Is CBD Oil Addictive?

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Is CBD Oil Addictive?

There is a long, and a short answer to this: Is CBD Oil Addictive? No. CBD oils are not addictive. It is not chemically or psychologically addictive.

The long answer to whether or not CBD oil is addictive:

Chemicals that are addictive change the way our brains feel pleasure & trigger physical changes to some nerve neurons in our nervous system. In short, they change the way our bodies work and can have lasting implications and side effects. CBD has not been found to change the way our body works nor does it produce a psychoactive reaction like THC, so it cannot be chemically or psychologically (if you become addicted to the high/ feeling that THC gives you) addictive.

After several studies, CBD was found to have no major side effects, no overt symptoms of overdose, nor was it susceptible to abuse. Which is fantastic news! CBD does not have an impact on our motor or psychological functions, and it does not have an impact on our blood pressure, heart rate or body temperature, in the same way, that THC does; THC is known to be somewhat addictive.

CBD, as a compound attaches itself to a network of receptors, called the Endocannabinoid System and supports your body during healthy bodily functions and helps your body achieve homeostasis. Consider it much like amino-acids which can be found in a balanced diet- they are amazing at supporting your body do its job, rather than changing the job entirely.

Can you get withdrawal symptoms from CBD?

As CBD is not addictive so you cannot suffer from withdrawal symptoms, and there is very little evidence to suggest that stopping suddenly will have any impact on you at all. Only that the well-being benefits of CBD may slowly start to disappear.

While CBD is not addictive, it’s ‘bad’ brother THC can be. THC has an impact on our motor and psychological functions which creates a ‘high’. Chemically, this high is caused by a flood of ‘happy chemicals’ that are triggered which THC attaches to our cannabinoid receptors. An addiction to the effects of THC are quite common, and there are withdrawal symptoms that follow a sharp stop if you consume THC regularly. Often heavy users report a dry mouth, nausea and vivid, lucid dreams along with a huge impact on their mental health. This is due to the way that THC changes our physical psychological functions. Is CBD Oil addictive? When it has high levels of THC in it, it very well could be.

Full Spectrum CBD and the Entourage Effect

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Full-Spectrum, Broad Spectrum & the Entourage Effect

If you have been doing a little bit of research into CBD products, you will quickly find that there are three main types; Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum and Isolated CBD products. The difference between the three can be huge.

There is a lot of debate about which of these three categories should be considered effective, legal or available for sale. So, what is the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and an isolated product and why are they beneficial?

The difference between full-spectrum, Broad-Spectrum & Isolate CBD

Like with most topics in the CBD industry, the distinction between the three types is up for debate, and the answer seems to change depending on who you speak to. We’re all learning in this industry so we have done some extensive research into the three types and have tried to understand as many perspectives as possible.

 

Full-Spectrum

 

There is a little debate as to what actually constitutes a full-spectrum CBD oil. Some say it is merely the presence of THC in the formula, and others (including us) say it is when an oil contains a sizable amount of other cannabinoids/ phytochemicals too). 

In simple terms, a full spectrum product contains a wide range of phytochemicals & Cannabioids including CBDa, CBG, CBC, THC, or THCa. You may find that a lot of true full-spectrum oils are called ‘raw’ which means that they contain a mix of CBD & CBDa (the precursor for CBD that is found in high concentrations in the raw plant- this changes into CBD when it is decarboxylated or combusted). 

A full-spectrum product is usually much thicker, has a really strong flavour-profile and has an immediate punch as it contains the raw terepenes, waxes, flavoids and fatty acids naturally found in the hemp plant (each have their own well-being benefits). These oils are often considered as preferable to other oils as they are deemed more effective. We all react differently to cannabinoids so this may not be true for everyone. 

The downside of these products is that they contain THC, which may put many off.

Our CBD Paste, 500mg (Dina) & 1000mg CBD oils are all true full spectrum- so you can really feel the power of the entourage effect.

