Hemp, is one of the oldest cultivated crops, which was grown thousands of years ago in Asia as a food source. Ancient civilizations wove the strong and durable fibers into clothing and rope.1
It helped Christopher Columbus with the ships he sailed, both the sails and ropes were made of hemp and it was also placed between the planks to help the ships remain watertight.2
Two Plants With Completely Different Uses
Hemp (Cannabis Sativa)
In this form is cultivated outside the United States (however, the U.S. Government has allowed it to be grown for research purposes) for clothing, paper, dietary supplements, cosmetics, foods, biofuels, and bioplastics. European hemp has less than 0.3% of the psychoactive compound�tetrahydrocannabinol (THC),�as measured in dried flower tops.3
Marijuana (Cannabis Sativa)
This cannabis sativa is cultivated to maximize the THC content, which is focused in the United States, and used exclusively for recreational and medicinal purposes.
How Hemp Helps The Body
Foods made from the plant are processed from the plant’s seeds and are quite common. Common foods include granola, roasted seeds, milk, and butter. These foods do not appear on drug tests when consumed.
The European strain offers a variety of health benefits without the side effects of the THC.
Powder is made from the oil the of the seeds and then processed into powder. The result is a complete protein that contains all nine essential amino acids plus omega fatty acids and fiber4. When compared to whey or animal protein, hemp powder is low in lysine and leucine.
Can’t Stand Fish?
For essential fatty acids, seeds are rich in healthy fats, which include omega-3,6, and 9 fatty acids. It also contains linoleic acid, and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).5
Health Benefits Of Phytocannabinoids
The stalk of the plant contains natural compounds called phytocannabinoids. When eaten, they interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) and help with stress, as well as, relieve aches, pains, and discomfort. Phytocannabinoids also support brain, bone, digestive health, and promote immune and metabolic function.
The plant contains over 80 different phytocannabinoids that help supplement the cannabinoids in your body makes naturally and support the ECS.6 Legally stalk extracts that are imported from outside of the United States must have less than 0.3% THC.
Since 1970, cultivation of cannabis sativa from both the hemp and marijuana plants have been illegal in the U.S. under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Even though some States have legalized marijuana and the federal Farm Bill of 2014 allows States to issue licenses for limited and experimental growth, federal law still prohibits the domestic cultivation, sale, and distribution.8
Hemp products such as, paper, rope, clothing, and bioplastics, have always been available in the United States. Federal law never banned the importation of these products, as long as, the THC content is less than or equal to 0.3 percent.8
Now with people interested in plant nutrition there is a larger availability of hemp-derived foods. These foods are made from sources outside of the U.S. These sources only contain a minimal amount of THC, and are completely legal.
When Buying Hemp Products
When buying a hemp products, make sure that it is made from imported industrial hemp. Buy brands that manufacture with�Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards and test their products purity and quality.
Food purchases should be from major brands and reputable sources. It’s best to go with organic products, which do not contain pesticides.
Hemp oil products should be organic and cold processed. These oils should be refrigerated to avoid rancidity.
When buying hemp protein, find brands, which list amino acid content. There should be no additives, i.e. a lot of sugar.
Cannabidiol (CBD) & Phytocannabinoids
http://www.ancient-origins.net/history/cannabis-journey-through-ages-003084. [Accessed March 19, 2018]
http://hashmuseum.com/en/collection/columbus-and-cannabis. [Accessed March 19, 2018]
Johnson R. Hemp as an agricultural commodity. Washington, D.C. Library of Congress Congressional Research Service, 2014.
Callaway J. Hempseed as a nutritional resource: An overview. Euphytica 2004;140(1-2):65-72.
Leizer C, Ribnicky D, Poulev A, et al. The composition of hemp seed oil and its potential as an important source of nutrition. J Nutraceut Func Med Foods 2002;2(4):35-53.
Borgelt L, Franson K, Nussbaum A, Wang G. The pharmacologic and clinical effects of medical cannabis. Pharmacotherapy 2013;33(2):195-209.
Cherney J, Small E. Industrial hemp in North America: production, politics and potential. Agronomy 2016;6(4):58.
Mead A. The legal status of cannabis (marijuana) and cannabidiol (CBD) under U.S. law. Epilepsy Behav 2017;70(Pt B):149-153.
