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The Complete Guide to CBD Topicals This Holiday Season

The holidays are a wonderful time of the year. A time to connect and celebrate with friends and family. They are a time to exchange gifts and eat yummy food. Even so, with all sorts of reasons to be merry, the holidays can be stressful too. People often feel a higher level of family responsibility around the holidays. With the extra time and money required to celebrate, it is easy to feel overwhelmed.

poll by the American Psychological Association found that 38% of people say that their level of stress increases over the holidays. That is saying something considering that 8 out of 10 Americans report suffering from stress sometimes (35%) or frequently (44%) outside of the holiday season.

Why all the stress? How can CBD topicals and other natural approaches help?

Stress Factors

While stress can be caused by a myriad of factors—around the holidays the stand out stressor is having high, and maybe unrealistic, expectations.

Who doesn’t want to give their spouse, friends, children and other family members the perfect holiday experience and gift? That can be a pretty expensive proposition depending on the age of the child and the expectations of the adults. And how about the expense of travel and the time off work?

Then there is the stress of the holiday celebrations themselves (or lack of them as the case may be.) What if Aunt Bertha insists on bringing up embarrassing moments from your childhood for the millionth time or Uncle Pat decides to drink a little too much? What if you are living away from friends and family and are celebrating alone?

What You Can Do About Stress

Communicate!

Talk to your children about the value of money and spending responsibly. Make the holidays a teachable moment!

It is also important to communicate with friends and family about the level of gifts that will be exchanged at family gatherings so no one feels pressured or uncomfortable. That doesn’t mean that everybody has to spend the same amount of money, but if gift-giving gets stressful, it’s time to talk it out. If Uncle Bill insists on giving you that Tesla you’ve been wanting, we are not suggesting that you turn him down. Just make sure he knows that he may be getting a fruit basket and a pair of socks in return.

A great way to get control of the financial stress is to establish a budget for your holiday spending. According to a Gallup poll, American adults spend about $800 on average each year on Christmas. Decide in advance what level of spending you are comfortable with and stick to it.

Be Social!

Connect with good friends and supportive family members. Your connections can help you manage your holiday challenges and you can help them too! Being around supportive and positive people is a great way to decompress.

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Keep it Real

The holiday season is relatively short and then it’s over. So what is the worst that can happen? Uncle Pat gets falling-down drunk. Aunt Bertha tells the same old embarrassing stories. You accidentally burn the pot roast and drop the cherry pie just as dinner is being served. Well, at least you’ll have some stories to tell your co-workers after the holidays.

What if you don’t have plans for the holidays? That can be stressful too. If life circumstances have you spending time alone over the holidays, you can use the opportunity to volunteer. Volunteering not only helps others but can be an opportunity to socialize depending on what you do. You can also use that time to make extra money by taking on holiday shifts. Finally, you can simply do some things you have been wanting to do but haven’t had the time—read that novel that has been collecting dust on your bed stand, refinish that table, and pamper yourself (more on that below!)

So keep it in perspective. Enjoy the fun and let the rest roll off your back the best that you can (Yes–even Aunt Bertha). To do this, the next point is really important.

Take Care of Number One

The truth is, if you don’t take care of yourself first, it is going to be hard to take care of others. Being tired and stressed doesn’t make for a good mood, so make sure that your own needs are met. To help you relax there are a number of natural strategies you can use.

When it comes to your body’s systems and organs, the skin is a BIG player. The skin is the largest organ in the human body. It serves as the body’s first protective barrier against germs and the elements. The skin also helps the body regulate temperature, and permits the sensations of touch, heat, and cold.

The skin covers an average total area of about 20 square feet on the adult human body. With that much real estate, it is no wonder that caring for the skin can help people relax and feel better all over.