 

Broad-Spectrum

Similarly to a full-spectrum CBD oil, a broad-spectrum oil does contain other cannabinoids but they will be found in smaller concentrations, as a trace amount or there is an absence of THC in the product.

They do include a range of cannabinoids, but in a small amount compared to other types of oils. Our 2000mg Deity and 1500mg (Dian) are true broad-spectrum products as they contain trace amounts of THC, CBD & CBG (alongside our THC Free range). This is quite common with the high strength CBD oils. We have therefore put them in an MCT oil base to give them the boost the cannabinoids need!

These oils are generally produced using a distillate, or CO2 extracted version of the plant. This means that generally, they are lighter tasting and smoother- they don’t have has much burn in the back of the throat. To many, this is a perfect middle-ground. 

Top Tip: Some broad-spectrum oils are sold off as full-spectrum oils. To spot the ones that are certainly not full spectrum, if you look at a cannabinoid graph from a lab report and there is a big spike for CBD, tiny amounts of other cannabinoids, and a THC amount of less than 0.02%, then it should be considered a broad spectrum.

 

 

Isolated CBD

An isolated product only contains CBD in its formula; usually, the CBD has been added by using a concentrated 99% CBD isolate.

 Often found as a white powder or crystals. CBD powder/ isolate uses CO2 extraction techniques draw the CBD out of the plant and the other cannabinoids are removed. 

This process means that the only Cannabinoid in the oil is CBD which is great if you are requiring a targeted dose of CBD alone (for children for example who should not take an oil containing any THC).

Currently, our gummies are produced using an Isolated CBD formula. 

The Entourage Effect

All cannabinoids attach to the two types of receptors which make up the Endocannabioid System; the CB1 & the CB2. There are 113 cannabioids and each of them interact with the ECS. 

The Entourage Effect simply refers to the way in which cannabioids work together to regulate & boost the effectiveness of each other. The Entourage Effect can boost the well-being benefits that cannabinoid’s support.

 
For example, CBD & THC regulate each other- THC is psychoactive and causes the ‘high’ associated with Cannabis. If you are high, then taking CBD will bring your ‘high’ back down as CBD regulates the effects of the compound. This could unlock huge potential for future natural remedies as CBD can mitigate the ‘negative’ effects of THC. So, even if you take a 25% THC & 75% CBD oil, you may not get high yet still consume a large amount of THC. Interesting, right?!
 
Another example will be the way in which CBD & CBDa work together. CBDa is the raw form of CBD that is produced in the plant itself. When it is combusted or decarboxylated, it turns into CBD. CBD can be used by both the CB1 & CB2 receptors in the body while CBDa only attaches itself with the CB2 receptors. Although CBD has been associated with having more well-being benefits, when CBDa is added, they seem to support each other and boost their effectiveness.
 
Some say that a CBDa & CBD formula is a much more effective product than a CBD alone and honestly, I can say that I would agree. By taking on a range of cannabinoids, you are getting the plant exactly how nature intended it to be.  

How To Dose Your CBD Oil & Which Strength is Best?

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How To Dose Your CBD Oil & Which Strength is Best

How do I dose CBD Oil? Which strength should I take? To start with, this may seem completely like guesswork. Not to worry though, because this is easier than you may thing. 

As you can see, we currently have a range of CBD strengths: Dina (which is a 5% CBD oil), Diablo (10% CBD Oil), Dian (15% cbd oil) and Deity a super strength 20% CBD oil. Each support your  Endocannabinoid System in a very similar way. 

So, you’re new to CBD and you do not know which one do you take? Read on!

CBD is a food supplement and cannot be sold as a medicine and should not be used to treat or cure any health issues. If you have a medical condition and you’re unsure what dose to try, then the advice is the same. Start low & slow – that way your body can get used to the cannabinoids and you can increase the dose if needed 🙂 

How Cannabinoids Work

In short, our Endocannabinoid System is a network of receptors that helps to maintain our internal environment to ensure that our body is working properly. Our body is constantly fighting to keep this essential stable internal balance; this process is called homeostasis in science. 

