Let us get to grips with Cannabis – what is the reality of CBD?

Let us get to grips with Cannabis – what is the reality of CBD?

Over the past few years, a smoke-filled tidal wave of cannabis hit the shelves proclaiming a cure-all miracle, I watch hope escalate and sometimes go up in flames when what is promised is not delivered. Now some individuals love the idea of a bit of pot to resolve a health challenge, but most are questioning Cannabis– CBD as that magic formula. Time to get to grips with what it is all about.

WHAT WE SEE TODAY IS WHAT WE GET, OR IS IT?

The Cannabis as we know it has changed slightly from the one smoked around a campfire. It contains 2 chemical components which are primary to the apparent effect thereof. One is the THC, TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL [try to say that fast…] which is the happy side of the drug, then the CBD, CANNABIDIOL, the one which is not the cause of outward happiness but rather inward ease. These are the components removed by heat or activation to maximize potency. The CBD, when taken in, is stored in the lipids of our fat cells where its responsibility is to work with the immune system and our mental state. There it resides for days to weeks and can affect brain activity – basically driving is not a great idea if this replaces your cup of coffee in the morning before hitting the road to work.  

Now let us look at how the potency of this drug has grown over the years, from the ’60s where flower power was reigned by smoking a bit of pot along the way. Cannabis then had a THC content ranging from 0.5 to 3%, by the ’90s it rose to around 6 to 8%. Today there is a rainbow spectrum of concentration, from 20% THC to more than 90% [ever heard someone mention that CBD quality is important?]. The supposedly helpful CBD, however, has been reworked in favor of the THC ingredient, with THC claiming the first spot these days at around 95% of the medical marijuana and punted as a quality CBD oil by some ‘quick-in-quick-out’ suppliers. 

Basically, cannabis potency, as we used to know it, has increased significantly. Specifically speaking the THC component, releases huge dopamine kicks from the brain and as my mother always used to say, “too much of a good thing ain’t good“. After all, our physical bodies are all about balance, and yes that includes the brain… let us not close our eyes and mind to the one side effect which is an addiction, it seems ok at age 70 but what about our teenagers? It is a Schedule 1 drug, the funny thing is so is heroin and LSD. Interestingly enough, in communities where cannabis is like coffee and tea to you and me, they found that it actually impacted the immune system negatively.

WHERE THERE IS SMOKE THERE IS FIRE

If you have possibly been looking for answers in a personal health challenge, I am almost positive that someone somewhere has, or will still advice the use of CBD. It has been promoted EVERYWHERE, from health coaches to health shops, to naturopaths based on the fact that it is a cure-all product, there to help with sleep, apparent mental focus, fewer aches and pains all that without the usual high. Logically thinking, we all KNOW that cannabis effects the brain, regardless of a label of CBD or marijuana. When people are encouraged to take it willy nilly without the proper and precise dosage instructions and not made aware of ‘how to’ come off it, therein lies the danger. Side effects include but are not limited to somnolence [sleeping all the time] and sedation, suicidal behavior and hepatocellular injury [yup, your liver is not taking this weed thing too well!].  

Let us take a look at that pleasure kick we get from dopamine again.  Firstly, dopamine is our friend, a neuro compound that regulates movement, emotions, attention, and learning. It identifies the rewards and then motivates action towards the rewards. It is our pleasure reward system. The THC in cannabis instigates the release of dopamine from the brain, whooop whoooooop Now, let us do this for a period of time, a couple of weeks, months and or years, and we end up with one serious imbalance, in fact, our brain becomes numb to the commands and dopamine levels drop, this starts affecting cognition, memory and causes learning difficulties. Then added to a study has shown that the use of this drug has an influence on epigenetics, resulting in it having an impact on generations to come. What we do in effect FOR OURSELVES, is not so, it carries on and on and on…

And here comes the hitter, if like me you may not be a socialite, kinda like your own space, taking this on a regular basis showed an increase in panic disorder, bipolarity, depression, anxiety and social phobia leading to overall decline in mental health; it may seem like a full-blown party to start with but may end up as a one-man-band. Remember I mentioned the high potency of the THC component, well, a 2015 study in Lancet Psychiatry looked carefully at the first time episodes of psychotic actions of over 400 adults in South London and 24% were tied to the use of ‘high-potency cannabis, ie. 25% THC content cannabis. With this, aging of the brain has been identified with the long term use of cannabis. Then let us look at the effect on our heart, it both raises blood pressure and heart rate, again a study on a group prone to coronary artery disease showed with over 4000 patients that cannabis triggered acute myocardial infarction [basically – heart attacks]. I am almost certain for each negative study there WILL BE a positive one, the problem is we are not aware of the negatives and this is by no means indicating that I am for or against its use, only my absolute dog-headed determination to become aware of the full picture. In the short term all seems well and dandy, it is the long term effect that ALWAYS INTERESTS ME.

As a side note, the same can be said for any medical intervention we use, take statin drugs, for example, a drug purported to relieve and prevent heart disease, but start using this delightful devil and all hell breaks loose in a body. Both my parents were on statins for close on 20 years and both passed as a result of heart disease, in that time, every other possible medication was added as a result of the domino effect statins had on their bodies.

