David, the young boy with Dravet syndrome made famous by Weed Wars, is currently what Jayden is using to combat his seizures instead of a purely CBD rich tincture. A study from earlier this year also suggests that CBG may help with seizure management, but the mechanisms aren’t fully understood.

THCv

Tetrahydrocannabivarin

THCv is a non-psychoactive variant of THC. The other major difference is that instead of stimulating appetite, the famed ‘munchies,’ THCv actually suppresses appetite. For that reason THCv is being heavily researched as a weight loss tool. Like many cannabinoids it is an anti-inflammatory and an analgesic, though less strong than CBD and THC, but using different mechanisms in the body.

Therapeutic Uses:

Analgesic – Relieves pain.
Anorectic – Appetite suppressant, promotes weight loss.
Anti-Emetic – Reduces vomiting and nausea.
Anti-Epileptic – Reduces seizures and convulsions.
Anti-Inflammatory – Reduces inflammation systemically.
Bone Stimulant – Promotes bone growth.
Euphoriant – Produces feelings of euphoria, promotes happiness and relaxation.

Currently Being Studied For:

Diabetes: A combination CDB/THCv tincture is in a phase 2 clinical trial as a way to mitigate diabetes. GW Pharmaceuticals, a British company, is a world leader in cannabis research. GW is presently examining CBD/THCv’s abilities to ameliorate insulin sensitivity.

Weight Loss: The same mechanisms that allow THCv to combat diabetes combined with THCv’s anorectic properties make it an effective way to combat obesity and control weight gain. GW Pharmaceuticals is also leading research as an appetite suppressant.

Parkinson’s Disease: Identified as aiding in Parkinson’s Disease.

Anti-Inflammatory: It works through a different mechanism than other anti-inflammatory drugs, relying on the CB2 receptors.

References:

theLEAFonline; http://theleafonline.com/
Steep Hill Lab, Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Reference Guide;http://steephilllab.com/resources/cannabinoid-and-terpenoid-reference-guide/
Skunk Pharm Research, Cannabinoid and Terpene Info;http://skunkpharmresearch.com/cannabinoid-info/
SC Labs, Meet the Cannabinoids; http://www.scanalytical.com/the-cannabinoids.html
Centers for Disease Control, Documentation for Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentrations, Nicotine; http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/idlh/54115.HTML
SC Labs, Meet the Cannabinoids; http://www.scanalytical.com/the-cannabinoids.html
ClearSynth Chemisty, Material Safety Data Sheet – Cannabigerol;http://www.clearsynth.com/docs/MSD-CS-N-01916.pdf

What is the Endocannabinoid System?

The endogenous cannabinoid system, named after the plant that led to its discovery, is perhaps the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health. Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. In each tissue, the cannabinoid system performs different tasks, but the goal is always the same:homeostasis – the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment.

Cannabinoids promote homeostasis at every level of biological life, from the sub-cellular, to the organism, and perhaps to the community and beyond. Here’s one example: autophagy, a process in which a cell sequesters part of its contents to be self-digested and recycled, is mediated by the cannabinoid system. While this process keeps normal cells alive, allowing them to maintain a balance between the synthesis, degradation, and subsequent recycling of cellular products, it has a deadly effect on malignant tumor cells, causing them to consume themselves in a programmed cellular suicide. The death of cancer cells, of course, promotes homeostasis and survival at the level of the entire organism.

Endocannabinoids and cannabinoids are also found at the intersection of the body’s various systems, allowing communication and coordination between different cell types. At the site of an injury, for example, cannabinoids can be found decreasing the release of activators and sensitizers from the injured tissue, stabilizing the nerve cell to prevent excessive firing, and calming nearby immune cells to prevent release of pro-inflammatory substances. Three different mechanisms of action on three different cell types for a single purpose: minimize the pain and damage caused by the injury.

The endocannabinoid system, with its complex actions in our immune system, nervous system, and all of the body’s organs, is literally a bridge between body and mind. By understanding this system we begin to see a mechanism that explains how states of consciousness can promote health or disease. In addition to regulating our internal and cellular homeostasis, cannabinoids influence a person’s relationship with the external environment. Socially, the administration of cannabinoids clearly alters human behaviour, often promoting sharing, humor, and creativity. By mediating neurogenesis (formation of nervous tissue), neuronal plasticity, and learning, cannabinoids may directly influence a person’s open-mindedness and ability to move beyond limiting patterns of thought and behaviour. Reformatting old patterns is an essential part of health in our quickly changing environment.

What are Cannabinoid Receptors?

Cannabinoid receptors are present throughout the body, embedded in cell membranes, and are believed to be more numerous than any other receptor system. When cannabinoid receptors are stimulated, a variety of physiologic processes ensue. Researchers have identified two cannabinoid receptors: CB1, predominantly present in the nervous system, connective tissues, gonads, glands, and organs; and CB2, predominantly found in the immune system and its associated structures. Many tissues contain both CB1 and CB2 receptors, each linked to a different action. Researchers speculate that a third cannabinoid receptor is will be discovered.

Endocannabinoids are the substances our bodies naturally make to stimulate these receptors. The two most well understood of these molecules are calledanandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). They are synthesized on-demand from cell membrane arachidonic acid derivatives, have a local effect and short half-life before being degraded by the enzymes’ fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL).

