Healing with Cannabis

#002: Can Cannabis Compounds Help In Healing?

There are many different names used around cannabis, including weed, hemp, marijuana, CBD, and THC. Some of these names are used interchangeably, without a true understanding of how these biologics really are different. In this podcast, I discuss the medical applications of specific compounds derived from cannabis. And as always, the purpose of this show is educational, and should not be taken as medical advice.

Marijuana and hemp are regulated differently because they are recognized by the government as having different properties. Marijuana’s THC level is 5% and above, while recreational marijuana’s THC is 5%. Hemp-derived cannabis, on the other hand, has just 0.3% THC levels.

Hemp can be transported between states, but because only a few states have legalized marijuana, it must stay interstate.

Studies have shown that single-molecule products are not as effective as the entire botanical plant, but CBD and THC are often extracted and used on their own in the cannabis industry. I think that the entourage effect is lost when these two chemicals are isolated. There are over 600 other chemicals present in cannabis, and the whole effect of these compounds working together is lost when we focus on just one compound.

The taste and smell of cannabis are going to be affected by the soil, weather, and farming conditions that it’s grown in. It’s only natural to also realize that this will cause cannabis plants from all over the world to be botanically different and that in turn will affect the medicinal properties of it.

Inside this podcast, I discuss the terpenes present in cannabis, their unique smells, and the positive pharmaceutical application of these molecules, including their proven use as:

As always, I like to close with a fun fact about cannabis. When someone is taking a cannabinoid as an edible, I like to tell people to start slow and go slow. Edible cannabinoid absorbs slower than a transdermal or inhalation application of cannabis and it will take a while before the effect of the drug will be felt.

  • sedatives
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Analgesics
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Antidepressants
  • Antifungals
  • And more

As always, I like to close with a fun fact about cannabis. When someone is taking a cannabinoid as an edible, I like to tell people to start slow and go slow. Edible cannabinoid absorbs slower than a transdermal or inhalation application of cannabis and it will take a while before the effect of the drug will be felt.

What’s Inside:​

  • I discuss the specific benefits of different cannabinoid compounds.
  • Is the extraction of single molecules the most beneficial way to use cannabis?
  • The different ways that cannabis can be used in a medical application.
  • How edible cannabinoids differ from transdermal or inhalation applications.

Listen And Learn

Transcription:

Download episode transcript in PDF format here…

TRANSCRIPT

This show is for educational purpose and should not be taken as medical advice. Welcome to Let’s Talk About Medical Weed with Dr. O, a clinical pharmacist certified in medical cannabis. Every week you’ll learn about alternative ways to improve your health and wellbeing using the healing power of botanicals such as cannabinoids. Here’s your host, Lola Ohonba.

Hi guys. Welcome to episode two of Let’s Talk About Medical Weed with Dr. O. I’m glad you are able to join me today. My name is Lola Ohonba, I’m a clinical pharmacist specializing in medical cannabis. This show is for you if you are looking for alternative ways to maintain your health and wellbeing using the healing power of botanicals such as cannabis. This show is also for you if you are a healthcare provider or health specialists looking for evidence-based data to console your client’s cannabinoid and cannabis products. And it’s also for you if you are a young adult, active young adult, looking for alternative ways to replenish loss of energy during the regular day to day activities.

Before we get into the details of today’s show, allow me to say that the purpose of this show is educational. Any data or information presented should not be taken as medical advice. If you need any medical advice, please consult with your physician and please do not take any medication or supplement without consulting with your primary physician. Today’s topic is what I called the entourage effect: one will chase a thousand, 400 will chase how many? So, we will get into the details of that as the show goes back.

In this episode, I talk about the difference between marijuana and industrial hemp. I also talk about the entourage effect and its advantage in the full spectrum cannabis plant. Finally, we are going to be looking into the terpenes and its potential benefits in our daily lives. At the end of the show, I will give you one of my cannabis fun facts that you absolutely do not want to miss, so stay tuned.

I’m sure we’ve all heard about marijuana, hemp, weed. So, what is in a name? What is so special about that name, marijuana, weed, hemp? Hemp, marijuana, weed, they all belong to the same families of the cannabis family. But the difference between hemp and marijuana is that the difference is indeed level of THC that is still in this product. For marijuana, the THC level is from over from 5% and above; for the medical marijuana and the recreational marijuana, it has to be in the range of 5% THC. On the other hand, for the hemp-derived cannabis, the THC level is below 0.3%, the THC level in a hemp product, all these are called industrial hemps.

