Have you ever wondered how cannabidiol (CBD) elicits its natural balancing effects? To understand what CBD does, let’s take a closer look at the human body. CBD works in tandem with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a system just like the circulatory system that pumps blood through your veins or the respiratory system that fills your lungs with air. The ECS plays vital functions for the body – yet it was discovered merely 30 years ago! In fact, the ECS was discovered because scientists were curious about the effects of cannabis on the brain. Without the hemp plant, who knows? Maybe we would still have yet to discover the ECS and how CBD works.

But what exactly does the ECS do? Simply put – it is a network of receptors that pair with molecules called endocannabinoids, which are synthesized by the body to regulate various body functions. These same receptors in the body also bond with phytocannabinoids, which come from plants instead of being made by the body. And yes, you guessed it! Hemp naturally produces many phytocannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one phytocannabinoid out of more than 113 that have been found in cannabis. CBD and the other phytocannabinoids produce varying effects on the body.

The bodily processes that the ECS helps to regulate are many. The ECS regulates sleep, appetite, digestion, motor control, mood, immune function, reproduction, reward pathways, memory, pain, and more. Today, scientists are still learning about the role that the endocannabinoid system plays in our health.

CBD in particular has been found to interact with a variety of different biological targets, including cannabinoid receptors and other neurotransmitter receptors. In the United States in 2018, the first drug made of CBD has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of two epilepsy disorders. This is a major step towards recognizing the healing properties of the hemp plant and bringing it to the mainstream.

There is still much research to be done on CBD and the ECS. For example, we have yet to discover the mechanism by which CBD elicits its effects. But we have come far in a relatively short amount of time. The future looks bright: scientists are now conducting more and more studies regarding CBD. We are excited to learn more about this special molecule in the near future and will keep you updated!

 

Sources:

Aizpurua-Olaizola O, Soydaner U, Öztürk E, Schibano D, Simsir Y, Navarro P, Etxebarria N, Usobiaga A (2016). “Evolution of the Cannabinoid and Terpene Content during the Growth of Cannabis sativa Plants from Different Chemotypes”. Journal of Natural Products. 79 (2): 324–31. doi:10.1021/acs.jnatprod.5b00949. PMID 26836472.

Aizpurua-Olaizola, Oier; Elezgarai, Izaskun; Rico-Barrio, Irantzu; Zarandona, Iratxe; Etxebarria, Nestor; Usobiaga, Aresatz (2016). “Targeting the endocannabinoid system: future therapeutic strategies”. Drug Discovery Today. 22 (1): 105–110. doi:10.1016/j.drudis.2016.08.005. PMID 27554802.

“FDA approves first drug comprised of an active ingredient derived from marijuana to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy”. US Food and Drug Administration. 25 June 2018. Retrieved 25 June 2018.

Jurkus R, Day HL, Guimarães FS, Lee JL, Bertoglio LJ, Stevenson CW (2016). “Cannabidiol Regulation of Learned Fear: Implications for Treating Anxiety-Related Disorders”. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 7: 454. doi:10.3389/fphar.2016.00454. PMC 5121237. PMID 27932983.

Sunday afternoon in Vienna. A shock for sustainable small businesses like ours. Minister Hartinger-Klein (FPÖ) wants to ban sales of foods and cosmetics that contain cannabinoids. The minister refers to an EU-regulation concerning novel foods in her press release. The EU commission refutes the interpretation of this regulation, that the regulation would deem the selling of Cannabinoid containing products illegal. Only products that were artificially enriched with CBD would fall under this regulation. Natural products like ours could hence still be sold. The minister contradicts this opinion. Costumers and sellers are left insecure.

For many companies in Austria this would mean that they would have to let countless employees go into an uncertain future. Moreover, customers of sustainable small businesses like ours would face negative consequences. Costumers would most likely only be able to get the healing CBD products in pharmacies for much higher prices. There seems to be no logical reason behind the legislation, especially as it would still be allowed to smoke CBD products. Drinking it as tea, however, wouldn’t.

The press release leaves a bitter aftertaste. It seems like the FPÖ-Minister would, once more, take the side of big pharma, instead of speaking up for the health of the Austrian population. Just recently she was in the press because of her going back on the legislation concerning smoking in restaurants.

The situation is uncertain, not only for employees but also for people who are depending on the positive effects of CBD products. CBD offers many patients a sustainable and gentle alternative to chemical concoctions and offers them relieve. Luckily, we are still able to export our products and ship them to customers in other European countries

We are calling on Minister Hartinger-Klein to ensure clarity and to reconsider her position regarding hemp products.