The same could be said for cannabis, it starts as a seemingly healthier alternative, but is it? Or is it purely a great alternative for the here and now, regardless of the outcome in 10 years? I know of people personally using it that will not go without, I also know of people who used it for medicinal cures and are no longer with us. With the evidence stockpiling over its efficacy or not, some say that the negative side effects outweigh the positives.  

Looking at the rise of cancer and the use of CBD related to this is also interesting, in a 2012 case-control study, marijuana users ended up with twice the chance of testicular cancer. It was shown in a 2016 review that THC and CBD could ‘swing’ both ways, causes regression or progression of breast cancer in mice. Then a 2004 study showed the risk of brain cancer increased by 2.8 fold for those using marijuana at least once a month. The nail in the coffin so to speak showed up in a 2007 study sowing that THC was, in fact, an activator of cancer-promoting receptors and CBD gave only modest protection.

FASHIONABLE – WITHOUT QUESTION!

There are truly specific cases in which the use of this guided, specified, controlled and quality checked can be of benefit for a handful of health challenges, this I am not arguing. But, [sorry there is one] labeling cannabis and all the ways and means of consuming it, whether by; ‘delightful’ joint, THC infused soda [wtf – yup, it is in that too], skin products [really!? yes, really], a brownie, vaping and or dabbing a concentrated THC resin – into one bracket with zero standardization and quality control, never mind the MISLABELING [most often not mislabelling rather missing quality control, incorrect ingredient mix and misinformation is the culprit] is a cause for HUGE concern. Place this mix in a ‘clean’ bottle with a pretty label and just like that, you have a product for the desperate and unaware public legalized by many countries worldwide. Ever wondered about the contamination? It was found that 80 to 90% of the retailed cannabis sold in California included a not so helpful dose of pesticides, fungus, and molds.

Cannabis may not be the cure all promised
Cannabis may not be the cure all promised.

The vital part of this discussion is; anyone stepping into the ‘use zone’ needs to ensure it is done under a doctor’s supervision to ensure it can be adapted to YOUR situation, and correctly terminated when required. Become informed about the latest studies, not just those in favor but those that show both sides of the coin, take note of the sweeping claims and investigate the full truth [little of that is available and even when available depending on your situation you may turn a blind eye, each to his own and I cannot stress how I, or anybody for that matter cannot feel the pain and relief thereof, so, that being said, the call to use or not to, sits squarely on an individuals shoulders – not the government, not the supplier]. Get informed, read up on SAM, which is an organization encouraging medical research but frowns upon outright legalization.

Clear the understanding in your own mind that yes, it does have a role to play, in many cultures, it was used with great optimism and effect, but today concentrates and extracts are by no means the same mix.

REFERENCE:

Di Forti M, Marconi A, Carra E, et al. Proportion of patients in south London with first-episode psychosis attributable to use of high potency cannabis: a case-control study. Lancet Psychiatry 2015;2(3):233-8.

Lacson JCA, Carroll JD, Tuazon E, Castelao EJ, Bernstein L, Cortessis VK. Population-based case-control study of recreational drug use and testis cancer risk confirms association between marijuana use and non-seminoma risk. Cancer 2012;118(21):5374-83.

Ladin DA, Soliman E, Griffin L, Van Dross R. Preclinical and clinical assessment of cannabinoids as anti-cancer agents.  Front Pharmacol 2016;7:361.

Efird JT, Friedman GD, Sidney S, et al. The risk for malignant primary adult-onset glioma in a large, multiethnic, managed-care cohort: cigarette smoking and other lifestyle behaviors.  J Neurooncol 2004; 68(1): 57-69.

Ryberg E, Larsson N, Sjogren S, et al. The orphan receptor GPR55 is a novel cannabinoid receptor.  Br J Pharmacol 2007;152(7)1092-101.

Wise Traditions. In food, farming and the healing arts. A publication of The Weston A. Price Foundation. Vol 20 Number 1. Spring 2019. p24-37

3 FOOD pairings for HEALTH and WEIGHT LOSS

3 FOOD pairings for HEALTH and WEIGHT LOSS

Even though no magic bullet exists in weight loss, there may be steps towards better HEALTH that promotes weight loss simultaneously. We take a look at magical food and spice PAIRINGS that are conducive to firstly your body getting healthier and secondly ramping up weight loss.

Below I have identified 3 primary pairings, firstly coffee due to the fact that most people love their coffee and if we can get it in AND benefit our health, AWESOME. The second is our consistent intake of starch and how to deal with this villain of a macro-nutrient without packing on the pounds… and lastly, a trilogy that not only reduces our chances of disease but may keep us looking younger too!

3 FOOD PAIRINGS THAT ROCK!

1. COFFEE AND COCOA

Being my absolute favorite drink besides good old fashioned water, I decided to start with coffee. But it is not coffee on its own that rocks, but the addition of cocoa to this tasty drink that creates an interesting fix in your cells. Cocoa has a wondrous way of controlling cell absorption of fat. Regular consumption of cocoa reduces the absorption of fatty acids in these cells, therefore, reducing your chances of obesity. Cocoa other superpower is that of thermogenesis in white adipose tissue and liver… ie FAT FURNACE extraordinaire.

