How To Grow Hemp - Beginners Guide
While hemp has been around for quite a lot of time now, growing hemp is the newest trend in the cannabis industry. Hemp refers to the cannabis plants that people grow solely for industrial purposes. Hemp produces fiber, paper, textiles, and even animal feed. Today, people are also growing hemp for recreational and medical reasons. So, if you want to start your hemp farm, here is all you need to know about how to grow hemp:
1. Planting the hemp seeds:
The hemp seeds need consistent and moderate weather to grow. So, the ideal weather to plant will be late spring when the temperature ranges from 16 degrees Celsius to 27 degrees Celsius. Moreover, you can check the temperature of the soil to make sure it is well above 10 degrees Celsius.
Once the temperature is right, the next step would be to check if the soil is healthy. To ascertain that, you can conduct a pH test with the paper test strips. If the pH level varies from 6 to 7.5 on the paper, the soil is healthy. Another important point that you must consider here is that hemp grows better in soils that have proper drainage. To test the soil, dig a hole and fill it up with water. And in case the water takes more than 1 hour to drain, start looking for another location.
Now you can start putting the seeds into the soil. Bury them deep to ensure the birds and pests cannot get to them. If you plan on harvesting the seeds, you might want to spread the seeds. It will help the plants to grow shorter due to branching out. But, if you are growing it for the fibers, sowing them apart will do the trick. If it seems to be too tiresome, you can always take help from a seed trill or a lawnmower. Here’s a cheap marijuana grow room setup how-to article to help you out in your quest for the best cannabis yield.
2. Taking good care of the crops:
Once you have sown the seeds, the next major task for you is to care for the plants. Put your finger into the soil till your knuckle and check the moisture level. If it feels dry, you can water the farm till the point that the water reaches at least 2 inches deep. During the initial 2 weeks of sowing, hemp needs water consistently to grow. Post that, they are resistant to drought and can go a few days without water.
Fertilizers are as important for hemp plants as it is for any other. But in the case of hemp, you must go for nitrogen-rich fertilizers. Once the seeds have germinated, you can out fertilizers only once, that too between the rows of plants and not on them directly. Do not forget to water the plants right after.
With hemp plants, the chances of weed growing into your farm are very less. To be sure, you can use herbicide on the hemp after germination. It will protect the hemp plants while they are still growing.
3. Harvesting the fibers:
Once the harvest is ready, get your sickle out and start collecting the stalks. Try to cut the stalks as close to the ground as possible to get the maximum fibers. If you have a large farm and larger crop, get a sickle bar attachment for your tractor to help you with the task. After you have all the stalks, pile them on top of each other and leave them in the open for at least 5 weeks. It will give them to rot, and the microbes will make sure that the stems separate from each other.
Once this process is over, your next step is to dry the stalks in a cool and dry area. They need to be completely dry before harvesting, so make sure that the level of moisture in the stems is below 15%. If they are dry, you can get a decorticator to separate the fiber from the hemp stalks.
4. Collecting hemp seeds:
If you aim to get the nutritious hemp seeds, check the seed pods which are present near the flowers. Once they are hard, most of the leaves of the plant will fall, and you can cut the seed pod off the stalk. After collecting all the pods, in a well-ventilated area, lay down a tarp and spread all the seeds on it. To get to the seeds, break the pods with a bat and gather them. Separate all the leaves and stems from the seeds, by either winnowing or renting an industrial winnower if you have a large crop. Lastly, put the seeds in an air-tight container and store them in a cool place.
Growing hemp is no easy feat, but by following the right steps you can get a good yield. Spring season is always a good time to sow so that hemp plants can flourish well during the summer. Before you begin farming, cross-check the laws for your state and country to see if it is even legal to grow hemp. Well, if you feel farming is too much of a hassle for you, you can try vaping, which is another ‘it’ trend of the cannabis industry.
