Although I’ve been aware of the recent positive feedback of cannabis oil to various serious diseases, I was still skeptical to consider this as a viable solution for certain health disorders. After all, so many people these days are looking for the perfect miracle pill to solve their health issues! Was this another panacea? Was this another way of buying into the one size fits all treatments that come into the bottle, without being necessary to make any dietary and life style changes? Well, in the end, it all depends on how we really make use of these extracts that Nature provided us and how clearly we see the “big picture” of true healing. So it was time I found out more! I interviewed one of my colleagues with extensive knowledge on the matter – Steven Sinay, VP of Nutritional Science for Empower Genetics and a fellow Metabolic Typing® practitioner. This article is what he kindly shared with me on the very interesting topic of cannabis oil:
Raluca Schachter: What is cannabis oil more specifically and how does it work?
Steven Sinay: Cannabis Oil is a thick, sticky, resinous substance that is extracted from the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica). Cannabis oil is a base product that is prepared by separating the resins from the cannabis flowers (buds) using a solvent extraction process. Cannabis oil contains several Cannabinoids including Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component, and Cannabidiol (CBD), the medicinal component of cannabis.
For legal purposes becoming more commonly used over Cannabis oil, is Hemp oil which is being grown in Europe to have higher levels of CBD and with no THC. In 2001, the DEA issued a rule banning all import and cultivation of industrial grade hemp. In 2003, the Hemp Industries Association filed an Urgent Motion for Stay in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2004, the Ninth Circuit Court sided with the Hemp Industries Association.
In the decision, Judge Betty Fletcher wrote, “[T]hey (DEA) cannot regulate naturally occurring THC not contained within or derived from marijuana-i.e., non-psychoactive hemp is not included in Schedule I. The DEA has no authority to regulate drugs that are not scheduled, and it has not followed procedures required to schedule a substance. The DEA’s definition of “THC” contravenes the unambiguously expressed intent of Congress in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and cannot be upheld.”
Judge Fletcher is essentially saying that the DEA cannot regulate hemp or the chemicals within it because hemp contains no THC, is not marijuana, and is therefore not covered under the controlled substances act; and the DEA cannot regulate substances that have not been scheduled. This is why you can purchase and sell CBD hemp oil.
Over the last 20 years Cannabis has been at the center of one of the most exciting and underreported developments in recent modern science. Research on marijuana’s effects led directly to the discovery of an unknown biochemical communication system in the human body, the Endocannabinoid System, which plays a crucial role in regulating our physiology, mood, and everyday experience.
The discovery of receptors in the brain that respond pharmacologically to Cannabis and the subsequent identification of endogenous cannabinoid compounds in our own bodies that bind to these receptors has significantly advanced our understanding of human biology, health, and disease.
It is an established scientific fact that cannabinoids and other components of cannabis can modulate many physiological systems in the human brain and body. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that trigger cannabinoid and other receptors. More than 100 cannabinoids have been identified in the marijuana plant. Of these, THC and CBD have been studied most extensively. In addition to cannabinoids produced by the plant, there are endogenous cannabinoids (anandamide and 2AG) that occur naturally in the body, as well as synthetic cannabinoids created by pharmaceutical researchers.
Cannabinoids promote homeostasis at every level of biological life, from the sub-cellular, to the organism, and perhaps to the community and beyond. Here’s one example: autophagy, a process in which a cell sequesters part of its contents to be self-digested and recycled, is mediated by the cannabinoid system. While this process keeps normal cells alive, allowing them to maintain a balance between the synthesis, degradation, and subsequent recycling of cellular products, it has a deadly effect on malignant tumor cells, causing them to consume themselves in a programmed cellular suicide. The death of cancer cells, of course, promotes homeostasis and survival at the level of the entire organism.
Scientists associated with the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS) have elucidated a number of molecular pathways whereby CBD exerts a therapeutic impact. A preclinical study by Dr. Sean McAllister and his colleagues at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco reports on how CBD kills breast cancer by down regulating a gene called ID-1, which is implicated in several types of aggressive cancer. Silencing the ID-1 gene is thus is an excellent strategy for a cancer treatment.
Extensive preclinical research much of it sponsored by the U.S. Government (see U.S. Patent below) indicates that CBD has potent anti-tumoral, antioxidant, anti-spasmodic, anti-psychotic, anti-convulsive, and neuroprotective properties. CBD directly activates serotonin receptors, causing an anti-depressant effect, as well.
The United States Government holds U.S. Patent 6,630,507 (filed 1999) on Cannabinoids stating in their patent: “Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia. Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention.”
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