So where does coffee fit in? Good quality freshly brewed coffee allows activation of fat cells, mobilizing it in your bloodstream making it available as energy. Now, if you are prone to drinking copious amounts of coffee and sitting dead still, it may not necessarily work in your favor, however, if you do this combination before your morning walk it may VERY WELL work in your favor.

The added cocoa prevents your body from storing fat and the coffee adds fuel to that fat furnace. A true win-win for ANY coffee lover!

2. CINNAMON (AND STARCH)

A second favorite for me is the delightful cinnamon, a spice that adds zing to just about anything, salty or sweet. Everybody is aware of the ability of cinnamon to regulate blood sugar by reducing the glucose that enters the bloodstream, especially after gulping down the muffin offering from a work colleague!

It has been found that cinnamon kindly gives a hand to digestive enzymes allowing the slow break down of carbohydrates in your digestive tract. It doesn’t stop there, it also contributes to your health by lowering blood sugar, it mimics insulin improving the glucose uptake. Yes, after believing our self-discipline WILL trump [oh dear…] and we WILL say NO THANK YOU to a piece of chocolate AND we DON’T, our trusty friend, cinnamon, WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE.

A word of advice, if you are on a regulated diet for ridding your body of unhealthy fat, and you include the not-so-good-for-the-waistline STARCHES, add a bit of cinnamon to the mix, and preferably get the starches done by lunchtime so that you can make good use of the energy load coming in. Remember that healthy choices in Carbohydrates are important in helping a healthy balance in your body.

Attempt to add cinnamon to just about anything which includes starches, you may be surprised as it adds another FLAVORSOME ‘level’ in the food you taste.

3. PEPPER TURMERIC AND HONEY

A trilogy of potent ingredients that assist our bodies to fight inflammation. In a near-perfect world of dutifully growing our own veggies, not using synthetic products – like ever [extreme exaggeration to get my point across of course], milking our own goats, etc. we can say we have zero inflammatory conditions – SAID NO ONE EVER. No matter our situations we have little chance of getting our mix of nourishment correctly unless we live in a bubble. With that comes an inflammatory response in our bodies, which of course is good and bad. Good in the fact that if our bodies are functioning well, an inflammatory response is a reaction to our bodies call for help, you know, those times when you go run a marathon, your muscles are aching and getting out of bed is tough… or not, maybe it was purely a stretched muscle as you reached for a TV remote [heheheheheh, sorry I could not resist]. Either way, inflammation gets dealt with by an inflammatory response. But, increased continual inflammation leading to continual inflammatory response can be pretty tiring for your body too.

Tea with a twist...
Tea with a twist…

As our little soldiers work consistently in the inflammation in our bodies [ladies – this continual inflammation could even be a reaction to the ‘magical miracle wrinkle-free life face cream‘ we are tempted to use], it takes its toll. By toll I mean serious diseases such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s, in fact, besides a compromised digestive system that leads to a heap of health issues, inflammation is the deadly step sister for sure! As inflammation consistently happens, we wear our soldiers down. In steps this trilogy… and yes, the trilogy is important… I am sure everybody has seen how Turmeric has been donned as a superpower because of its delightful ingredient Curcumin, the problem with this is that Curcumin is the shy sister of Turmeric, this little bombshell doesn’t come out to play with ease… [For the sciency type, it will not cross the blood-brain barrier without a push and a shove] Now yes, Turmeric is powerful in the anti-inflammatory role but without Curcumin being available for the same playdate Turmeric gets a bit boring. Why we need these two to work together is quite simple, reduce inflammation in your body and suddenly removing unwanted fat becomes a whole lot easier. Simply put, if our bodies are so busy putting out fires [inflammation] little energy is left to worry about whether you fit into a size 10! So what gets Curcumin out of the bedroom to play? Add a touch of Honey and a grinding of pepper… Both these ingredients are KEY! Honey politely lifts your insulin levels JUST ENOUGH for your body to notice Turmeric, and the pepper unlocks the door and says to the Curcumin, ‘Do come in…‘ Delightful as a daily tea, try it. Personally, I like using a green tea or Rooibos base for the tea but straight up is fantastic. Generally, a generous helping of Turmeric in boiled water(half a teaspoon will do), a grinding of pepper, depending on how strong you like it of course and a half a teaspoon of honey will do. Just like that, there is a health party going into your body!

May I add to this, seeing as I did mention the not so good for you skin products that inflame the muscles that lie beneath our porcelain facial features, this trilogy, pepper, Turmeric, and honey may just replace your monthly botox injection and its just laugh lines‘ discussions…

Even though multi-tasking has been taken to task [aka, BE PRESENT] when it comes to improving your body functioning, improving fat burning and adding great health into the mix, these combos and their multi-tasking abilities brings a smile to my face!

Pin It on Pinterest