Cannabis, Terpenes, Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency, and the Effects on our Bodies
Another positive cannabis story for the 'weediots'!
So, let's start by going through the cannabinoid system in our bodies and DNA! Again...At every stage of biological life, even whales, microscopic sea squirts, and tiny nematodes have an endocannabinoid system! To deny that system is like saying Carl Sagan was a drug-addled idiot, and this 'idiot' designed the Voyager spacecraft that's currently headed to the far reaches of our little galaxy, and he was a regular stoner in the grand scheme of the universe! So, don't piss down my back, and tell me it's raining! Einstein smoked, and he came up with the single greatest equation in E=MC squared! Benjamin Franklin, Abe Lincoln, and a host of past and present scientists, and inventors smoked weed! Don't try to say that it's dope, and makes you a drug-addled retard! I'll teach you the truths and facts! Go to my YouTube channel and subscribe to stay up to date when I post a new video! And I've created a group on Facebook called Cannabis Education For Everyone, facebook.com/groups/Marizonaricksmmjeducation.
So, the human endocannabinoid system of receptors along our immune systems and in every corner of our bodies. Think about this...our bodies produce naturally occurring endocannabinoids in response to the disease process, and it's been scientifically proven that we who contract diseases, like autoimmune disorders, have shown that we lack sufficient cannabinoids in our diets; the Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency in the human body. It's real, and I have the facts, folks!
From the website NBCI
"A Dr. Ethan Russo discovered the Endo-cannabinoid Deficiency: in a paper dated 12/1/2003, he explored the concept of a clinical endo-cannabinoid deficiency (CECD) underlying the pathophysiology of migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and other functional conditions alleviated by clinical cannabis." And it concludes by saying "subsequent research has confirmed that underlying endo-cannabinoid deficiencies indeed play a role in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and a growing list of other medical conditions. Clinical experience is bearing this out. Further research and especially, clinical trials will further demonstrate the usefulness of medical cannabis. As legal barriers fall and scientific bias fades, this will become more apparent."
The endocannabinoids regulate homeostasis within the body via the endocannabinoid system, which balances our body to the right equilibrium temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The endocannabinoids produced naturally in our bodies are Anandamide (AEA) and arachidoyl glycerol (2-AG). Too many or too few endocannabinoids can cause an imbalance in our bodies. While it was previously thought that conditions caused by this were "treatment resistant", we now understand that CBD can help if there are either too many or too few endo-cannabinoids. They compare the endocannabinoids to yin-yang; an imbalance of one causes an imbalance of the other. All things in nature are biphasic, meaning more is not always better, and having too much of anything can cause adverse effects. CECD can be treated by introducing phytocannabinoids (those cannabinoids from the cannabis plant) such as THC, and CBD. Each ailment can be treated differently, which can determine the necessary ratios of cannabinoids and terpenes desired for an efficient recovery. Just as a Dr prescribes medicine for other diseases, each condition can be effectively treated with varying doses of a variety of strains.
Just as we eat chicken or beef liver to supply our own liver with iron, a deficiency in cannabinoids in our diets shows up wherever disease is present.
What really gets to me is that they're clamoring for clinical trials for cannabis, yet they delay and misdirect folks who have no idea how cannabis works for millions of people who have earned the right to utilize medical cannabis. No clinical trials are necessary! 10,000 years of zero deaths ever recorded in the history of marijuana and hemp! Six to eight thousand years of safe medication for cannabis! Chinese Emperor Shen Nung had it in his medical pharmacopeia! In 4,737BCE! There's no need for clinical trials. It's all been done throughout the millennia! And it's capacity to heal us safely and efficiently with naturally occurring endocannabinoids, and the medical effects of cannabis are an ever growing list of disorders safely treated with cannabis. Negating the need for clinical trials. All clinical trials do is see what cannabis does to the body, and there's a bottomless pit of positive info on the safety profile of zero deaths ever recorded in the history of marijuana and hemp use. All the trials will do is give Drs control of your cannabis medicine. It's best just left in the hands of the consumers, like me & you. We don't need Dr's and politicians telling us what strains to use, or use hash, but don't 'dab'....or don't bong, just use a pipe.
