After hemp oil has been extracted or pressed from the stalks, leaves, and flowers, the biomass of the plant is left, still containing smaller amounts of oils plus other benefits.
In the last newsletter, I shared my two-year journey to learn about cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD. There is a lot of marketing on CBD, which is a member of the family of cannabinoids found in cannabis plants — both the hemp and the marijuana varieties. Cannabinoids are also found in other plants such as kale and broccoli.
What’s the hype all about?
CBD from hemp is often sold with claims that it is a miracle drug and can treat everything from Lyme disease to cancer. The flood of health claims makes CBD sound like more of a snake oil tonic from the 1800s sold by a traveling medicine show. The fact is, CBD is not a miracle cure…but it can provide important health benefits that begin with the cannabinoid receptor sites in the body.
Although the most common form of CBD is an extracted oil, BioStar has learned the benefits of using the hemp flowers, stems, and leaves, which naturally contain CBD.
The endocannabinoid system
All mammals and other animals including birds, reptiles, fish, sea urchins, leeches, and mussels have cannabinoid receptors located throughout their bodies. We also produce molecules called endocannabinoids (“endo” means within) in our bodies to stimulate the cannabinoid receptors. The endocannabinoids have a short life before being degraded by intracellular enzymes. The body does not store endocannabinoid molecules; they are produced on demand.
These receptors and biochemical compounds are all part of the biological endocannabinoid system, which endeavors to maintain a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment. This is known as homeostasis.
Scientists estimate that the endocannabinoid system evolved in primitive animals over 600 million years ago.
Basic functions of the endocannabinoid system
The regulation of homeostasis by the endocannabinoid system includes:
- Memory and Learning
- Immune Function
How does CBD work?
Not only can CBD fit into the cannabinoid receptors, it also increases the availability of the body’s endocannabinoids by stopping a specific enzyme (FAAH) from degrading them. This in turn provides more cannabinoids for the body.
Cannabinoid receptors in the body
Two cannabinoid receptors have been identified so far:
- CB1 receptors are expressed in the brain, liver, lungs, smooth muscle, gastrointestinal tract, vascular endothelium, reproductive organs, immune system, sensorial peripheral nerves, and sympathetic nerves.
- CB2 receptors are expressed in immune system cells such as macrophages, neutrophils, monocytes, B-lymphocytes, and T-lymphocytes. CB2 receptor expression includes skin nerve fibers, and bone cells such as osteoblasts, osteocytes, and
Much of CBD’s current popularity centers around the CBD oil that’s extracted from the whole cannabis plant. Current pricing for bulk CBD oil ranges from $4200 – $5800 per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of oil. Companies purchase this oil and then dilute it with coconut, olive, or hemp seed oil, which reduces the percentage of CBD.
One of the confusing aspects for consumers, is that companies often label their diluted CBD oil products by total milligrams; for instance a one-ounce bottle may be labeled as 700 milligrams, but that is for the entire bottle, not a single dose. There are 28,349.5 milligrams in an ounce, so you can see that 700 milligrams of CBD is a tiny amount of the whole.
After hemp oil has been extracted or pressed from the stalks, leaves, and flowers, the biomass of the plant is left, still containing smaller amounts of CBD plus other benefits not extracted with the oil. Two of these compelling components in addition to CBD in the biomass are the terpenes and the bioflavonoids. There are over 200 terpenes that synergistically interact with cannabinoids in the plant. Among these is beta-caryophyllene, which can target CB2 receptors to help soothe the body’s inflammatory response and promote an effect that eases discomfort.
Unique to hemp is a subclass of flavonoids called cannaflavines. One particular cannaflavine known as cannaflavin-A is an inhibitor of the pro-inflammatory prostaglandin known as PGE-2.
Hemp biomass naturally contains fiber, protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamin E (alpha and gamma tocopherols) plus calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, and manganese.
An additional benefit of the hemp biomass is that we know precisely the amount of CBD in milligrams per serving.
A new supplement for dogs
BioStar’s Trinity is a wellness formula for dogs that provides:
Green-lipped mussel, carefully processed without heat and freeze-dried. It is an excellent source of glucosamine and chondroitin plus glycosaminoglycans (GAGS) which are the key components of cartilage and synovial fluid in joints. GAGS are known to assist in tissue repair and to help provide elasticity and flexibility to articular cartilage.
A base of desiccated beef liver from Argentina, along with dehydrated coconut meal.
Due to the precise dosage of CBD and the green-lipped mussel meat, we have divided Trinity into three products: one for small dogs (under 20 pounds), one for medium dogs (up to 50 pounds), and one for large and extra-large dogs. The ingredients are exactly the same; only the dosage and serving sizes are different.
How much do I feed?
At this point, we know that how much CBD a dog needs is unique to that dog. Some dogs need only one serving per day, others may need two or three. Don’t be afraid to experiment to find what dose is best for your dog.
Sublingual versus oral
CBD oils, which are ingested sublingually, provide rapid onset of action and are readily absorbed into the bloodstream. Orally ingested CBD — either via eating food containing CBD or taking a form of CBD like hemp biomass — is gradually absorbed in the GI tract. Remember, the GI tract is one of the sites of the cannabidiol receptor CB1 so, although oral digestion takes longer, it can also last longer, resulting in having to use it less often than the oils.
Biostar’s Trinity K9 will be available Mid-September, 2018.
Our equine version called Receptor EQ will be available in October, 2018.