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CBD for Cancer
Scientific Confidence Grade Effect Size Rating Editorial Note C ** Laboratory studies and controlled trials have already shown that CBD can help reduce cancer pain and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in cancer patients. However, clinical trials are just being started to study whether CBD can be used to treat cancer directly in human patients. Promising results in both petri-dish and animal studies have led to human trials being planned to investigate the use of CBD in killing cancer cells. However, no results have been reported yet. CBD and other cannabinoids have shown to slow down and kill cancer cells in animals. But research in humans is still lacking. CBD for Cancer (November 2020) CBD can stimulate the body’s endocannabinoid system, a neuromodulatory system influencing various physiological processes and possibly disease progression. How might CBD be useful in treating cancer? Cannabis contains a variety of compounds called cannabinoids that can elicit different effects on the body through the endocannabinoid system (ECS) – a neuromodulatory system that may influence the development and progression of diseases. So far, cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabinoids have largely only been looked at to alleviate cancer pain and to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. However, some cell-based and animal studies have suggested that you might be able to use CBD for cancer due to its anti-tumor effects on certain cancer types. Cancer Overview Cancer is an extremely complex group of over 100 different diseases, but they all involve the uncontrolled growth and division of the body’s cells. Normal cells in the body grow and divide in a controlled manner. They follow signals produced by the body that direct when the cells should and shouldn’t divide. For instance, cells will be instructed to grow and divide when there’s a wound to repair.1 But cancer begins when cells break free of these normal constraints and can begin growing and dividing uncontrollably. This happens through the accumulation of certain mutations or changes to the cell’s DNA. Some of these mutations can be inherited from parents, which is why family history can sometimes be an indicator of cancer risk.2 American actress Angelina Jolie famously decided to undergo a double mastectomy after having lost her mother to ovarian cancer and finding out that she inherited a mutation in the BRCA1 gene – which placed her at a higher risk of developing cancer herself. However, the National Cancer Institute estimates that only approximately 5-10% of cancers are inherited. Most mutations occur after birth and are caused by carcinogens – substances that can cause DNA damage – or other environmental factors:3,4 Alcohol – Research suggests that about 3.6% of cancers have a high correlation with chronic daily alcohol consumption. Smoking tobacco – More than 85% of all lung cancers have a high correlation with tobacco smoking. Among the 4,000 chemicals that have been identified in tobacco smoke, almost 40 of them are known to be carcinogenic. Viruses and bacteria – Some infectious agents such as HPVs (human papillomaviruses), hepatitis B and C, and helicobacter pylori can damage cells and tissues, increasing the risk of developing certain types of cancers. Ultraviolet Radiation – UV rays from the sun, sunlamps, and tanning booths can damage exposed skin and increase the risk of skin cancer. Pollutants – Many air and water pollutants are carcinogenic such as arsenic in polluted groundwater and chemicals from diesel exhaust. Aging – Most cancers occur in people over the age of 55, largely because it can take time for cells to accumulate enough mutations to become cancerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States and is exceeded only by heart disease. There are an estimated 1.6 million new cases of cancer every year and nearly 600,000 cancer-related deaths. Cancer Subtypes and Classification Depending on the type of cell that becomes cancerous, their behavior and response to treatment can vary. Most cancers fall into three main groups: Carcinomas – this includes approximately 90% of cancers and arise in epithelial cells that line the skin, internal organs, and blood vessels. Most lung, breast, colon, and prostate cancers are carcinomas. Leukemias and Lymphomas – these account for approximately 8% of cancers and arise from blood cells and cells from the immune system, respectively. Sarcomas – these are cancers that lead to tumors in connective tissues such as muscle, bone, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. Cancers can then be further classified based on the tissues that they originate from. For instance, ductal breast carcinomas are a type of breast cancer that originates from cells that line the milk duct in the breast. Can CBD help with Cancer: Cancer Pain and Nausea Cannabinoids, including CBD, have gained popularity in the biomedical field due to their potential anti-cancer effects and use in managing other symptoms – such as pain and nausea – in cancer patients. Significant research has already shown that cannabinoids – particularly tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – can be used to treat nausea caused by cancer chemotherapy. In fact, there are two FDA approved synthetic THCs – Dronabinol and Nabilone – for use in treating chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.5 THC is the principal psychoactive component of cannabis and when consumed can cause the feelings of “euphoria” or “high” that is typically associated with cannabis.10 CBD is non-psychoactive and does not lead to those same sensations. Cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Endocannabinoids are naturally produced chemicals in the human body that play a role in regulating various biological processes. Research is ongoing to confirm how the ECS is involved in regulating brain function, pain, immunity, and metabolism. Cannabinoids such as THC and CBD can mimic these natural “endocannabinoids” and can bind to endocannabinoid receptors including CB1 and CB2, causing similar effects. THC can stimulate the CB1 receptor and prevent the release of hormones that trigger nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy.6 CBD is thought to elicit a similar response by preventing the breakdown of natural endocannabinoids. A 2010 randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled study in Spain found that patients with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting benefited from using a 1:1 THC and CBD spray – 71% reported no vomiting as compared to 22% with the placebo.7 A review of 8 different clinical trials also found that cannabinoids reduced neuropathic and cancer pain in patients as compared to a placebo (37% reduction with cannabinoids versus 31% with a placebo).8 Early studies on the drug, Nabiximol, a 1:1 THC and CBD spray also found a reduction in patient-reported cancer pain as compared to a placebo.9 These studies so far suggest that THC and CBD can have anti-nausea and anti-pain effects. However, most trials have relied on using THC and CBD together, so it’s not clear yet whether CBD can elicit the same level of benefit on its own. Can CBD help with Cancer: Anti-Cancer Effects Apart from its use in managing cancer-related pain and nausea, CBD products (such as CBD oil) are also being investigated for possible anti-cancer effects. Studies on cancer cells have shown that many cancer types – including breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancer cells – all have higher than average numbers of CB1 and CB2 receptors.10 In some studies, researchers found that the elevated levels of CB receptors in certain cancer cells were correlated with more aggressive tumors. In some instances, these cells with more highly activated CB receptors were more mobile and divided faster – possibly helping them to become more invasive.11 However, in other cancer types, such as colorectal cancer, researchers have found a lower number of CB1 receptors. A study on mice with colorectal tumors showed a correlation between lower levels of CB1 receptors and faster cancer progression.12 These differences suggest there’s a lot more about how the ECS influences cancer development that has not yet been unraveled. Likewise, it remains to be determined whether CBD could be influencing other biological systems in the body outside of the ECS and CB receptors and, in general, if you can use CBD for cancer. In petri-dish studies, the addition of CBD has been shown to kill or slow down different types of cancer cells including glioblastoma, leukemia, melanoma, lung, breast, cervical, and prostate cancer cell lines.13 In mice, CBD has also been shown to slow down “angiogenesis,” a process by which new blood vessels are created to supply oxygen and nutrients to cells. Tumors rely on this process to gain access to nutrients needed for growth. By blocking angiogenesis, CBD could be useful in preventing tumors from growing.14 What Does the Research Say? Many new follow-up studies have since been done to examine how CBD and other cannabinoids influence cancer development in animals. However, some of the results have been conflicting.15 The first reported study of using CBD and other cannabinoids to slow tumor growth in animals was done in 1975. Lung cancer was transplanted into animals which were then given THC or CBD over 10 days. Researchers found that THC had a dose-dependent ability to slow tumor growth while CBD had no effect. However, in more recent studies, CBD has been shown to have anti-tumor effects in other types of cancers. In mice transplanted with human glioma cells – a kind of brain cancer – CBD at a dose of between 15-20 mg/kg administered over 18-28 days was effective in reducing tumor size and prolonging the animals’ survival.16 A similar anti-cancer effect was seen in mice transplanted with other cancer types as well. In mouse models transplanted with human breast cancer, CBD administered at 10mg/kg blocked tumor growth and prevented metastasis – a process where cancer cells can move from one organ to colonize a different one.17 In mice injected with lung cancer cells, treating them with 5mg/kg CBD prevented the cancer cells from colonizing the lungs by 84%.18 While these early animal studies have been promising, no work has yet been completed to evaluate the use of CBD for treating cancer in human patients. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem, Israel, is looking to recruit 60 participants into a clinical trial to assess the use of pure CBD in treating solid tumor cancers. Recruitment has not yet begun. Similarly, a Spanish neurological oncology research group, GEINO, is looking to test a 1:1 THC and CBD combination drug to treat glioblastoma, a type of brain tumor with a median survival time of only approximately 12 months. THC and CBD will be used alongside the chemotherapy drug temozolomide and radiotherapy. Doctors hope to see if hemp's properties will be complementary medications not only for preventing the growth of cancer cells but also in treating side effects of chemotherapy, such as neuropathic pain. Recruitment has not yet begun. Trying CBD for Cancer While initial laboratory and animal research surrounding the use of CBD and other cannabinoids in cancer treatment has been promising, there isn’t enough evidence that they can be effective for treating cancer in humans. As such, health organizations including the American Cancer Society caution against relying on cannabinoids alone as a treatment for cancer while avoiding or delaying conventional medical care. Even with using CBD to treat cancer-related pain, nausea, or vomiting, users should seek out the advice and support of the medical professionals treating their cancer first. It is also important to keep in mind that while CBD is generally safe and well-tolerated, it can also cause a wide range of side effects.19 Some of these can include:20 Tiredness Drowsiness Diarrhea Nausea Dry mouth Low blood pressure Light-headedness Changes in appetite or weight Conclusion Significant foundational research has already been done in both cell culture and animal studies indicating an anti-cancer effect for CBD. But without human trials, it’s not clear if it's effective to use CBD for cancer in human trials. Nonetheless, it’s clear that the link between cancer development and the ECS makes CBD a promising avenue for cancer therapy research. References 1 Greenhalgh, D. G. “The role of growth factors in wound healing.” Journal of Trauma. 41 (1996): 159-67. 2 Pomerantz, M. M. and Matthew L. Freedman. “The genetics of cancer risk.” Cancer. 17 (2011):416-422. 3 Parsa, N. “Environmental factors inducing human cancers.” Iranian Journal of Public Health. 41 (2012): 1-9. 4 Boffetta, P. and Mia Hashibe. “Alcohol and cancer.” The Lancet Oncology. 7 (2006): 149-156. 5 Pertwee, Roger G. “Emerging strategies for exploiting cannabinoid receptor agonists as medicines.” British Journal of Pharmacology. 156 (2009): 397-411. 6 Van Sickle, M. D., et al. “Cannabinoids inhibit emesis through CB1 receptors in the brainstem of the ferret.” Gastroenterology. 121 (2001): 767-774. 7 Duran, M., et al. “Preliminary efficacy and safety of an oromucosal standardized cannabis extract in chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.” British Journal of Pharmacology. 70 (2010): 656-663. 8 Whiting, Penny F. et al. “Cannabinoids for medical use a systematic review and meta-analysis.” JAMA. 313 (2015): 2456-2473. 9 Johnson, Jeremy R. et al. “Multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of THC:CBD extract and THC extract in patients with intractable cancer-related pain.” Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 39 (2010): 167-179. 10 Daris, Barbara, Mojca Tancer Verboten, Zeljko Knez, and Polonca Ferk. “Cannabinoids in cancer treatment: Therapeutic potential and legislation.” Journal of the Association of Basic Medical Sciences. 19 (2019): 14-23. 11 Velasco, Guillermo, Christina Sanchez, and Manuel Guzman. “Endocannabinoids and cancer.” Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology. 231 (2015): 449-472. 12 Wang, D. et al. “Loss of cannabinoid receptor 1 accelerates intestinal tumor growth.” Cancer Research. 68 (2008): 6468-6476. 13 Kovalchuk, Olga, and Igor Kovalchuk. “Cannabinoids as anticancer therapeutic agents.” Cell Cycle. 19 (2020): 961-989. 14 Solinas, M. et al. “Cannabidiol inhibits angiogenesis by multiple mechanisms.” British Journal of Pharmacology. 167 (2012): 1218-1232. 15 Munson, A. E., L. S. Harris, M. A. Friedman, W. L. Dewey, and R. A. Carchman. “Antineopalstic activity of cannabinoids.” Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 55 (1975): 597-602. 16 Massi, P. et al. “Antitumor effects of cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, on human glioma cell lines.” Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 308 (2004): 839-845. 17 Elbaz, M. et al. “Modulation of the tumor microenvironment and inhibition of EGF/EGFR pathway: Novel anti-tumor mechanisms of cannabidiol in breast cancer.” Molecular Oncology. 9 (2015): 906-919. 18 Ramer, R. et al. “Cannabidiol inhibits cancer cell invasion via upregulation of tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases-1.” Biochemical Pharmacology. 79 (2010): 955-966. 19 Bergamaschi, M. M., R. H. Queiroz, and A. W. Zuardi. “Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent.” Current Drug Safety. 6 (2011): 237-249. 20 Huestis, Marilyn A. et al. “Cannabidiol adverse effects and toxicity.” Current Neuropharmacology. 17 (2019): 974-989.