Cannabis as medicines belongs in the hands of us patients. To dose as we want, when we want. Cannabis is an 'as-needed medicine', so, just give us our prescription for our card, and leave us alone to self-medicate, unless you are in a recreational, limitless state. Then you don't need to pay a yearly fee, like AZ; $150 for my card, and if we want to get Debbie a caregiver's card, it's an extra $150. And she won't need me there. I usually pick my strains from the Leafly.com app, and my dispensaries menu, and all the possible strain information that allows me to sit at home and choose the strains I want, and Botanica Tucson are my friends, and treat me so well, that the Manager is a member of my MMJ group, and I'll call right at opening time, and reserve the strains I want. And they love me because of my activism and free Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram ads; and I've never failed to show up before closing, (Debbie has to rush home from work on the 1st of the month for SSDI check, and dispensary). So we don't really need a caregiver card because only I can cash my SS check. And I'm within the 25 mile zone, so no growing for me! Got a brown-thumb anyways.
Let's discuss terpenes...terpenes are the flavors and aromas of our buds. Be it a heavy diesel smell, or grapes and pepper combined in a hybrid strain. Floral & sweet, or piney & sour. A grand palette of flavors and smells. BUT! Terpenes do so much more than just give us tastes and aromas. Like in our foods, for the best example...
Chicken livers, beef liver, and many different foods that contain iron in sufficient quantities to aid us in our health care. "WTH!" you're probably saying. "What's that got to do with cannabis?" Well, foods have terpenes as well, and cannabis is a vegetable, and an herb; all plant species that we eat, or even garden for looks, like Irises. Did ya know that iris have been used since the dawn of civilization for food, and medicine? Our distant ancestors, after learning fire, and started developing language, they experimented with foodstuffs which produced certain effects on their health. Ginger, used for food since whenever, energizing, warming, blood circulation...and not just that. They saw foods produced healthy effects, and they took the next step and experimented with other plants! Sometimes fatally. Sometimes, I'm positive, that some cavemen/women tried to eat some of the "leaves of three, leave it be", like poison ivy, oak, and sumac, and that was probably a sight to behold! Ouch, imagine feeling those itches inside!? But foods, plants mostly, because there's a lot more plant foods than meats, contain terpenes. Ginger has a strong terpene profile. And the Terps in food plants act on our bodies just as cannabis terpenes! Thus, the effects of certain strains and their individual profile of Terps cause differing effects from each strain.
Meats contain terpenes that were in their feed, before the slaughter. And that's why I brought up liver, not just the iron content, but because everything the animal ate goes through the liver. Everything we ingest in foods, breathing, medicine, causes health, or sickness. Back in the day, hemp was an abundant animal food, and cannabinoids entered our systems, unknowingly, but people were living really rough lives back then, and they did things at 5 years old, like milking cows, or goats, before schools and such, and they were hale and hearty! Today's children, even my childhood, we didn't usually work that hard as kids. I started at 8, though. Family friends had a dairy farm and I started by hand milking. Just one year, then they installed the auto milking pipes, and huge pasteurization tank. But at 8, that 1st year was hell on my hands. But, I've got a strong grip when my arthritis isn't acting up. Drumming 35 years too. I've got permanent callouses from the drumsticks still. Been 12 years since I played a full set.
Ahhh, memories....but children today are the "me-me-me generation" of lazy-asses that are so hardwired into the Internet, that a lot of kids end up getting obesity-related illnesses. And playing outdoors was my playground. No cell phones, ENIAC, the first computer filled a half-acre room, and could save a grand total of one kilobyte! And punishment today is when you have to hide their phone or tablet charger! But, back on topic, ummm..., OK; I've said before that I just proofread for grammatical errors, and whatever falls out of my mouth or brain is set. And my videos show me stumbling through the shoot because of my pain levels, as I'm using myself as a guinea pig experiment to show the healing side of cannabis and hemp oil and industry, and I'll only re-shoot the video if I slipped up and contradicted myself. But, early man recognized foods as medicines too, and they kept experimenting with everything new that they discovered. If you really want to read a wonderful story, read "Clan Of The Cavebear", by Jean M. Auel. Ayla, the main character in the series of books, learned to be a medicine woman of the clan of Neanderthals that fostered her when her folks died. And the author goes deep into the learning process needed at that time to be basically a prehistoric doctor. Ms. Auel really went deep, and after I read the first book, I became interested in the homeopathic treatments that she wrote about. A very smartly written series of 6 very thick books. Well worth the read. So, foods that are medicines...." uh, cannabis?" Yes! "Cannabis is food?" YES!! These sister plants are classed as vegetables BY scientific research and proof. I mentioned that already....but we ingest terpenes daily. I had a smoothie for dinner, usually 5 days of the week and a cheeseburger now and then, and pizza. But my smoothie tonight was frozen berry mix, half a mango, pineapple, and hemp hearts, Extra Virgin Olive oil, yogurt, almond milk(lactose intolerance), but I can do yogurt, which was in dinner also, orange juice and piñons. Through the Nutri-Ninja system, and...drinkable dinner. And all the fruits contain different terpenes. Think of almond milk itself. Almonds have a nutty tasting terpene. So, here's a little list of the top terpenes in our foodstuffs and cannabis...Here are the basics first, before I start the list...
