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Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome | Curatio

What You Need to Know About Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome

by Dionne Dyches

You’re probably aware that cannabinoids in hemp (such as the well-known CBD, THC, CBN, CBG, CBC  and others) interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), an intricate cell-signaling system involving endocannabinoids, receptors (such as CB1 and CB2) and enzymes including fatty acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglycerol acid lipase. The ECS which helps our bodies maintain homeostasis and plays a critical role in an array of bodily functions ranging from sleep and appetite to reproduction and fertility. The broad scope of its effects is largely due to the fact that the ECS is present in every major bodily system. And while our bodies produce endogenous cannabinoids (i.e., endocannabinoids) of their own, such as anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, recent research suggests that a deficiency in them may result in a range of conditions that can adversely impact our health and well-being. Read on to know what impact clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD) can have on your body, what it means for your health and what you can do about it.

What Is Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome?

CECD was first introduced into scientific discourse by Ethan Russo M.D., Director of Research and Development of the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute in 2008. In the fifteen years that elapsed between his original paper discussing the issue in 2001 and his follow-up in 2016, Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Reconsidered, he amassed ten years’ worth of compelling research that cogently articulated wide-reaching role of endocannabinoids and the ECS in the body. In particular, the study underlined the possibility that a deficiency of endocannabinoids or dysfunction in the ECS as a whole could link to conditions such irritable bowel syndrome, migraines and even fibromyalgia.  

Since the discovery in 1988 that cannabinoid receptors were the most proliferous type of receptor in the brain, and research four years later, in 1992, of endocannabinoids, scientists have continued to rigorously study not only the ECS but emerging hypotheses, including CECD, to gain a better understanding of its complex impact on the body. The truth is that new research is constantly shedding light on topics related to the ECS, and the most exciting developments and research is yet to come.

Effects of Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome

Russo’s 2016 study indicates that CECD may lower pain thresholds and disrupt mood, sleep and digestion. Research in the journal Antioxidants exploring the modulation of oxidative stress by endocannabinoids suggests that the major endogenous cannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol “are able to modulate the activity of several antioxidant enzymes through targeting” CB1 and CB2 receptors as well as additional ones. Disruptions in the ECS may consequently result in a proliferation of free radicals in the body that can damage DNA, cells and proteins.

Combatting Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome

For individuals who are experiencing health problems like chronic migraine headaches and joint pain, increasing cannabinoid levels in the body by consuming pharmaceutical-grade full spectrum CBD products such as Curatio CBD — which not only contains CBD but many other powerful medicinal cannabinoids, terpenes and triglycerides that synergistically work together to produce enhanced efficacy. They also use sonification technology to produce highly bioavailable nano-particles of their active ingredient to greatly increase absorption of the medicine. Curatio’s potent full spectrum products and nanoscale delivery system can  support the ECS and help reduce symptoms.

More research is needed to delve into the link between clinical endocannabinoid deficiency and traditionally treatment-resistant illnesses. Yet from what is currently known, conditions like migraine, fibromyalgia and digestive disorders and other common functional disorders suggest that CECD might be at play. The good news is that studies also show that these conditions can be “suitably treated with cannabinoid medicines.” As new research emerges on the nature of cannabinoids and the ECS as well as CECD, new treatment options will emerge and might offer a new path to alleviate chronic conditions.

Dionne Dyches, MS, is a communications professional and writer specializing in the healthcare, hospital and pharmaceuticals industry. Her niche includes internal communications, crisis communications, corporate communications, market research, management and business development.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5576607/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18404144
  3. https://echoconnection.org/clinical-endocannabinoid-deficiency/
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/endocannabinoid-system#deficiency
  5. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5448843_Clinical_Endocannabinoid_Deficiency_CECD_Can_this_Concept_Explain_Therapeutic_Benefits_of_Cannabis_in_Migraine_Fibromyalgia_Irritable_Bowel_Syndrome_and_other_Treatment-Resistant_Conditions
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5576607/
  7. https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3921/7/7/93/htm
  8. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2007-06-cannabinoids-human-body-anti-inflammatory-effect.html
  9. https://www.labroots.com/trending/cannabis-sciences/8456/endocannabinoid-system-discovered#
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The Science Behind CBD and the Stages of Inflammation | Curatio

The Physiology of Inflammation and How CBD Can Help

by Claudia S. Copeland, Ph.D.

Ironically, some of today’s most widespread health problems stem from physiology evolved to confer health advantages. A taste preference for sugar and fat, for example, staved off starvation by motivating our ancestors to eat high-calorie foods. In the context of today’s standard Western diet, of course, that same taste preference can lead to chronic health problems like diabetes and obesity.

Another example of an important, life-saving physiological process that can turn from health friend to health foe when context changes is inflammation.

Inflammation as a First Response Against Infection

Inflammation is the first-response component of our complex immune system. Whereas other aspects of the immune response utilize a complex process of learning and directed action to identify and target pathogens, acute inflammation is an emergency, non-targeted, blunt-tool approach to simply and rapidly get a breach of security under control. 

For example, imagine you accidentally cut yourself while chopping vegetables. This breach of the skin can be highly dangerous, and must be immediately addressed by the immune system. There will be time later to identify the exact nature of any pathogens that got in, but at the moment of the injury, the body needs to act rapidly. Within seconds, chemicals are released and cells rush in to infiltrate the area with nonspecific agents that neutralize anything that might be a threat. (“Shooting from the hip”, as it were, with the resulting damage to the body’s own tissues considered an acceptable price for saving the whole body from infection.) These nonspecific agents include immune cells like mast cells, macrophages, and polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs, also known as granulocytes).

The rapid inflammatory response steps these agents take to protect against invaders include eating bacteria or virus-infected cells, releasing chemicals that fight the invaders, and releasing signals to recruit more sophisticated immune agents to the area.

Among the most important substances involved in this process are the cytokines and chemokines, substances that both engage in direct defense and serve as communication chemicals to coordinate the larger immune response. Examples include interferon, an important group of chemicals that block replication of viruses, and interleukins, which attract other immune elements to the site of injury and stimulate further immune response steps. The release of cytokines and chemokines results in a growing mass of macrophages and other cells, called a granuloma.

What this looks like from the outside is a reddening and swelling of your cut into a painful welt. It’s a good thing, though: this local inflammation will serve to block pathogens from getting into the body through the injury — it’s there to protect your body, and will go away with time.

Chronic Inflammation

Although acute inflammation can be annoying (mosquito bites, for example), it is rarely a physiological troublemaker. If swelling poses a true risk, it can be easily mitigated; for example, inflammation in an injured joint can be countered by ice and an anti-inflammatory agent such as aspirin. There’s another type of inflammation, though, that can cause serious problems in the body: chronic inflammation.

Unlike acute inflammation, chronic inflammation does not go away with time. In the absence of a true target, the immune cells involved in the inflammatory response can end up injuring nearby healthy tissue. The resulting injury can trigger a cycle of further inflammation that can escalate into a number of well-known chronic diseases, including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and heart disease. Chronic inflammation can also work hand in hand with repeated minor injuries, transforming them into major health problems. This process is seen in repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Acute vs. Chronic Inflammation in the Body

Chronic inflammation is somewhat different in character from acute inflammation; whereas acute inflammation is dominated by nonspecific cells, chronic inflammation is dominated by later-acting cells that mount a defense that employs recognition of and response to antigens. (Antigens are parts of a pathogen — or harmless substance, in the case of allergies — that immune cells called lymphocytes learn to recognize and target.) For this reason, acute and chronic inflammation are often characterized as two stages of inflammation, although this is not an accurate characterization, since most cases of acute inflammation never evolve into chronic inflammation. 

