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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.



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Characteristics of Key Phytocannabinoids in Hemp | Curatio

by Lexa W. Lee

The Properties and Benefits of Key Phytocannabinoids in Hemp

We all have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) which keeps our bodies functioning normally. It helps us maintain homeostasis in a constantly changing environment. The ECS consists of messenger compounds called endocannabinoids, along with their receptors. Among these are CB1, CB2, and TPRV. Since the cannabinoids in hemp can also bind with these receptors with similar effects, they have attracted widespread interest as potential treatments for anxiety, sleep, pain and inflammation.

Endocannabinoids and Their Receptors

CB1 receptors are more concentrated in the central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found predominantly in the immune system and gastrointestinal system. Endocannabinoids can start or stop a given activity, such as the production, uptake or breakdown of an enzyme. They can affect a receptor directly by binding with it, or interact with it indirectly. The number and concentration of receptors is unique to each individual which explains why each of us reacts differently to cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids in plants — called phytocannabinoids — also combine with cannabinoid receptors in humans. The phytocannabinoids CBD, CBN, CBG, CBC, and CBDV are possible therapies for human conditions related to the insufficient production or imbalance of endocannabinoids.


Cannabidiol (CBD) — along with THC — are the two best known and well-studied phytocannabinoids. CBD, the most abundant cannabinoid in hemp, is not psychoactive. It has antibacterial activity and can reduce pain and inflammation. It also shows promise as an anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant and antipsychotic. CBD effects CB1 and CB2 indirectly instead of actually binding with them. Its greater interaction with CB2 means it has more influence on immunity and the gastrointestinal system rather than the central nervous system which has more CB1.


Cannabinol (CBN), a mildly psychoactive phytocannabinoid, produces sedative-like effects, but it is not intoxicating like THC. CBN forms when THC in plants is exposed to oxygen, light and heat. Because its chemical composition resembles THC, CBN also binds to CB1 and CB2. CBN may be effective in treating pain and inflammation, glaucoma and skin problems. It may also improve bone health. Higher CBN concentrations may help reduce anxiety. Curatio uses a patented oxidation process to convert the 3% THC content in its hemp to the CBN cannabinoid in a 1:1 conversion.

Additional research on CBN found:

  • 1976 — sedative effects, particularly when paired with THC,
  • 2002 — may be effective in reducing pain,
  • 2004 — may help delay progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,
  • 2008 — showed antibacterial potential and
  • 2012 — may help induce appetite.

Cannabichromene (CBC) is one of the more abundant cannabinoids in hemp after CBD. It is non-intoxicating, binding, weakly to CB1 and interacts more with CB2. It is involved in pain perception — apparently by boosting levels of endocannabinoids like anandamide. CBC also appears to inhibit the uptake of anandamide allowing it to remain longer in the bloodstream.

Additional research studies on CBC have found:

  • 2010 — antidepressant effects,
  • 2010 — anti-inflammatory properties with optimal results when taken with THC,
  • 2011 — pain relieving effects,
  • 2012 — reduces gastrointestinal motility, applicable to inflammatory bowel disease,
  • 2013 — shows potential for use in neurodegenerative disorders and
  • 2016 — may be useful in acne and other skin conditions.

Cannabigerol (CBG), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, is a chemical precursor for other cannabinoids including THC, CBC, CBN and CBD. Conversion typically takes place 6–8 weeks in the flowering cycle. CBG is present only in trace amounts in most strains of hemp. So, some plants are specifically cultivated to generate higher yields.

Since CBG is not psychoactive and inhibits CB1, it counters the “high” produced by THC. CBG is believed to boost anandamide — an endocannabinoid that increases dopamine levels — thereby regulating functions such as mood, sleep and appetite. CBG has potential as an anti-anxiety agent and muscle relaxant. As a CB1 antagonist, it may also block serotonin receptors which can ease depression. CBG has also demonstrated antibacterial activity. Curatio products contain 3% CBG.

Additional research on CBG has found it:

  • 1990 — lowers intraocular pressure, making it a possible glaucoma treatment,
  • 2015 — shows potential for treating bladder dysfunction and
  • 2016 — potentially is effective for inducing appetite.