"Terpenes are the aromatic hydrocarbons secreted within the resinous glands of ALL PLANTS!" Poisonous or edible, the plant world is a diverse range of smells, flavors, and effects on our bodies when we ingest our foodstuffs. Science has discovered more than 100 natural terpenes in the flora that is a large part of our dietary needs. Me, personally, I have recently been diagnosed with emphysema in the first ever lower lung C-T scan, and since I beat Hep-c with adding hemp oil to my anti-inflammatory diet I've begun, I told my Doc that it's probably been there years, 49 years of cigarettes! I am down to a few per day, after decades of 2-3 pack-a-day. So, I told Dr. Rick that I'm actually going to smoke more weed, and after a year, if the emphysema isn't gone, then I'll explore other options, but I have been feeling better and better almost daily! Pain levels overall, etc...back to the matter at hand...
Terpenes. Cannabis. Cannabinoids. In addition to the aromas, and tastes, there's a specific and almost totally unique terpene profile for every strain! And they work in the 'entourage-effect'. This is the synergistic relationship between terpenes and cannabinoids. They help temper the effects of the strain and enhance, or alter the effects we feel from our buds. And many have medicinal properties of their own! I've got a list of the most prevalent terpenes in cannabis:
#1 Limonene: flavor and aroma--Citrus And is often the second, third or fourth terpene found in cannabis resin.
- Medicinal uses: Can help promote weight loss, prevent and treat cancers, and good for bronchitis, and lung issues. Also makes ointments and medicinal creams that penetrate the skin better. "These are what I need for my emphysema." Also anti-fungal, and antibacterial, as well as anti-carcinogenic. Limonene quickly and easily penetrates the blood/brain barrier increasing systolic pressure. In human studies, participants experienced an increased sex-drive, attention, and mental focus. Sometimes used in a spray-form for depression and anxiety. Also has the effect of reducing the unpleasantness of gastric acid, and stimulates the immune system. Plants use limonene to ward off predators, e.g., repelling flies like any insecticide, but safer.
- Strain example: Super Lemon Haze, named partially for the aroma, but I bet ya didn't know the smell's present because of the limonene. Isn't learning FUN?!?
#2 Myrcene: Flavor/aroma--earthy, musky, with a hint of fruity flavors. It's the most common terpene in marijuana (up to 60% of the essential oils of certain varieties), it is not found in Hemp textiles. Also found in large quantities in hops, or the West Indian wood (St Thomas Bay), and it's very similar to cloves.
- Medicinal uses: Myrcene has been shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory. It also works as a potent analgesic, antibiotic, sedative and muscle relaxer. This could possibly contribute to the tired/stoney feeling often attributed to Indicas. It blocks the actions of cytochrome, aflatoxin B, and other pro-mutagenic carcinogens. And it acts in synergy with THC, increasing the psychoactive potential.
- Strain example: A Swiss study found that most of the strains they tested contain high levels of myrcene, and one strain tested, 'Live 110', contained over 65% myrcene content.
#3 Linalool: Flavor/aroma--floral with a hint of spice. Like lavender and Spring flowers. In addition to cannabis, linalool can be found in an array of flowers, mint, cinnamon, and even some fungi.
- Medicinal uses: Can be used as an anti-inflammatory. It also helps to modulate motor improvements. Another study found that linalool could be used to help treat liver cancer. (This may be why some strains have kicked out my Hep-C) It has powerful calming actions, anti-anxiety and sedative effects. Analgesic and anti-epileptic properties as well.
- Strain example: A lab tested sample of Amnesia Haze showed slightly over 1% Linalool.
#4 Alpha-Bisabolol (bisabolene): flavor/aroma--Floral. Alpha-Bisabolol is found in Chamomile.
- Medicinal uses: Can be used to heal wounds, fights bacteria, and can be used as a deodorizer. Research suggests alpha bisabolol has been effective in treating a variety of inflammations.
- Strain example: The Werc Shop analyzed a strain called 'Oracle', and found high levels of alpha-bisabolol.