Pamper Yourself with Fusion Full Spectrum CBD Topicals

CBD, aka cannabidiol, is the plant-based compound found in hemp—the same plant that helps us produce textiles, hemp protein powder, and hemp milk (a delicious alternative to cow’s milk.) CBD is one of over a hundred cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. Our topicals contain full-spectrum hemp oil. This oil is extracted from the harvested and dried hemp plant. Full-spectrum means that all of the natural goodness of the hemp plant is left intact—all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. When you use CBD products, your body’s endocannabinoid system is affected. Fusion CBD has an array of topical products to help you relax and destress over the holidays—and all year round! They also make great Christmas gifts for friends and family that need a little help taking the edge off their own stress. applying-cream-to-shoulder-cbd-hemp

CBD Hemp Body Cream

CBD Hemp Body Cream pampers your skin with its mix of high-quality lavender & mint and 300 mg of full-spectrum cannabinoids and other essential oils. After an exhausting day of buying food and gifts, try rubbing the natural goodness of this cream into your sore and tired feet. Not only does this cream provide a soothing, relaxing experience, using it daily or as needed will help your skin stay smooth and soft.

CBD Hemp Soap

There is nothing more relaxing than a nice hot shower. Add to this our all-natural CBD soap infused with full-spectrum cannabinoids and other natural oils and now you’re really talking! Whether you are showering in preparation for your day or after exercise (another good way to destress!) a shower and our bar of CBD soap is a great combo. Each 4 oz. bar contains 150mg cannabinoids.

CBD Targeted Spray

Feeling a bit stiff and sore with all the holiday hustle and bustle? Give yourself fast comfort and relief with our topical hemp CBD spray. As a spray, it allows for direct applications to the areas where you need it most. After your busy day, put on some soothing music, put your feet up, and spray away. It’s time to relax and enjoy the moment.

CBD Salve & Ointment

Let’s face it—walking around stores and shopping can be a pain (in the feet that is!) Target annoying aches and pains wherever they are with this soothing full spectrum hemp extract salve. Kick back in your recliner and rub this salve in as needed on specific areas. Turn on relaxing tunes and give the CBD salve 20 minutes to fully soak in. This little beauty of a product contains over 300 mg of cannabinoids for your delight and enjoyment. legs-with-cream-applied-cbd-hemp

CBD Hemp Salve with Lavender & Peppermint

This little lovely packs a CBD punch and then some! In addition to 150 mg of full-spectrum hemp extract with terpenes, this hemp CBD salve comes with some extras. These extras include coconut oil, beeswax, menthol crystals, arnica oil, emu oil, lavender & peppermint essential oils, and camphor oil. Super easy-to-use, just rub it in! (Because who needs something hard to use when you are just trying to chill out right?) Sit down, drink some green tea, and target annoying aches and pains in specific areas. Breath deeply and allow 20 minutes for this relaxing salve to fully soak in.

CBD Hemp Roll-on

Sometimes you just gotta let it roll. And this is certainly the case with our convenient hemp CBD roll-on. Each roll-on offers 150 mg cannabinoids and lots of enjoyment. Sit back, apply where needed, and let the good times roll. All of our hemp CBD products contain less than .3% THC. Remember to consult your doctor if mixing with medications.

More Natural Ways to Care for Yourself over the Holidays

Do your best this holiday season to keep your mind and body healthy. Being healthy makes it much easier to deal with stressful situations as they arise. Physical activity is a great way to keep healthy and destress. Physical activity can also help us to sleep better—another key component to staying healthy. After opening gifts on Christmas morning, instead of retiring to the couch for the rest of the day, consider taking the family out for a walk. Getting out into nature promotes a calm mental state and can be a great bonding experience for everyone. Another obvious self-care strategy is maintaining a healthy diet. While this is easier said than done over the holiday season, it is something to keep in mind. Where you may be tempted to enjoy all of the desserts at cousin Nick’s holiday party, try just eating a small piece of one or two. By enjoying unhealthy, albeit delicious food in moderation we increase our chances of staying strong. So from the Fusion CBD family to you our reader, stay healthy and enjoy a wonderful holiday season!

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Cats and Dogs Taking CBD Together – What’s the Story

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” – Anatole France Pets, especially dogs and cats, have long been an important part of our families. Pets truly bring distinct positive benefits to their owners’ lives. As a result, Americans are spending more and looking for new ways to provide a better life for our furry friends. 67% of U.S. households (85 million) own a pet according to a 2019/2020 survey done by the American Pet Products Association. This number is up by 56% since the study was first done in 1988. How many dogs and cats does that work out to be? There are 89.7 million dogs and 94.2 million cats. So obviously, many pet owners have more than one pet in the house. There are probably a few cat ladies skewing those numbers as well. Regardless, that is an average of around 2 pets per household. Spending is also up. In 2010, the annual expenditures on all pets were $48.35 billion, this number jumped to $75.38 billion in 2019. A lot of that expense is basic needs: food visits to the vet, chew toys, and a feather on a string. However, there is a rapidly growing market for wellness products for pets. It seems pet owners are looking to go beyond just providing the basics and are looking to ensure that our four-legged friends are really enjoying their lives.