When there is an unbalance, our body synthesizes endocannabinoids / uses phytocannabinoids which attach to our ECS which in turn attempts to return the body to its happy medium. Just as we are all unique, each of our ECS networks also work uniquely and need differing levels of Cannabinoids to support our body. 

It is why taking more CBD, doesn’t always mean more results. This is why it is difficult to suggest which oil will work for any one person It is based on what your body needs… you may need one drop of the weakest oil, or you could need a bucket of the strongest. There is only one way to tell… by trial and error. 

Therefore, as a very general piece of advice we always suggest that if you are new to CBD, then you should start low & slow. This means starting with a low/medium strength oil and then increasing if needed. It means that your body will get used to the cannabinoids and use them more effectively.

CBD is not a magic wand, and is only a small part of a better, healthier lifestyle. It works best over time!

Dosage Guidelines You Can Use:

There are plenty of variables when it comes to CBD, so here are a few things to consider:

  • Which type of CBD do you need?: CBD products come in a wide range of forms: from the oil the CBD is suspended in, to capsules, to vape oils, skin balms and even bath bombs. You have to consider what you are using the CBD for and choose an appropriate product – capsules are good if you hate the taste but absorb slower and less CBD is absorbed, skin products are great for localized application. Oils are quick delivery products but can be tricky to dose and sometimes have an acquired taste. It depends on what works for your tastes. 
  • Find your ratio. Cannabis products have varying amounts of CBD and other Cannabinoids. Some products are full spectrum (contain lots of terepenes and cannabinoids which may have different affects on your body) or pure CBD oils which only contain CBD.
  • Begin with a low dose: ALWAYS start low and slow. If you decide to jump into the deep-end with a powerful oil, there may be unwanted outcomes which could put you off using the oils again. Start with one drop or two of a low % CBD oil and work up from there. Your body will do the work for you.
  • Pay attention to your body. It is imperative that you pay attention to how you are feeling. Listen to your body. Take the first week to feel how you are reactive and weigh up whether your current dose is enough.
  • Don’t overdo it & Be aware of the possible side effects: As you are increasing, try not to over do it. If you start feeling an sleepy, have a dry mouth or feel off it may be time to reduce your dose to find a sweet-spot. Other side effects can include nausea & diarrhea. 
  • Seek trusted medical advice. It is essential that you proceed with caution, especially if you have a history of alcohol or drug abuse, mental illness or if you are taking perscription medication. By having an open dialog with a medical professional, they will be able to give advice if you are concerned or need their specialist advice. Do not take CBD if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
 

What is the difference between % & MG

There are two ways in which the content of CBD is displayed; in a percentage or via milligrams.
 
Don’t worry if you find this a little confusing. You just need to get your maths brain on. Some companies are a little sly in the way in which they display the concentration of their oil. 
 
So, in general 5% just lets you know how much CBD is in the bottle compared to the volume of carrier oil. In a 10ml bottle, 5% of CBD is 500mg. So in a 10ml bottle containing 1500mg the concentration will be 15%. 
 
Some products have higher volume bottles: so a 30ml bottle that contains 500mg CBD oil is three times weaker than 500mg in a 10ml bottle. So a 30ml bottle containing 3000mg of CBD is not 30% concentration, it is equivalent to a 10% CBD oil as it contains 1000mg per 100mls of oil. A true 30% CBD oil in a 30ml volume will contain 9000mg of CBD.
 
 
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3000mg & 4000mg CBD Oil | What is the Strongest CBD Oil I Can Take?

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3000mg & 4000mg CBD Oils

What is the Strongest CBD Oil I Can Take?