#5 Borneal: Flavor/aroma--Earthy & camphor, with a touch of mint.
- Medicinal uses: Borneal can be used as an analgesic, anti-insomnia, anti-septic, and bronchodilator. Chinese medicinal uses for fatigue, stress, or illness recovery.
- Strain example: A Dr. Mariano Garcia de Palau claims that haze strains such as K13 contain high amounts of borneal. Strains with high amounts of borneal are both relaxing and psychedelic.
#6 Alpha-Pinene/Beta-Pinene: Flavor/aroma--Pine. This is, of course, partially where pine trees get their scent. And it's the main ingredient in the essence of turpentine; which was named after terpenes. And present in many plants, like sage, and rosemary.
- Medicinal uses: Pinene had been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, along with being a good local antiseptic, bronchodilator and expectorant. Also passes the blood/brain barrier very easily, where it acts as an inhibitor of acetylcholinesterases, preventing the destruction of molecules responsible for the transmission of information, which usually results in memory improvement. Because of the large quantities in rosemary and sage, those plants have been considered medically beneficial for thousands of years of traditional medicine. This terpene, in part, counteracts the effects of THC, leading to a decrease in acetylcholine levels. Resulting in memory failing more with pure THC, than with THC mixed with pinene.
- Strain example: One study examined 16 marijuana plants and found all the strains contained notable amounts of alpha- and beta-Pinene. Skunk strains are the common pinene strains. But! Smoking rich pinene strains give the sensation of 'sucking air' which can cause hyperventilating, or sometimes coughing. Pinene also improves concentration, personal satisfaction, and energy, but it may be limited by the effects of terpinol.
#7 Eucalyptol: (also called 1,8-cineol) Flavor/aroma--Spicy, minty. Eucalyptol is used as a cooking spice and fragrance.
- Medicinal uses: Eucalyptol is used in a variety of products including cough suppressants, mouthwash, and baby powder. Its effects relieve pain and improve concentration and inner balance. Enhances meditation and concentration.
- Strain example: Some cannabis strains contain eucalyptol, however, it is typically in very small amounts. And analysis of Super Silver Haze showed .06% eucalyptol.
#8 Terpineol: Flavor/aroma--Pine and cloves. Lilac, crabapple blossoms and lime blossoms. Mice tests showed mobility decreased by 45%. This explains the sedative effect of some strains. Often found in conjunction with strains high in pinenes, the aromas which hide the smell of the terpineol.
- Medicinal uses: Studies suggest cannabis-extracted terpineol contains antioxidant properties. And the aforementioned sedative effects.
- Strain example: A marijuana testing lab claims terpineol is a unique terpene found in Jack Herer and Jack crossbreeds.
#9 Caryophyllene: Flavor/aroma--Hoppy. Cannabis and hops are basically cousins. It's also common in various herbs, and spices, particularly black pepper, which contributes to the spicy flavor.
- Medicinal uses: Studies suggest that caryophyllene may help treat anxiety and depression. It's a local anti-inflammatory and analgesic, and one of the active ingredients in cloves. An efficient remedy for relief of toothaches. Also, has anti-fungal properties. This terpene has the particularity of selectively activating the CB-2 receptors, while it's not a cannabinoid.
- Strain example: Green House Seeds tested a hydroponic and a soil-grown specimen of Train Wreck. They found the soil-grown cannabis contained .33% caryophyllene. The hydroponic only contained .07%.
#10 Camphene: Flavor/aroma--Herbal.
- Medicinal uses: Camphene has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and antibiotic characteristics.
- Strain example: One study suggests camphene is significantly higher in concentration among 'mostly Indica' strains.
- Medicinal uses: Anti-fungal, anti-leishmaniasis, and antimalarial properties. Also produces sedative effects.
- No Strain info for nerolidol.
#xxx: Other terpenes found in marijuana resin, for example; phellandrene, phytol, humulene, pulegone, bergamotene, farnasene, D3-carene, elemene, fenchol, aromadendrene, muchmore.
We see the endless possibilities of terpene profiles being responsible for variations in taste and effects of cannabis. Some combinations of terpenes can act in synergy (added effects) while others are antagonists (effects inhibit each other). Some terpenes increase the assimilation of THC, while others affect the flow of dopamine and serotonin, two of the main regulators of mood and behavior.
Now, without any shortages of ways to figure how to manipulate terpene profiles, hybridizers include things like using horticultural molasses, slightly stressing your plant regularly, or trying commercial products that are available. Most of these come with mixed reviews.