So, when and why does chronic inflammation develop? Chronic inflammation can result from several causes, including the failure to eliminate a pathogen (for example, a parasitic worm egg), the inability to get rid of an irritant, such as silica dust in the lungs, or the mistaken recognition of a part of one’s own body as a pathogen, known as an autoimmune disorder. Diseases associated with chronic inflammation include rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, allergies, and the deadly syndrome known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

CBD as an Anti-Inflammatory Agent

Importantly, it is possible to stop the cycle of chronic inflammation. Certain practices, like regular exercise and a healthy diet, can help. Also potentially helpful are anti-inflammatory medications. One common treatment for inflammation is the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, which work directly to reduce inflammation. Daily NSAID use, however, can lead to a number of side effects, such as bleeding. For a natural alternative, one place to turn is the hemp plant.

Cannabinoids, the active chemicals found in hemp, have solid potential as anti-inflammatory agents. Cannabinoids used as supplements for inflammation have been shown to suppress pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, immune components that lead to chronic inflammation. (Note, however, that they can also recruit pro-inflammatory cytokines if the cannabinoids are ingested together with bacteria or other antigens.) Cannabinoids can also inhibit the migration of pro-inflammatory cells to a site.

Among the most well-known of helpful cannabinoids is CBD. CBD exerts a number of anti-inflammatory effects. Through its ability to reduce levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, CBD has been shown to reduce inflammation in a number of physiological contexts, including neuroinflammation and inflammation in the kidney and pancreas. In addition, CBD may have some influence on cellular aspects of inflammation, such as affecting mast cell activity through calcium-based signalling.

Inflammation and Cardiovascular Fitness

One way CBD can optimize fitness is by improving cardiovascular health through lowering inflammation. CBD can improve inflammation in blood vessels through increasing vasodilation (widening the inside of the blood vessel), and decreasing pro-inflammatory substances including myeloperoxidase, CXCL8, IL-1β, and TNF. One area of particular concern is hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis starts with simple fatty deposits. Then, over time, chronic inflammation expands and hardens these deposits into fibrous plaques that can severely narrow or block arteries. This restricts blood flow, increasing the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke. Anti-inflammatory supplements like daily low-dose aspirin have been used as preventatives, but they have concerning side effects, including gastrointestinal bleeding and even hemorrhagic stroke.

CBD, while not a medical treatment, is a natural complement to a healthy diet and exercise that can help reduce inflammation while your cardiovascular system is still healthy—before it becomes a medical condition. CBD has also shown a number of other demonstrated cardiovascular protective effects that can help maximize cardiovascular function for health and fitness.

Inflammation and Muscle Performance 

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a newbie starting an exercise program for the first time, muscle soreness is a common nuisance. When people exercise beyond their normal limits, exercise-induced muscle damage ensues, leading to inflammation experienced as delayed-onset muscle soreness. This is not a bad condition, as the muscle will repair and become stronger after a few days of rest. However, a recent experiment by a team from the University of South Carolina revealed that participants who took CBD after a weight-lifting session designed to induce soreness experienced significantly less soreness than participants who took a placebo. What this means, in the well-known “stress + recovery = growth” equation of optimizing performance, is that you can accomplish recovery in less time, with less discomfort. In other words, CBD can promote growth toward peak performance– and readiness for the next challenge. 

Dr. CS Copeland holds a PhD in molecular and cellular biology from Tulane University and a BA in neuropsychology from the University of California at San Diego. She has been a scientific writer, editor, and translator since 2008.

References:

  1. Acute inflammation. Ryan GB, Majno G. A review. Am J Pathol. 1977;86(1):183‐276.
  2. Anti-inflammatory role of cannabidiol and O-1602 in cerulein-induced acute pancreatitis in mice. Li K, Feng JY, Li YY, et al. Pancreas. 2013;42(1):123‐129.
  3. The biological role of inflammation in atherosclerosis. Wong BW, et al. Can J Cardiol. 2012. PMID: 22985787 Review.
  4. Bleeding Risks With Aspirin Use for Primary Prevention in Adults: A Systematic Review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Whitlock EP, Burda BU, Williams SB, Guirguis-Blake JM, Evans CV. Ann Intern Med. 2016;164(12):826‐835.
  5. Cannabidiol attenuates cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity by decreasing oxidative/nitrosative stress, inflammation, and cell death. Pan H, Mukhopadhyay P, Rajesh M, et al. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2009;328(3):708‐714.
  6. Cannabidiol (CBD) and its analogs: a review of their effects on inflammation. Burstein S. Bioorg Med Chem. 2015;23(7):1377‐1385.
  7. Cannabidiol in vivo blunts beta-amyloid induced neuroinflammation by suppressing IL-1beta and iNOS expression. Esposito G, Scuderi C, Savani C, et al. Br J Pharmacol. 2007;151(8):1272‐1279.
  8. Cannabinoid-based drugs as anti-inflammatory therapeutics. Klein, T. Nat Rev Immunol 5, 400–411 (2005).
  9. Chronic Inflammation. Pahwa R, Goyal A, Bansal P, et al. [Updated 2020 Mar 2]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020; Jan-Feb.
  10. COPD. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  11. Daily aspirin therapy: Understand the Benefits and Risks. Mayo Clinic.
  12. Effect of exercise training on chronic inflammation. Beavers KM, Brinkley TE, Nicklas BJ. Clin Chim Acta. 2010;411(11-12):785‐793.
  13. The Equation That Will Make You Better at Everything. Stulberg B. Outside July 2018.
  14. Foods that Fight Inflammation. Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School.
  15. The Influence of Cannabidiol on Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness. Hatchett A, Armstrong K, Hughes B, Parr B. International Journal of Physical Education, Sports, and Health. 2020; 7(2): 89-94
  16. The Interferon System. William E. Steward, II. Springer-Verlag, 1981.
  17. The Interleukins. Strober, W., James, S. Pediatr Res 24, 549–557 (1988).
  18. Is the cardiovascular system a therapeutic target for cannabidiol? Stanley CP, Hind WH, O’Sullivan SE. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2013;75(2):313‐322.
  19. It’s All in the Wrist… Or Is It? Copeland CS. Healthcare Journal of New Orleans. 2014; May-June.

Understanding Inflammation. Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School.

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The Neurobiology of Stress | Curatio

The Neurobiology of Stress

How Stress Affects the Brain

by Lexa W. Lee

Stress is an inescapable part of our lives. It’s a natural response to stimuli which we need to keep us healthy and alert — triggered by cortisol, a steroid hormone produced in the adrenal glands. But too much cortisol — and for too long a period of time — can have harmful effects on our bodies. Over 43 percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress. Because it can affect us in systemic ways, toxic stress has become a major health problem in the US. In a day and age where the future may seem uncertain and healthcare professionals are in overdrive, stress — and learning how to manage it — have never been more relevant. Read on to learn how stress affects the brain, and what you can to do help keep it at bay.

Effects of Excess Stress on the Brain

We already know that experiencing stress isn’t a great or healthy feeling, but toxic or chronic stress has been linked to heart disease, stroke, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide, which are the 7 biggest causes of death among Americans. But stress affects not only the body, but also the brain, by altering its chemistry and morphology.

Short-term stress can affect how the brain processes information, but does not cause permanent changes. This may not be true for long term stress, which can lead to structural and functional changes that affect cognition, memory, attention and learning. Cortisol, a stress hormone, can interfere with sleep. Insufficient rest from prolonged stress leads to irritability, depression, exhaustion and lowered immunity.

