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Glossary

  • This numerical code was created from an event that sounds like a modern fairy tale. Originally, it meant a time: 20 past four in the afternoon. Or, in the English notation 4:20 (pm) - short: 420 or just: 'four twenty'. Nowadays this number is an international and frequently used "code" and can stand for all kinds of things: for cannabis itself, for the use of cannabis, or for the festivities (like Christmas for cannabis friends) that are celebrated on April 20th (English date spelling 4/20 - four twenty).
  • The certificate of analysis provides information about whether the analysed batch of a product meets the requirements or specifications applicable to that product. In the pharmaceutical industry, it is a common document for drugs, but also for their starting materials.Above all, the certificate provides information about essential quality characteristics (such as the content of CBD or other valuable ingredients) as well as permissible and impermissible impurities.In our laboratory analyses you will find information on the content of cannabinoids, among other things. This way you can be sure that you get what you expect from the product (e.g. CBD) and that there is nothing in it that you need to worry about (e.g. THC). Of course we always check for impurities, e.g. heavy metals and pesticides. Current laboratory analyses of our products can be viewed here.
  • The form of administration or administration form describes the way in which a certain substance, usually a drug, is administered or used. For cannabinoids, the following forms of administration are particularly suitable:Buccal (via the oral mucosa), inhalative (via the lungs), oral / peroral (via the mouth), sublingual (via the mucosa under the tongue), topical (usually on the skin; application is localized to produce a localized effect), transdermal (absorption via the skin, the effect is felt in the body)
  • In pharmacology, the bioavailability of an active ingredient is an important measure. It describes the proportion of the substance that passes into the bloodstream (more precisely: into the systemic circulation) and is thus available at the site of action. A 100% bioavailability is achieved by intravenous administration of a substance. If the active substance is administered to the organism by other means, e.g. orally, it is compared with the bioavailability after intravenous administration, and on this basis a percentage is given. Thus, an oral bioavailability of 50% means that, compared to intravenous administration, half of the active substance enters the systemic circulation.
  • A biphasic effect is the effect of an active ingredient when low and high doses of the same active ingredient can cause opposite effects. Alcohol also has such an effect: while small quantities of alcohol can have a stimulating effect, larger quantities of alcohol have a calming to sedating effect. CBD has shown such a profile as an active ingredient in several studies: While e.g. a dose of 300mg CBD had a calming effect on the participants, a significantly higher dose of 900mg CBD not only did not show a calming effect - at this very high dosage the test persons even reported an opposite effect; they not only felt more stressed than test persons who received the lower CBD dose, but also than those who received only a placebo (i.e. no active ingredient).
  • Cannabinoid receptors are, besides cannabinoids themselves and the enzymes responsible for their degradation, important components of our endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoid receptors are distributed throughout the body and are involved in a variety of physiological processes through the central regulatory role of the endocannabinoid system. A cannabinoid researcher summarized these processes as follows: "Relax, Eat, Sleep, Forget and Protect" - hardly any area of our life is not affected in one way or another. In addition to CB1 and CB2 receptors, cannabinoids can also unfold their effects via other pathways. Based on the results of a study, for example, it was suggested to include the receptor "GPR55" in the class of cannabinoid receptors.
  • Cannabis originally refers to the hemp plant - whose full Latin name is Cannabis sativa L..However, in common parlance "cannabis" is also often used to refer to the dried female flower. Dried female flowers are one of the possible end products that can be made from the cannabis plant, some of which are also used for intoxication purposes. Since the medical use of cannabis is back to normal in Germany, the word "medical cannabis" is often used in this context to distinguish it from "normal" cannabis, which is often not used on medical prescription and is obtained from unofficial sources.
  • In plant breeding, hybrid usually refers to offspring resulting from the combination (crossing) of the characteristics of two plants from different, preferably pure-bred (inbred) lines. The offspring of such a breeding, the F1 generation, then combines in the best case all positive traits of both the mother and the father line. One speaks then of heterosis, or the heterosis effect.In cannabis, hybrid is also used to make it clear that a particular cultivar can clearly be assigned neither to the Sativa nor the Indica spectrum. Whether and to what extent all these categorizations (hybrid, indica, sativa) are scientifically tenable is still the subject of lively discussion. The background is that due to the extremely long history of cannabis use (10.000+ years!) original populations, so-called landraces, no longer exist, since genetic material from other geographical zones and/or populations has been crossed in by humans - whether intended or not. Therefore, some argue, all varieties (or cultivars) that exist today should strictly speaking be called hybrids.
  • Cannabis sativa L., i.e. hemp or simply cannabis stands for a plant species within the cannabis family (Cannabaceae). Within this species different varieties (better: cultivars) can be distinguished from each other. They differ not only in their growth form (the so-called morphotype), but also in their own specific profile of cannabinoids and terpenes -- the chemotype. The profile of a variety is as individual as a "chemical fingerprint". In practice, this means that not all cannabis is the same. Different varieties can be grouped in different ways; one of the more common divisions is based on the content of the two "main" cannabinoids THC and CBD. "Type 1" describes THC-dominant strains, "Type 2" refers to strains with a balanced ratio of THC to CBD and CBD-dominant strains are referred to as "Type 3". A still common, but scientifically rather controversial way of classifying different cannabis varieties is the division into "sativa" (or sativa-branched / sativa-dominant), indica (or indica-branched / indica-dominant) and hybrids. The effect of "Sativas" is often described by users as mentally activating, stimulating and also more psychoactive, whereas that of "Indicas" is more physical, calming and relaxing. If one imagines Indica and Sativa as the ends of a spectrum of possible effects, the so-called hybrids lie somewhere in the middle, thus offering the user a mixture of the above mentioned essential characteristics of Indicas and Sativas. The reason for the sometimes very differently perceived effects of different varieties is only partly due to the different contents of cannabinoids -- especially the terpenes are said to have a great influence on the subjective perception of effects.