Despite a lot of demand for 3000mg (30%) and 4000mg (40%) CBD oils, there are not very many manufacturers producing these strengths. While for many manufacturers, these strengths will be quite easy to produce, most stop at strengths of 750mgs or 1000mgs (or max up to 1500mgs or 2000mgs).

To answer the question of what is the max strength you can take, there is no real answer in science, however, the Food Standard Agency has stated that the recommended daily intake should be no more than 70mgs. In all honesty, most people do not need as much CBD as they may think.

Cannabis extracts have been considered to be harmful and illegal for as long as we can remember; now suddenly they have the potential for a mind-bending array of well-being outcomes. If you read the news- it is littered with stories of people whose lives have been changed by a humble compound known as CBD. Research is currently underway to understand the medical benefits of cannabis products and which conditions they can impact.

So, let’s get into why 3000mg & 4000mg CBD oils are popular, and why we ourselves do not offer oils at this strength.

 

Explaining the Popularity

For most of us, we have a perception that a higher dose of something, means more benefits. This thought process explains why some customers are searching out the strongest CBD oil that they can find as they feel that they require lots of CBD.

It is important to point out that this is not the case with CBD. Cannabinoids work to maintain a network of receptors that we know as the Endocannabinoid System (which is part of our body’s ability to achieve homeostasis). It seems as though our ECS only uses as much CBD as it needs and for some people, 1mg works just as well as 100mgs. The required dose varies from person to person.

We are finding out, that most people do not need any more than a regular dose of a couple of milligrams a day (especially if the tincture is full-spectrum)- which means that for most people, 500mg or 1000mg will do the job. You do not need to splash out on a £200 bottle if a full-spectrum CBD oil at half the strength has the same effect.

In fact – most 3000mg & 4000mg CBD oils are often ‘broad-spectrum’ and do not contain THC (which helps your body use the CBD) so are arguable not as effective as their ‘full spectrum’ counterparts. So is it really worth spending over the odds for something that your body doesn’t need?

 

Dangers of High Doses of CBD

In medical studies, the doses that are being used can be up to 500mgs per day. What these medical trials are looking at is not only the potential benefits of massive CBD doses but also looking into what harm it can potentially cause/ interactions it may cause. While there currently is no evidence of harmful overdose or negative side effects, we simply don’t know the short/long term impact of this amount of CBD. There is a worry that large amounts of CBD can build up toxicity inside our bodies, or fundamentally changes the way that our body works. Particularly if you are taking regular medication, then it may be a worry that a huge dose of CBD can have a potentially nasty outcome.

As it stands, the Food Standards Agency state that you should not consume more than 70mgs a day (down from 200mgs). A lot of the super-strength 3000mg & 4000mg CBD oils take you dangerously close to this threshold. Most bottles are 10mls with 200 drops. 5 drops of a 3000mg CBD oil will take you over the threshold, and 4 drops of a 4000mg CBD oil will do the same.

 

Should I Buy a 3000mg or 4000mg CBD Oil?

If you ask us, no. As we have mentioned above, most people do not need any more than 1000mgs of full-spectrum CBD or a 2000mg CBD oil. If you are looking for a huge dose of CBD, then we would recommend that you start low and work up to it. There is no evidence to suggest that more CBD is better than a small amount so you really just need to find out what works best for you- in the long run, this could save you a huge amount of money and time!

Can I Take CBD While Taking Prescribed Medication?

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Can CBD affect Prescription Medication?

A very short answer to this is yes, CBD can affect some that you may be taking

CBD is also currently classed as a ‘food supplement’ and there is  lots of research going into fully understanding the potential of cannabinoids.

The issue is that like many other natural substances, CBD may alter the way in which some medications are processed by the liver.

*The general advice is to not take CBD while on prescribed medication. If you are considering CBD it is imperative that you talk to a trusted medical professional before adding any food supplements to your diet.*

What is the Cytochrome P450 System?

