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The Science Behind Cannabis
Can you explain the science behind cannabis and help plants?
When you eat an orange, how much of the orange do you eat? Of course, the juicy part, but what about the peel? The stem from which it hangs? The branch from which it dangles? The tree from which it grows?
Whenever we consume plants, we often target a specific part of the plant for consumption. In the case of cannabis, we most often target the seeds, leaves, and flowers. Seeds can be eaten or turned into oils, flowers can be made into a variety of food products.
But not every part of the plant contains the same chemical profile.
When looking at today’s cannabis market, people are most often looking at the terpene and cannabinoid content.
Cannabinoids—while not entirely restricted to production within cannabis—are compounds that interact with our endocannabinoid system (ECS). There are at least 113 known cannabinoids found in the cannabis plants. A cannabinoid is one of a class of diverse chemical compounds that acts on cannabinoid receptors in cells that alter neurotransmitter release in the brain. Cannabinoid receptors are located throughout the body.
What is CBD? CBD is a cannabis compound without the psychoactive effect of THC.
What is THC? THC is one of at least 114 cannabinoids identified in the cannabis plant. THC is the principal psychoactive constituent in cannabis.
What is the difference between CBD and THC? CBD and THC are both cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. However, their roles are very different. CBD is non-psychoactive. Alternatively, THC is the cannabinoid in cannabis that creates the feeling of intoxication (or “high”).
Why are cannabinoids so crucial to medical cannabis treatment? Despite facing decades of negative propaganda and criminalization, the world is pushing ahead on cannabis science. For example, the opioid crisis has led to the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans every year, according to the CDC. Cannabis may be able to replace some opioid treatments that lead to those deaths.
All cannabinoids, including CBD, produce effects in the body by attaching to certain receptors. The human body produces certain cannabinoids on its own too. The two receptors for cannabinoids are called the CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. These receptors are present throughout the body, but many are in the brain as well. As a matter of fact, there are more than 65 molecular targets of CBD in the body! They receive transmissions signals from cannabinoids found in CBD. A CBD rich product with little THC will not produce a euphoric or dysphoric effect. Meaning you’re not going to feel high. In fact, this helps those who are on a combined CBD/THC regimen but don’t want to experience the “high” effect, as CBD dilutes the strength, but lengthens the duration of THC when combined, making it appealing to an even larger patient population. Using Whole Plant or Full Spectrum based oils and products help ensure you are getting all this powerful plant can produce.
What are terpenes and their importance? Terpenes are, in a sense, the essential oils of the plant, providing delicious flavor profiles, and aromatic qualities. Terpenes aren’t just present in the Cannabis plant, either. They are present in many other plants worldwide. Some terpenes taste and smell like citrus, while others may give off an earthy scent or flavor. Perhaps you have heard that Lavender can help calm anxiety, or relieve insomnia. This is largely attributed to the terpenes present in the Lavender plant. Some common terpenes include Myrcene, Linalool, Limonene, and Pinene. The Cannabis plant contains a combination of many different terpenes, THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids.
How do I decide what product and method of ingestion is best for me? Education is key. We can help refer you to a trusted medical approved dispensary who will help with advice on specific dosing questions. Oftentimes, it is a trial and error process. If you are seeking help with CBD specific products, our Patient Care Representative through a consultation can discuss the ingestion methods and basic risks and benefits of using CBD oil, buccal strips, vape pen, suppositories or cream.
CBD And Missouri Law
Can my employer still drug test me for marijuana if I am a registered patient? Yes, they can. Missouri does not provide protection to medical marijuana patients from employee drug testing. It will be left to the discretion of each employer whether they wish to recognize an employee’s medical marijuana approval as an exemption to company drug testing policies. However, employers are prohibited from discriminating against an individual in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment based on an individual’s past or present status as a caregiver or a qualifying patient. Certain “safety sensitive” positions are exempted from this protection which includes professions that require carrying a firearm, performing life-threatening procedures, working with hazardous or flammable materials and others listed in Missouri Act 593.
Full Spectrum CBD products can contain no more than 0.3% THC as allowed per Missouri state regulations. Because of this, some drug tests may test or show positive findings for THC. If this is a concern, we are happy to explore CBD Isolate products, which contain no THC, with you.
Will I fail a drug test if I use CBD products? A consumer who uses a high-quality, scientifically vetted hemp-based product at the standard serving size is highly unlikely to test positive for THC and/or THC-COOH**. However, it’s important to note that extremely high doses may result in a positive urine screen and that genetic differences in the CYP450 enzyme system may cause variation in results.
Ultimately, consumers need to be fully informed of the specific regulations proposed by their employers and adjust their consumption of cannabinoid products accordingly.
I still have questions and would love to meet with MCC. What should I do next? Give us a call at 314.624.5482, email us also at [email protected] or message us on Facebook. If we miss you, MCC staff will respond within one business day!