What Fluffy and Fido Do For Us

Most of us understand the emotional benefits of caring for, playing with, and snuggling up with our four-legged friends. Almost nothing makes you feel better after a bad day than being greeted by Fido at the door, tail wagging. He is happy to see you and doesn’t care how your performance review went. However, beyond just the warm fuzzy you feel, studies show that there are real physical and mental health benefits of pet ownership. Dogs and cats reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, as well as encouraging exercise and playfulness. Here are a few of the studies’ findings.
  • Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
  • People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets. One study even found that when people with borderline hypertension adopted dogs from a shelter, their blood pressure declined significantly within five months.
  • Playing with a dog or cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which help you to relax and feel calm.
  • Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.

But What About Non-Furry Friends?

Not necessarily surprising but check this out; this is true even when the caregivers don’t interact very much with the pets in question. In a 2016 study, elderly people were given five crickets in a cage. OK, we don’t consider crickets as much of a pet either. However, in the name of science, researchers monitored these seniors’ mood over eight weeks while they had the crickets. They then compared them to a control group that was not caring for any crickets. The result? Participants given crickets became less depressed after the eight weeks than those in the control group who had no crickets. Therefore, researchers concluded that caring for a living creature, even a cricket, produces mental health benefits. With all of the positive support our pets provide us, it only makes sense that we want the same for them. old-man-with-his-pets-cbd-hemp

CBD and Health and Wellness

Many people have begun to add CBD to their wellness routine. Whether they are adding it to their morning smoothie or applying a topical lotion, many folks feel that it is having a positive impact on them. While not enough studies have been completed to prove what exactly CBD is doing, there are some things we do know. The main one being the discovery of a new system in the human body. The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) was discovered in 1988. The ECS serves to regulate and maintain balance within the human body. It does this by monitoring functions such as the immune response, sleep, appetite, cognitive function, energy level, metabolism, cardiovascular health as well as breathing and mood. The main part of this system are endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid receptors. Endocannabinoids. are naturally occurring chemical compounds produced by the body to signal and communicate with the endocannabinoid receptors. These receptors are located on the surface of cells and organs throughout our bodies.

How Does Hemp Fit Into This Discovery?

Hemp as a plant has evolved over 100 different types of phytocannabinoids, CBD is one of those. Phyto means produced by a plant, while endo implies that is was produced by your body. These phytocannabinoids work with and fit into the body’s endocannabinoid receptor system. For more detailed information on this system and how it all works, you can read more about it in our other posts on this subject. Suffice it to say that it is the interaction of CBD with our own endocannabinoid system that is a point of continuing study. It is also the theory behind CBD’s potential wellness properties in humans. Hemp as it is defined legally contains no more than .03% THC and varying percentages of CBD. So it won’t get you or your pet high. The big takeaway here? You guessed it. Dogs and cats have an endocannabinoid system as well. With this in mind, many people and veterinarians are now discussing the possible wellness benefits of CBD for Fluffy and Fido.

CBD and Pets What Do We Know?

If you have searched online for CBD for your pets, you may have noticed that there is much more information regarding dogs and CBD than cats using CBD. There is no evidence that CBD is more effective with dogs than cats. Both have an endocannabinoid system, so it would seem that doggy use of CBD has simply been more documented. Veterinarians have generally been very conservative when it comes to talking about CBD with their clients. However, like our human doctors, this is changing as we all learn more about the natural benefits of CBD. A growing number of natural remedy vets are speaking out and recommending that pet owners look into CBD. It is important to note that your vet can not currently prescribe or recommend specific CBD products. In response to increased interest in CBD, the American Kennel Club has published a What You Need to Know article on its website for dog owners. The American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Canine Health Foundation (CHF) are sponsoring a study through Colorado State University into treatment-resistant epileptic dogs. But you might be reading this and thinking, but I am a cat person. I don’t have a dog. What about my kitty? Can CBD be a helpful part of ensuring that my cat is living her best life? Much like with dogs, the information on CBD being used with cats is still anecdotal. There are a growing number of cat owners who are reporting its benefits but there are some things to understand before deciding if CBD is right for Whiskers. cat-hiding-in-a-basket-cbd-hemp