Almost substances enter your body after being metablized into the bloodstream by the Liver. This is a fundamental process to understand when producing or administering medications; so that doctors can work out an appropriate dosage of any drug, they need to work out how the drug is broken down in the liver. 

Every drug is broken down by enzymes and there are over 50 enzymes in the liver, but we are going to focus on one very important one; the cytochrome p450.

The body produces CYP450 to break down drugs into the blood stream however, there are some substances which affect the production and enzyme effectiveness. There are many ‘normal’ every day ingredients and natural remedies which can have an impact on this system, including St Johns Wort, Watercress, Grapefruit and Cannabidiol! 

These ingredients cause the Enzyme to react in unexpected ways so some drugs may be absorbed much quicker and remain in the blood stream for longer (making the medications more potent and risking overdose/blood toxicity) or could slow, or completely inhibit the absorption of a drug meaning that they will no longer be effective (potentially making your health conditions worse!).

This poses an issue for doctors as a dosage of medication is carefully calculated for your needs – if anything were to stop the drug working, or make it work too well, it could have a long term impact on your health and well being. 

So if you are on prescribed medication, you are advised not to take any CBD products. If you are considering going against the advice, always speak to your doctor as an open dialogue with them is essential to ensure that you are getting a healthy dose of your current medication.

It is always best to be safe than sorry so if you are in doubt – do not take a CBD supplement. 

Medications which may be impacted by CBD

  • Steroids
  • HMG CoA reductase inhibitors
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Antihistamines
  • Prokinetics
  • HIV antivirals
  • Immune modulators
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Antiarrythmics
  • Antibiotics
  • Anesthetics
  • Antipsychotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-epileptics
  • Beta blockers
  • PPIs
  • NSAIDs
  • Angiotension II blockers
  • Oral hypoglycemic agents
  • Sulfonylureas
 
 

CBD and the Contraceptive Pill

Uh oh! Are you taking CBD and on the pill? Well, you may need to exercise caution here. Particularly for pills which are oestrogen-based, CBD can limit the absorption of the pill in the liver and could potentially make them less effective. Be very careful if you are using the pill alongside St. John Wort, cigarettes and alcohol as each decrease the effectiveness further. 

It may be best to use other forms of contraception, like condoms, to make sure that there are no unexpected surprises!

 

In conclusion…

We at CBDiablo are not medically trained or medical professionals. It is important that you seek trusted medical advice if you are considering CBD as a natural alternative. It is essential that you do not stop taking any medications and replace them with CBD.

It is better to be safe so if you are in doubt do not take CBD…. otherwise we have some amazing CBD oils and CBD pastes for you!

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Why is Melatonin Banned in the UK?

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Is Melatonin Legal in the UK?

 

For those of you who don’t know, Melatonin is a hormone that is produced in the brain to regulate the bodies internal body clock and has been a treatment used for jet-lag or insomnia.

For regular travellers, or those who work strange hours at work, it can be horrendous trying to keep up with sleep – some days you wake up in the middle of the night and need to be in deep sleep after breakfast. But wherever you look on the internet Melatonin seems to be banned in the UK.

If you travel for business, you will know the routine of drinking an unhealthy amount of coffee during a meeting just to keep up! You may actually be one of those who have a sleep strategy before you leave to try and get yourself on the timezone. Personally, I often try to stay awake as long as possible before getting on the plane so I can sleep, or staying up on the plane to sleep when I arrive.

More recently mindfulness has been key to my healthy sleeping routine. It would actually be very handy to have something that could make this process easier! Have you tried CBD?

So why is Melatonin banned in the UK? 

 

Why Is Melatonin Banned?

Melatonin isn’t technically banned- but it is classed as a medicine, and while it can be prescribed, it is only in a 2mg dose and is only for those over 55 who suffer from a short term sleep disorder. Therefore, it cannot be purchased over the counter and a medical professional is required to allow use.