The future of terpenes! There's always something new to learn, and researchers continue mapping strains. Once identified, they can extract them for clinical testing. It's an exciting time just thinking about the possible future benefits for medicine.
And, besides the food, and cannabis effects of terpenes on our bodies, the Cannabacaea family use their terpenes for multiple reasons. Terpenes help to either repel insects that endanger the plants, or they're designed to attract those insects that they need to pollinate themselves. This is a wonderful design by nature, as the plants cannot move themselves to the pollinators, nor move in response to their predators. And essential oils wouldn't exist without terpenes. The perfume industry itself is terpenes!
Terpene profiles are diverse, and many factors contribute to unique strains, and terpenes can be slightly different from the same strain, depending on the time of harvest, the age of the plant, and maturity may modulate the levels and amounts of terpenes. Usually, the smell becomes more intense during flowering, but can also depend on the weather conditions, environment (fertilizers...), or plant stress. If you're growing, you'll notice the smell is usually stronger earlier at dawn than at dusk. It's important to remember that a plant with little aroma will have littler flavor.
Mango, Myrcene, and cannabis. According to several sources, eating a good, ripe mango 45 minutes before smoking, increases the effect of the herb. This can be explained by the presence of Myrcene in mangos, which acts synergistically with the THC. Essential oil of hops can also be used, by hydro-distillation of the unfertilized female flowers. It contains 20% Myrcene which is assimilated very quickly.
Terpene profiles are diverse, and science keeps finding new ways to hybridize cannabis strains to enhance or lessen some of the effects. Some hybrids actually smell and taste like Juicy Fruit gum! Or bubblegum.
Researchers found that C. Sativa strains contain a wider range of aromatic compounds than C. Indica strains, and Indica varieties have higher amounts of select terpenes, such as Myrcene. A report states:
"...mostly Indica strains were characterized by dominancy of Beta-myrcene with Limonene or Alpha-pinene as the second most abundant terpenes. The 'mostly Sativa' strains were characterized by more complex terpene profiles, with some strains having Alpha-terpinolene, or a-pinene as dominant, and some strains having b-myrcene as dominant with a-terpinolene or trans-b-ocimene as second most abundant."
So! Terpenes do so much good for us that this continued prohibition of cannabis is getting beyond the ridiculous! I say, no clinical trials necessary. Ten thousand years shows that they are simple compounds of oxygen and hydrogen; hydrocarbons...cannabinoids and terpenes both, are hydrocarbons. The building blocks of life. The basis of amino acids that help bind DNA, and regulate moods, illness, and uncountable positive effects on our systems. This continuous improvement in strain hybridization is creating the best medicines we could ever ingest. And the DEA, FDA, bigPharma, big oil, lumber companies, plastics manufacturing, cotton industry....all of them together MUST be working in tandem with each other and millions to billions of dollars are spent on new drugs that fly through clinical trials, yet nobody wants to give cannabis it's due, because they can't patent weed the way they want to. There is already a patent on THC. I'll bring it up in my next story. It's way past time for us to start growing hemp again.
Every generation, we are leaving behind the detritus of things bought, used, replaced, sent to recycle; and 50% of trash set out for recycling doesn't get recycled! I've watched Waste Management, the huge trash conglomeration, stop in front of the home getting serviced, and they've picked up BOTH cans! Trash, and recycle go into the same bin, and it all ends up in landfills. Insanity, based on money-grubbing bastards that want power and control over others lives, just like the cancer industry pushing chemo and radiation on patients with cancers that have been proven to be made WORSE via said chemo/rads! Follow the money. And J. Sessions, head of the DEA, wanted millions of dollars to interfere with the already established MMJ programs in their respective states! Why is he not going after the Cartels? At least the DOJ didn't give him the funds. Cannabis legalization is on the horizon. We need to repeal the Controlled Substances Act. At least to finally, and rightly put legal cannabis in the hands of us patients who are in dire need of cannabinoids in our diets! Thanks for reading, and I'm always open to new directions and topics dealing with the legalization movement. Drop me a line, tell me what you wanna know, and I'll research it for you, and wrap it up with a bow on top for a story. Thanks again, positive healing vibes from the universe and free marijuana from the prison of ignorance!
About the author
II'm a 56 year old disabled and homebound veteran who has at least 7 different types of chronic pain syndromes and I am now a medical marijuana patient in Arizona who's an activist for the legalization movement for medical cannabis.