Five Signs Your Kitty Might Be Anxious

Cats can suffer from anxiety and this is an area that CBD research is being done with humans. While far from conclusive, there is accumulating evidence that the endocannabinoid system has a role in regulating stress and anxiety. Here are a few of the signs that your kitty may be suffering from some sort of mild to major anxiety. You should always check with your veterinarian as some of these symptoms may be indications of a more serious health problem. Here are five common manifestations that indicate kitty is having a hard time coping with something.
  1. Too much time spent hiding – While all cats need some alone time if your cat is spending a large amount of time hiding it could mean she is anxious about something.
  2. Lots of meows and vocalizations – We all like to hear our kitty talk to us. However, an excessive amount could mean your cat is concerned and trying to tell you something.
  3. Excessive grooming – Fluffy likes to keep clean. Too much could be a sign she is trying to compensate for her nerves.
  4. Kitty follows you everywhere – Cats can develop separation anxiety. If your kitty won’t let you out of their sight, it can be endearing, but it could mean she is anxious.
  5. Your cat is constantly pacing – Cats generally spend about 16 hours a day sleeping. So if Fluffy is unusually active and pacing around, it is a sign that something is up.
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How You Can Help Fluffy to Chill

A common contributing factor with a cat’s anxiety is change. While change may be good for a person from time to time, it is really pretty rough on Fluffy. They don’t like it. So do your best to keep the environment consistent. Try not to rearrange the living room once a month—if this is your way of coping with stress it may be stressing out your cat. It is also important that you provide kitty with a safe space that she knows is her place and can retreat to if things get stressful for her. Here are four simple things that you can do to help your cat live more stress-free. She helps with your stress, here is how you can help her with hers. No sense in you both being stressed out.
  1. Provide a good hiding place for kitty – Hiding helps kitty to cope. So provide her a place, it can be a full-on fancy cat tunnel from the pet store or it can be a cardboard box.
  2. Ensure you spend some interactive playtime – This is the best one as it is good for you both. Find time, twice a day, to have some playtime. A stick, string, and feather can really do wonders.
  3. Open the curtains and let her sunbathe – Easy and cost-effective, open the shutters and let the sunshine in. Cats enjoy napping in the sun and looking out the window.

Kitty Still Isn’t Chill – Now What?

If your kitty’s behavior doesn’t respond you may want it to, discuss it with your vet. Your vet will do his best to address each cat’s individual circumstances. In some instances, they may want to provide prescription medication. However, you may want to consider discussing CBD as a natural alternative. It should be on the table as an option as PetMD and many vets routinely suggest catnip, valerian root, chamomile, and hops for nervous kitties. If you are looking at CBD, know that you are going to want an organic full-spectrum CBD. As the industry is still under-regulated, there are products that may contain synthetic chemical compounds and other additives that may be harmful to your pet.
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A Who’s Who of Hemp & CBD

The use of hemp for a variety of purposes dates back thousands of years. So it’s no wonder that there are some pretty famous folks that have advocated its use.

From Thomas Jefferson in the late 1700s to Mitch McConnel in the 2000s, hemp has gotten attention. It is only recently, however, with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill which took hemp off of the Schedule 1 narcotics list, that its use in the form of CBD oil launched it into celebritydom.

Here is a breakdown of SOME of the who’s who of hemp and CBD. We say some because there are so many high-profile advocates that it would be impossible to create a full list.

Here goes.

Historic Who’s Who

Emperor Shen Neng of China: As early as 2737 B.C., the mystical emperor was prescribing cannabis tea for the treatment of gout, rheumatism, malaria, and poor memory.

King Henry VIII: In 1535, the king passed an act compelling all landowners to grow a minimum of 1/4 of an acre of hemp, or face being fined.

George Washington: The first American President grew hemp and encouraged all citizens to sow hemp widely.

Thomas Jefferson: This Founding Father and President bred improved hemp varieties, and invented a special tool for crushing the plant’s stems during fiber processing.

