There are a lot of misconceptions and stigmas, myths and legends about cannabis and the cannabis industry. We’re going to fix that, one piece of #fakenews at a time.
Let’s start at cannabis 101.
Cannabis has been good to us humans for over 12,000 years. It’s provided food, fiber, entertainment, creativity, medicine and the fabric Betsy Ross used to make the American flag. Seriously.
Needless to say, the cannabis plant is best described as a “jack-of-all-trades,” especially when it comes to its medicinal use. Cannabis can treat a seemingly unbelievable array of illnesses safely and effectively because it produces cannabinoids, medicinally active substances that interact with the protein receptors of the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Put simply, the ECS is responsible for returning our bodies to what we like to call “homeostasis.”
When our bodies’ most important biological functions (think pain, sleep, appetite, and mood) fall out of balance and into a state of stress, the ECS deploys endocannabinoids to come in to save the day and rebalance the body. Because the cannabinoids produced by cannabis can mimic the endocannabinoids, they have the power to help the ECS bring the body back to homeostasis more effectively and efficiently.
But cannabinoids don’t act alone. They work alongside terpenoids (usually called terpenes) and flavonoids to provide a seemingly endless list of benefits for the human body. We’ll call them the “Three Musketeers.” Depending on the levels, types and combinations of the Musketeers, cannabis can do anything from reducing anxiety and boosting libido to killing cancer cells and stimulating bone growth.
Yep. Cannabis is a jack-of-all-trades.
Out of the 100+ cannabinoids, THC and CBD are the most widely known, widely studied, and widely abundant in the plant. I’ll keep it short and sweet here, and share more depth data on another post.
THC is more affectionately known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, and is the psychoactive component of cannabis. If you’ve ever smoked, vaped or consumed cannabis and felt high, you can thank the THC for that.
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is more of “angel child” of the cannabinoids. It’s not only non-psychoactive, but also can help dampen the psychoactive effects of THC when consumed alongside it.
While it may be natural to think you could get all the functional benefits of cannabis by just consuming straight CBD, you’d be mistaken. CBD and THC have what’s called an “entourage effect,” meaning each cannabinoids efficacy is contingent upon the presence, and levels of the other. For example, THC helps open up the protein receptors for CBD to do its work.
The complexity of cannabis - how the compounds work together, and how they interact with the body’s ECS system - is a topic of intense study right now. There’s a lot that’s known, and a lot that still remains to be studied. One of the areas researchers are most interested in, and one that’s relevant for people just now starting to, or thinking about starting to, dip their toes in the water of cannabis, is how each body reacts differently to cannabis.
Different people will respond differently to different strains, different amounts, in different durations of time. Not only that, the same person may react differently to the same strain, at the same amount, at two different points of time; just like any other substance, variables like how much you’ve eaten, how much sleep you’ve gotten and how hydrated you are can all affect the effects you feel. How you consume cannabis also matters - you’ll experience different effects to differing degrees of severity in different durations of time depending on whether you smoke, eat or dissolve cannabis under your tongue.
Given the uniquely intimate relationship cannabis has with your ECS system, this complexity makes logical sense. However, it’s always important to keep in mind when dosing across strains, days, times and methods. I know - it’s a lot. But don’t worry, I’ll write a whole post about the different variables to consider when selecting a strain, method and dosage soon.
We’ve spent months consulting (and will continue to!) with doctors, industry experts and scientists about how to craft the safest, most effective functional product. Our initial launch offers CBD-only nut milks, however, future products will be designed to have a very high ratio of CBD to THC, ensuring you can benefit from the entourage effect, without feeling the “heady” feeling other cannabis products can provide. Our goal isn’t to make you feel “high,” our goal is to make you feel exactly how your body intends it to be - in equilibrium.
By the way, if you’re wondering how on the earth the ECS (and cannabis’ magical relationship with it) could exist without having heard anything about it in your high school (or college) biology classes, you’d be right to be confused. The ECS wasn’t discovered until the late 1980s, and because of strict laws (especially in the US) and stigmas about studying cannabis, research has been greatly stunted and many doctors (even today) were taught to view it as a drug of abuse, not an effective medicine.