  • Cannabidiolic acid (A for acid) is one of the many ingredients of cannabis. Although the non-acidic form, CBD, is much better known, the plant itself produces almost exclusively the acid form, CBDA. CBDA is also said to have potentially desirable effects, some of which are even said to be more potent than those of CBD itself. However, research on this is still in its infancy.
  • Cannabigerol, or CBG for short, is one of over 100 known cannabinoids found in the cannabis or hemp plant (Cannabis sativa L.). However, CBG is something special because the starting molecule produced in the plant, cannabigerol acid, is also the basic building block from which all other cannabinoids are produced in the plant. For cannabigerol itself, antibiotic effects against multi-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) have been observed - at least in mice.
  • The vaporization of cannabis concentrates is called dabbing. Concentrates are usually in the form of waxes or resinous oils. These are applied to a piece of metal ("nail") that has been heated to a high temperature, where they immediately begin to vaporize. The vapors are inhaled through a kind of bong (water pipe). In this way it is possible to inhale very large quantities of cannabinoids in a very short time. From a medical and/or health point of view, however, this type of application cannot be recommended.
  • A ready-to-use form or preparation that can be taken without modification is also called a dosage form. On the other hand, this term can also refer to the form of a medicinal product (dosage form), which then also includes the type of application. The dosage form does not always have to correspond to the final preparation.
  • The term edible in the context of cannabis means edible food to which cannabinoids have been added. Mostly THC is meant. Well-known examples are so-called space cakes, i.e. cakes containing cannabis, or cannabis butter ('cannabutter'). Among recent developments in this area, especially wine gums containing cannabinoids are very popular. Edibles" can also mean liquid, i.e. drinkable, cannabinoid containing food, capsules and partly also oils and tinctures. A special feature of Edibles is that although it takes longer to take effect than when cannabinoids are inhaled, the effect lasts much longer. You can find out more about this in our article on the topic of onset of action and duration of action.
  • Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids produced by the body itself. Cannabinoids are part of the endocannabinoid system. Endocannabinoids include 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG) and N-arachidonylethanolamide (AEA). AEA is often also called anandamide, derived from the Sanskrit word ananda ("bliss"). Just like the cannabinoids from the cannabis plant (phytocannabinoids), the body's own cannabinoids are able to dock to corresponding cannabinoid receptors (CB1, CB2) that are distributed throughout the human body to exert their effect.
  • Through the special interaction of cannabinoids and terpenes, a special plant synergy can be created, the so-called "entourage effect". Terpenes can influence the effect of the cannabinoids in different ways (and vice versa). This also shows a potential advantage of full-spectrum extracts over extracts or oils that contain only CBD in pure form. The latter lack potential synergy partners; the entourage effect is absent. Even if this is slowly changing at present - terpenes are still considered a "neglected pharmacological treasure chest" in cannabis research, as the "discoverer" of THC, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, put it, because of their enormous potential with regard to individualized therapy design with cannabis flowers and/or full spectrum extracts.
  • Many substances are not used in their pure form, but in a mixture which, in addition to the main component, also consists of other substances, so-called auxiliary substances. The finished mixture is then called a formulation.Excipients can e.g. facilitate the application through formative properties, make the production more efficient or, as in the case of the liposomal formulation of our hemp capsules, improve the bioavailability.
  • CBD-Isolate is a crystalline solid or powder consisting of almost pure CBD. Just like (full spectrum) extracts, isolate can be obtained from hemp plants containing CBD. During extraction and subsequent purification, all non-CBD components are almost completely removed, so that the final product contains 99% pure CBD.On the one hand, this means that synergies and potentials resulting from the presence of other valuable ingredients of the hemp plant are not utilized. On the other hand, the use of isolate can also be advantageous in certain situations, e.g. due to its flexible application and comparatively low price.
  • Limonene belong to the terpenes and are found in higher concentrations, as the name suggests, in citrus fruits and are responsible for their characteristic smell.Limonene is often used as an inexpensive fragrance, e.g. for cleaning agents, as citrus scent is associated with freshness and cleanliness. It is also used as a vegetable insecticide and in preservatives and cosmetic products.Limonene are considered to be mood-lifting, antidepressant, immunostimulant, antimicrobial and are used in skin therapy.
  • In liposomal formulation, the value-giving component of the formulation (e.g. CBD) is introduced into the interior or into the double membrane layer of so-called liposomes. The advantage of such a formulation is, among other things, that substances can be better absorbed by the body in this way, which in their natural form may be poorly bioavailable. The bioavailability of e.g. CBD, i.e. the proportion of absorbed CBD that reaches the bloodstream, can be effectively increased by this.