The Difference Between Stress and Anxiety

Stress is part of our survival instinct, a response to an external stimulus, which can be short or long-term. Unlike stress, anxiety is defined as a mental disorder, with long-term worries that persist, even without a stressor. Though stress and anxiety differ from each other, they can have similar symptoms.

Long-term stress can lead to anxiety disorders. In fact, anxiety is considered an adverse effect of stress, and your symptoms must continue for a duration of six months for its diagnosis. As you might imagine, the lack of an identifiable cause makes anxiety more difficult to treat. 

Managing Stress With CBD

CBD can be a very effective tool for treating stress. The top five medical conditions people treat with CBD are pain, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders and headaches, all of which can be related to stress. Not only does it have a calming, relaxing effect which can regulate mood, but it has even been studied for treating insomnia, anxiety and depression, and its potential for treating multiple anxiety disorders and PTSD is an active area of research. CBD can also prevent problems with memory and learning related to prolonged stress.

CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors and is involved in the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (CB1), which plays a role in balancing levels of cortisol, a hormone that affects many functions in the body, including digestion, immunity and circadian rhythm. This means CBD can improve your quality of sleep and allow you to get more needed rest, which goes a long way in helping you stay healthy. Preliminary studies also suggest that CBD acts with GABA to prevent the fight or flight response — which can wreak havoc on the brain. In our modern world, this critical function of our sympathetic nervous system is often exacerbated due to pervasive stressors of noise, job security, the speed of daily life and more. In fact, Australian scientists report that CBD interacts with the brain’s receptor for gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter. In fact, CBD can help reduce anxiety by altering the shape of the GABA-A receptor in a way that increases GABA’s natural calming effects.

As a healthcare professional or consumer, you might start by taking a few drops of a high-quality full spectrum CBD tincture under the tongue. Make sure it is nano-emulsified so it will absorb. This will help you figure out a suitable dose, since there are no standard dosage guidelines. Although you will likely feel some stress relief at the initial dose, allow several weeks for a noticeable effect, then build it into your routine to help minimize stress and the havoc it can wreak on your body and brain.

Lexa W. Lee is a former family physician, research fellow in immunology, lecturer and medical journalist. She also writes about consumer health issues.  

References:

  1. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2018.0006
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23426383  
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3073528/ https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/business/cbd-oil-help-with-business-stress/
  4. https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/business/cbd-oil-help-with-business-stress/
  5. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323445#The-stress-hormone-affects-memory
  6. https://psychcentral.com/lib/how-does-stress-affect-us/
  7. https://www.apa.org/topics/stress-anxiety-difference
  8. https://www.everydayhealth.com/stress/guide/effects-on-body/
  9. http://www.psyweb.com/articles/anxiety/difference-between-stress-and-anxiety/ 
  10. https://www.projectcbd.org/science/how-cbd-works
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Why CBD is a Great Ingredient in Hand Sanitizer | Curatio

Why CBD Is a Great Ingredient in Hand Sanitizer

by Lexa W. Lee

No doubt you’ve noticed that hand sanitizers are in great demand these days. Many manufacturers have been working around the clock to produce hand sanitizers to meet increased concerns about disease transmission by infectious bacteria and viruses. Though making a basic hand sanitizer only requires a few ingredients and isn’t an altogether complicated process, the addition of other bioactive ingredients can give a sanitizer a wider range of benefits. As a healthcare professional, it’s imperative to protect your immune system against infectious agents — ideally, one that offers more than just basic protection. Read on to learn how Curatio Nano CBG:CBD Hand Sanitizer is an excellent example of a product that not only kills 99.9% of germs, but comes with healing/soothing, protective, anti-inflammatory and even mentally relaxing benefits. 

Hand Sanitizer Facts

The single most essential ingredient in a hand sanitizer is alcohol. The CDC recommends using a hand sanitizer “if soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty.” Although hand sanitizers might include  other ingredients, such as moisturizers, essential oils, colors, and fragrance, an effective product must contain at least 60% alcohol to kill viruses that have an envelope such as HIV and the common cold. The higher the alcohol percentage the faster it will kill viruses and bacteria. 70% alcohol concentration has enough water to bond with and dissolve the cell membrane, enter the cell, denature their proteins, and kill the virus or bacteria. The CDC does not recommend an alcohol potency over 70%. Contrary to what you might think, an even stronger alcohol solution is not as effective, since it evaporates too quickly to have much effect. 

Curatio Nano Hand Sanitizer Benefits

Curatio Nano CBG:CBD Hand Sanitizer, sold as a pump in a compact two ounce bottle, contains 70% isopropyl alcohol. This provides immune support by killing most if not all bacteria and viruses. Curatio’s hand sanitizer includes additional ingredients that boost its sanitizing ability, while also providing other benefits. The product contains 100 milligrams of medical grade CBD and CBG in a 1:1 ratio. Cannabinoids are known to act in synergy, resulting in an even stronger effect. CBD and CBG are both antibacterial and antiviral agents. The cannabinoids not only add a long lasting protective layer, it also soothes and helps heal the hands from the dryness from the alcohol. Since Curatio’s product harnesses the advantages of nanotechnology, the CBG and CBD are able to penetrate the skin barrier and absorb deep. By doing so it saturates all layers of the skin and also reaches deep into the joints and soft tissue. 

Among the additional ingredients in Curatio’s product are eucalyptus and tea tree oil, which are scientifically shown to have anti-viral activity in addition to lending the product a refreshing natural fragrance. Aloe vera is also present. This evergreen perennial plant, when matched with MCT Oil, Apple Fruit Extract, and Vegetable Glycerin provide a long lasting moisturizing effect that help counter the drying properties of the alcohol. These ingredients soothe, moisturize and protect your skin. CBD and CBG are anti-inflammatory, and contain vitamins A and E, which help maintain skin health and are important in repairing damage to skin cells. Vitamin A improves skin firmness, while vitamin E helps repair the skin. CBD and CBG also contain essential fatty acids, which protect the skin’s natural oil barrier, helping it retain moisture and stay hydrated.

Although consumers don’t typically use a hand sanitizer for stress reduction, CBD and CBG also have stress-reducing properties. The use of nanotechnology to reduce droplet size, and the incorporation of tea tree and eucalyptus as essential oils, which are both fat and water soluble, increase skin absorption by ten times.

While the best way to clean your hands is still to wash them with soap and water, a hand sanitizer can be an effective backup when hand washing is not available. As a healthcare professional, why not carry a small bottle in your car, and another in your purse or pocket when you’re away from home or at work to ensure maximum protection?

Lexa W. Lee is a former family physician, research fellow in immunology, lecturer and medical journalist. She also writes about consumer health issues. 

References: 

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cleaning-disinfection.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprepare%2Fcleaning-disinfection.html
  2. https://sciencing.com/alcohol-kill-bacteria-5462404.html 
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0021850213000086
  4. http://curatiocbd.com/products/nano-hand-sanitizer
  5. https://cbdoilreview.org/diseases-conditions/cbd-oil-for-sunburn/
  6. https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/the-endocannabinoid-system-and-cbds-role-in-stress-anxiety-and-fe
  7. https://420evaluationsonline.com/health-and-news/cbg-the-mother-of-all-cannabinoids-835
  8. http://www.theresearchpedia.com/health/aromatherapy/how-are-essential-oils-absorbed-in-body
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How Using CBD to Lower Anxiety Can Strengthen Immunity | Curatio

How CBD’s Anxiolytic Effects Can Help Strengthen Your Immune System

by Claudia S. Copeland, Ph.D.

