Cannabinoids are substances that come from the cannabis plant popularly called marijuana. There are three types of cannabinoids and they are classified according to their origin: those that come from the plant are called phytocannabinoids; those produced by our body called endocannabinoids; and those of synthetic origin. There is another method to define cannabinoids more technically and precisely. It is related to the fact that we have receptors in our body that interact with all 3 types of cannabinoids. With this in mind, we can define that a cannabinoid is a chemical substance, which regardless of its origin or structure, binds to specific receptors (CB1, CB2 and others). Endocannabinoids are distributed throughout the body, modulating neuro-immuno-endocrine activities and inducing effects similar to those produced by the plant. Among the most relevant phytocannabinoids, we can name: delta-9-trans-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ8-THC), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN) and cannabitriol (CBT).
1. Identification of an endogenous 2-monoglyceride, present in canine gut, that binds to cannabinoid receptors.
2. Hemp and neuroinflammation
3. Anandamide hydrolysis: a new target for anti-anxiety drugs?
4. Chemical Basis of Hashish Activity
5. History of hemp as a medicine: a review
6. La marihuana con uso terapéutico en el contexto colombiano
An important aspect to know is the fact that cannabinoids are not water-soluble but fat-soluble. This means that they are degraded more slowly at the liver compared to other substances such as opioids that are water-soluble. This means that its beneficial effects remain longer leading to less co-dependence. This claim is scientifically supported by studies that have demonstrated that cannabis is less addictive than other frequently used substances, such as nicotine, which has an addiction rate of 68%; heroin, which has a 23% rate, cocaine with a 17% rate, and alcohol with a 23% rate. Unlike these substances, cannabis is only responsible for 9% of those who smoke marijuana and refers only to THC, which is the cannabinoid present in recreational cannabis. The picture changes radically and the percentage drops to zero when it comes to other cannabinoids such as CBD or CBN, where there is no psychoactive effect; hence the importance of medical cannabis today. Links: 1. Hemp Cannabis 2. Observational Safety Study of THC:CBD Oromucosal Spray (Sativex) in Multiple Sclerosis Patients with Spasticity
For the fans of singer Michael Jackson, it was painful to see their idol die from an overdose of opioids prescribed by his personal doctor. If in this particular case and many others, instead of providing an opioid-based treatment he had been given a cannabinoid-based one, perhaps he would still be among us. This is because cannabinoids do not have receptors in the brain stem from which certain functions such as respiratory and heart rate are governed. The advantage here of the use of cannabinoids is fundamental when you have severe pain prolonged over time (chronic pain). There are many people who depend in their daily lives on the use of painkillers as an inevitable fact bringing with it a whole series of undesirable side effects. For this reason, CBD-based medications are already beginning to replace a wide variety of conventional drugs in the treatment of common conditions, and may even be helpful for chronic pain. Some of the reasons for this replacement are because opiates pose a strong risk of addiction and physical dependence for the user and CBD does not. Over the past decade, researchers have discovered a complex and intricate relationship between endocannabinoid and opioid receptor systems. It is becoming apparent that opioid addiction and reward pathways in the brain and central nervous system, are also influenced by the activity of the endocannabinoid system. Additionally, cannabinoids can make opioids not only more effective, but also less harmful and less likely to cause consumer dependence. Links: 1. Understanding Hemp-Based Therapeutics in Sports Medicine 2. Cannabinoids for Treatment of MS Symptoms: State of the Evidence 3. Re-branding hemp: the next generation of chronic pain medicine? 4. Hemp for Chronic Pain: Challenges and Considerations 5. Hemp and Cannabinoids for Chronic Pain
A cannabinoid overdose is almost impossible unless an extraordinary dose is consumed. A death from hemp overdose has never been documented as a direct cause of the event, demonstrating very clearly, the low toxicity of cannabinoids in general. Obviously, anyone who uses hemp should have information about the possible side effects that can appear after its consumption. In the case of CBD, there is no record of adverse effects due to high doses, however, high doses tend to be less effective therapeutically. Links:
1. Chemistry of Hemp
2. Chemistry of marihuana
In the 60s, R. Mechoulam discovered the endocannabinoid system. Questions arose concerning the reason of its existence and why that system had more receptors than any other in the human body. Professor Mechoulam found that the human body produced its own cannabinoids, focusing mainly on arachidonylethanolamide or anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Two types of receptors have been described for endogenous cannabinoids: CB1, located mostly in the brain, and CB2, located throughout the immune system. Anandamide and 2-AG most likely act as neurotransmitters or neuromodulators; they also act as signaling molecules and therefore help maintain balance in many bodily processes. Endogenous cannabinoids are lipid molecules capable of mimicking the effects produced by Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabinol (CBD); they are derivatives of the arachidonic acid and participate in numerous body processes. The distribution in the brain of the endocannabinoids and the CB1 receptors, have allowed us to know the physiological functions in which this system is involved. Links:
2. Endocannabinoids and Cancer.
3. Endocannabinoids as Therapeutic Targets.
4. Endocannabinoids and Their Pharmacological Actions.
CBN (cannabinol) is a cannabinoid found in hemp plants, and it is one of the many compounds that interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body. The ECS is a complex biological system that plays a role in regulating a range of physiological processes, including pain, mood, appetite, and sleep.
CBN works by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the body, specifically the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain and nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found throughout the body, including in the immune system. When CBN binds to these receptors, it can have a range of effects, including reducing pain, promoting relaxation, and helping to regulate sleep.
CBN is also thought to have a mild psychoactive effect, although it is not as potent as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the primary psychoactive compound in hemp. Some research suggests that CBN may have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, although more research is needed to fully understand its potential benefits.
1. Cannabinol: History, Syntheses, and Biological Profile of the Greatest “Minor” Cannabinoid.
2. Cannabidiol: cannabinol and their combinations act as peripheral analgesics in a rat model of myofascial pain.
3. Minor Phytocannabinoids: A Misleading Name but a Promising Opportunity for Biomedical Research.
The use of cannabinoids in dogs and cats is recent. Studies show that healthy animals tolerate doses of 2 mg/kg body weight of CBD with terpenes for more than twelve weeks non-stop. Investigations show that cannabinoid use does not result in clinically significant alterations in the hematology or biochemistry of the animals in the trial. There were only alterations in a single case of a cat, which showed a persistent increase in serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) during the course of the study. Medical hemp rich in CBD and CBDA appear to be safe in healthy adult dogs, while in cats additional work is needed to fully understand their use and absorption. Trials show that the safe dose for a good clinical start for most animals is 1 mg/kg body weight twice daily to ensure good adsorption. Some articles claim that CBD for dogs is effective in decreasing anxiety. Others, however, find it dubious because since CBD is non-psychoactive, it is unlikely to have the ability to directly treat canine anxiety the way other anxiolytic medications do. This dose is safe and effective for the conditions studied (arthritis and seizures), but additional research is still needed to evaluate the doses of CBD needed in the treatment of other conditions. There is no scientific data on the side effects of CBD use in dogs, but they could exist based on how CBD affects humans. To minimize possible side effects, it is important to ensure the right dose for our pet individually. Links:
1. Single-Dose Pharmacokinetics and Preliminary Safety Assessment with Use of CBD-Rich Hemp Nutraceutical in Healthy Dogs and Cats.
2. Serum Cannabinoid 24 h and 1 Week Steady State Pharmacokinetic Assessment in Cats Using a CBD/CBDA Rich Hemp Paste
3. Cannabinoids, Terpene, and Heavy Metal Analysis of 29 Over-the-Counter Commercial Veterinary Hemp Supplements Vet Med (Auckl) 15 de abril de 2020 (11) 45-55.
4. Long-term daily feeding of cannabidiol is well-tolerated by healthy dogs.
There is extensive literature regarding the most well-known and controversial cannabinoid: THC. THC is popularly associated with its recreational and hallucinogenic effects. Recently, part of that story has changed drastically to find that it has medicinal properties that help effectively and accurately in the treatment of certain pathologies. Chemical and clinical studies on Delta-9 since the 70s, have demonstrated the effectiveness of this molecule to inhibit tumor growth in laboratory models. Additionally, it has been used successfully as an antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite stimulant, analgesic, neuro-protection, management of neuropathic pain and other conditions.
1. Action of cannabidiol on the anxiety and other effects produced by delta-9-THC in normal subjects.
2. Cannabidiol: an overview of some chemical and pharmacological aspects