Guide to Cannabinoids: Cannabinol (CBN)
Cannabinol (CBN) Introductory Guide Most people have heard of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). They’re the two most abundant cannabinoids in cannabis and play a major role in its effects. But they’re not alone. Cannabis contains many other minor cannabinoids, including cannabinol (CBN). Despite being the first cannabinoid to be isolated from the plant in 1896, CBN hasn’t received much attention.1 That’s because most minor cannabinoids are present in only trace amounts. Some people recognize CBN as the compound that makes old weed more sedating, but there’s a lot more to it. And many are starting to realize this. You may have seen CBN products hit the market recently. So, what is CBN oil and what can it be used for? We invite you to follow along as we take a deeper look. What is Cannabinol (CBN)? CBN is one of more than 120 different active components, or cannabinoids, found in the cannabis plant.2 THC breaks down into CBN over time, especially when exposed to oxygen.3 This is why CBN concentrations are very small in raw cannabis but can reach significant levels in older, dried plants. Most of the cannabinoids in cannabis are considered “minor” because their concentrations are quite small — less than 1%. CBN is one such cannabinoid. Like CBD, CBN is completely non-intoxicating, so it can’t get you high. Interest in CBN has been steadily growing because it appears to have a wide variety of potential health benefits. Some people even consider CBN and other minor cannabinoids to be the “next big thing” following in the footsteps of CBD’s success. Is Cannabinol Legal? Yes, as long as CBN is derived from hemp, it’s completely legal. Hemp is one of the two main kinds of cannabis, the other being marijuana. By definition, marijuana has significant THC levels, whereas hemp contains 0.3% or less of this intoxicating cannabinoid. The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp an agricultural commodity in the United States, which means that any cannabinoid product sourced from it is also legal. CBN extracted from any type of cannabis is also legal in Canada. As for the rest of the world, the legality of CBN can vary. Some countries ban cannabis (including hemp) completely, which means any part or extract of the plant — including CBN — is illegal. Meanwhile, in other places where hemp is legal, CBD, CBN, and any other cannabinoid derived from hemp are also legal. However, because hemp plants have low THC levels and CBN comes from the breakdown of THC, it can be difficult and expensive to make CBN products from hemp. As such, most CBN products are sourced from marijuana and only sold in states and countries where it’s legal. How Does Cannabinol Work? Like most cannabinoids, CBN seems to work by interacting with your endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system regulates all major bodily processes, including brain function, metabolism, and sleep, to maintain homeostasis — a healthy state of balance. The ECS is composed of three major parts: 4 Endocannabinoids — cannabinoids produced on-demand by your body. Enzymes that help build and break down endocannabinoids. Cannabinoid receptors are found in all parts of the body. The CB1 receptor is especially common in the brain and the CB2 receptor in immune system cells.5 Cannabinoid receptors can be activated by both “endo” (naturally produced in the body) and “phyto” (plant-derived) cannabinoids. For example, the phytocannabinoid THC produces most of its effects by binding CB1.6 As for CBN, research suggests that it has a lower attraction to CB1 receptors than THC, but a higher one for CB2 receptors, which means it might have stronger effects on the immune rather than the nervous system.7 Still, we don’t know enough about how CBN works because most minor cannabinoids are not well-researched. It’s quite possible that it may affect other parts of the body aside from the ECS, similar to CBD. CBN also contributes to the “entourage effect” — the proposed synergy between cannabinoids and other active components of cannabis, which strengthen their overall effects.8 This effect means that using whole-plant cannabis is better than isolated compounds, such as CBD or CBN on their own. The entourage effect has been demonstrated by multiple studies. In the case of CBN, for example, studies in rabbits and rats have shown that it can synergize with THC, enhancing its sedating and intoxicating effects.9 However, more research is needed to explain exactly how CBN works, what it may be able to treat, and how it contributes to the entourage effect. Where to Buy CBN Oil? CBN can come in many product forms. For now, CBN oil is the most common but cannabinol can theoretically be offered in all of the same product types as CBD, including capsules, isolates, edibles, topicals, and vape products. Just like CBD products, the best place to buy CBN is online. They’re just starting to appear because most legal cannabis products are made from hemp, which has naturally lower