“Hemp … is abundantly productive and will grow forever on the same spot,” Jefferson wrote in a letter on December 29, 1815.

Hemp fiber was so important to the new American nation that farmers were compelled by patriotic duty to grow it. There were even allowed to pay taxes with it.

US Politicians Who’s Who

Mitch McConnell

Senator Mitch McConnell: Perhaps the most well-known supporter of hemp in the political arena is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Senator McConnell began advocating the legalization of hemp in 2013. The senator even called on the head of the DEA for a face-to-face meeting when it tried to shut down a pilot hemp-growing program he had helped set up in Kentucky.

“As the proud senior Senator from the Commonwealth of Kentucky who has served on the Agriculture Committee since my first day in the Senate, I know exactly how important this legislation is to agricultural communities,” Senator McConnell said upon the passage of the Farm Bill of 2018 which legalized the cultivation of hemp. “Kentuckians know as well as anyone just how important American agriculture is — and we understand as well as anyone all the unique challenges that it faces. That is why I proudly supported this bill, which will bolster programs supporting our producers.”

Kevin Cramer

Republican Kevin Cramer of North Dakota was part of the coalition that helped push through the 2018 Farm Bill. A representative at that time, he is now a U.S. senator. He has proven his ability to reach across the aisle to work with his fellow politicians to move the ball forward for the hemp industry and farmers.

Pat Roberts

Senator Pat Roberts is a republican from Kansas. He serves as Chairman of the Agriculture Committee. In July of this year he tweeted:

 

Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

Oregon Democratic Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley were also part of the coalition that helped pass the 2018 Farm bill. In fact, the bill includes provisions from both Wyden and Merkley. 

They continue to push for progress in the hemp industry. Just this month, they sent a letter urging FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb to ease regulations on hemp production to make it easier for farmers to grow and distribute the newly legalized crop. 

“Outdated regulations limit producers from taking full advantage of the industrial hemp market,” the lawmakers said in a letter to Gottlieb. They referenced a stipulation that prevents hemp-derived CBD products from being sold in interstate commerce.

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Celebrity Who’s Who

In additional to leaders both past and present, high profile individuals have also spoken out publicly for hemp. 

Hemp has proven to be useful in the creation of textiles, bioplastics, rope, paper, and as a biofuel. But the truth is, today hemp is probably getting the most notice for its nutritional benefits and topical use. This brings it full circle to the days of Emperor Shen Neng of China. 

The chemical makeup of hemp which includes over 400 terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids has brought it to the attention of many health conscious celebrities. The most well known of these components is CBD. Here is what some celebrities have said about it.

Kim Kardashian Loves her CBD

Kim Kardashian loves her CBD so much that she had a CBD-themed baby shower before the birth of her son Psalm West. She offered everything from CBD-infused chocolate fountains and kombucha to CBD massages to her guests. 

“So, because I’m freaking out and the baby is coming in, like, two weeks, I thought ‘what better way to celebrate than to have a little CBD’,” she told her guests in a video posted to a fan Instagram account

In another video clip, Kim K can be heard explaining why she decided to have a CBD themed party for this child rather than a shower. 

“Let’s zen out on a Saturday,” she said. “I thought it was kind of ridiculous to have a fourth baby shower.”

Jennifer Aniston is “Impressed” with Cannabinoil Oil.

Jennifer Anniston, the former Friends star, told Us magazine in an interview that she found impressive results with CBD oil. 

“It has all the benefits of marijuana without the high,” she said.

Dakota Johnson Flies with CBD Oil

Actress Dakota Johnson, daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, did an interview with Elle magazine. Dakota has starred in big film productions like Fifty Shades and Suspiria. In her interview, she discussed her love of scents and oils. Among her favorite oils are CBD which she said she used when flying. 

“I try to knock myself out on planes,” she told Elle. “Otherwise my whole world falls apart.”

Busy Philips likes CBD Gummies

Actress Busy Phillipps generously shares her life’s triumphs and struggles on social media and in interviews. In a recent interview with Health magazine she talked about her struggle with anxiety. 

“I grew up in a family where mental health issues are…we’ve got ’em!” Busy told Us. “I’ve had that since I was a kid—racing thoughts, unable to get control of my thoughts, spinning out into paralysis of not being able to do anything and crying hysterically about it, or just feeling totally helpless.” 