In the US, Melatonin is available in up to 10mg does as a dietary supplement and is used by over 3.1 million people.

 

image of lady sleeping with melatonin

What are the Benefits of Melatonin?

Melatonin has a famous precursor that we all know and love, Serotonin.

This is the primary neurotransmitters that modulate mood balance and other functions. In the body, Melatonin is produced in the pineal gland (Cannabis conspiracy people will know a lot about this one) which is part of the way your brain can regulate day and night cycles. The gland, situated in the middle of the brain, transmits a signal that is triggered by exposure/lack of exposure to sunlight and therefore regulates/promotes Melatonin production. Therefore, the body will signal your brain to sleep when it is dark!

So taking a dose of Melatonin will help you fall asleep, although some studies have found that it may actually induce insomnia if it is taken an hour and a half before bed. So it is safe to say that it should be considered as a short term solution to adjusting your body clock. You may be thinking the same as me- it doesn’t make sense why Melatonin is banned in the UK!

 

You Could try CBD?

CBD is the new, up and coming well-being supplement that is gaining a lot of popularity down to its ability to support/maintain the Endocannabinoid System. The ECS is a network of receptors found in our body that is responsible for the perfect balance of all things inside of us; this is called Homeostasis. It is the job of the ECS to return your body to a happy medium and help to regulate your body functions and improve your well-being.

The same reason why Melatonin is banned in the UK, could be the same reason CBD is restricted.

CBD has a plethora of well-being benefits and may help improve your general well-being and improve your quality of life. Before you think about trying CBD we think that there are a few things you should know.

Firstly – we recommend that you use ‘full-spectrum’ CBD products – this is down to the fact that they contain the widest range of cannabinoids and bioactives which make the oils so effective. Full-Spectrum CBD products also contain THC (although a very small amount) which aids the use of CBD and has its own well-known benefits.

Secondly, we also suggest that any CBD product you buy should be lab-tested. This proves that the product contains exactly what it says it does. There are plenty of options out there but you need evidence to make your decision. Ensure that there is a wide range of other cannabinoids, terpenes and hemp bioactives. You’ll thank us later!

What is Decarboxylation?

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What is Decarboxylation?

Decarboxylation is a very important process when it comes to understanding Cannabis, and the compounds that affect our bodies. We mentioned in a previous blog post that CBDa is the acid precursor of CBD, and that it needs to go through the decarboxylation before it becomes Cannabidiol. 

The same process goes for compounds such as THC- THCa being the acid precurser which is not psychoactive- once decarboxylated it turns into THC, which is psychoactive

So, what is Decarboxylation? If you’re a science geek you’ll like this one!

Science!

In short, Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction which removes something called a carboxyl group (-COOH) which releases CO2. Generally, the decarboxylation refers to a reaction between carboxylic acids and the process of removing a carbon atom from the carbon chain. 

This process is one of the oldest known reactions that happens organically in plants- the reverse reaction (carboxylation) is a very important part of photosynthesis. 

Generally, in Cannabis, this process happens naturally when the plant is exposed to long periods of hot sunshine, when the plant becomes old or when it is burned. 

When talking about the production of CBD products, almost every oil, paste, balm or cream needs to go through this process to create the food supplement that we all love. It is part of the cannabinoid extraction process and changes the way our bodies use the compounds. 

Below we have included a graph with the whole process below!

The Best Ways to Take CBD!

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Best ways to take CBD

There are millions of posts like this that tell you the best way to take CBD. While there are hundreds of ways you can take CBD, there are certainly better ways than others. CBD oil is a particularly versatile product which can be used in as many ways as you can think of. It is best to know exactly what you are using the CBD before thinking about taking it. 

1. Under the Tongue

So, scientifically, the number one way to consume CBD oil is to put a couple of drops under your tongue and hold it there for up to a minute. Under your tongue there are membranes that absorb the CBD molecules very quickly and efficiently; the CBD is absorbed directly into your blood stream. After that, you can swallow the oil. To be frank – it doesn’t taste great. It tastes like a plant. 

