For cancer patients and many other people CBD hemp could be an interesting therapy approach. For many other people, the cannabinoid is still in a pot with psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol - in other words, classic hash.
For this reason we would like to look at both the differences and the similarities. At the same time, we illuminate the changing reputation of hemp and dare to take a look into the future.
CBD Hemp - Cannabis is not just cannabis
One thing is certain: In large parts of society the hemp plant has a bad reputation as the most famous plant on earth. After all, the most famous drug in the world, besides alcohol and nicotine, also comes from the hemp plant.
No wonder that everyone who uses or consumes hemp products is immediately stamped as a drug user.
There is a big difference between the psychotropic tetrahydrocannabinol and the CBD, which is associated with positive effects.
What is CBD hemp?
Behind this term is first of all a certain group of cannabis plants. Like all plants of the genera "indica" and "sativa", these plants contain a wide variety of cannabinoids - the active ingredients of hemp plants.
Besides the much better known tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol is also one of the most important cannabinoids, which are contained in the largest proportions in terms of quantity.
There are also more than 110 cannabinoids. Characteristic for the CBD hemp is a very high proportion of cannabinoids. Depending on the type or variety, these hemp varieties contain between 10 and 20 percent of the active ingredient.
At the same time, these hemp plants contain little or no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC for short). Cannabidiol hemp legally available in Germany has a tetrahydrocannabinol content of less than 0.2 percent.
These cannabis plants are used for the production of various products such as
- and capsules,
which you can buy in selected online shops.
In addition, there is tetrahydrocannabinol-free hash (pollinate) as well as the possibility of smoking the flowers as non-psychoactive "CBD grass". Since every combustion produces dangerous toxins, we strongly advise against this form of consumption.
The difference: Cannabidiol and Tetrahydrocannabinol
The big difference lies in the mode of action of both cannabinoids. Tetrahydrocannabinol is the strongest of all known cannabinoids.
It acts directly on the organism via the human endocannabinoid system.
First of all, there is the strongly psychoactive (also: psychotropic) effect in the brain.
As a psychoactive substance, THC
- Changes in consciousness,
- Changes in perception,
- Panic attacks,
- cause hallucinations and other psychotic effects.
This is what makes classic weed and hash popular as "soft drugs".
Cannabidiol, which is contained in large quantities in CBD hemp plants, does not have a psychoactiveeffect. Accordingly, in contrast to tetrahydrocannabinol, the cannabinoid is legally available in this country. Nevertheless, even the non- intoxicating cannabinoid has an effect on the body via the endocannabinoid system.
Optical difference not visible to laymen
The hemp plant has a characteristic appearance. Even many children or people who have nothing to do with drugs know the finger-like leaves. In the meantime, they have therefore become established in the collective consciousness of society as a symbol of a life culture.
The challenge: all hemp plants look basically the same. From the outside, laymen cannot tell the difference between illegal grass and legal cannabis plants.
Only proven experts can do this. The only difference between "commercial hemp" and "drug hemp" is the molecular structure. And even here the differences are smaller than you think.
This causes problems in everyday life. After all, even police officers do not have micro-pharmaceutical x-ray vision in the event of an inspection.
Even those who have THC-free cannabis flowers or other plant parts with them must expect that the police will confiscate them. The safe alternative are clearly identifiable products, where there are no misunderstandings.
At least until marijuana will be legal in Germany. Here, for example, high-quality CBD oil is a good choice.
At a glance: How can both types of hemp be distinguished?
The effect of CBD hemp
Cannabinoids are a fascinating group of active substances that are far from being fully explored. All the more interesting is what we already know about the effect of cannabidiol on the body's endocannabinoid system.
If the findings of the study are confirmed in large-scale columns of investigations, products containing cannabidiol as well as THC-containing preparations could play an important role in medicine in the future.
Discovery of the endocannabinoid system
The effects of marijuana have been known to mankind for thousands of years.
It wasn't until 1987 that researchers at the Saint-Louis University in Missouri shed light on how and why exactly cannabinoids act on the human organism.
Professor Allyn Howlett discovered the endocannabinoid system, to whose receptors cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol can dock.
Probably best known are the receptors CB1 and CB2. While CB1 receptors are found in both the intestinal nervous system and the central nervous system (CNS), CB2 receptors are found in defence cells and cells that control bone metabolism.
The endocannabinoid system interacts with endocannabinoids every second. These are cannabinoids that our body produces itself.
This mechanism influences, among others, the following areas:
- Nausea / vomiting
- Memory performance
- perception of pain
- Bone Growth
- Heart rate
- Immune defence
- Cell Protection
How cannabidiol works in the body
Through its interaction with the cannabinoid receptors, the active substance influences our organism in many ways. The effect of cannabidiol has some special features compared to THC.
Since both substances dock at the CB1 receptor, they compete for the limited space available. Cannabidiol could thus inhibit the influence of THC. It is its biochemical opponent.