Like many celebrities dealing with similar issues, Busy deals with the issue holistically. She works out daily, has done acupuncture, infrared sauna, and used CBD and THC gummies which she says she is a “very strong proponent of now.”

Emma Roberts Bathes with CBD

Emma Roberts, of American Horror Story fame, posted on Instagram in January that she genuinely loves her CBD-infused bath tonic. The tonic was created to make bathing more relaxing. She even used the hashtag #notanad” on the post.

Alessandra Ambrosio’s Sleeps Better with CBD Oil

Brazilian supermodel and Victoria’s Secret angel, Alessandra Ambrosio, told Well + Good that she uses CBD oil. 

“The most important thing to do [to prep for the Victoria’s Secret Show] is to sleep eight hours the night before,” she said. “It’s hard because the mind gets anxious, so I try CBD oil and I think it helps.” 

Ambrosio also said that to prepare for a show she doubles down on her workouts.

Olivia Wilde’s Feet Love CBD Lotion

Olivia Wilde told the New York Times some of her favorite tips for beauty and wellness. The actress revealed that she uses a body lotion with CBD to soothe body aches and relax tensed up muscles without resorting to over-the-counter painkillers. Olivia noted the relaxing properties of CBD and how it helped her after 6 exhausting months on Broadway “left her body wrecked.” 

Olivia’s feet are not the only celebrity feet to have CBD lotion rubbed on them. In January, The New York Times reported that Karla Welch, stylist to stars like Olivia Wilde, Ruth Negga and Katy Perry, applies CBD lotion to her clients’ feet before they walk in big events.

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Who’s Who of Athletes

In 2016, NFL lineman, Eugene Monroe, became the first professional athlete to come out in support of CBD. Shortly after, he was joined by NFL Linebacker, Derrick Morgan. NFL players like Monroe and Morgan are concerned about the addictive nature of the industry-standard prescribed pain medications. 

Since 2016, many more athletes have come out in favor of the benefits of CBD. CBD’s impressive roster of athletic supporters includes: former NFL Defensive End Marvin Washington who has become a CBD ambassador; UFC Fighter Yair Rodriguez who touts that CBD oil has helped him recover between trainings; UFC Fighter Nate Diaz who created controversy when he publicly vaped CBD at a press conference; former NFL Quarterback Jake Plummer who thanks CBD for helping him; and former NFL Left Tackle Kyle Turley who has been quoted as saying, “CBD can save football.” 

Chris Carmichael, the CEO/Head Coach of CTS, an athletic training organization, recently wrote about CBD for athletes. In his article CBD for Athletes: What You Need to Know About Cannabidiol, Carnmichael explains how cannabinoids already exist in the body and discusses how CBD supports the body’s natural process and why athletes may want to use it.

CBD is an Individual Experience

With all of the folks including celebrities and athletes trying and talking about CBD, it is important to remember that everybody is different. What helps one person may not help another. Any and all positive experiences of the individuals mentioned in this article are their own and do not necessarily reflect normal expectations of CBD oil.

 

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All About CBG—the Molecular Companion of CBD

The cannabinoid cannabigerol a.k.a. CBG is like an older child who finds themself outside of the center of attention when their younger siblings arrive. And yet, if it weren’t for CBG, cannabinoids like CBD and THC would not even exist. 

So today we are shining the light on this unsung hero—CBG. For those of you new to this subject, we are going to fill you in on some basics first so you don’t get lost. For the more educated on this topic, read the subheads and skip ahead.

What is a Cannabinoid?

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds. The first thing to know is that there are actually two distinct types of cannabinoids. 

“Phytocannabinoids” are chemical compounds produced by plants (Phyto means “plant”). They are specifically produced by cannabis plants. “Endocannabinoids” are produced by the body (Endo means “in”). 

There have been over 100 different phytocannabinoids identified in the cannabis plant. Now they don’t all appear in every single plant at the same time. In fact, one of the things to know is that the cannabinoids themselves change from one type to another depending on environmental factors. These factors are things like Ultraviolet light, heat, and oxygen. 