COVID-19 is a pandemic the likes of which we’ve not seen since the 1918 Spanish flu. Everyone is anxious about it, and on multiple levels — fear of the disease itself, fear of not being able to pay our bills and fear of what kind of world we’re going to come back to after we crawl out of our homes to rebuild our social and economic lives. Compounding all this anxiety is isolation which deprives us of social support, a key source of comfort and fortification.

Anxiety is particularly dangerous at this time precisely because it can weaken our ability to fight what we fear. Besides its paralyzing psychological effects, anxiety weakens the immune system’s very ability to stave off infection — at a time when it is more important than ever to keep it in top shape. A key step toward strengthening immunity is lowering our anxiety. One of the easiest ways to get anxiety under control is the soft-spoken but powerful cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD).

How The Immune System Works To Defend Against Viruses

Before talking about how to build up your immune system, it’s important to get an appreciation for the complex nature of the immune response to viruses. Defense against viruses occurs in two main stages: non-specific (general) and adaptive (specific to the infecting virus). Each of these employs a diverse force of cellular and protein elements that work together in multifaceted interactions. 

In the first stage, a rapid-response team that includes proteins collectively called interferon, as well as several types of non-specific cells, attack the invaders. Interferon blocks viral replication and also aids in communication between immune cells. These include cells like natural killer cells which eat infected cells, and facilitators like mast cells which respond to damaged cells by helping rush other immune elements to the scene of the infection. 

What happens physiologically is a process called inflammation — a swollen mass of first-responder immune elements that crowd around the infection and fight off a poorly understood enemy as best they can. (This is an important first response to an invader, but it should be brief. If it continues over time, it becomes an unhealthy state called chronic inflammation.)

While the rapid response team tries to neutralize the threat as best they can, a second, slower and more deliberate team gathers information on the specific characteristics of the invader. This precision-response team is led by cells called lymphocytes which come in two types: T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes (a.k.a. T cells and B cells). The B lymphocytes go through a process of training and specialization that results in their being able to recognize and respond to a particular invader — for example, the SARS CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19 disease. Once these B cell subspecialists are trained, they go out into the bloodstream and release virus-fighting proteins called antibodies that are specifically targeted to the invader.  Meanwhile, the T cells — a diverse team of specialists that each have their own roles (such as helping the B cells) activating cell-eaters like macrophages which kill virus-infected cells directly and are trained to recognize the virus. Together, the T cells and B cells lead an incredibly complex, multifaceted approach that includes both cells and non-cellular elements like the diverse immune proteins called cytokines.

As complicated as this may seem, it’s a shallow overview. In reality, the immune system is a staggeringly complex, dynamic system with thousands of elements working together in a coordinated response to neutralize an enemy while exerting minimal collateral damage to the body. It’s a delicate dance that, if not perfectly balanced, can result in either an inadequate defense against the infectious invader or harm to the body. For example, autoimmune disorders and allergic reactions, or — as in the case of the immune overreaction known as a cytokine storm — severe consequences and even death.

How Anxiety Can Weaken Immune Function

The immune system is itself a component of the larger, dynamic system of whole-body physiology. The body, of course, has to do a lot more than just fight off infections: it needs to balance basic, daily needs like eating and drinking, as well as long-term species-level needs like making babies with short-term emergency needs like fighting off an attacker or escaping a dangerous situation. Since they are immediately life-threatening, emergency needs have to take precedence over other needs. To rapidly re-allocate most of the body’s resources toward surviving a dire threat, chemicals like adrenalin switch the body into short-term survival mode. Then, once the threat has passed, the body is supposed to go back to the peacetime state.

In nature, the fight-or-flight system only kicks in when we need to temporarily redirect our energy to deal with an immediate threat. In modern life, though, psychological pressures tend to put us in this state for too much of the time. What this feels like is stress, and, in its extreme form, anxiety. If we are constantly in a state of stress, it can lead to chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, impair our memory and ability to think and weaken key aspects of our immune system increasing our susceptibility to infectious diseases. 

CBD As A Way To Lower Anxiety

So, when thinking about how to strengthen the immune system, one overarching way is to lower stress and anxiety. The best way to do this for the long term is lifestyle practices like meditation, physical exercise and cognitive therapy approaches. These practices are very effective and are emotionally (and spiritually) strengthening beyond just relieving anxiety. However, they require discipline and commitment and exert their benefits over time. If you want to lower your anxiety in the short term and want to do so without prescription pharmaceuticals, nature has provided a highly effective solution: CBD. 

Unlike prescription drugs for anxiety like valium or barbiturates, CBD will not make you “high” — it will not leave you feeling drugged or groggy, will not interfere with work and does not lead to addiction. As such, it requires no prescription and is perfectly legal to buy over the counter. A strong body of preclinical evidence for CBD as an anxiolytic has led to a growing body of human studies on the benefits of CBD for reducing anxiety. For example, a recent large case series found that CBD rapidly and stably decreased anxiety scores. Large, controlled clinical trials (in which one group gets the CBD while another gets a placebo) are needed to support these observational results, but smaller, controlled trials have been conducted. In one example, a controlled study of people with severe social anxiety, socially anxious subjects pretreated with CBD showed significantly lowered anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort when given a public speaking task, compared with socially anxious subjects treated with placebo. In fact, the levels of anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in the CBD group were so low they were comparable to those of healthy, non-anxious controls.

Brain imaging studies provide additional evidence that CBD reduces anxiety in humans and that this response is centered in the parahippocampal gyrus and hippocampus — two areas of the brain associated with mediating fear and anxiety. Mechanistically, CBD binds to two anxiety-related receptors: CB1R receptors and 5-HT1A receptors (the latter being targets of prescription anxiolytics like buspirone).  While the effects via 5-HT1A receptors are purely anxiolytic, the effects via CB1R receptors are more complex. It appears that low-level stimulation of these receptors is anxiolytic while high-dose stimulation can actually cause anxiety.  So, when using CBD for anxiety, slow and steady is the best way to go.

CBD, Anxiety, Immunity and COVID-19

COVID-19 infection manifests in vastly different ways in different people. For the majority of infected people, symptoms are mild to moderate or they are asymptomatic. At the same time, nearly 100 percent of those who finally succumb to COVID-19 are those with pre-existing health conditions including ones that indirectly affect immune function such as obesity.

Because chronic anxiety weakens immune function and because the pandemic itself is likely to increase anxiety, CBD’s anxiolytic properties can help you strengthen your immune function by bringing anxiety down to a healthy level. (But remember — lifestyle practices like meditation and daily exercise are important for long-term health; CBD should support healthy lifestyle practices, not substitute for them.)  Considering the myriad of positive health benefits of CBD — from mental health to seizure prevention — and its low level of negative effects, CBD is an easy way to mitigate pandemic-induced anxiety and its potential disruption of immune function.

Dr. C.S Copeland holds a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from Tulane University and a B.A. in neuropsychology from the University of California at San Diego. She has been a scientific writer, editor and translator since 2008.