Our argument is that if it doesn’t taste like a plant, it isn’t how it should be. For a couple of minutes a day, the earthy plant flavours is worth all of the benefits. This is exactly the same way that you can take CBD pastes.

 

2. Apply Topically

If you are looking for general health and well being benefits, putting the CBD oil under your tongue is the way to go. However, if you are using CBD oil for localized health issues or skin problems, you may want to apply the CBD topically. 
 
From what we understand, it may be best to use a slightly stronger oil that you would usually use due to the way the skin absorbs the CBD. Place half a  dropper of the oil on the effected area and slowly massage in. Do this two or three times a day. So putting under your tongue may also work. 
 
 When applying to skin, or for a skin condition it is always worth seeing which other natural ingredients work for you. Personally, I like and have used Coconut oil with my skin for years. It is both energizing, moisturizing and antibacterial so it can do wonders to a dry scalp or elbow. I have a pot of coconut oil that I mix with the CBD hemp oil and apply that topically. You can use it for your face, skin health or even hair health. For those loosing your hair due to bad skin health, Coconut oil is one to look into. 
 

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Phenotype

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cannabis genotypes and phenotypes

Sometimes you find a cannabis strain so good, you can’t help but revisit the experience every time the opportunity presents itself. One day you might be surprised to discover a new batch of Blue Dream looks nothing like the one you last tried: what was once a spear-shaped flower now looks like a chunky bulb of crystal trichomes. It’s the same strain, so what’s with the variability?

Two things influence the structural formation of any given cannabis plant: genetics and environment. The plant’s genetic makeup, also called a genotype, acts as a blueprint for growth: it allows a spectrum of physical possibilities, but it is up to the environment to induce these characteristics. The physical expression of a genotype is referred to as a phenotype, which is simply defined as the traits that the environment pulls out from the plant’s genetic code. Everything from color, shape, smell, and resin production are affected by the environment.

This guide to cannabis genetics will carry you through the evolution of the cannabis plant, from its antique beginnings through today’s modern cultivation. By the end of it, you will understand that there are indeed defining characteristics for every strain, but each plant is as special as a snowflake as it uniquely expresses genes according to its garden environment.

The Earliest Cannabis Species

Cannabis is an ancient plant with roots all over the world. The earliest species are thought to have grown in the mountainous Hindu Kush region of Pakistan, while others later proliferated in tropical climates. These earliest varieties, called landrace strains, are considered the diamonds of cannabis genetics. Thousands of years of adaptation allowed these strains to express their very best traits for a specific geographical location. These areas are what breeders like DJ Short call “sweet spots.”

Our short, resin-heavy indicas populated latitudes between 30 to 50 degrees, whereas the tall, slow-growing sativas naturally homestead in equatorial regions around 30 degrees latitude. These diverse habitats conditioned a colorful array of cannabis varieties, each with its own long-standing history.

Cannabis in the Great Indoors

Cannabis breeding took a major turn beginning in the 1970s and 80s when federal anti-cannabis sentiments peaked, driving cultivation from the great outdoors to underground. Indoor gardens, raised by soil, electric lights, and hydroponic systems, produce a bulk of the cannabis seen in the market today. While there’s little doubt that masterfully grown strains have been cultivated indoors, experts will agree that the generic, unnatural environment can only bring out so much of the plant’s potential.

Narrowing diversity even further, growers during this time were primarily motivated by THC content and selectively chose this characteristic over other important chemical constituents like CBD.

In spite of this lost richness, we see great variability in the plant’s phenotypic expression: nutrients, temperature, the amount and angle of light, soil type, photoperiod length, time of harvest, and the distance between the plant and light source are among the many conditions that affect the plant’s characteristics. Certain conditions may coax sativa- or indica-like traits, so as much as we love categorizing strains here at Leafly, we have to acknowledge that a strain’s traits are not necessarily set in genetic stone.