So, due to the passage of the Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD, now federally legal to use and carry across state lines. So, the hemp-derived CBD are called industrial hemps and the THC in this hemp product, that is supposed to be less than or equal to 0.3. So, these are federally legal and it can be carried across state line. On the other hand, the medical cannabis and the recreational marijuana products because they have a higher TAC level, those are still considered illegal federally and cannot really be carried out of those states are legalized for recreational.

So, for the states that legalized recreational marijuana or cannabis they can carry that within the state but interstate, carrying it across different states is still federally illegal for cannabis product that have a THC level higher than 5%.

I’m sure we’ve all heard about THC and CBD THC, the full name is tetrahydrocannabinol and CBD. The full name is cannabinol. All these products are part of the cannabinoid that is found in the cannabis plant. THC and CBD, the main cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant that produced the therapeutic effect that we see. So, aside from THC and CBD, there are other chemicals found in the cannabis plant that walks hand in hand with the THC and CBD to give it its unique therapeutic properties.

The interaction of these chemicals and all cannabinoids working together hand in hand. The interaction of these cannabinoid products is what is called the entourage effect. It was said that cannabis plants contain over 400 different chemicals that contribute to its entourage effect properties. The entourage effect is what I described as one will chase a 1,000, like in the Biblical saying, one will chase a 1,000, two will chase 10,000. So, in the cannabis plants we have over 400 cannabinoids and chemicals working hand in hand for this synergistic effect of the unique properties that we see in the cannabis product.

So, I normally look at it like this: okay, if one is chasing 1,000 and two is chasing 10,000 imagine how much 400 of these compounds in the cannabinoid plant will chase. It is just so awesome, the level of the chemical’s cannabinoids, aromatic carbon phenol that is found in the cannabis product that is working for us to be able to see the uniqueness of this botanical plant. I called in to Dr. Raphael Mechoulam and his colleague, Dr. Ben-Shabat, these are the people that proposed the entourage effect. They investigate the effects of the active compound found in the cannabis. And they said this cannot be, this effect, cannot be duplicated in the single molecule. cannabinoid, like dronabinol or Marinol. This entourage effect gives it its unique properties that is unable to be duplicated by other single molecule pharmaceutics. Studies have shown that single molecule agents are not as effective as a whole plant extract due to the lack of the entourage effect seen in whole plants extract. Basically, what we’re saying is that in a single molecule product, like say dronabinol, because it doesn’t have other compounds or chemicals or cannabinoid working hand in hand, it’s not seen as effective as a cannabis plant that has all this other products or the cannabinoid or the chemicals, phenols, contributing their own uniqueness to the overall effectiveness of the botanical plants.  So, I guess it will be safe to say that the effect of the cannabis or the cannabinoid products or compound actually depends on the chemical composition of the plants.

Because cannabis plants are from different areas of the world, they are all under different weather, different soil conditions, they all have their own uniqueness. One botanical plant indica is totally different from cannabis sativa. Even just planting the same crop in one area, you will have a different effect when you’re planted in another area. So, it is very, very unique in it’s properties, based on where it is planted or where it is produced.

Of the 400, over 400 different compounds, chemicals, found in cannabinoid, in the cannabis plant, about 66 of them are actually cannabinoid. The other chemicals that are found in the cannabis plant are terpenes, flavonoid, and phenols… We have the essential oil, we have the lipids and the weighted lipids, as well, we see this on saturated fat. Cannabis is said to have one of the lowest saturated of fat. So, we have the lipids and fats, we have ibis, that is used for clothes.

We have amino acids. Amino acids are the chemical components of proteins. Our body is made of proteins and these proteins are made up of amino acids. We also have ketones which is a source of energy. So, all these are the compounds that are working together in the cannabis plant to give it that uniqueness that we see in this botanical.

Studies suggest that the synergistic effects of these chemicals and components in the cannabis has to counteract the negative effect of some of the components, especially the THC, so basically there has been studies that showed that some of these compounds, they’re not just egg or being death sick, they help to counteract some of the negative effect that is seen, especially with THC. Of the chemicals that is seen in the cannabis plants, terpenes such as Linalool found in the lavender is said to reduce the anxiety induced by high THC level.