CBN and THC levels. CBN can come in several formulations. The simplest one is isolate: pure cannabinol and nothing else. You can also find whole-plant CBN preparations. These typically combine full-spectrum hemp extract with CBN isolate to create a product that has high CBD and CBN levels and maintains all of the other cannabinoids found in hemp. This type of product shouldn’t be confused with a regular full-spectrum CBD extract. Standard full-spectrum CBD can contain CBN but only in very small amounts. Similarly, you might also be able to find broad-spectrum CBN products, which are the same as full-spectrum formulations but with zero THC. Whole-plant hemp products also contain many other natural substances, including terpenes — aromatic molecules responsible for the characteristic aromas and flavors of plants, including various cannabis strains.10 Terpenes play a notable role in the entourage effect by not only providing beneficial effects of their own but also working in synergy with cannabinoids. For example, terpenes can enhance the passage of cannabinoids across the blood-brain barrier, enhancing their efficacy.11 Finally, some products combine CBN isolate with CBD isolate for a 1:1 formula. Cannabinol Effects There are few studies of CBN and most of the research is restricted to investigations in animals. So far, all we know is that CBN can enhance the sedating and intoxicating effects of THC and may have other beneficial properties, such as suppressing appetite. With this, some researchers suggest it may be able to be used as a sleep aid or to alleviate anxiety. But we don’t know much about its potential side effects and drug interactions, especially after prolonged use. Cannabinol Dosage The right amount of CBN to take is different for everyone. That’s because the optimal dosage of any cannabinoid is influenced by many factors, such as your body weight, genetics, and medical symptoms. Additionally, CBN and other cannabinoid products can come in various formulations, concentrations, and consumption methods, which will further affect your dosage. For example, cannabinoids are known to have poor oral absorption,12 so you’ll need to take higher doses of an oral CBN product (such as capsules) to achieve the same effects as a sublingual oil. As for actual amounts, there’s very little research data for CBN dosages. However, one good starting point is the doses used for CBD, which is another non-intoxicating cannabinoid with similar effects. Most people take about 10-50 mg of CBD once or twice daily. Using this information, you can start with a CBN dose of about 10-15 mg and see how it makes you feel. If there’s no effect, you can gradually raise the dosage over time until you start noticing the desired benefits. Choosing the Right Type of CBN Extract You also have to consider what type of CBN formulation you want to use. If you want nothing but pure CBN, you should look for products containing isolate. Meanwhile, if you want to benefit from the entourage effect, you should look for a full-spectrum cannabis formulation.13 In most cases, this will be a standard whole-plant CBD extract that’s been enriched with CBN, so it will contain all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other potentially beneficial hemp phytochemicals. Finally, if you want to maximize the benefits of hemp but avoid ingesting THC, you should look for a broad-spectrum CBN formulation. These products will have all of the same ingredients as a full-spectrum extract but undergo an additional step to remove THC. CBN Benefits and Health Conditions CBN has been examined in multiple scientific studies. As with other cannabinoids, the research suggests that CBN may have multiple health applications. Here’s an overview of the key findings: CBN may have anti-inflammatory properties.14 CBN may have antibacterial effects.15 CBN may have anticonvulsant effects that can help with seizures, although it’s weaker than CBD and THC.16 CBN may have neuroprotective qualities. In one study, cannabinol delayed the development of the neurodegenerative condition amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in mice.17 CBN may have appetite-stimulating properties. In one animal study, it significantly increased the food intake of mice.18 CBN may have analgesic effects; it reduced muscle pain in a rat study.19 Having said that, CBN is a relatively under-researched cannabinoid and most of these effects have not yet been studied in humans. But we can expect more findings in the years to come, especially as the interest in minor cannabinoids continues to grow. Does CBN Help with Sleep? There’s a popular belief that CBN has a potent sedative or sleep-promoting effects. Unfortunately, this is a misconception based on the observation that old, dried cannabis — which has higher CBN concentrations — seems to make people more sleepy. While it is true that CBN is higher in aged cannabis, it’s not necessarily the compound responsible for its notable sedative effects. For one, dried, old cannabis tends to contain