In addition, the cannabinoid reacts with other receptors such as the 5-HT1A receptor. This compound could explain the possible anxiety-alleviating effect.
No less interesting is the interaction with the GPR3, GPR6 and GPR12 receptors, which could even be a chance for Parkinson's patients.
Studies around cannabidiol
Previous knowledge about the effects of cannabinoids on the body has been based on very small experimental groups or laboratory experiments with mice.
This makes so-called clinical studies all the more interesting. These are studies in which scientists do not test an active substance on animals or in a test tube, but under real conditions on humans.
On this basis, it is now suspected that CBD, among other things:
- in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
- could counteract the psychoses triggered by THC.
- appetite suppressant.
- could have a calming effect on social phobias and lamp fibre.
- can alleviate problems falling asleep and sleeping through the night.
- has a potentially positive influence in epilepsy.
- could influence inflammatory processes.
- I could relieve pain.
The combination of the two cannabinoids is also interesting for medical use.
Reputation and use of the hemp plant in the course of time
Even though commercial hemp has been a pillar of human agricultural culture for thousands of years and CBD is a legal substance, the hemp plant suffers from a bad reputation.
Where does that come from? Why is this still happening? And is there hope that the reputation of the hemp plant will change for the better in the foreseeable future?
Where does the bad reputation come from?
The negative associations that the hemp plant has to face are due to its degradation as a "drug plant".
Finally, "grass", which is obtained from plants with a high tetrahydrocannabinol content, is a popular drug and is also (still) illegal. As a useful plant, however, most people no longer know the hemp plant.
Probably already in the antiquity the Chinese produced clothes on hemp fibres around 2.800 B.C. In addition, medical texts from the time between 300 BC and 200 AD indicate that the active ingredients of the hemp plant were used to treat rheumatism, malaria and other ailments.
Also in Europe, people have been cultivating the hemp plant for over 4,500 years.
Already the Greeks and Egyptians wore clothes made of hemp fibres. Throughout the Middle Ages and modern times the plant established itself as a fibre supplier for
- Long bowstrings and clothing
- and as a medicine for labor pains.
The decline in production followed at the beginning and middle of the 20th century. At that time, the meteoric rise of synthetic fibres sealed the backward trend of hemp fibre, partly due to the support of the DuPont company.
Since then, the hemp plant was almost exclusively known as a "drug plant", its bad reputation developed.
The image of cannabis is changing
Since the 1990s, the mood has been slowly turning. Increasingly, the economy began to appreciate again the robustness of hemp fibres for paper and clothing as well as for new high-tech materials.
That we nevertheless continue to associate a dubious reputation with the plant is due to several things:
- The legal situation: In contrast to pure hemp for fibre production, there are hardly any clearly structured regulations and laws. In many areas there are legal grey areas.
- Due to legal regulations, manufacturers must refrain from explicitly highlighting potential positive effects.
- The potential effect of cannabinoids has not yet been sufficiently researched, although scientists are constantly working on it. However, numerous new findings give hope.
- Many people do not know that apart from the "drug", there are also non-psychoactive hemp plants. These plants could have health properties or are used as fibre, insulation material. So the motto is: honest education.
- Due to the prejudices against cannabis as a drug, commercial hemp is also still in a bad light.
A sustainable resource
Cannabidiol containing cannabis is not only reduced to medical potentials. The agricultural plant is also a trump card for the environment. Cultivated on a large scale, it provides variety in the fields, for example as a catch crop. This naturally improves the soil structure of heavily used fields.
Furthermore, the hemp plant is a fast-growing and high-growing plant that binds a lot of CO2. At the same time, the cannabis plant is relatively undemanding and can be cultivated without the need for extensive use of pesticides.
The wave of legalization is coming
Currently, a global trend towards the legalisation of cannabis is emerging. Not least responsible is the positive change in image.
Thanks to medical research, industrial demand and the social recognition that marijuana is not necessarily a gateway drug.
While cannabis is already legal in Uruguay, Canada and some states of the USA, in Europe at least the barriers for cannabidiol-containing products ranging from oil and drops to grass and pollinate are loosening.
Switzerland is the pioneer in this respect.
Since the legal regulations there were relaxed in 2016, our neighbours have been experiencing a CBD boom. Years after the "dam burst", it is clear that Swiss society has accepted the offer positively.
Across the social and age groups, Swiss people buy oils, liquids, pollen, tobacco substitutes, etc.
At the latest since the release of medical marijuana in Germany, the first course has been set here too. Both to a more positive image of CBD hemp, oil and other products as well as to a general legalization. So we can be curious what is waiting for us in the future.
Note: In this article we report on prescription cannabis, prescription CBD or over-the-counter or legal CBD. This Article does not make any proposal as to the possible purpose of the proposal and is for information and education purposes only. Promises of healing and benefits are excluded.