References

  1. https://www.barcelonagse.eu/sites/default/files/working_paper_pdfs/1168.pdf
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4349387/
  3. https://discoverbrillia.com/blogs/articles/anxiety-and-the-brain
  4. http://www.uppitysciencechick.com/glaser_stress_immune_dysfunction.pdf
  5. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08039480802315640
  6. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08039480802315640
  7. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1?handl_url=https://successtms.com/blog/new-treatments-for-depression
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/
  9. https://www.nature.com/articles/npp20116
  10. https://www.uniad.org.br/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/CBD_sad_J_Psychopharmacol.pdf
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4547886/
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The Top Nano CBD Myths | Curatio

The Truth About CBD Nanotechnology

by Lexa W. Lee

If you haven’t heard the term “nano CBD” (nano cannabidiol) yet, you will. It’s a big deal at a time when so many manufacturers are looking for anything that will help them stand out to consumers in a crowded market. Nano CBD refers to a product with microscopic droplets of CBD oil in the nanometer range. Just for the record, a nanometer is one billionth of a meter (0.0001 millimeter). 

CBD nanotechnology is a recent and promising development in the industry. As an oil, CBD is not absorbed readily by the body. Reducing the size of the oil droplets and encapsulating it in a water soluble emulsion can result in greater bioavailability and other benefits. Because regulation is much less stringent in this industry versus that for prescription drugs, the facts about nano CBD compared to other forms of CBD are not always clear. The marketplace is full of conflicting information, misinformation, unsubstantiated claims and marketing spin to fool the customer. Let’s dispel some of the myths and look at what nano CBD actually is and isn’t.

Myth 1: Nano CBD Is Not More Effective Than Typical CBD Products

The small size of CBD nanodrops means higher bioavailability, faster onset and greater duration of results — which enhances their effect. When it comes to truly efficacious CBD products, a nano delivery system is just as critical as the active ingredient. Without a nano-delivery system that can actually carry the active ingredient into the bloodstream, muscle, joint or other target areas, a non-nano CBD product is far less bioavailable and you won’t experience its full potency.  Traditional products only have 6-8% absorption, while Curatio’s delivery yields 70% absorption. 

Myth 2: Nano CBD Is Completely Water-Soluble

It’s probably most accurate to say it is more water-dispersible or water-compatible, since just like oil, CBD does not dissolve in water. It is actually hydrophobic. Because of this, CBD needs to be re-formulated utilizing sonication (sound waves) and simultaneously encapsulating the oil in a water based delivery system..  Nano CBD drops are microscopic, and because of the encapsulation, they evenly disperse in water and appear to be water-soluble .  Since in this process the CBD oil is encapsulated in a water based delivery system, and that it evenly dispersed in water, it is still not technically water soluble.

Myth 3: The Best Nano CBD Is The Isolate

CBD isolate is a flavorless powder that is created through a process that uses solvents to distill hemp into the CBD molecule. It lacks the terpenes, phytocannabinoids and other compounds that make a truly efficacious CBD product. CBD isolate does not provide the entourage effect, or synergistic benefits of different phytocannabinoids and plant substances observable when using whole hemp concentrates, like in Curatio. In fact, the loose regulations surrounding the often harsh chemical solvents used to formulate an isolate product increase its risk of being illegitimate or not efficacious. Curatio CBD is full-spectrum and THC-free by a process in which THC is transformed into the phytocannabinoid CBN, yielding greater effects in the body.   A much higher dose of the isolate is required for an effect but it still does not compare. (substantiate)

Myth 4: Microemulsions Are The Same As Nanoemulsions

In reference to size, micron means one millionth of a meter, while nanometer means one billionth of a meter. One thousand drops of 1 nanometer can fit into a drop of 1 micron. Smaller drops are more bioavailable.  Emulsions of microdrops are formed  by using a very high concentration of surfactants. This can negatively affect the smell, taste and sometimes safety of the final product. Nanoemulsions, on the other hand, require far less surfactant concentrations due to an important mechanical component to their formulation (as opposed to a purely chemical approach). Nanoemulsions can be derived by sonification technology, which shear the oil droplets to nanometer size.  ??? Not sure how this helps…

Myth 5: Liposomal CBD Is Nanotechnology

Liposomes measure between 100 up to about 5,000 nanometers in diameter. Besides being larger than nanodrops under 100 nanometers , liposomes have a more complicated structure, and making them is a process requiring the use of concentrations of surfactants much higher than that of the active ingredient. Liposomes are designed to deliver hydrophilic products into the system are not as effective with hydrophobic oils like CBD. Liposomes are also harder to make with heterogeneous CBD extracts. So, synthetic or CBD isolates are typically used.

Nanodrops can be much smaller than liposomes. Curatio measures 40 nanometers average and reach as small as 10 nanometers which is the size of a DNA strand, for example. Reducing the size of the drops to this degree means that the total surface area of the CBD oil is increased, while the miniature particle size allows it to disperse more easily in a water-based carrier. Curatio uses sonication to make nano CBD — a mechanical process that requires much less surfactant to stabilize the structure of the drops. The final emulsion is stable and easily absorbed by the body compared to liposomal emulsions and  CBD oil. Curatio’s  bioavailability is at least 70 percent compared to no more than 8%  percent for oils and 20%  for liposomes. 

Obviously, it helps to do some research before you buy CBD products. Don’t be fooled by misleading claims. Look for conscientious manufacturers who start with high quality hemp, then process and test it in ways that ensure you get a safe, high quality, effective product with a high concentration of CBD that is readily absorbable.

Lexa W. Lee is a former family physician, research fellow in immunology, lecturer and medical journalist. She also writes about consumer health issues. 

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4362737/
  2. https://blog.sonomechanics.com/blog/water-soluble-cannabis-oil-microemulsion-liposomes-or-nanoemulsion
  3. https://www.projectcbd.org/medicine/better-cannabis

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Water-Soluble CBD for Better Bioavailability | Curatio

What Is Water-Soluble CBD?

by Claudia S. Copeland, PhD

Cannabidiol (CBD) — one of the many cannabinoids found in the hemp plant — is among the most sought-after products for enhanced psychological and physical well-being. Unfortunately, it is also fat-soluble. This means that it dissolves well in oil but poorly in water. Not a problem if you are just looking for a quality like flavor, but if you are looking for a wellness effect like CBD’s well-documented positive effects on the endocannabinoid system, it is a big problem. If a substance is not water-soluble, it will be poorly absorbed with low bioavailability. (In other words, only a small percentage will end up reaching its physiological target resulting in low potency.) Fortunately, this problem has a solution — using nanotechnology to create functionally water-soluble CBD.

What Is Water Solubility?

Before exploring nanoemulsion technology, let’s take a step back and look at what water solubility actually is and why it’s important. Solubility is all about the stickiness conferred by electrical charge which occurs when positively-charged protons are not in equal balance with their corresponding negatively-charged electrons. Nonpolar molecules have perfectly balanced protons and electrons throughout the molecule. They have no net charge anywhere (whole or partial). 

In between the two extremes of nonpolar and ionic compounds, lay the polar molecules. Polar molecules do not have an overall charge, but they have partial charges in different parts of the molecule. Water is an example of a polar molecule. It does not have a charge overall, but it does have one end — the oxygen in H2O — where electrons spend more time bunching up there and giving this end a partial negative charge. This leaves the hydrogen ends partially positively charged.

The effect this has on solubility is that the negative end of a polar molecule will form a weak bond with water’s positive end and vice versa. Opposites attract which causes the charged and polar molecules to end up “sticking” together. Nonpolar molecules (such as oils, fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D and fat-soluble wellness products unlike CBD) end up pushed out of the way — they do not “stick” to the polar molecules and become isolated from them. (Oil-and-vinegar salad dressing is a prime example of this —you can shake the bottle and they will mix together, but the nonpolar oil layer soon forms bubbles which eventually join and form a separate layer that is isolated from the polar vinegar.)

Why Is Water Solubility Important?