Among the lesser-known phytocannabinoids is cannabidivarin (CBDV) which occurs in higher levels in hemp that also contains higher levels of CBD. It is non-psychoactive with a composition that resembles CBD. It appears to reduce nausea and seizure activity.

With the expanding market for CBD products and investigation into their medical effects, new strains of hemp are being developed for different phytocannabinoid profiles, as in Curatio’s hemp. Working with a team of scientists, Curatio has developed a product with a unique cannabinoid content and processing methods that  enhance the way CBD acts.

Full-Spectrum CBD vs Broad-Spectrum CBD

“Full-spectrum CBD” refers to a preparation that includes all the cannabinoids in the  plant. Curatios hemp contains a proprietary ratio of CBD, CBN, CBC, CBG and CBDV, along with flavonoids,  terpenes and triglycerides that work synergistically for greater potency. You may have heard of broad-spectrum CBD oil which is also THC-free. However, the process of removing the THC stripsmost of the other secondary cannabinoids. The final product has a secondary cannabinoid content that does not exceed 2 percent, compared to Curatio which exceeds 15 percent. This includes 3% CBN, 3% CBG, and 9%CBC which Curatio includes as a non-psychoactive alternative to THC which, by law, cannot exceed 0.3 percent.

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


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CBD Benefits


 The ECS is a biological system that modulates the body’s physiological function, essential for maintaining good health.

Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome (CEDS) results when a patient is not producing enough of their own endocannabinoids- potentially leading to an imbalance in the ECS system which can cause many medical conditions. CBD works like a lock and key with the ECS to maintain homeostasis.



CB1 receptors are mainly found within the nervous system, while the majority of the CB2 receptors are found in the Gastrointestinal Tract and Immune System.

These receptors work like a dimmer switch to regulate how messages are sent, received and processed by the cell. Full- spectrum CBD can restore the body into homeostasis while correcting communications and the signals sent from cell to cell, managing how the major systems in the body function.

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Micro Versus Nano in CBD Technology | Curatio

by Dionne Dyches

As healthcare practitioners continue to seek faster, more effective ways to provide pain relief, CBD is an encouraging approach. If success is measured by longer-lasting, quick-acting effects, absorption is the key to these promising results. CBD nanotechnology is outpacing traditional methods, creating an environment of increased certainty about absorption and bioavailability that has been lacking potassium sorbate isolates.

What Is CBD Nanoemulsion?

Cannabidiol (CBD) nanotechnology is a highly scientific process that breaks up cannabinoids and creates tiny particles of CBD (one billionth of a meter long). The resulting nanoparticles work their way through the bloodstream easier and more efficiently than regular-sized particles. These tiny particles open up a world of possibilities when it comes to food, drugs and products.

Micro vs. Nano — What’s the Difference?

Nanoemulsions (nano) and microemulsions (micro) are at the forefront of CBD technology. Nanos and micros are both transparent, have small particle size and low viscosity. However, they are not the same in the context of CBD — it’s critical to conduct thorough research on products because language used in a product’s marketing may be misleading. For instance, some companies may claim to offer CBD products that are “nano” when, in reality, they are “micro.” Curatio offers products that are true nanoemulsions, with particles that are 40 nanometers in length. Compared to products that are microemulsions, this difference can have a large impact on bioavailability and absorption.

The Science Behind CBD Nanotechnology

The body naturally produces its own nanoemulsions but to achieve greater absorption, that process must be mimicked by the carrier. Micelles, with their nano size, enable molecules that are insoluble in water, like lipids, to be absorbed. Although liposomes are commonly used emulsions, they do not imitate the body’s processes and are not readily absorbed. CBD is lipophilic so its natural tendency is to dissolve in oil or fats.

This is where miniaturizing, creating micro particles, makes the dramatic difference. With Curatio products, the particle size is 80,000 times smaller than a hair follicle. By reducing the particles to micron size, the manner in which they get absorbed also changes and increases the absorption rate by several fold.

Nanotechnology increases the rate of absorption even more, resulting in particles that are one billionth of a meter. Curatio particle size averages 32 nanometers with some as small 10 nanometers. When you consider that a strand of DNA is as small as 10 nanometers, the effect of nanotechnology for topical applications is even more significant making absorption become even more inevitable.

