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Hemp (CBD)

Cannabis is a variety of the Cannabis Sativa L. plant, which belongs to the small family of Cannabaceae that differs from marijuana.

 Cannabis plants can grow as high as three meters or smaller depending on the varieties and the conditions of growth. Its use originated in Central Asia or western China, with it having been used for its supposed healing properties for millennia. The first case of its use dates to 2800 BC, from Chinese medicine. Therapeutic indications of cannabis are mentioned in the texts of the Hindu Hindus, Assyrians, Greeks, and Romans [9]. Cannabis plants are taxonomized into three species: (a) C. Sativa Linnaeus, (b) C. Indica Lamarck, (c) Cannabis ruderalis. It is considered that commercially grown cannabis is C. Sativa L. while the subvariety sativa should be known as hemp. The leaf of cannabis is broader, and the colour is darker compared to that of hemp. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 85 Phytocannabinoids identified in cannabis, with cannabis oil being a well-known cannabis extract. Terpenes are the primary constituents of essential oils and are responsible for the aroma characteristics of cannabis, as well as their synergic and/or entourage effects.

The CBD content according to D-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is less than 0.2%, i.e., it contains traces of THC. This substance is known to affect psychotropic substances, leading to a feeling of "euphoria", which while found in marijuana, it is contained in marijuana more than 0.2% THC [1].


Hemp seeds demonstrate an excellent nutritional value, with 30% being oil and about 25% being protein (12). They are a known source of fatty acids, as they contain a large amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids, including linoleic (omega-6), γ-linolenic acid, and α-linolenic acids (omega-3) (about 53% and 18% of total fatty acids). The ratio of n6 to n3 PUFAs is optimal; between 2:1 and 3:1 levels (11). Hempseeds are also a rich and unusual source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) (18:3n6), which can inhibit inflammatory responses in the body (11). They are also rich in vitamin E, and minerals such as magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, and zinc.

In addition, hemp seeds contain high-quality proteins such as edestin (60-80%) and the remainder of albumin, which are easily digested, absorbed, and utilized (13). Edestin is considered a globular protein, meaning that is biologically active, compared to a fibrous protein that is structural (13). Hempseeds have almost as much protein as soybean, and are a rich source of amino acid arginine, a metabolic precursor to produce nitric oxide (NO).

Hemp seeds are also rich in peptides, a possible antihypertensive agent, and lignan amides that demonstrate cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory activities. Hemp also contains a wide variety of Phytocannabinoids and terpenes. Hemp has been shown to have neuroprotective effects, such as balancing the endocannabinoid system in the human body (12).

What is homeostasis?

The definition of homeostasis states that biological systems in an organism maintain stability while adjusting to changing external conditions. The concept of homeostasis is traced back to ancient Greeks; with Greek physician Alcmaeon of Croton using the term homeostasis to explain health and disease. Hippocrates of Kos, expanded the definition of homeostasis by stating that health is a product of balance and a blend of four body fluids or humors such as phlegm, blood, yellow and black bile (10).

Homeostasis is a self-regulating process, where cells, organs or any other part of the body maintain an optimal internal environment, such as temperature, pH, or any other aspect required for their functioning. Stress is a key factor that threatens homeostasis. The disruption of homeostasis leads to disease, where effective therapy is required towards establishing a homeostatic environment.

What is the endocannabinoid system?

The endocannabinoid system is a system involved in regulating and balancing numerous functions and processes in the human body, including brain plasticity, learning and memory, stress, and emotions. The endocannabinoid system is also involved in the immune response, inflammation, appetite, bone and muscle health, digestion, and metabolism. An endocannabinoid imbalance, which indicates changes in the function of cannabinoid receptors, can adversely affect health. The endocannabinoid system has been associated with pathological conditions such as metabolic syndrome, inflammation, insulin resistance and obesity [1]. Endocannabinoid overstimulation can lead to conditions such as fibromyalgia, migraines, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome and depression. More specifically, migraines, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and inflammatory bowel disease are associated with clinical endocannabinoid deficiency [2].