Terpene is one of the major chemicals that is found in the cannabis plant and it comes in different forms, shapes, smells. Terpenes are responsible for the smell, the strong smell that we experience in the cannabis plant. Terpene is said to be the most common chemical found in nature; it is found in almost all the botanical plants. Plants mix terpene as part of their defense mechanism. Single molecule cannabinoid such as dronabinol, Marinol are said to have more side effects when you compare it to the whole plant extracts of the cannabis because there is no entourage effect to counteract the negative effects of the single molecule.

For example, Marinol is said to be less tolerated in patients due to increase in sedation and dysphoria compared to the whole plant extract and some of what makes the whole plant so unique is the presence of all those chemicals, especially terpenes that is seen. Interaction between terpenes and cannabinoids is said to help alleviate and manage a host of conditions such as inflammation, pain, depression, seizure disorder, cancer, just to mention a few. Some of the terpenes and what they are used for, we’re going to be going into that now.

The first one I would like to talk about is the myrcene. Myrcene is seen in mango in hop and it’s also prevalent in the cannabis plant. So, it’s not just seen in the cannabis plant, it’s also seen in  botanicals like mango. And what does it do? What are the properties of this terpene? It works as a sedating agent; according to studies that this Myrcene has the potential for sedation also has a muscle relaxant property and has analgesic effect.

The analgesic effect is what is used in pain management when it comes to this terpene and it also has anti-inflammatory properties. The anti-inflammatory properties are what we see in pharmaceutic products like NSAID, which are like we have aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen or we have Medrol dosepaks, hydrocortisone… in fact, all our steroids, the way they work is using the anti-inflammatory properties. So, the myrcene is one of those terpenes that have the potential to help alleviate these conditions. The second terpene I would like to talk about is limonene. Limonene has a strong orange like smell to it. It has a sharp smell that has the fruity smells of an orange and is also prevalent in the cannabis plant. It is said to have antidepressant properties and can cause breast cancer cells to commit suicide (inaudible). It has been used clinically to dissolve gallstones and also helps in mood elevation and helps on GI gastrointestinal disorder. (Inaudible)

So, the next terpene we’ll be looking at is the linalool that is a found in lavender and a floral. This terpene has anti-anxiety properties. It helps in reducing stress, is a very powerful anticonvulsant and also serve as an antidepressant. It’s helps in the calming, calmness, and helps with sleep. These are the potential properties that is seen in the linalool that is found in all the plants and flora lavender. That’s where you can find that. Then we can talk about the pinene.

Pinene is a strong pine, just like the name, it has that pine strong pine smell. It’s mostly is the most common of the terpenoids. So, the pinene is the most common of the terpenoids. It works as an anti-inflammatory and a bronchodilator. When you talk about bronchodilator, we’re talking about, say for example, our asthma products, those are works under the bronchodilation mechanism or fashion.

So, this product, the pinene, is being looked at to maybe potential have effects in helping with asthma and there are some studies that are looking into it. Maybe in the future they are going to be making some products with this terpene in there to probably help with asthma, COPD, all those breathing conditions.

It also helps with promoting memory retention and what the way it does that is that it helps with a memory retention by inhibiting the breakdown of acetylcholinesterase, a neurotransmitter. Basically, what it does is breaks down this neurotransmitter in the brain called acetylcholinesterase. So, by doing these it helps to stimulate the brain for recognition and memory stimulant.

The next terpene we look at is (inaudible), the author meme has the fruity floral smell to it and it also has anti-inflammatory properties. It is used in a lot of perfume. It also has anti-fungal effect and anti-candida effect. Basically, one can see it being used in the candida’s, which is the  fungal kind of infection. That’s where the pioneer will be probably be, is being used in a pharmaceutical product.

The next one we’re going to be talking about is the bitter caryophyllene. This is one the kind of terpenes that you find in black pepper, oregano and clove. And this helps with the gastro intestinal protection, has the gastrointestinal protection properties.