So, why worry about water solubility? Why not just dissolve the CBD in oil? The answer is that our bodies are made of water in a polar environment, and CBD isolated in oil bubbles within the watery environment of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract will not be well-absorbed through the walls of the intestines. Although the body does have physiological systems in place for absorbing fats, a number of biochemical processes interfere with absorption and bioavailability of fat-soluble molecules. Some CBD will reach its target tissue if it’s a pure CBD oil, but it won’t be absorbed anywhere near its optimal potential — only about 9 percent will actually get through. In order for a substance to be maximally bioavailable — able to enter the bloodstream and eventually reach its physiological target — it must first be well-absorbed. In order to be well-absorbed from the water-based interior of the human GI tract, it must be water soluble

How to Get Fat-soluble Compounds to Dissolve in Water

Getting fat-soluble (also known as hydrophobic — water-fearing —or lipophilic — fat-loving) compounds into a water-soluble form is a major challenge that must be solved in order to maximize bioavailability. This has, in fact, been understood by pharmacists as an important challenge for more than a century. The key is finding a way to coat the fat-soluble compound in a group of molecules that are polar on one end and nonpolar on the other. The nonpolar end binds to the fat-soluble substance while the polar end binds to water. The combined nonpolar molecules and their polar carriers form colloids — nanoparticles that can evenly disperse in a water-based solution. This process is called emulsification. Traditional emulsions have been around for some time, but newer methods are being developed to maximize absorption of fat-soluble drugs and wellness compounds.

Nanotechnology for Lipophilic Compounds Like CBD

The latest tool being used for this purpose is nanotechnology. These approaches are being developed for the improved bioavailability of pharmaceuticals, “smart-foods” and fat-soluble nutrients.  Nanoemulsions are systems that carry fat-soluble vitamins or fat-soluble substances like CBD. Suspended in a nanoemulsion carrier, CBD becomes, for all practical and biological purposes, water soluble. Optimizing these systems and their component nano carriers for CBD are hot topics in ongoing cannabinoid research.

Nanoemulsion technology is used for all of Curatio’s CBD blends. This technology can effectively make the highly hydrophobic full-spectrum CBD offered by Curatio into a hydrophilic one. CBD in a nanoemulsion carrier acts like water-soluble CBD. Therefore, a nano CBD solution provides more bioavailability, and that means optimal CBD-conferred wellness effects for you.

Dr. C.S. Copeland holds a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from Tulane University and a B.A. in neuropsychology from the University of California at San Diego. She has been a scientific writer, editor and translator since 2008.

References:

American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record. Volume 58. P. 24. April 24, 1911.

Thum JK.

British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 2013 Mar;75(3):588-602.

Bioavailability of bioactive food compounds: a challenging journey to bioefficacy.

Rein MJ, Renouf M, Cruz-Hernandez C, Actis-Goretta L, Thakkar SK, da Silva Pinto M.

Elgin Community College. 2008.

Chemistry Course Documents and Extra Materials

Buktenica S.

European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2017 Nov 15;109:21-30.

The effect of Pro NanoLipospheres (PNL) formulation containing natural absorption enhancers on the oral bioavailability of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) in a rat model.

Cherniakov I, Izgelov D, Domb AJ, Hoffman A.

Foods. 2018 May 7;7(5).

Nanoparticles and Controlled Delivery for Bioactive Compounds: Outlining Challenges for New “Smart-Foods” for Health.

Martínez-Ballesta M, Gil-Izquierdo Á, García-Viguera C, Domínguez-Perles R.

Frontiers in Immunology. 2018 Sep 21;9:2009.

Translational Investigation of the Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD): Toward a New Age.

Crippa JA, Guimarães FS, Campos AC, Zuardi AW.

International Journal of Pharmaceutical Investigation. 2015 Oct-Dec;5(4):182-91.

Nanostructured lipid carriers: An emerging platform for improving oral bioavailability of lipophilic drugs.

Khan S, Baboota S, Ali J, Khan S, Narang RS, Narang JK.

International Journal of Pharmaceutics. 2020 Mar 6;580:119201.

The effect of medium chain and long chain triglycerides incorporated in self-nano emulsifying drug delivery systems on oral absorption of cannabinoids in rats.

Izgelov D, Shmoeli E, Domb AJ, Hoffman A.

ISRN Pharmaceutics. 2013 Dec 26;2013:848043.

Formulation strategies to improve the bioavailability of poorly absorbed drugs with special emphasis on self-emulsifying systems.

Gupta S, Kesarla R, Omri A.

ISRN Pharmaceutics. 2012;2012:195727.

Drug solubility: importance and enhancement techniques.

Savjani KT, Gajjar AK, Savjani JK.

Penn State University

Maximizing the Use of Food Emulsifiers

Baker SR. 1997. (Master’s thesis)

St. Louis Community College

Polar and Nonpolar Compounds. Krishnan G.

UCLA Illustrated Glossary of Organic Chemistry.

https://www.chem.ucla.edu/~harding/IGOC/S/surfactant.html
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Nanotechnology in Medicine and Biology | Curatio

What You Need to Know About Nanotechnology in Medicine 

by Claudia S. Copeland, Ph.D.

Did you know that nanofabric paper towels for oil spill cleanup can absorb more than 20 times their weight in oil, potentially saving countless birds, other wildlife and biological habitat after oil spill accidents? Or that nanomaterials can mimic the crystal mineral structure of human bone for improved bone repair? Nanotechnology — the science of materials sized 1-100 nanometers — has applications in fields from solar energy to drug delivery. While electronics engineering often dominates the discussion when it comes to nanotech, there’s a wide range of biological nanotech applications, as well. From wildlife protection to human medicine and wellness, nanotechnology is a new frontier with vast biological application potential.

Nanotechnology in Ecological Rehabilitation and Protection

In addition to nanofabric, other nanotechnology applications are being created for cleaning up oil spills including systems in which magnetic, water-repellent nanoparticles bind to oil molecules in order to remove them from bodies of water. Nanotechnology is also being used to develop sensors for pollutants that can be toxic to wildlife or humans. Nanotechnology is helping to protect natural ecosystems in indirect ways, as well. Nanotech approaches are leading to improved efficiency in solar energy.

Nanotechnology in Medicine

Medical applications of nanotechnology include materials for dental reconstruction, nanoparticles that mimic biological macromolecules (for example, HDL-like nanoparticles and nanoparticles that work with macrophages to clear atherosclerotic plaques), materials used in medical imaging and nanoparticles used to target cancer treatments specifically aiming at tumor tissue. In pharmacy, hydrogels can protect sensitive chemicals like drugs from environmental harm. In biotechnology, gold nanoparticles are used in probing DNA for specific sequences. In infectious disease research, biomedical scientists are working to develop a nanotechnology-based universal flu vaccine scaffold that could be used to more efficiently create the annual vaccine needed for that year’s seasonal flu strain. 

One particularly important and broad-reaching area being addressed by medical nanotech is drug solubility. Drug solubility is at the heart of an issue pharmacologists have been concerned with for more than 100 years: low bioavailability of fat-soluble drugs, also known as lipophilic drugs. Fat-soluble drugs, traditionally called hydrophobic (meaning water fearing), become isolated from water-based solutions which comprise most of the fluids in our bodies. You can mix these drugs together mechanically, but, like oil-and-vinegar salad dressing, fat-soluble compounds will eventually become isolated — first, in tiny bubbles, then in larger bubbles that grow until the hydrophobic substance is completely separate from the aqueous (water-based) one. 

