The Science Behind Hemp flower
Hemp flower is growing in popularity across the US and worldwide. The soon to be top crop in America is versatile. Consumers are starting to see the wide range of benefits the plant's potent flowers offer. Hemp buds contain hundreds of naturally occurring cannabinoids, terpenes, and other advantageous compounds. Here's the science behind the ancient plant's wellness properties to help you understand why everyone from young parents to seniors is flocking to the calming flower.
What are Cannabinoids?
Hemp is complex. It contains at least 545 known compounds, including more than 140 cannabinoids. Also known as phytocannabinoids, they're unique to the hemp and cannabis plants.
A cannabinoid is a chemical compound that forms in hemp's trichomes with the terpenes, flavonoids, and other phytochemicals. Trichomes are the resinous glands found in large quantities on the plant's flowers and smaller amounts on its leaves, stems, and stalk.
Each cannabinoid has different wellness advantages. The two most studied cannabinoids are cannabidiol or CBD and delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. These compounds interact with the receptors in the body, which are part of the endocannabinoid system.
Like having distinct varieties of tomatoes, carrots, oranges, and nuts, there are different hemp cultivars. Some growers refer to these as strains. Each hemp type offers various blends of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. These diversities are what provide multiple advantages, fragrances, and flavors.
Common Hemp flower Cannabinoids
The most bountiful compound in hemp is CBD, and as cultivators learn more about growing the popular plant, it's increasing. In 2014, hemp flowers averaged 12-18% CBD. In 2020, some cultivars were reaching 23%. The plant contains a small amount of THC, 0.3%, which isn't enough to produce a high.
Hemp flower is a little more complicated to explain. The first phytocannabinoid to form is the CBGa or cannabigerolic acid. CBGa is often referred to as the mother of all cannabinoids. It changes to either CBDa or THCa.
When you heat hemp flower, the chemical composition changes again, also known as the decarboxylation process, it activates the phytocannabinoids. Both the acidic and decarboxylated compounds provide wellness benefits.
- Cannabigerolic acid (CBGa)
- Cannabidiolic acid (CBDa)
- Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa)
- Cannabichromenic acid (CBCa)
- Cannabichromevarinic acid (CBCVa)
- Cannabigerol (CBG)
- Cannabinol (CBD)
- Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-C4 (THC)
- Cannabichromevarin (CBCV)
There's an entire group of like-phytocannabinoids in hemp flower for consumers looking for cannabinoids with similar advantages to CBD.
Along with CBDa and CBD, the Cannabidiols include,
- Cannabidivarinic acid (CBDVa)
- Cannabidiol monomethyl ether (CBDM)
- Cannabidiorcol (CBD-C1)
Outside of CBD and CBDa, there's little to no known studies about the other cannabidiols. Hemp cultivation and flower sales were legalized in the US in December 2018. More research about these compounds will be forthcoming in the future now that researchers and consumers have access to quality plants.
Benefits of Phytocannabinoids
Hemp compounds have the potential to provide many wellness benefits for consumers, young and old. These natural plant chemicals may:
- Support the endocannabinoid system.
- Promote a productive sleep cycle.
- Encourage positive gut health.
- Reduce stress naturally.
Many people are adding hemp flower and its extracts to their daily routine to improve their quality of life organically.
The Endocannabinoid System
Hemp flower compounds interact naturally with the endocannabinoid system. Also known as the ECS, it's a complex cell-signaling system found in all vertebrates' body. The ECS also includes endocannabinoids or internal cannabinoids produced by the body and enzymes that break down the endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids after completing their task.
Its primary job is to maintain homeostasis or balance in the body. Research shows the system, which wasn't officially confirmed by scientists until the early 1990s, plays a role in most functions. It's able to accomplish this with the endocannabinoid receptors.
The primary ones are the CB1 and CB2. These are located throughout the body. The CB1s are mostly found in the central nervous system, and the CB2 is heavily concentrated in the immune system. Experts explain the ECS as a lock and key system. It plays a role in everything from mood, appetite, digestion, and reproductive health to pain regulation and sleep cycles.
External cannabinoids or phytocannabinoids from the hemp and cannabis plant have the same privileges as the ECS as your body's internal ones. This information about the ECS explains how the benefits of hemp compounds and CBD are as widespread. The receptors interact with the cannabinoids. After completing their job, the enzymes break down the used and excess compounds.
Another advantage of hemp flower that's grounded in science is the entourage effect. The scientific theory involves the importance of using all the compounds for the best results. Researchers often refer to this as "the plant does it better."
Most brands that sell hemp extracts offer different formulas that remove the THC or everything but the CBD. The entourage hypothesis suggests the whole plant option provides the greatest reward.
There is a lack of controlled, double-blind laboratory studies to prove the theory. However, researchers believe the anecdotal evidence speaks for itself.
Mowgli Holmes, a geneticist and founder of Phylos Bioscience, a hemp genetics company in Portland, explains to Cannabistech,
"We can't do very basic studies about what's really true … But you have thousands and thousands of people reporting the same thing. It gets hard to ignore."
Hemp flowers and all their beneficial cannabinoids and other phytochemicals are safe, legal, and an excellent way to unwind naturally. Try one or more of the popular cultivars available to see which blend of phytocannabinoids and terpenes meets your wellness need. Find out more about our tasty and all-organic hemp buds, at Tin Can Hemp.