Challenges With Absorption and Bioavailability

Because water makes up most of the human body, hydrophilic substances offer the best absorption and bioavailability. Regardless of the carrier used to deliver the product, such as liposomes, the average absorption rate and best bioavailability ranges from 6 to 8%. (If, for example, the dose is 100 mg, only approximately 6 to 8 mg is being delivered to the bloodstream.) This is the challenge; to ensure that the most amount of product enters and remains in the bloodstream for as long as is possible.

Topical and Oral Bioavailability

Micelles are the key is greater absorption and bioavailability. The micelles emulsion Curatio develops imitates the micelles emulsions the body naturally creates. These very small oil droplets are miniaturized, then surrounded with minuscule water particles that suspend the oil. The body interprets the CBD to be water and thus, it is quickly dissolved.

Nanoemulsion for Rapid Onset and Better Bioavailability

Curatio products reach at least 70% absorption — up to ten times the absorption that occurs with traditional methods. Nanoemulsion more easily permeates the endodermis and creates larger surface areas for absorption. For the end user, this can mean the ability to feel the effects of the product in as little as 5 minutes versus a few hours. The result? Rapid onset and significantly longer duration of action, a half life that lasts longer than 12 hours.

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.


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Broad-Spectrum vs. Full-Spectrum CBD: The Difference | Curatio

by Lexa W. Lee

The market for cannabidiol (CBD) products has grown rapidly and is highly competitive. With so many manufacturers and products, choosing among them can be a daunting task for consumers — even if they’re not new to what’s out there. The prices can be eyebrow-raising, but that’s no guarantee of quality. New research and new products are coming out all the time. What’s a person supposed to do?

Educating yourself is an important step. At some point in your search for information, you will come across the terms full-spectrum and broad-spectrum which are used to describe different preparations of CBD oil that can vary significantly.

Full-Spectrum CBD vs. Broad-Spectrum CBD

A full-spectrum CBD oil includes all the phytocannabinoids and other medicinal compounds in the plant, such as terpenes, flavonoids, phenols, esters, proteins and triglycerides. This type of CBD oil is intended to provide the benefits of the whole plant. Together, the constituents work synergistically to produce what is known as the “entourage effect.”

Broad-spectrum CBD oil is made through a distillation process that remedies all of the medicine with the exception of the cannabinoids. The terpenes, flavonoids and triglycerides are all removed in the process. THC remediation process is performed which not only strips out the THC, but it also removes many of the secondary cannabinoids. This typically leaves the oil with only CBD and possibly trace amounts of secondaries.

Curatio’s proprietary ratio of CBD and a more than 15 percent profile of cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabidivarin (CBDV), plus terpenes and triglycerides delivers a complete full-spectrum oil. This content includes more than 3 percent CBN which Curatio includes as a non-psychoactive alternative to THC, which, by law, cannot exceed 0.3 percent in hemp.


Curatio’s THC-Free CBD

Curatio is a THC-free CBD oil made from a proprietary, non-GMO hemp grown in Colorado. The oil is unique because it provides full-spectrum results without the psychoactive effects of THC. When THC is exposed to heat and light, it slowly turns to CBN. Curatio uses a patented oxidation process to transform the THC in its hemp to CBN in a 1:1 conversion. Like THC, CBN plays an important role in producing the entourage effect and binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors without the psychoactive effects of THC.

As a full-spectrum CBD formula with 3 percent CBN, Curatio is more powerful than other products which contain only 0.3 percent THC — the legal limit. In addition, special processing techniques like nanoemulsion also contribute to its greater potency.



Since CBD oil is hydrophobic (it tends to repel or fail to mix with water), the fact that it is not well absorbed in the gut means it’s not nearly as potent as it could be. You need more to achieve the desired results. Curatio uses sonification to shear the oil into tiny drops of 40 nanometers that can disperse in a water-soluble carrier. The nanoemulsion technique boosts absorption even before the product reaches the stomach, increasing its uptake by five to 10x. This greater absorption results in more rapid onset and longer duration of action, so that smaller doses can achieve the same benefits.


Third-Party Testing

All Curatio products are tested three times by an independent lab to ensure they are THC-free and meet strict standards of potency, purity and consistency.


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


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