This is a serious problem with fat-soluble drugs because rather than dispersing in intestinal fluid, they will tend to become isolated in bubbles that simply pass through a patient’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Molecules that are hydrophobic on one end (able to hold on to the fat-soluble drug) and hydrophilic (water loving) on the other end (able to hold on to water molecules) allow hydrophobic and hydrophilic substances to mix in a process called emulsification. These molecules (called surfactants — surface acting agents) are used to build nanocarrier structures that form the basis of nanoemulsions — solutions that can dissolve both fat-soluble and water-soluble compounds. Nanoemulsions can transform a drug that is useless (because it cannot be absorbed) into an effective treatment that is absorbed into the body and taken to the site of action where it is needed. The development of sophisticated nanostructured lipid carriers for this purpose is at the forefront of research in lipophilic drug bioavailability.

Nanotechnology for Enhanced Well-Being

Compounds for optimizing wellness, like fat-soluble vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and other fat-soluble bioactive compounds, face the same issues with bioavailability as disease-treating drugs that are fat soluble. Even though you can dissolve such compounds — for example, cannabinoid (CBD) — in oil, they only exert their biological functions anywhere between 2-10 percent because of poor bioavailability. Good bioavailability — the ability to get to the part of the body where the compounds can have an effect — requires emulsification of the compounds to effectively make them water soluble. 

Achieving this solubility, however, can get complicated. Much work has gone into manipulating solubility in order to enhance bioavailability with the newest and most exciting innovations making use of nanoparticles. Examples include polymeric micelles — tiny bubbles that are nonpolar on the inside but polar on the outside — allowing the encapsulation of hydrophobic molecules and nanoemulsions — colloidal systems that carry fat-soluble vitamins or other fat-soluble substances.

One of the most exciting applications of nanotechnology for wellness supplements is nano CBD. Delivering CBD in a nanoemulsion can effectively make this highly hydrophobic wellness compound into a water-soluble one. In addition, delivering a full-spectrum cannabis extract in a nanoemulsion means bioavailability of all the other compounds in the cannabis plant. This is thought to be important because of the entourage effect in which other cannabinoids work synergistically with CBD to optimize the beneficial effects of the CBD. 

You may be wondering if a hemp nanoemulsion will also dissolve tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The answer is yes. If manufacturers are starting with a strain of cannabis that contains THC (which is most strains). In order to get the full entourage effect without THC, Curatio uses a special strain of hemp with a low amount of THC. This is the starting point for Curatio’s full-spectrum CBD. The custom hemp strain that Curatio uses has been specially bred to provide a truly full-spectrum product with all the cannabinoids and other phytocompounds present in their natural ratios — except for THC. Further, what little THC is present is converted into 3% cannabinol (CBN) through Curatio’s unique, proprietary technology. What’s left is a full-spectrum, but THC-free, botanical extract with 15% additional cannabinoids that has a more potent outcome when compared to traditional .03% THC full spectrum products.  Furthermore,  harnessing nanoemulsion technology with this unique extract, Curatio has created a CBD ratio that is truly full-spectrum, THC-free and highly bioavailable for optimal cannabinoid-conferred wellness effects.

Dr. C.S. Copeland holds a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from Tulane University and a B.A. in neuropsychology from the University of California at San Diego. She has been a scientific writer, editor and translator since 2008.

References: 

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1369702115004046
  2. https://www.nano.gov/you/nanotechnology-benefits
  3. https://www.nano.gov/nsisolar
  4. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41565-019-0619-3
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27501716
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3399483/
  7. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/emulsification
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4674999/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3888743/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5977092/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17957721
  12. https://pubag.nal.usda.gov/catalog/719874
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How to Choose a Pharmaceutical-Grade CBD Oil | Curatio

Is Your CBD Pharmaceutical-Grade?

by Dionne Dyches

Cannabidiol (CBD) products seem to be everywhere and are saturating the health and wellness market every day. With so many options, how do you know if you are buying the best or a second-rate CBD product? The best way to know what you are getting is to focus on the key factors that go into a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certified, pharmaceutical-grade CBD product like Curatio’s and why it’s critical to do your research.

Key Factors to Consider

Varieties of CBD: not all are created equal — These days, you can procure CBD in multiple vehicles of consumption (including oil, capsule, spray, lozenge, cream and others) as well as a variety of types of extracts, such as full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and CBD isolate. Full-spectrum is the most robust and effective type of CBD oil available. In addition to CBD it also includes a diversity of other cannabinoids (with trace amounts of THC) and loaded with terpenes, flavonoids and fatty acids. Broad spectrum CBD oil is achieved through a distillation and THC remediation process. The remediation process not only removes the THC, but unfortunately also removes the secondary cannabinoids. CBD isolate, a flavorless powder that is the result of CBD extract into crystalline form, contains no THC, terpenes or phytocannabinoids. CBD isolate is only the CBD molecule. Its accessibility and low price-point make it attractive for both consumers and CBD brands alike, but its lack of terpenes and phytocannabinoids — as well as loose regulations on the solvents and processes by which the isolate is distilled — may increase the chances that some CBD isolates are either not efficacious or perhaps even illegitimate. Full-spectrum CBD, on the other hand, preserves both terpenes and phytocannabinoids, which synergize with CBD itself in what is known as the entourage effect. Many full-spectrum CBD brands are able to create a production infrastructure that allows for stringent testing and protocols that mimic the standard pharmaceutical process, yielding pharmaceutical-grade products. Curatio tests every product three times — twice at the active ingredient and once at final product. (provide link)

Source and extraction of the hemp — Legal CBD products derive from hemp and contain only 0.3% or less of THC by dry weight and is non-psychoactive. The hemp strain, location its grown and methods of extraction will determine the cannabinoid profile, the effect and quality of the product.  Although there are many different extraction methods, including supercritical carbon dioxide extraction, or the use of ethanol as a solvent, it’s important to look beyond the mere process and understand the nuanced details of production. Many brands may cut corners to reduce costs and use processes that yield a product that doesn’t deliver the same effect as a product that is rigorously and meticulously assessed for quality from start to finish. 

Pharmaceutical grade potency, delivery and dependability  — The active ingredient is a critical component of  an efficacious pharmaceutical product. A full-spectrum product is the foundation, but it doesn’t stop there — the diversity and ratio of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and fatty acids are critical to achieving true potency. But you can’t experience the benefits of the active ingredient without a delivery system that actually gets the product into the bloodstream (if it’s an oral product) or into the muscle, connective tissue and joints (if it’s a topical product). On the other hand, when it comes to skin and beauty products, the delivery system doesn’t need to go past the dermis layer, since the area of interest is just the skin. 

Nano-delivery, the process of miniaturizing the active ingredient to get it to the target location(s), is the best way of ensuring that a person can experience the benefits of a CBD product. If the active ingredient is not the right size, then it can’t reach the target. Non-nano topical products, for instance, do not travel past the dermis barrier. Curatio understood these issues from the start and invested a lot of research into developing the most potent active ingredient and delivery system to get the product to the target site. They also recognized that patients who rely on CBD depend on a consistent product, leading to a proprietary hemp strain that is consistent from batch to batch. 

Good manufacturing practices — Good manufacturing practice (GMP) is a set of regulations established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which, by force of law, requires certain manufacturers to ensure that there is a consistent process and standard for producing their products — through all phases of the production — resulting in reliable quality standards. GMP regulations seek to protect consumers from purchasing faulty or downright dangerous products. In short, GMP mitigates risk associated with pharmaceutical production by ensuring that detailed processes and procedures are followed and documented proof that these steps were taken, every time. GMP also covers the materials used, the production site, any associate equipment as well as the staff.

