Whenever a change occurs in an animal’s or human’s external environment, adjustments must be made so that the internal environment of the body and cells remain stable and function properly. One of the many intriguing complexes of the body system is homeostasis: the body working to maintain the constant and balanced internal environment it needs.
Various homeostatic mechanisms are found in the bodies of all mammals, and among them is the endocannabinoid system. Mammals produce endocannabinoids to stimulate the cannabinoid receptors, which are located throughout the body: the brain, central nervous system, skeletal muscles, liver, and the GI tract. These receptor sites play important roles in the modulation of signaling pathways and homeostasis.
In the GI tract the cannabinoid receptor CB1R is in both the enteric nervous system and in non-neuronal cells in the intestinal mucosa, including enteroendocrine cells, immune cells and enterocytes. According to research published this year in the International Journal of Molecular Science:
“The CB1R receptors modulates the mobility of the GI tract, the secretion of gastric acids, fluids, neurotransmitter and hormones, as well as the permeability of the intestinal epithelium.”
What is CBD?
CBD is cannabidiol, a constituent of hemp that was discovered in the 1940s. It is one of hundreds of cannabinoid components of the hemp plant. Cannabinoid receptors in the body can link with cannabinoids such as CBD, which results in message signaling and the cellular responses needed for healthy functioning and homeostasis. The endocannabinoids are produced on demand, as they have a short life before being degraded by intracellular enzymes. CBD increases the availability of the body’s own endocannabinoids by stopping a specific enzyme, FAAH, from degrading the endocannabinoids. This in turn provides more endocannabinoid molecules for the body.
Basic functions of the endocannabinoid system
- Management of physical discomfort
- Memory and learning
- Immune function
- Healthy inflammatory response
CBD works with the body’s own cannabinoid system to support homeostasis.
The most common form of CBD is CBD oil. It is quickly absorbed orally through the mucous membranes, bypassing the digestive system. This is beneficial for fast delivery; however, CBD oil typically has to be given multiple times per day because it is not long-acting.
There are challenges with CBD oil. CO2 extraction is the gold standard for purifying CBD oil, although oil prepared by this method ranges in price from $4,200 to $5,800 per kilogram (2.2 lbs). Because it is so expensive, many companies cut it with other oils in the finished-to-market product, using oils like coconut, hemp seed, and olive, diluting its concentration and lessening its effects.
I have been studying CBD for two years, and the oils that I have tested and worked with have fallen below my expectations. There is a lot of hype around CBD oil for neurotransmitter support, for cancer… but to me, the importance of ingested CBD lies in its ability to support homeostasis and the body’s natural endocannabinoid system. The body’s ability to regulate homeostasis is, in fact, the true meaning of wellness.
BioStar’s Receptor EQ: Organic hemp biomass
Although organic hemp biomass and its CBD and other components are broken down in the GI tract — not absorbed through the mucus membranes like CBD oil — many of the cannabinoid receptor sites are in the GI tract. So by digesting organic hemp biomass, the GI tract receptors and signaling pathways are supported. Another benefit is that CBD, when it is absorbed through the digestive tract, is longer-acting than CBD oil.
Organic hemp biomass comprises the leaves, flowers, and stems of the hemp plant after CO2 extraction. This biomass not only contains CBD but also terpenes and bioflavonoids, as well as fiber, protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, and manganese.
There are over 200 terpenes that synergistically interact with cannabinoids to increase cell permeability, which increases absorption of cannabinoids. Among these terpenes is beta-caryophyllene that can target cannabinoid receptors to reduce discomfort from oxidative stress and a sub-optimally managed inflammatory response.
Unique to hemp is a sub-class of flavonoids called cannaflavines. One particular cannaflavine known as cannaflavin-A is an inhibitor of the pro-inflammatory prostaglandin PGE-2.
BioStar was the first equine supplement company to bring hemp seed oil to the equine market ten years ago. We were the first to use hemp protein in our supplements for horses. I think it is safe to say that BioStar knows hemp. And we have a deep and abiding respect for how the plant is grown: without pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers. Our decade’s worth of experience with hemp means we are not jumping on the CBD bandwagon because it is popular. We have assessed CBD, and waited until the right form of CBD was available: hemp biomass.
The Whole Horse
BioStar’s Receptor EQ formula not only provides organic hemp biomass with its terpenes, bioflavonoids, and CBD. It also provides ingredients that support the joints, healthy oxygenation of muscles, circulation, balanced mind and healthy GI tract: green-lipped mussels, astaxanthin, organic turmeric, organic kale, non-GMO sunflower lecithin, and organic black pepper.
Receptor also provides the notable Ayurvedic tridoshic plant amalaki, also known as Indian gooseberry. It is referred to as one of the most powerful rejuvenating herbs in Ayurveda. In Sanskrit, amalaki means “the sustainer”.
The base of Receptor EQ includes organic pumpkin meal and coconut meal for added protein and beneficial fatty acids.
Benefits of Receptor EQ for Horses
Receptor EQ is a wellness formula, supporting homeostasis. Because each horse is an individual, benefits will vary from horse to horse. For instance, some horses may find that Receptor EQ helps relax their nervous minds, while others may move more powerfully and easily, recover from physical activity more quickly, be less prone to fecal inconsistency, or feel more comfortable within themselves.
Receptor EQ will be available in October 2018.