Phytocannabinoids are plant substances that stimulate cannabinoid receptors. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is the most psychoactive and certainly the most famous of these substances, but other cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) are gaining the interest of researchers due to a variety of healing properties. Most phytocannabinoids have been isolated from cannabis sativa, but other medical herbs, such as echinacea purpura, have been found to contain non-psychoactive cannabinoids as well.
Interestingly, the marijuana plant also uses THC and other cannabinoids to promote its own health and prevent disease. Cannabinoids have antioxidant properties that protect the leaves and flowering structures from ultraviolet radiation – cannabinoids neutralize the harmful free radicals generated by UV rays, protecting the cells. In humans, free radicals cause aging, cancer, and impaired healing. Antioxidants found in plants have long been promoted as natural supplements to prevent free radical harm.

Laboratories can also produce cannabinoids. Synthetic THC, marketed as dronabinol (Marinol), and nabilone (Cesamet), a THC analog, are both FDA approved drugs for the treatment of severe nausea and wasting syndrome.

Cannabis, the Endocannabinoid System, and Good Health

As we continue to sort through the emerging science of cannabis and cannabinoids, one thing remains clear: a functional cannabinoid system is essential for health. From embryonic implantation on the wall of our mother’s uterus, to nursing and growth, to responding to injuries, endocannabinoids help us survive in a quickly changing and increasingly hostile environment. Can an individual enhance his/her cannabinoid system by taking supplemental cannabis? Beyond treating symptoms, beyond even curing disease, can cannabis help us prevent disease and promote health by stimulating an ancient system that is hard-wired into all of us?
Yes. Research has shown that small doses of cannabinoids from marijuana can signal the body to make more endocannabinoids and build more cannabinoid receptors. This is why many first-time marijuana users don’t feel an effect, but by their second or third time using the herb they have built more cannabinoid receptors and are ready to respond. More receptors increase a person’s sensitivity to cannabinoids; smaller doses have larger effects, and the individual has an enhanced baseline of endocannabinoid activity. Small, regular doses of marijuana might act as a tonic to our most central physiologic healing system.

Unlike synthetic derivatives, herbal marijuana may contain over one hundred different cannabinoids, including THC, which all work synergistically to produce better medical effects and fewer side effects than THC alone. While marijuana is safe and works well when smoked, many patients prefer a vaporizer or cannabis tincture. Scientific inquiry and patient testimonials both indicate herbal marijuana has superior medical qualities to synthetic cannabinoids.

So, is it possible that medical marijuana could be the most useful remedy to treat the widest variety of human diseases and conditions, a component of preventative healthcare, and an adaptive support in our increasingly toxic, carcinogenic environment? Yes. This was well known to the indigenous medical systems of ancient India, China, and Tibet. It has a 5,000 year history of safe therapeutic use and is becoming increasingly well known by Western science. Of course, we need more human-based research studying the effectiveness of marijuana, but the evidence base is already large and growing constantly. This is changing, in part because the public is demanding it. People want safe, natural and inexpensive treatments that stimulate our bodies’ ability to self-heal and help our population improve its quality of life. Medical cannabis is one such solution.

Reference: Dustin Sulak, DO, Maine Integrative Healthcare

Cannabidiol – Work In Progress…

Destacado

Diferencias de los principales cannabinoides de la marihuana

CBG: El Cannabigerol es el primer cannabinoide producido por la planta y el precursor del THC y CBD. No es psicoactivo y predominantemente soporífero.

CBD: El Cannabidiol se produce a partir del CBG y es el precursor químico del THC. Ligeramente psicoactivo es supresor de sensaciones de miedo y pánico. Actúa como un suave sedante y reduce los efectos del THC.

THC: El Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol se sintetiza a partir del CBD. Es el principal psicoactivo del cannabis. Sus efectos pueden llevar a la relajación, estimulación alucinógena y elevación del pulso.

CBN: El Cannabinol se forma a partir del THC. Está especialmente presente en plantas cortadas tarde y/o mal conservadas. Suele ser un psicoactivo ligero que actúa como relajante.

El CBD es lo que modifica y cambia el estado general del individuo, dándole a través de una experiencia suave y reparadora: alivio, bienestar, optimismo, armonía, ánimos… Su combinación con el THC (sin dejar atrás los valiosos terpenos) es lo que crea esa alquimia para que una planta pueda llegar a ser más anticancerígena, ansiolítica, antiflamatoria, analgésica, antiespasmódica, broncodilatadora, antibiótica, etc… o lo que es lo mismo, MEDICINAL pero sin efectos secundarios. Lo cual no quiere decir que no coloque, pues es la suma total de cannabinoides lo que en verdad cuenta, pero al ser THC+CBD es otro tipo de sensación y vivencia.

IMPORTANTE: No confundir con el CBN, ya que éste no es más que la degradación del THC, y cuando está muy presente en la planta, da sensaciones de: pesadez, letargo, aflojamiento y modorra. Incluso puede convertirse en narcótico en dosis elevadas.

Es por eso, que nuestro proyecto se centra principalmente en crear genéticas de Alta Calidad con extraordinarios terpenos y porcentajes muy altos en CBD, que contengan fenotipos con ratios 1:1(THC:CBD). Ya que este ajustado equilibrio de cannabinoides es el responsable de la disminución o alivio en la mayoría de síntomas graves y enfermedades de diferente naturaleza como: dolores crónicos e inflamaciones, cáncer(quimioterapias), ansiedad, esclerosis, diabetes, Parkinson, depresión, glaucoma, anorexia, asma, epilepsia, etc… además de prevenir y controlar deterioros óseos y tumores. Esto es avalado con los numerosos ensayos clínicos llevados a cabo por los laboratorios que actualmente extraen dichos cannabinoides de la planta, al no poder ser sintetizados.