In accordance with GMP, every ingredient used in Curatio’s products is tested before it is combined into  a finished product. This is significant because there are currently no regulated acceptable levels of substances (such as lead) that can be used to manufacture CBD. As such, some CBD makers could include higher levels of lead or other harmful substances as they deem necessary. Curatio’s rigorous compliance with GMP alleviates the concerns with product quality — from the beginning to the end of the production cycle.  Curatio is GMP from seed to shelf, including farming, drying, extraction, nano processing, finish product manufacturing, all the way through fulfillment. All facility’s in the chain-of-custody are FDA registered, which means it is randomly reviewed without notice. 

Testing requirements — Always demand a COA, which shows the purity and potency of a product. Testing of CBD products can be a misleading topic for consumers. Even though testing should be mandatory, there are requirements or standards to ensure consistency, and results can be significantly different across brands. Consumers must beware because CBD manufacturers in many instances set their own safety and quality standards that are not approved or enforced by any regulatory body. Curatio, however, tests its products three times, despite not being required to do so. This product testing is critical to ensuring that these products are safe and distinguishes their products from the marketplace. All of their products are manufactured at a GMP facility, which means they practice food grade and pharmaceutical quality standards to ensure product purity, potency and safety.

Verification — For your own protection, it’s important to seek out the information you need to verify whether your CBD is pharmaceutical grade. Check the product website and call or email to ask all of the questions you want to know. If the brand is not transparent about their process and the ingredients used, refrain from trusting that product for your own protection. Curatio has created a full product line of medical-grade products, providing certainty of the quality of their products.

According to one study, 26 percent of CBD products had lower levels of CBD than the label indicated, or didn’t contain CBD at all. In instances where the dosage is key to medical treatment, this inconsistency is particularly important. Their pharmaceutical-grade practices means consistency and reliability in the way their products are developed.  

Choosing Pharmaceutical-Grade CBD

Consumers should gather information on the CBD products they buy. Researching where and how the hemp is grown and then extracted, evaluating the manufacturers that produce the CBD and assessing whether the products have been tested for potency and safety,  will inspire more confidence in the purchase. All of these steps are critical to deciding how to choose CBD oil that meets rigorous standards like Curatio products. In addition to seeing the Certificate of Analysis for each of their products (including cannabinoid and terpene profile), you can also read through the lab results of tests measuring potency, microbial contaminants, residual solvents, heavy metals and pesticides. Ultimately, you will be able to navigate this growing CBD market, armed with the right information that’s best for your health needs.

Dionne Dyches, MS, is a communications professional and writer and specializing in the healthcare, hospital and pharmaceuticals industry. Her niche includes internal communications, crisis communications, corporate communications, market research, management and business development.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5818782/
  2. https://savedelete.com/health-fitness/how-to-choose-the-best-pharmaceutical-grade-cbd-oil-to-suit-you/268576/
  3. https://www.cannabisbusinesstimes.com/article/your-guide-to-ethanol-extraction/
  4. https://www.consumerreports.org/cbd/how-to-shop-for-cbd/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5818782/ 
  6. https://www.zmescience.com/medicine/cbd-science-sourcing-0423/
  7. https://www.statista.com/statistics/760498/total-us-cbd-sales/
  8. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0253/1780/2089/files/Microbial_Contaminants_Lab_Result.pdf?3207 
  9. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0253/1780/2089/files/Potency_Lab_Result.pdf?3207 
  10. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0253/1780/2089/files/Residual_Solvents.pdf?3204
  11. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0253/1780/2089/files/Heavy_Metals.pdf?3207
  12. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0253/1780/2089/files/Pesticide.pdf?3208
  13. https://ispe.org/initiatives/regulatory-resources/gmp
  14. https://www.forbes.com/sites/sarabrittanysomerset/2019/07/30/cbn-is-another-cannabis-compound-with-beneficial-properties/#426e4be01d9b
  15. https://thesleepdoctor.com/2018/10/03/is-cbn-the-next-big-thing-in-cannabis-therapy-for-sleep-mood-and-health/
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Endogenous Cannabinoids and the Role of the Endocannabinoid System | Curatio

Let’s face it. The stresses of life can at times be overwhelming. If you’ve ever wondered how your body copes with it all and keeps you in balance from day to day, you can thank the endocannabinoid system (ECS). It’s constantly on the watch and working for you from within. 

The ECS is a complex combination of cell receptors, endogenous cannabinoids or endocannabinoids (ECBs) that bind to them, along with enzymes and compounds that regulate them. The ECS manages critical functions in the human body, such as appetite, sleep, memory, mood, nerve regulation, bone remodeling, reproduction and fertility. It is involved in energy production and lipid metabolism. When you add it all up, the basic role of the ECS is to help you cope. It maintains homeostasis by regulating your metabolism.

Endogenous Cannabinoids

ECBs have molecular structures that resemble cannabinoids in plants. The two best-known ECBs are anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG), which scientists discovered in the 1990s. The human body produces ECBs in amounts as needed. However, normal levels are difficult to ascertain. These compounds signal the ECS to act by binding to cell receptors. This process is halted when specific enzymes degrade the ECBs. This means ECB receptors can be turned on and off, as necessary.

CB1 and CB2

There are two main receptors in the ECS, referred to as CB1 and CB2. They exist to interact with endogenous, rather than exogenous cannabinoids. But whichever the source, these cannabinoids compete for the same receptors, though their effects are not necessarily the same. CB1 receptors — located primarily within brain cells, adipose tissue and visceral organs — are the most common receptor type. CB2 receptors are located primarily in the peripheral nervous system and immune system.   

The ECS is abundant within the body. In evolutionary terms, it is an ancient system with an internal influence that is profound and widespread. But scientists did not discover the existence of ECB receptors and ECBs until the 1990’s. Other researchers had first identified plant cannabinoids which compete for the same receptors and can mimic many actions of ECBs. The result is that we know much less about the full role of the ECS compared to other human systems. At first, scientists thought it existed only in the brain and nerves, but recent research has revealed it is present throughout the body.

Effects in the Body

The ECS controls energy balance by regulating food intake mechanisms within the brain. These higher centers govern appetite and satiety. The ECS also acts peripherally, in the pancreas, liver, skeletal muscle and fat cells, affecting lipid synthesis and glucose metabolism. Not surprisingly, the ECS has attracted the attention of researchers trying to develop safe and effective drugs to treat chronic diseases. Controlling weight with drugs has proved to be an especially elusive goal. Efforts to target the CB1 receptor with drug therapy has resulted in adverse effects, including nausea, anxiety and serious depression.  

Endocannabinoid Deficiency

The actions of the ECS involve and overlap with other systems in the body. It’s difficult to study them separately or treat them separately without causing unintended effects, as scientists have discovered. Metabolic processes and homeostasis are complex, with many players involved. Though we know that the ECS is a vital component, we have yet to fully comprehend its role.

Plant-based cannabinoids have become an active area of research for their therapeutic potential, once scientists concluded ECB deficiency may be involved in chronic diseases. Cannabidiol (CBD) in hemp is an especially attractive cannabinoid for medication because it is well-tolerated and not psychoactive. In addition, hemp-derived CBD is also legal to use in the U.S., whether in oral or topical form. But with the explosion of cannabinoid products in the commercial market, the challenge for consumers is to find effective, science-based remedies at a good value.

 

Lexa W. Lee is a former family physician, research fellow in immunology, lecturer and medical journalist. She also writes about consumer health issues.

 

References:

  1. http://curatiocbd.com/collections/all      
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