There are two main endocannabinoids that have been identified in the human body—anandamide and 2-AG. (For Star Wars fans, these names may bring up mental images of a Jedi Knight—“Adandamide” and his trusty droid–2-AG—on Tatooine.) Anandamide is the Sanskrit word for “joy” and “bliss”. 

Cannabinoids are one part of the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

The Endocannabinoid system is one of 12 systems in the human body. Other systems include the nervous system, the circulatory system, and the endocrine system. But unlike some systems—like the skeletal system, which is pretty darn easy to spot—the ECS is well hidden. 

Relative to the discovery of all of the other bodily systems, the ECS is the new kid on the block. The ECS is so newly discovered that it is often not included in lists of the body’s systems. 

The Endocannabinoid System was discovered in 1988 by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam. The ECS is comprised of the following:

  • Endocannabinoids—the chemical compounds produced by the body to communicate with and signal the endocannabinoid receptors—CB1 and CB2
  • CB1 and CB2 receptors which are found on the surface of cells throughout the cells and organs of the entire body
  • Enzymes that synthesize and degrade the endocannabinoids

The ECS serves to regulate and maintain balance in the body. The ECS monitors such critical functions as immune response, sleep, appetite, cognition, energy level, cardiovascular, metabolism, breathing, and mood. 

The ECS is really important to the balance and function of bodily systems. It is so important that some scientists believe that deficiencies in the system may result in common diseases and health conditions.

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Phytocannabinoids Mimic Endocannabinoids in the Body

What is really fascinating about this entire area is that the phytocannabinoids in cannabis fit perfectly with the ECS receptors in the human body. Scientists believe that the reason for this is that the plant species evolved to adapt to humans and other vertebrates. The study “The Endocannabinoid System: An Osteopathic Perspective” puts the genuses of the ECS system at 600 million years ago. Cannabis, on the other hand, only arrived on the scene 34 million years ago. So it is clear simply from the timeline of evolution which one adapted to the other. 

“Humans likely did not evolve receptors for a cannabis compound. Indeed, the cannabinoid receptor evolved long before cannabis,” reported the study. 

Ancient medicine men from places like China, Tibet, and India did not understand the chemistry (or even the existence) of the ECS. But thousands of years ago, cannabis came into use for healing in each of these places.

What do Cannabinoids DO in the Body?

What a particular cannabinoid does in the body depends very much on which cannabinoid you are talking about. 

Marijuana is legally defined as a cannabis plant containing higher than .3% THC. The average marijuana plant has 12% THC. Cannabinoids like THC actually bind with the CB1 receptors in the body. This effectively blocks the body’s own endocannabinoid, anandamide, from interacting with these same receptors. 

According to WebMD, medical marijuana is most commonly prescribed for the following conditions: chemotherapy side effects—nausea, vomiting and weight loss; muscle spasms and stiffness caused by multiple sclerosis; various pain syndromes; and seizures. 

CBD, on the other hand, does not bind with ECS receptors. Instead, it interacts by preventing the body’s enzymes from degrading and eliminating its own endocannabinoids. This allows the body’s own endocannabinoids to do their job of creating homeostasis (balance) in the body’s systems. 

Interestingly enough, Healthline reports that CBD is often used by consumers for many of the same things that THC is used for—pain, nausea, inflammation, insomnia etc. The primary difference being that CBD does not produce the “high” of THC. CBD also does not produce the potential temporary side effects of THC such as coordination problems, shower reaction times, memory loss or the potential long term psychiatric effects.

And Now For CBG

CBG was discovered in 1964 by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam and his team at Hebrew University in Israel. We have written about Dr. Mechoulam in the past because it was he and his team also discovered CBD and THC. 

CBG is considered a “minor” cannabinoid. It is available in low quantities from most strains of cannabis. As measured in weight by volume, CBG typically composes below 1%, although some strains may have between 6 and 8%. 

Like THC, CBG binds with the receptors of the ECS. Unlike THC, CBG does not have mind-altering side effects, so it will not make a person high.

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CBGA – The Source of Cannabinoids

If you have been following and studying the fascinating topic of the endocannabinoid system (and cannabinoids in general), this section is going to answer some questions. If you haven’t asked these questions, this section will preempt you having to ask these questions in the future. 

Questions like, “Why the hell can’t I find a definitive list of the pytocanniboinds that have been discovered?” and “Why do many sites give a specific number of cannabinoids without backing it up with an actual list?” 