higher levels of sedating, oxygenated sesquiterpenes, compounds closely related to terpenes.20 Also, CBN may be able to enhance the sedating effects of other cannabinoids. This was demonstrated by an older study where the researchers gave people pure THC, CBN, or both. CBN did not make people sleepy or high on its own. However, when the study participants took both cannabinoids together, they reported feeling more drugged, drunk, dizzy, and drowsy compared to THC alone.21 This is also a great example of CBN’s role in the entourage effect. Frequently Asked Questions What is CBN oil good for? We don’t know enough about the effects of CBN oil to say what it might be good for. However, it may work well for aiding sleep if it contains significant amounts of THC or other cannabinoids with sedative properties. What is the difference between CBD and CBN oil? The key difference is in the amount of CBN. CBD oil might contain low levels of CBN, whereas a proper CBN oil will have high concentrations of CBN, typically about as much or more than CBD. What are the effects of CBN? So far researchers have found that CBN may have anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, antibacterial, neuroprotective, anticonvulsant, and appetite-stimulating effects. But these have not yet been confirmed in human studies. It also seems to enhance the intoxicating and sedating effects of THC. Which is better for sleep CBD or CBN? It’s far too early to say because there isn’t any significant research evidence backing either cannabinoid. Anecdotally, many people have found that CBD can help them sleep. Similarly, some have reported getting better sleep after taking CBN, especially when it’s combined with THC and other cannabinoids. References 1. Hanuš, Lumír Ond?ej, et al. "Phytocannabinoids: a unified critical inventory." Natural product reports 33.12 (2016): 1357-1392. 2. Morales, Paula, Dow P. Hurst, and Patricia H. Reggio. "Molecular targets of the phytocannabinoids: a complex picture." Phytocannabinoids. Springer, Cham, 2017. 103-131. 3. Brenneisen, Rudolf. "Chemistry and analysis of phytocannabinoids and other Cannabis constituents." Marijuana and the Cannabinoids. Humana Press, 2007. 17-49. 4. Lu, Hui-Chen, and Ken Mackie. "An introduction to the endogenous cannabinoid system." Biological psychiatry 79.7 (2016): 516-525. 5. Turcotte, Caroline, et al. "The CB 2 receptor and its role as a regulator of inflammation." Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 73.23 (2016): 4449-4470. 6. Hua, Tian, et al. "Crystal structure of the human cannabinoid receptor CB1." Cell 167.3 (2016): 750-762. 7. Andre, Christelle M., Jean-Francois Hausman, and Gea Guerriero. "Cannabis sativa: the plant of the thousand and one molecules." Frontiers in plant science 7 (2016): 19. 8. Russo, Ethan B. "The case for the entourage effect and conventional breeding of clinical cannabis: no “strain,” no gain." Frontiers in plant science 9 (2019): 1969. 9. Takahashi, R. N., and I. G. Karniol. "Pharmacological interaction between cannabinol and D9-tetrahydrocannabinol." Psychopharmacologia (1975). 10. Cox-Georgian, Destinney, et al. "Therapeutic and medicinal uses of terpenes." Medicinal Plants. Springer, Cham, 2019. 333-359. 11. Hartsel, Joshua A., et al. "Cannabis sativa and Hemp." Nutraceuticals. Academic Press, 2016. 735-754. 12. Bruni, Natascia, et al. "Cannabinoid delivery systems for pain and inflammation treatment." Molecules 23.10 (2018): 2478. 13. Maayah, Zaid H., et al. "The anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of formulated full-spectrum cannabis extract in the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis." Inflammation Research (2020): 1-10. 14. Zurier, Robert B., and Sumner H. Burstein. "Cannabinoids, inflammation, and fibrosis." The FASEB Journal 30.11 (2016): 3682-3689. 15. Appendino, Giovanni, et al. "Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: a structure− activity study." Journal of natural products 71.8 (2008): 1427-1430. 16. Karler, Ralph, William Cely, and Stuart A. Turkanis. "The anticonvulsant activity of cannabidiol and cannabinol." Life Sciences 13.11 (1973): 1527-1531. 17. Weydt, Patrick, et al. "Cannabinol delays symptom onset in SOD1 (G93A) transgenic mice without affecting survival." Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis 6.3 (2005): 182-184. 18. Farrimond, Jonathan A., Benjamin J. Whalley, and Claire M. Williams. "Cannabinol and cannabidiol exert opposing effects on rat feeding patterns." 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CBD May Be Able to Reduce Lung Inflammation in COVID-19 Cases
