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Natural Awakenings Fairfield & Southern Litchfield Counties

Nature’s Superfood for Better Health: CBD and Other Cannabinoids

Jun 30, 2022 10:00AM ● By Valerie Aloisio
We all have a self-regulatory system in our bodies called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and that system is responsible for homeostasis, or balance, between all bodily functions like pain, sleep, mood, appetite, immunity and recovery. Researchers believe that the major cause of many ailments, particularly those related to the immune system and inflammation, could be a disorder called clinical endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome.

So how do we feed this critical system within our bodies? With plant-based cannabinoids found in hemp. Hemp and marijuana are different varieties of Cannabis Sativa, a flowering herb indigenous to many parts of the world. Marijuana is cultivated for high levels of THC, while hemp is cultivated mainly for its fiber, and has trace levels of THC and comparatively higher levels of CBD and other cannabinoids that will not make you high. Hemp has been grown and cultivated worldwide for thousands of years for industrial and medical purposes, making useful items like rope, clothing, sails, paper, fuel, building materials and thousands of other products. 

As laws are changing, millions of people around the world are now experiencing all the health benefits associated with consuming cannabinoids found in hemp, like CBD, CBG and CBN.

Even though it seems like cannabidiol (CBD) is something new, it has been used by humans since the dawn of civilization. CBD is a natural constituent of cannabis, a plant that has been utilized for centuries as medicine. CBD itself was first identified in the 1930s and 1940s, and its specific chemical structure was not documented until 1963. The research didn’t end there; many scientists now consider CBD to be the single most important cannabinoid ever discovered. We may hear more about THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol) in the news—it’s the cannabinoid that gets you “high”—yet CBD is the real cannabinoid superstar. CBD is responsible for most of the health and wellness benefits of the cannabis plant, without the psychoactivity of THC. And new benefits are being discovered all the time.

Let’s talk about some newer cannabinoids that are making headlines that many people are not yet aware of. 

Cannabigerol (CBG), known as the “Mother” Cannabinoid, has several nicknames. It’s been called the “Rolls Royce of cannabis”, the “stem cell cannabinoid” and even the “mother of all cannabinoids”. While it’s been historically ignored for more popular cannabinoids like CBD and THC, new research has unveiled that it too has unique benefits that deserve to be recognized.
CBG products are rare because it’s a compound that’s challenging to extract from the plant. Thankfully, just a few cannabinoid companies are rapidly discovering new ways to extract CBG more efficiently.

Researchers first identified CBG in 1964. CBG is the non-acidic form of CBGA (cannabigerolic acid) and it’s the very first cannabinoid that cannabis plants produce during maturation. As the plant matures, enzymes convert CBG to other acidic cannabinoids, including CBDA, THCA and CBNA, before converting over time to CBD, THC, CBN and the rest.

CBG has a direct “lock-and-key” effect upon cannabinoid receptors, particularly CB1 receptors. It appears that CBG’s influence on the endocannabinoid system enhances the expression of serotonin, the “feel good hormone”. So those that experience “blue moods” like stress may experience a benefit. CBG is also non-intoxicating, meaning it can be used as an everyday supplement without having to worry about any unwanted psychoactive effects.

Now let’s talk about sleep. Like all cannabinoids, CBN (cannabinol) elicits its natural effects by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system. With that said, CBN interacts differently with the endocannabinoid receptors than CBD does. CBD positively influences the endocannabinoid system and its cannabinoid receptors through indirect means. CBN, on the other hand, fits into cannabinoid receptors like a lock and key for a more direct exchange, similar to CBG.

When you use a pure CBN product, the CBN compounds are absorbed into the body, where they’re able to have this direct interaction with your body’s cannabinoid receptors. By interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, CBN can affect the function of many hormones and neurotransmitters, all in the effort of supporting the endocannabinoid system’s role of keeping the body performing at its best.

Among the many natural wellness benefits researchers continue to discover about CBN’s influence on the endocannabinoid system is a naturally sedative effect that can help promote better sleeping cycles. CBN’s natural sleep-promoting properties combine beautifully with CBD, as the two cannabinoids interact differently with cells’ cannabinoid receptors to naturally encourage better, more rejuvenate sleep through different means. A well-operating endocannabinoid system leads to better, more consistent sleep cycles. So, while CBD doesn’t have sedative effects, it encourages healthier sleeping habits through its support of the endocannabinoid system.

How do we know what products to choose? There is so much on the market now. Quality and quantity matters, which is why you want to consult with someone who is knowledgeable about this industry. Where is the product grown? Is it certified organic? Are certificates of analysis readily available and is the product tested by independent labs? How much CBD or other cannabinoids like CBG or CBN is actually in the product and what is the price per milligram? 
Not all products in this category are created equal. You may also need to experiment with how much CBD daily is necessary for your particular situation to get optimal results.

The cannabis industry is booming for good reason. Hemp derived products such as CBD, CBG and CBN are nature’s superfood and is good for you and for the planet. 

Valerie Aloisio is founder of Hemp Lifestyle and a pioneer at bringing education and information about the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid products to medical and healthcare professionals and the public in the U.S. and abroad. She is available for complimentary 
educational sessions and speaking engagements for the Natural Awakenings community. Connect at 203-521-2396, [email protected] or See ad, page 15.

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Hemp Lifestyle 

Valerie Aloisio is founder of Hemp Lifestyle and a pioneer at bringing education and information about the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid products to medical and healthcare profes... 

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