Phytocannabinoids: With the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS)�during the 1980s provided researchers a new perspective on the�compounds in hemp and marijuana identified 40 years before. And one of the new perspectives was how these compounds interacted with the human body.
Phytocannabinoids: (Phyto) – For Plant Was The Name Given To These Compounds
Over 80 phytocannabinoids have been identified in marijuana and hemp. The psychoactive phytocannabinoid in marijuana� known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) represents only one of the many phytocannabinoids being studied for its health benefits.1
The more science learns about the effects of the ECS in supporting brain health, enhancing immune function, maintaining a healthy inflammatory response, and promoting GI health, fertility, bone health, etc. Now there is more interest in finding phytocannabinoids in nature and learning how they affect human health.
Because of this interest, phytocannabinoids have now been identified in many plants outside of the Cannabis species. An example is in plants like clove, black pepper, echinacea, broccoli, ginseng, and carrots.2
Phytocannabinoids In Hemp
Most people have heard of cannabadiol (CBD), but this is only one of many components in hemp that interacts with the ECS.
Two other phytocannabinoids include:
CBC research began in the 1980’s when it was found that it would act upon a normal inflammatory response in rats.3 Recently CBC has shown to promote brain health,4 skin health,5 and keep normal movement in the digestive system.6
CBG research focuses on how it supports nervous system health. CBG has multiple jobs in the ECS. These include inhibiting the re-uptake of anandamide. Although still unknown, but CBG could possibly provide support for immune function, skin health, and being in a good mood. And CBG is found in much higher levels in industrial hemp than in marijuana.7
Phytocannabinoids In Other Plants
Current research has found phytocannabionids in many other plants. Some of these include:
BCP is found in the flowers and leaves of hemp, and since only the hemp stalk is used in supplements, BCP content gets lost. But, BCP is contained in many other plants, i.e. cloves and black pepper. BCP joins itself to the CB2 cannabinoid receptor. This helps maintain a healthy inflammatory response while at the same time promoting health to the digestive system, skin, and liver.8,9
DIM is a compound that is produced in our bodies when consuming vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. DIM is a readily available dietary supplement. Just like beta-caryophyllene, DIM binds to the CB2 cannabinoid receptor.10 The immune system is abundant in CB2 receptors, this could explain�benefits of these foods especially in immune system health.
Alkylamides also play a role in the ECS, that is generating interest. It is found in the herb Echinacea, These compounds act on the CB2 receptor for regulation of cytokine synthes�is and immune function support.11 This helps explain the common uses of Echinacea.
Falcarinol is found in carrots, celery, parsley, and Panax or Asian ginseng. Falcarinol compound binds to the CB1 cannabinoid receptor but has the opposite effect of anandamide. Because of this, falcarinol can cause allergic skin reactions due to the blocking of our own ECS from regulating local inflammation.12
This phytocannabinoid is found in the Kava plant (Piper methysticum).�This compound binds to CB1 receptors and acts on GABA receptors in the nervous system. Yangonin�has shown to promote relaxation and regulate responses to stress, however, it could be unhealthy for the liver.13
Information and knowledge of the endocannabinoid system is growing at a rapid rate. Science and scientists continue their research in order to find more phytocannabinoids in foods/plants that will benefit human health.
Izzo A, Capasso R, Aviello G, et al. Inhibitory effect of cannabichromene, a major non?psychotropic cannabinoid extracted from Cannabis sativa, on inflammation?induced hypermotility in mice. Br J Pharmacol 2012;166(4):1444-1460.
Klauke A, Racz I, Pradier B, et al. The cannabinoid CB2 receptor-selective phytocannabinoid beta-caryophyllene exerts analgesic effects in mouse models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 2014;24(4):608-620.
Raduner S, Majewska A, Chen J, et al. Alkylamides from Echinacea are a new class of cannabinomimetics Cannabinoid type 2 receptor-dependent and-independent immunomodulatory effects. J Biol Chem 2006;281(20):14192-14206.
Tang J, Dunlop R, Rowe A, et al. Kavalactones Yangonin and Methysticin induce apoptosis in human hepatocytes (HepG2) in vitro. Phytother Res 2011;25(3):417-423.
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