CBD Reduces Lung Inflammation in Respiratory Illnesses Like COVID-19, Pneumonia, and More Recent research has highlighted a potential role for CBD in reducing lung damage caused by acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) – a common condition seen in patients with COVID-19, lung infections, severe pneumonia, and other respiratory diseases or injuries. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over a hundred naturally occurring compounds found in hemp and cannabis. But unlike other cannabinoids such as THC, CBD is completely non-intoxicating. It has long been suggested that CBD can have anti-inflammatory properties due to the molecules’ ability to interact with the human endocannabinoid system – a signaling network between cells that can control immune responses. Recent studies in animals have confirmed that CBD can be used to treat excessive lung inflammation seen in ARDS and other respiratory illnesses. Studies Suggest CBD can Reduce ARDS-Associated Lung Damage Early research from the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University has recently shown that pure CBD can help lungs recover from ARDS and restore healthy oxygen levels. “ARDS is a major killer in severe cases of some respiratory viral infections, including [COVID-19],” said immunologist and study author Babak Baban. “We have an urgent need for better intervention and treatment strategies.” ARDS trigger what researchers call a “cytokine storm.” Cytokines are important molecules secreted by immune cells to communicate and coordinate recovery efforts. However, in ARDS there is an overproduction of these cytokines, creating a dangerous overactive immune response. In the confusion, immune cells can begin inadvertently attacking the lungs, furthering the damage. No cure is currently available for ARDS, and most patients with ARDS will require ventilator support. Mechanical ventilators can take over the breathing functions for the patient, giving the lungs a chance to recover from the infection. However, studies suggest that even with ventilators, approximately 27% of patients with ARDS will die, with the risk of death increases with age and severity of illness. In their studies, the research team triggered ARDS in mice using three doses of foreign RNA molecules similar to those found in respiratory viruses such as COVID-19. Afterward, some mice were given a CBD treatment shot in the abdomen every other day for a total of three days. The timeline was specifically designed to mimic a human patient seeking medical care after experiencing troubled breathing. In mice administered pure CBD, oxygen levels went up and temperatures and cytokine levels went down over time. Additional analysis of the lung tissues further showed that CBD significantly prevented physical lung damage such as scarring and swelling. The finding suggests that CBD can quell the overactive immune response seen in ARDS. However, if CBD is given too early, co-author and physician-scientist Dr. Jack Yu said it may interfere with the body’s healthy immune response. A second study by the research team has further shown that one way CBD appears to reduce ARDS-associated lung damage is through increasing the anti-inflammatory molecule, apelin. Apelin levels decrease during viral infection, but “CBD almost brought it back to a normal level,” Yu said. Because of the association, the team suggests that low apelin levels could be an early indicator of ARDS, however, whether CBD protects the lungs through other mechanisms as well will require additional studies. Synthetic CBD for COVID-19 Currently in Phase-1 Clinical Trial The growing research interest surrounding the use of CBD to treat ARDS has led to the development of a synthetic CBD-based drug, ARDS-003, which has been granted FDA approval to begin phase-1 clinical trials. The drug is under development by Tetra-Bio-Pharma, a pharmaceutical company focused on cannabinoid-derived drug development. Unlike pure CBD, which is purified from the cannabis plant, ARDS-003 is synthetically derived but can interact with the same immune signaling network CBD does – the human endocannabinoid system. “We have extensive preclinical evidence that the active pharmaceutical ingredient in ARDS-003 has a profound effect in inhibiting factors that lead to excessive immune system activation,” Tetra Bio-Pharma CEO Guy Chamberland told Forbes. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study is scheduled to begin enrollment in December 2020. If successful, the company plans to begin phase 2 studies in the second quarter of 2021. CBD May Also Prevent Lung Damage in Other Respiratory Diseases While most research on the use of CBD is currently centered around COVID-19, ARDS can be seen in a variety of respiratory illnesses such as influenza, pneumonia, sepsis, and other physical lung and chest injuries. A Brazilian research team has found that CBD can improve lung function and inflammation in mice with acute lung injuries. CBD has also been shown to reduce airway inflammation in mice with allergic asthma, the most common type of asthma that can be triggered through allergens such as pollen, dust, and smoke. Considering the positive effects observed with CBD thus far and the importance of the endocannabinoid system in the human body, Baban’s research team said in their study that “it is plausible CBD may be used as a therapeutic candidate in the treatment of various inflammatory conditions.”