  • In Germany, medicinal cannabis is usually referred to as cannabis, which is available in pharmacies upon presentation of a prescription. Particularly in differentiation from normal cannabis (i.e. without the addition "medicinal"), medicinal cannabis is a largely standardised herbal medicinal product. The active ingredient contents (THC and CBD) are defined in the European Pharmacopoeia and are regularly checked. Furthermore, it must be possible to prove with analyses that there are no residues of pesticides in the finished product that exceed the maximum permissible amounts. Not only the cannabis itself, but also the production facilities must meet strict requirements and these are also regularly checked. Depending on the context, medical cannabis may mean not only the dried female flowers, i.e. the "traditional" end product, but also the plant itself and other products made from it, such as extracts.
  • MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides, i.e. triglycerides (neutral fats) containing medium-chain fatty acids. Medium-chain fatty acids include fatty acids with 6-12 carbon atoms. They are found in coconut oil, palm kernel oil and butter, among other things, but not in their pure form, but in a natural way in a mixture with other triglycerides. MCT oil is mainly used in the manufacture of cosmetic products, foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals.In general, MCT oils are considered a valuable food component in the sense of a holistically health-promoting diet.Unlike other oils, MCT oils can be metabolized independently of pancreatic enzymes, which explains their use in various (mainly metabolic) diseases. MCT fats are also particularly suitable in the context of a ketogenic diet, such as that used in some pharmacoresistant forms of epilepsy.
  • The terpene myrcene is very common in the plant kingdom. In larger concentrations it can be found in pines, ripe mangoes, fennel, juniper, ginger plants, hops and dill. And of course in hemp or cannabis. Here it is considered the main suspect for the so-called "couch-lock" effect, a state of extreme physical relaxation, in which it may seem impossible for the person affected to get off the couch (spoiler: it usually works out after all). Pharmacological interest is focused on the antiphlogistic (anti-inflammatory), analgesic and relaxing to sedative properties of myrcene. Fun Fact: If you always wanted to attract bark beetles without much effort, myrcene is your salvation, because for the beetle this terpene is an almost irresistible messenger (pheromone).
  • In today's terminology, pesticide means any agent that is used to protect (mostly plants) against pests. Pesticides are mainly discussed in the context of pesticide residues in products (mostly food). For pesticides authorised in the EU, there are usually maximum levels for both the amount of pesticide applied and the pesticide residues that may be present in the intermediate or final product.
  • Psychoactive or psychotropic substances are all substances that are able to influence the human psyche. The induced influence can take very different forms and also show great differences in intensity. The spectrum ranges from a barely perceptible stimulation or relaxation, e.g. by a sip of coffee in the morning, to a largely complete change of consciousness, e.g. by psychedelics (LSD, psilocybin, DMT and Co.).Whether the change is experienced as positive or negative depends on a number of different factors and not least on the user himself. Psychotropic drugs are also considered psychoactive or psychotropic substances - the term alone does not therefore say anything about the legality or illegality of a substance.The most frequently consumed psychoactive/psychotropic substance worldwide is caffeine. Caffeine belongs to the group of stimulants. Cocoa contains theobromine, a substance structurally related to caffeine, which is also a stimulant frequently consumed worldwide.
  • This refers to a form of application or administration of a substance. The substance is placed under the tongue (sub "under", lingua "tongue"). The mucous membrane under the tongue is particularly thin and well supplied with blood, which enables the rapid absorption of substances into the bloodstream.
  • Terpenes and terpenoids are very small molecules, some of which are very potent and can therefore have an effect even in extremely low doses. Terpenes occur in nature in great variety and are not only responsible for the aroma and taste of cannabis. The concentration of different terpenes, the so-called terpene profile, is an essential distinguishing feature of different cannabis flower varieties.Terpenes and cannabinoids can work together in a special form of plant synergy, which is then called the "entourage effect".The most common and well-known terpenes in cannabis include limonene, myrcene, linalool, α-pinene, caryophyllene and humulene.
  • A tincture is an alcoholic extract. According to the European Pharmacopoeia, only ethanol in certain concentrations (usually between 20 and 60%) may be used as a solvent during extraction.
  • Topical application refers to a form of application or administration that takes place locally and is therefore intended to have a localized effect. The classic example of a topical application is an analgesic sports gel that is applied to or near a painful joint to produce its (e.g. additional warming) effect.
  • A vaporizer uses heat to enable the vaporization (vapor = vapor) of active ingredients. To prevent combustion, which produces undesirable and often toxic by-products, only enough heat is generated to vaporize the desired ingredients. Vaporizers are used, among other things, to make active ingredients (active substances) from medicinal plants available, including cannabis. Usually temperatures between 180°C and 210°C are recommended. The boiling point of THC is 157°C, that of CBD is slightly higher (160°C - 180°C). Vaporizers can make the active ingredients of the cannabis plant safely and effectively available. With vaporizers, a distinction must be made between devices for vaporizing dry, mostly plant material and devices for vaporizing so-called "liquids". The latter have become known especially in connection with nicotine as an alternative to smoking cigarettes.
  • As the name suggests, at least to the botanists and latinists among you, this terpene is found in large quantities in pine plants (lat. Pinus) (including pines, firs, spruces and of course pines). But also myrtle, dill and caraway contain high concentrations of myrtle.α pines are associated with mental freshness and clarity. The Japanese custom of "forest bathing" (Shinrin yoku) makes use of this characteristic - practitioners "bathe", so to speak, in the forest air saturated with α pinenes and thus consciously make use of their clarifying effect on the mind.In addition, there are indications of antiphlogistic (anti-inflammatory), bronchodilating and memory supporting effects of α-Pinenen.
#Science