The relationship of the endocannabinoid system and homeostasis?

Endocannabinoids are found in various cannabinoid receptors in our body, such as in the brain, connective tissues, and immune cells. The goal of the endocannabinoid is homeostasis *, i.e., the body is in balance. The endocannabinoid system helps regulate stress signals, immune responses, and relieve pain and inflammation.

How do cannabis ingredients seem to affect the body?

Cannabidiol from cannabis interacts with cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) found in the brain and body. CB1 receptors are found mainly in the central nervous system (CNS) as well as in small numbers in the liver, lungs, and kidneys. CB2 receptors are part of the immune system and are found in the hematopoietic cells of the blood. [4]

Cannabis can mitigate stress and anxiety

One of the areas that cannabis seems to have a positive effect on is stress. While stress is necessary and beneficial for our body, when it becomes chronic, it disrupts the endocannabinoid system [3]. Cannabidiol activates receptors and neurotransmitter systems such as serotonin and adenosine, thus acting positively as antidepressants, anxiolytics and neuroprotectants. Cannabidiol has a positive effect on generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction (6,7,8).

In addition, the terpenes contained in hemp are found in hemp essential oils. These act on cannabinoid receptors and neurotransmitters. More than 100 terpenoid compounds are responsible for the unique aroma of Cannabis. Terpenes reduce pain, with myrcene, a monoterpene present in cannabis, having analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties [2].

1. Hampson AJ et al. Cannabidiol and (-)delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998;95(14):8268-8273.

2. McPartland JM et al. Care and feeding of the endocannabinoid system: a systematic review of potential clinical interventions that upregulate the endocannabinoid system. PLoS One. 2014;9(3):e89566

3. Qin Z et al. Chronic stress induces anxiety via an amygdalar intracellular cascade that impairs endocannabinoid signaling. Neuron. 2015;85(6):1319-1331

4. Racz, I., Nadal, X., Alferink, J., Baños, J. E., Rehnelt, J., Martín, M., Pintado, B., Gutierrez-Adan, A., Sanguino, E., Manzanares, J., Zimmer, A., & Maldonado, R. (2008). Crucial role of CB(2) cannabinoid receptor in the regulation of central immune responses during neuropathic pain. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 28(46), 12125–12135. 

5. Xiong, W., Cui, T., Cheng, K., Yang, F., Chen, S. R., Willenbring, D., Guan, Y., Pan, H. L., Ren, K., Xu, Y., & Zhang, L. (2012). Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors. The Journal of experimental medicine, 209(6), 1121–1134.

6. Zuardi et al (2012) ‘’A critical review of the antipsychotic effects of canncbidiolQ 30 years of a translational investigation’’. Curr Pharm Des. 18Q5131-5140

7. Hurd et al (2015). ‘’Early phase in the development of cannabidiol as a treatment for addiction: Opioid relapse takes initial centre stage’’. Neurotherapeutics. 12: 807-815

8. Blessing et al (2015). ‘’Cannabidiol as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders’’. Neurotherapeutics. 12:825-836

9. University of Surrey. ‘’ History of Cannabis, The history of the cannabis plant’’. 

10. Billman G. E. (2020). Homeostasis: The Underappreciated and Far Too Often Ignored Central Organizing Principle of Physiology. Frontiers in physiology, 11, 200. 

11. Rodriguez-Leyva, D., & Pierce, G. N. (2010). The cardiac and haemostatic effects of dietary hempseed. Nutrition & metabolism, 7, 32. 

12. Chang CS, Sun HL, Lii CK, Chen HW, Chen PY, Liu KL. Gamma-linolenic acid inhibits inflammatory responses by regulating NF-kappaB and AP-1 activationin lipopolysaccharide-induced RAW 264.7 macrophages. Inflammation. 2010;33:46–57. 

13. Tang, C.-H., Ten, Z., Wang, X.-S., & Yang, X.-Q. (2006). Physicochemical and Functional Properties of Hemp (Cannabis sativaL.) Protein Isolate. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 54(23), 8945–8950.