Well, the fact is, there is a relatively small number of core phytocannabinoids. The rest of the discovered cannabinoids are variants or analogues of that core group. According to research published in the 2016 book Neutraceuticals, the core group of cannabinoids includes: 1. Cannabichromene (CBC) 2. Cannabicyclol (CBL) 3. Cannabidiol (CBD) 4. Cannabielsoin (CBE) 5. Cannabigerol (CBG) 6. Cannabinol (CBN) 7. Cannabitriol (CBT) 8. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

However, Phytocannabinoids Don’t Stop There

This core group all have a natural form, an acidic form, and a varian form. Take CBG. There is the neutral form, CBG; the acidic form, CBGA; and a varian form (this has fewer carbon atoms), CBGV. Just to make things even more interesting, varian forms additionally have acidic precursors i.e CBGVA. 

Both CBD and CBG, for instance, have seven variants! The seven variants of CBD are analogs of one another as are the seven variants of CBG. According to a study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology, this explains the wide disparity in the number of cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant that are cited in research and what is reported in the popular press.

All cannabinoids actually derive from their acidic precursor. In their 50-page white paper, Hemptown USA gives a great description of this process. So, THC comes from THCA and CBD actually comes from CBDA. 

But both CBDA and THCA come from CBGA. So who’s your mama? 

CBGA baby, that’s who.

What Research Says About CBG

Some researchers believe that CBG may partially counteract the psychoactive effect of THC (similar to CBD). 

The study “Beneficial Effect of the Non-psychotropic Plant Cannabinoid Cannabigerol on Experimental Inflammatory Bowel Disease” (2017) explored the potential of CBG helping those suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). 

“We investigated the effect of CBG, a non-psychotropic cannabis-derived cannabinoid, in a murine model of colitis,” reported the study. The study found that CGB reduced colitis in mice and concluded that “CBG could be considered for clinical experimentation in IBD patients.”

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Research and Huntington’s Disease

The 2015 research study “Neuroprotective Properties of Cannabigerol in Huntington’s Disease found that CBG may help those battling Huntington’s Disease. 

Huntington’s Disease is a fatal genetic disorder “that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. It deteriorates a person’s physical and mental abilities usually during their prime working years and has no cure,” according to the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. 

The study which involved mice found that cannabinoids like CBG deliver benefits through a variety of mechanisms. 

“Different plant-derived and synthetic cannabinoids have shown to be neuroprotective in experimental models of Huntington’s disease through cannabinoid receptor-dependent and/or independent mechanisms,” reported the study. 

Researchers stressed the neuroprotective qualities of CBG. 

“CBG was extremely active as a neuroprotectant in mice, improving motor deficits and preserving striatal neurons against toxicity.” The study also noted the antioxidant properties of CBG, stating that it “improved the levels of antioxidant defenses.” 

The study’s authors concluded, “Our results open new research avenues for the use of CBG, alone or in combination with other phytocannabinoids or therapies, for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s Disease.” 

CBG research has been done in other areas as well. These areas include CBG as an appetite stimulant, an antibacterial, for bladder disorderscancer, tumors, immune responsemultiple sclerosis, and glaucoma. Much more research must be done using human subjects to determine CBG’s exact effect on the human body, however, initial research shows that CBG has high potential and warrants further study.

CBG Dominate Hemp

Not only is CBGA the mama of all other cannabinoids produced by cannabis, but CBG cannabis may also own an entire slice of the cannabis sativa genome. 

A 2002 research study, which was confirmed by multiple follow-on studies, found a CBG strain to be a potential fourth cannabis chemotype—in addition to the universally recognized sativa, indica, and ruderalis. Research has shown that CBG dominant cannabis can sometimes yield up to 94% CBG and as little as .001% THC. 

In addition to this, cultivars of hemp have bred and evolved CBG dominant strains of hemp over time. Fusion CBD is one of the pioneer hemp farms growing and harvesting CBG dominant hemp. 

“The future of the hemp industry is offering specific strains that are dominant in one cannabinoid or another,” said Fusion CBD co-founder Adam Kurtz. “CBG has very similar properties to CBD, just potentially different effects to the end consumer. We are still learning about it.”