The Endocannabinoid System & Cannabidiol

21/04/2020 4 MIN. READ Katharina Schweigert
21/04/2020 4 MIN. READ Katharina Schweigert

The Endocannabinoid System - Explained Simply:

The endocannabinoid system (ECS), is part of the human nervous system. “Endo” means that it is an endogenous system (a natural component of the body). The ECS has endogenous cannabinoids, i.e. endocannabinoids, which dock to various receptors throughout the body. Cannabinoid receptors are found in various organs, such as in the nervous, respiratory, circulatory and digestive systems.

What does the endocannabinoid system do

The endocannabinoid system regulates a variety of processes and thus influences our mood as well as our appetite, memory and inflammatory processes in our bodies. It’s designed to keep a healthy balance in the body. Cannabinoids bind to specific receptors, such as CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors help us in memory processing and pain regulation, while CB2 receptors act on the immune system.

The effect of the endocannabinoids can be imitated or enhanced by herbal cannabinoids as they occur in the hemp plant.

The Endocannabinoid System:

  1. The discovery of the endocannabinoid system
  2. Endocannabinoid system structure - The key roles
  3. How does hemp interact with the endocannabinoid system?

1. The discovery of the endocannabinoid system

The endocannabinoid system was discovered in 1992 by the National Institute of Mental Health in the U.S. Interestingly, the endocannabinoid system was only discovered through the clarification of the effect of exogenous cannabinoids, the active ingredients of the hemp plant. An international group of scientists proved that besides exogenous cannabinoids, there are also endogenous ligands––the endocannabinoids. Research has progressed since then, but it is still a long way from completely clarifying how this complex system works. There are increasing signs that the endocannabinoid system is responsible for the balance of our body, and that a disturbance of that balance plays a role in chronic diseases such as migraine or fibromyalgia.

