The Science of Plant-Derived Cannabinoids

The Science of Plant-Derived Cannabinoids

There is a substantial body of evidence supporting the use of plant-derived cannabinoids (like CBD) in helping us lead healthier, more positive lives. Here's a look at the sometimes surprising science of how cannabinoids can offer our bodies and minds some much-needed support.

Like the opioid system in the body, the endocannabinoid system is named after the plants whose effects on humans have been known for thousands of years. The receptors for cannabinoids are located throughout our bodies and concentrated in the brain and nerves, as well as macrophages––vital immune cells found in our blood and tissues.

Stimulator molecules for these receptors are produced by our bodies at appropriate times. We have all either personally experienced or heard of the psychogenic effect or 'high' produced by smoking or ingesting cannabis. This is caused by THC, one of over 100 cannabinoid compounds that occurs in the plant. Another phenomenon which some of us have personally experienced is the 'runner’s high'––a sense of euphoria, well-being, and analgesia after intense exercise. Once thought to be caused by endorphins (internal opioid stimulator molecules), this effect has now conclusively been shown to be caused by endocannabinoids. Research has shown that acetaminophen (commonly known as Tylenol) appears to act through a metabolite which is a cannabinoid stimulator.    

Fascinatingly, as more and more places continue to legalize cannabis, the effects of CBD on THC-induced psychogenic effects has become clear: CBD doesn’t produce the cannabis 'high', but instead greatly modulates THC’s negative effects, including anxiety and memory loss. These experiences have all been extensively studied in animals and people.  

These properties demonstrated by cannabinoids have captured the attention of the pharmaceutical industry, which has already developed several drugs comprised of cannabinoids as single agents or mixtures.  Nabilone, a synthetic form of THC, has been approved for use in chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Epidiolex, a naturally-derived CBD used in high doses, has been approved for refractory seizure disorders such as Dravet syndrome or Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in children. Finally, Sativex, an oral mucosal spray composed of a 1:1 combination of naturally derived THC and CBD, has been approved for use in spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis.  

Although we are still early in the exploration of the benefits of cannabinoids, the progress to date has been outstanding. The safety profile of the non-psychogenic cannabinoids such as CBD, CBG, and CBN is particularly appealing.  Even at very high doses of CBD, side effects are minimal and include somnolence, decreased appetite, a mild anemia, sleep disorders, and liver test increases. None of these recorded effects were life threatening, and all were resolved. Furthermore, many of the effects of CBD have been found to vary at different doses. For example, effects on sleep and anxiety were found to be biphasic––at very low doses increasing anxiety, at moderate doses improving it, and at much higher doses causing recurrence of symptoms. This emphasizes the need for reliable delivery of drug and titration of dose for effect.

These key characteristics are at the heart of Impact Naturals' precise capsule formulation. Each capsule is designed to provide consistent measurements of each cannabinoid in optimal ratios, with certain minor cannabinoids boosted to higher levels than naturally occur in the plant to help amplify the benefits. Through constant lab analysis, we remove any variability between individual hemp harvests and batches of product to empower our customers to find their ideal dose.

Learn more about this patented CHYLOSOMA™ formulation and how it works.