What makes Cannabis a medicinal plant?
In cannabis there are three main groups of substances: cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids
Cannabinoids – act on the endocannabinoid system in our bodies and support the immune system.
Flavonoids – provide the color to the inflorescence and also have many medicinal properties.
Terpene- provide the scent and flavor and have medicinal properties.
Cannabis helps to relieve pain, anxiety, nausea, and strengthening of the bones and immune system. It is imperative to use the inflorescence as is, or to perform an extract to obtain a cure for a variety of medical ailments.
Entourage Effect Entourage Effect describes the effective operation of combining the various ingredients together:
Describes the effect of all plant components combined providing better effect than each of the ingredients taken alone. For this reason, it’s better to consume the plant whole, rather than a pill containing a single component.
In photo: active ingredients in the trichomes
The cannabis plant
In cannabis over five hundred active substances are divided into three groups of substances:
Cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids.
Cannabinoids: About 160 cannabinoids are known. In the fresh plant, cannabinoids are acidic and have no psychoactive effect. After heating (decarboxylation by smoking, evaporation or preparation of heating extract), cannabinoids change from the acidic to the non-acidic. For example THCA becomes THC, CBDA becomes CBD. Every cannabinoid breaks down at a certain temperature. A plant that undergoes aging – the color of trichomonas changes from lintel to light brown color, it breaks down more cannabinoids and its effect is different from fresh plant. What is special about cannabinoids over other plant` pharmacological substances is that, like opium, they are absorbed in our body by receptors designed to absorb substances similar to cannabinoids in cannabis. Substances produced in our body called endocannabinoids.
Terpenes: The terpenes are the reason for the unique aromas of cannabis flowers and sometimes resemble the aromas of mango, lemon, chocolate, etc. They are also the ones that give the special smell of eucalyptus, the tingling taste of cinnamon and ginger. They have medical properties even when they are small. Pain relief, anti-anxiety, anti-nausea and strengthening the bones and the immune system. It is very important to use the inflorescence as it is or extract from the plant and thus obtain a cure for a variety of medical conditions. High quality cannabis contains a significant amount of terpenes called beta-caryophyllene, which is very effective in the treatment of pain, inflammation, atherosclerosis and osteoporosis. Beta-Caryophyllene is a special trapezoid that behaves like a cannabinoid because it activates a CB2 cannabinoid receptor. When this biological process occurs, it relaxes the immune system, increases bone density and relieves pain – all without high psychoactive effects and without damage to the central nervous system.
Flavonoids: Flavonoids are expressed by their yellow pigment (Flavus means yellow in Latin) their function is usually in attracting insects for pollination, however they also appear as blue and purple pigments, aiding the plant in absorbing certain light waves. The flavonoids give the inflorescence its color and protect the plant from ultra-violet radiation. They also have medicinal properties which we’re currently researching.
Unlike many traditional medications, cannabis is different because it affects each person differently. So how can the same plant give variable effects?
The first variable is mode of consumption. By smoking or evaporating, the effects can be felt in minutes. By indigestion, the effect can occur an hour later, and may continue on for several hours.
Another factor is the subspecies. By and large we can distinguish between the two major strains, and the various hybrids. Both strains, while considered cannabis, look completely different. Sativa has thin leaves and high stems. Indica is shorter and has wider leaves.
Users often describe different effects from using both strains. Sativa feels more energetic and euphoric while Indica gives a better “buzz”.
The reason for this is still unclear, as cannabis research is still in its infancy due to the Federal limitations in the United States, which still classify cannabis as an addictive drug without medicinal properties.
THC is the only active ingredient which causes a feeling of “high” which may explain the difference. It’s estimated by researchers that THC combined with different chemicals provide different effects.
The Entourage Effect – The cannabis plant has hundreds of active ingredients. When researchers isolated substances from the cannabis and examined their effects, they did not produce the same effect as the cannabis or extract from the whole plant, which is called: extract from a full plant. This means that the entire entourage is important for full effect..