2. Endocannabinoid system structure - Key roles

The endocannabinoid system is a sophisticated system of receptors, endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids and enzymes that build up or break down the cannabinoids.

Our body’s cells produce endocannabinoids in response to various stimuli. They fulfil their function by binding to and activating the cannabinoid receptors. When they’ve done their job, the endocannabinoids are broken down again by the body. This enables the body to react quickly to stimuli and adapt the functions of the endocannabinoid system to the needs of the body.

The most important endocannabinoids are anandamide and 2-arachidonoglycerol (in short: 2-AG). When these substances bind to the corresponding receptors CB1 and CB2, which are present in various organs throughout the body, they trigger a reaction in the corresponding cells. This influences our mood, memory, concentration, appetite and perception of pain. Certain activities increase our endocannabinoid level. For example, our body produces more endocannabinoids when we sing, read books or jog. That is why we feel so good during these activities; our mood rises, the stress level drops.

Normally, the regulation of the endocannabinoid system works through our endogenous cannabinoids, i.e. without any external influences. But sometimes our body needs a little push from the outside; then the plant-based cannabinoids that support the endocannabinoid system come into play. More than 113 cannabinoids are currently known by scientists to be present in the cannabis plant. One of the best studied cannabinoids is CBD, which helps us naturally reduce stress and relax.

2.1 The functions of the CB1 receptors

CB1 receptors were discovered in 1990 and are mainly located in the brain, specifically in areas such as the hippocampus and the cerebellum. Further CB1 receptors are found in fatty tissue, the gastrointestinal tract and also in our muscles. The endocannabinoid anandamide is the natural ligand of the CB1 receptor. When the body produces anandamide, it binds to the CB1 receptor and thus influences the following processes:

The CB1 receptors have an impact on:

  • processing of our memory
  • regulation of pain
  • motor control
  • perception of pleasure and euphoria
  • blood circulation
  • our psyche

2.2 The function of the CB2 receptors

CB2 receptors were discovered in 1993. While CB1 receptors are mainly located in the brain, CB2 receptors are distributed throughout the body. They are found in the immune system, i.e. in tonsils, spleen, white blood cells and in the gastrointestinal tract. CB2 receptors can also be detected in the brain, but their occurrence there is significantly lower than that of CB1 receptors.

CB2 receptors are activated in the body by the second endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonoglycerol (2-AG). They are believed to be able to reduce inflammatory processes and pain. Furthermore, activation of the CB2 receptor has a calming effect on us.

3. How do CBD, THC and other hemp components react with the endocannabinoid system?

According to the current scientific research, the cannabinoids of the hemp plant react in different ways with our endocannabinoid system:

Plant-based cannabinoids bind to the receptors CB1 and CB2, influence the formation and degradation of the endogenous cannabinoids and partly enhance or weaken each other at the same time. A pretty complex process, then!

The two most common plant-based cannabinoids, THC and CBD, interact quite differently with the components of ECS. This explains why THC has a psychoactive effect on the body, which CBD does not.

Unlike medical cannabis, the hemp plant contains hardly any THC. Would you like to know more about CBD’s legal status? This way then: CBD legal position.

3.1 The Endocannabinoid System and CBD

In contrast to most cannabinoids, CBD has only a low binding power to the ECS receptors CB1 and CB2 and tends to weaken the effects of other cannabinoids on these receptors. However, it works through various other mechanisms: CBD, for example, binds to the serotonin receptor, so it has a mood-lifting effect.

CBD also inhibits the enzymes that are responsible for the breakdown of our endocannabinoids. Therefore, CBD can for example increase the level of anandamide in the body for a longer time. The special part: anandamide is one of the most important endocannabinoids in the human body. So, CBD aids the natural function of our endocannabinoid system. It is supported by the hemp plant’s other valuable ingredient, the terpenes.

To date, the various effects of CBD on our body have not yet been fully explained, but we keep you up to date with the latest research results on our blog.

3.2 The Endocannabinoid System and THC

As previously mentioned, the hemp plant contains only traces of THC, so we’ll only go over the role of THC briefly.

Unlike CBD, THC binds to the CB1 receptor, which is mainly found in the brain. This explains its psychoactive effect. Psychoactive––this means THC makes us “high.” Since THC also has other positive effects, it’s used in the medical field, for example to treat severe pain.

In the case of over-the-counter products, such as food supplements, a psychoactive effect is of course undesirable, therefore only hemp extracts that do not contain THC may be used for these products.

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