So, this terpene can help with that. It can also probably help with inflammation, auto immune disorder. It can be used as a dietary supplement with strong anti-inflammatory analgesic and has a low attributable psycho-activity. Basically, this one does not have psychoactive properties. So, the next one we’ll look at is terpinolene. The terpinolene is also smells like pine. It has the kind of sweet herbal smell, like a lime smell to it. This one also has an anti-inflammatory property. It has the anti-bacterial properties; it has antioxidants properties in it and it also helps with anti-cancer effects in rats in brain cells.

So, the next one will be the apha humulene. The apha-humulene has a kind of hoppy aromatic and helps with appetite suppressants. So, this one can be, the property can be used maybe to develop products that is going to help with obesity and metabolic syndrome, kind of condition.

And then finally, we’ll talk about the nerolidol. The nerolidol is the floral citrus, kind of a terpene. It helps more with sedation, it looks like… Most of those ones that have like a floral kind of smell to them, those kind of help with calmness and helps with sleep sedation.

This one also has anti-fungal anti-malaria activities. And it’s also said to have an anti-protozoon. Malaria is a protozoon in nature. It has a low level in orange, low level of this nerolidol is found in orange as well, not just in cannabis. So, it is also found in orange.

So, interaction between terpenes and cannabinoids is said to help alleviate and manage a host of conditions like we’ve just mentioned: inflammation, pain, depression, seizure disorder, and also being looked at to probably help with cancer, as well as anti-bacteria, anti-fungal properties. So, as a result of all this compound chemical cannabinoids, aromatic compound phenol working hand in hand, a lot of products have been looked at, cannabinoid products are being tailored to kind of target all the specific properties of this chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant.

So, it looks like the future of the cannabinoid therapeutic is going to be a target synthesis of this cannabinoid product and cannabinoid terpenes chemicals to target to have a kind of specific target for whatever condition they need to use it for. Yeah. So, even though a lot of the studies that is going on there, they are kind of trying to target some of these specific chemicals and compounds and cannabinoids to try to develop pharmaceutics along that line.

It’s still not compared to the whole plant extract. It’s just like, for example, well yes, we can get our vitamin B from orange, from spinach and all this other product over the counter. But when you get your vitamins from the over the counter, it is not the same as when you take your kale,  you take your spinach, you take your orange. It is totally different. The whole plants extract has the entourage effect and has in its properties whereby single molecules like dronabinol, even our vitamins that we buy over the counter does not have the entourage effect.

The uniqueness of a whole plant extract, it cannot be underestimated. So, it seems that the whole plant extract is probably the future of cannabinoid therapy. In the future it looks like people are going to want to choose broad spectrum cannabinoids to have the total entourage effect of the product.

So, that’s what we got today but before we go, let me give you a fun fact for today. So, did you know that the edible cannabinoid, the one that is ingested, they are absorbs slower than when you use a cannabinoid product as transdermal or sublingual or even in the inhalation, like when people smoking. When you’re taking cannabinoid as edibles, it goes through the, what we call, false pass metabolism through the liver.

Some of this product is lost in the first pass in the liver. But when the end products of the digestion are more stable than when people take cannabinoid as a, maybe heel cannabinoid or transdermal or sublingual. So, when you are trying to get a product is very, very essential to start slow, go slow. When people are taking cannabinoid as edible, we need encourage, tell them, you have to start slow, go slow. Because sometimes you take edibles and you feel like, oh it’s doesn’t have effect. That can increase the level of the cannabinoid in the products, in the body.

So, we have to try to counsel our clients. We have to understand that there’s a different in route of administration it makes a difference, so we’ll be talking in detail in upcoming episodes on the route of administrations of this cannabinoid, the mechanism or fashion, how it works. And also, it depends on what one is trying to use the cannabinoid product for.

For example, pain is one of the major conditions that it is being used for. So, if somebody is experiencing, they say pain right now, they might say, okay, maybe it’s better for me to use tenture that is going to go on down my tongue and go straight to the body without going through the first pass (inaudible). But if it’s something that is like continuous one might want to look into the edible phase of the spectrum.

I want to say thank you to you guys for hanging out with me today. It really means a lot to me. Pleas, I would like you guys to subscribe to the show. If you have not done that yet, please do subscribe. If you have already done, I would like to say thank you so much. We need you guys to please subscribe so we can keep the show going and keep improving on this show.

So, for more information about what we’re doing, you can visit us on the web at wci- health.com and until next time, always remember health equals wealth.

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