The Age of Hybridization

Hand-in-hand with the indoor grow revolution came hybridized strains, an intermixing of global indigenous varieties. This is when the sativa met the indica, beginning an ever-branching tree of hybrid offspring. Growers admired indicas for their resin-coated buds and short flowering periods, both of which are coveted traits for commercial production.

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

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The Endocannabinoid System

This is potentially the most important avenue we have to unlock a greater understanding of  what CBD is and what it does to our body.

 While many claim health benefits for CBD, we feel that is is much more beneficial to have understanding of the Endocannabinoid System, also known as the ECS.

If you’re not looking to get too much in depth, we can explain the ECS like this: 

What is the ECS & What Does it Do?

The Endocannabinoid System

We all have an Endocannabinoid System inside of us.

It can be simply described as a network of receptors that is woven through every part of our bodies and uses Cannabinoids (and sometimes Terpenes) to keep our body functioning properly.

It is part of our body’s ability to regulate normal, and healthy bodily functions and achieve homeostasis.

Homeostasis is a fancy word for everything being in perfect balance. If there is a disruption in the body’s internal balance and it is the job of the ECS to return the body back to normal. 

When the ECS sees a change in the norm, it works to restore balance. The same principle applies for a plethora of functions that are essential for your well-being. When there is an imbalance, the body naturally synthesises Endcannabinoids (Cannabinoids that are produced inside our bodies), however, there are cases when our body can be deficient. This can be caused by an inability to created Endocannabinoids or Cannabinoid receptors, an abundance of enzymes that break down Cannabinoids, or external influences (such as our diet).

You can support your ECS with a regular supplement of plant-based Phytocannabinoids which can be found in abundance in Hemp and Cannabis. Alternately, a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, a balanced diet, drinking lots of water, exposure to the sun (not too much) and a regular pattern of sleep.

This is why the ECS has an impact on so many well-being outcomes and can have a dramatic impact on your well-being. As we are all unique, the way in which cannabinoids interact with our bodies is different. So experience with CBD (and other Cannabinoids) may vary.

Did you also know that our own bodies produce cannabinoids including our own version of THC (known as: Arachidonoylethanolamine, Anandamide or AEA) which gives you that feeling of euphoria after exercise!

 

How the ECS Was Discovered

The ECS is somewhat of an amazing medical discovery. Research which started in the 1960’s to establish why the Cannabis plant had an impact on our bodies and uncovered a biological system which has a significant influence over both the physiological and neurological activity in the human body. Although the brain’s opiate receptor was discovered in 1973, it was not untll 1899 did a study at St. Louis University did Allyn Howlett and William Devane note that a network of neurotransmitter receptors impacted the way our brain functions. 
 

During further studies in the 1990’s (research was slowed due to the illegal status of the Cannabis plant) where a team discovered that the effect of the Cannabinoid THC was due to it connecting with receptors in the brain. This lead on to the discovery of Endocannabinoids and the fact that this network of receptor’s had the role of creating internal Homeostasis.

Homeostasis is when the body is in perfect balance; It works to keep our biological environment stable while the  external environment fluctuates. For example your body starts to shiver and tries to keep itself warm when you step out into the cold. Homeostasis is the most important process our body does to ensure its survival. 

The CB1 & CB2 Receptors

In very simple terms, there are 2 main parts of the ECS: the CB1 and the CB2. Both were found in the 1990’s. The CB1 receptors are part of your central nervous system which means brain function, nerves and spinal cord function. 

The CB2 receptors are for peripheral nervous system (nerves in your extremities, like arms and legs), the digestive system and specialised cells in the immune system.  

The ECS is known to affect many things that are essential for our well-being. We would ask you to do your research!
 
The next step is to read up on Homeostasis!
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