Table of Contents
- What Is Cannabis Sativa?
- What Are Cannabinoids?
- Where Does CBD Come From?
- Uses of CBD
- More of the Good Stuff
The world’s abuzz with talk about the benefits of hemp and CBD in particular, and around 14% of Americans use CBD on a regular basis.
We know that CBD comes from the cannabis plant, but what is cannabis Sativa and how much do we really know about the mysterious powers of this ancient plant?
If you like to find out all the facts before you try something new, you’re in the right place. Keep reading for an in-depth review about cannabis Sativa and CBD.
Cannabis sativa belongs to the plant family Cannabaceae. There are 11 separate genera and about 170 species of herbs and trees classified in this group of plants.
The word ‘Sativa’ means ‘cultivated’ and is a fitting suffix for this versatile plant.
Cannabis sativa bears unisexual flowers and each plant is either male or female. The female plants bear flowers, capable of producing hundreds of seeds, in racemes. Male plants shed pollen and then die quickly, usually before the female seeds have ripened.
Usually, Cannabis sativa produces equal amounts of each sex of plants due to heritable X and Y chromosomes. Some environmental factors, like the amount of daylight they’re exposed to, can affect the sex of the plant.
Some growers treat the plants with hormones or silver thiosulfate to create the more valuable feminized seeds.
It’s an annual short-day flowering plant that takes about 3 months to reach maturity. Cannabis Sativa’s widely cultivated due to its many practical and medicinal uses.
Cannabis evolved in the steppes of Asia and first caught the attention of mankind around 3BC. Early man cultivated the plant for making fiber, rope, food, and medicine.
Today, the plant’s still widely used for animal feed, construction materials, fabrics, cosmetics, and more.
It didn’t take them long to discover its psychoactive properties which they embraced in religious rites and for recreation. Some people got a little carried away on the recreational side and the first restrictions on cannabis arose during the 14th century.
Soon, agriculturalists started to breed plants selectively based on the properties they found most useful. Inevitably this created an unofficial divide between plants used for a recreational high, known commonly as marijuana and those used for more mundane purposes, called hemp.
By the middle of the 20th century, these restrictions on recreational cannabis had stretched across the globe. Industrial cultivation continued for the most part unabated.
The stigma surrounding cannabis for medicinal use has only started to abate in recent times as scientists have discovered more of the medicinal cannabinoids contained with this plant.
Cannabinoids are the most important elements of cannabis Sativa when it comes to medicine.
The plant contains over 480 compounds including at least 60 different cannabinoids. Two of the best-known ones are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).
There are in fact seven main types of cannabinoids, namely:
Most of the other cannabinoids found in cannabis Sativa occur only in trace amounts.
The medicinal importance of these compounds stems from their ability to interact with the endocannabinoid system found in all mammals.
Scientists first discovered the endocannabinoid system while studying the effects of THC on the human body during the 1990s. It’s a complex network of receptors, located throughout the nervous system.
Since it’s so widespread, the ECS affects many aspects of animal life including:
So, it makes sense that any substance that affects the ECS can play a role in people’s quality of life.
The ECS has three main components, namely receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes.
Humans produce molecules called endocannabinoids naturally. These molecules are similar to cannabinoids in some respects and the human body produces them as needed to keep the body’s internal functions running smoothly.
They work by binding with CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoid receptors scattered throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems to create specific effects. Their main function is to maintain homeostasis in the body.
Once the enzymes have done their job, they’re broken down by the enzymes present in the ECS.
Although the jury’s still out on how it works exactly, CBD seems to protect the endocannabinoids from these enzymes when necessary. For example, in cases of extreme inflammation, the body might need to hold onto its endocannabinoids a little longer than normal.
Along with TCH, CBD’s produced in the trichomes of the cannabis Sativa plant. Trichomes are the tiny hairs occurring on the outside of most plants.
Depending on how they’re cultivated, different strains of cannabis Sativa plants carry varying quantities of THC and CBD. According to US law, plants with less than 0.03% THC fall into the hemp category.
There are three main ways to get the CBD out of the hemp plant:
This process entails removing the trichomes manually so that you can get the best benefit from each plant. Heat, pressure, or friction will do the trick.
You can accomplish this most easily by freezing the plants and shaking the trichomes loose and scooping them up. This is the cheapest and easiest extraction method but it yields low levels of CBD.
The first stage in this process is decarboxylation. It involves heating raw cannabis so the chemical structure of the cannabinoids changes from acid to neutral.
Next, you run a liquid solvent like butane, ethanol, or hexane through the decarboxylated hemp to remove the cannabinoids and terpenes. Finally, you allow the solvent to evaporate so that you’re left only with the good stuff.
This is the most advanced and effective way to get CBD from the hemp plant. It involves manipulating CO₂ until it reaches a supercritical state (takes on a gas and liquid form), then pumping it through raw plant material.
The process needs strictly controlled conditions to extract all the essential cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant. Thus it requires a high degree of skill as well as complex machinery.
Most commercial manufacturers of CBD products use this method.
In ancient times, you’d need to pay a visit to your local witchdoctor if you needed a dose of CBD. More recently, you might have had to get hold of it by more dubious means.
Nowadays, if you live in a place that allows it, you can pop into your nearest dispensary or visit this online CBD store to get the CBD you need for your ailment.
CBD’s associated with treating several afflictions in both humans and domestic animals. Researchers are still frantically looking for scientific evidence to support these claims.
Yet, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support the medicinal use of CBD for the following ailments:
People take CBD for relief from a huge variety of inflammatory conditions. These include:
It works by reducing the inflammatory response resulting from an imbalance in the ECS.
CBD’s well-known for decreasing anxiety, stress, PTSD, and insomnia. It’s also implicated in relief from Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
CBD’s approved by the FDA for treating epilepsy. Although epilepsy’s not a mental disorder, it does stem from a malfunction in the brain.
CBD can help reduce dryness, irritation, and redness in the skin. As such, it’s used to treat various dermatologic conditions like eczema, acne, and psoriasis.
It also has anti-fungal properties which make it useful for relieving athletes’ foot and ringworm.
Most of CBD’s health benefits stem from its ability to soothe the ECS and put it back on an even keel.
You can imbibe CBD in several forms such as pills, capsules, powders, oils, and tincture. There are also CBD-infused foods, sweets, and topical lotions available.
If you plan to use CBD for animals, it’s important to select products made specifically for the species concerned. Different species have unique interactions with CBD and TCH is poisonous to some of the smaller ones.
Always chat to your doctor or your veterinarian before using CBD products on yourself or your pets.
Now the next time the question ‘what is cannabis Sativa?’ comes up, you can answer with confidence. If you’d like to know more random facts keep browsing our website.
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