Ruby Deevoy is an expert Cannabis journalists and member of the UK Cannabis Industry Council. She is the UK’s only mainstream CBD columnist for Top Sante and her work has featured in The Independent, Stylist, Natural Health and many more publications.
Ruby shared her thoughts with us on why there is so much more to benefit from in cannabis than just CBD…
Almost everyone has heard of CBD. You can buy it in supermarkets, you can get it in gin, the celebs are all talking about it and two years ago there were an estimated 1.3 millions regular users in the U.K alone. That number has continued (and continues) to rise.
But, not everyone knows that CBD is just one of over 140 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Or that terpenes, of which there can be up to 100 of in certain cannabis chemovars, also have immense value to offer – value that is often missed out on in most CBD products.
At Tincture Tailor, they love to see awareness and enjoyment of CBD products on the rise (after all, it is the most abundant cannabinoid in the hemp plant and holds truly exciting promise for many applications). But, they are ready to see a move towards an appreciation of what the whole plant can bring – not just CBD and THC, but minor cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids too.
“Because of the vast potential, we believe in tailoring the cannabinoids and terpenes you’re taking to suit your unique needs. After all, we’re all different – why shouldn’t our self-care solutions be?” Cat, co-founder of TT.
What are cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are fatty molecules found in cannabis/hemp and numerous other species in the plant kingdom. They have been a subject of great interest within the scientific community since the initial discovery of CBN, CBD and THC between 1940 – 1964.
Research didn’t stop there. In the late 80s, the Endocannabinoid System was discovered, unveiling for the first time a ground-breaking understanding of how cannabinoids work within the human body. And how the human body works as a whole. Since then, researchers around the world have gone on to investigate and find the most tremendous therapeutic potential imparted by a wide range of these cannabinoids, with studies exploring their application for a vast number of needs, from anxiety and insomnia, to covid, cancer, epilepsy and much, much more.
Now, as we move into a new era of re-accepting cannabis as widespread legalisation starts to sweep the globe, our understanding is only getting deeper. What we have seen coming out of recent cannabinoid studies has been nothing short of mind-blowing.
What is the endocannabinoid system?
You could write a whole article about this alone, but to keep it brief: the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is perhaps the most important physiological system in the body. Not just the human body, but the bodies of all vertebrates and invertebrates. Even some insects, and the sea squirt! Its role is pretty mammoth – it regulates all (yes, all) bodily processes.
The ECS is made up of an extraordinarily wide network of receptors and neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids (the two of which we know most about being anandamide and 2-AG). These receptors can be found just about everywhere – from every skin cell, in muscles, bones, organs, brain and even mitochondrial cell walls. This system is within all other systems.
The neurotransmitters are synthesised and released on demand to bring the body back into balance, in whatever way that needs to happens.
Certain cannabinoids, like THC and CBG, can stand in for these neurotransmitters if they are not properly produced, fitting like a ‘lock and key’ into the receptors. Other cannabinoids, like CBD, can help to support the ECS. In the case of CBD, this molecule inhibits the enzyme that breaks down endocannabinoids, therefore resulting in higher levels in the body.
What are minor cannabinoids?
CBD and THC are cannabinoids found in abundance. However, there are over 140 other cannabinoids present at much lower levels in the cannabis and hemp plant. These are called ‘minor cannabinoids’.
Given their low levels, it’s much harder to study minor cannabinoids, but research is coming along nicely, particularly looking at CBN, CBG and CBC and what they have to offer.
Some full and broad spectrum CBD oils contain these minor cannabinoids (although not CBN, as that is a controlled substance in the U.K, like THC), but usually in very small amounts. Many believe simply having them present in tiny doses in enough to feel the benefit (something called ‘the entourage effect’, when various cannabinoids and terpenes work in synergy with each other). But numerous studies show that to really get the value, minor cannabinoids often need to be used in higher doses that wouldn’t be naturally found in the plant.
Tailoring your cannabinoid experience
There’s no denying that CBD products are great in many, many ways. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore minor cannabinoids and the potential they can bring to your cannabinoid experience.
CBC (Cannabichromene), for example, was shown in one study to significantly reduce depression at a 20mg dose, which is much higher than what you could possibly get out of a CBD oil. CBD on the other hand only saw the same effect at a 200mg dose, indicating that CBC it is ten times more effective at reducing depression than CBD – although they’re likely to work best when paired together, alongside other cannabinoids like CBG and THC.
CBG (cannabigerol) directly activates endocannabinoid receptors and as a result, is thought by some researchers to actually be a more potent pain reliever an anti-inflammatory (both inside an out) than THC. Studies have also found that CBG has the potential to boost GABA levels (again, more than CBD or THC), which has many possible applications.
Furthermore, I’ve not yet touched on terpenes: aromatic compounds found throughout nature. Cannabis has one of the highest concentrations of terpenes in the plant kingdom, with certain chemovars containing up to 100 different types, with different properties.
Terpenes are overlooked by many CBD producers, but not by Tincture Tailor! Which is why they’ve created terpene blends to add to your routine. Even without the addition of cannabinoids, terpenes can impart tremendous value, with studies having demonstrated anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and immunomodulatory, sedative, stimulant, neuroprotective, anti-depressant and antioxidant properties (to name just a few!). There’s even one terpene, B-caryophyllene, that directly activates the ECS and is known as a ‘dietary cannabinoid’.
The takeaway: CBD oil, CBG oil, CBC oil AND Terpenes – we love them all!
Evidently there’s a lot more to cannabinoids that ‘just’ CBD oil. This, of course is just a glimpse at what minor cannabinoids and terpenes can offer.
“That’s why we’ve formulated not just a CBD oil, but a CBG oil, terpene blends and the U.K’s first CBC oil, to enable you to create a bespoke cannabinoid blend to suit your unique needs, whatever they might be.” Andrew, co-founder TT.