Over the past few decades, the mounting evidence concerning how cannabinoids positively interact with the human body can no longer be ignored. In fact, the influence of the seemingly miraculous cannabinoid family is incredibly strong; we are still learning how it all comes together but what has been discovered so far has firmly established the importance of cannabinoids to our own well-being (in addition to the wellness of many other mammals, one reason so many pet owners regularly give their cats and dogs CBD treats).
We can credit THC for the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) since it was revealed in the early 1990s when scientists and researchers were exploring the potential of THC. Naturally, it heavily influenced the scientific name of this newly discovered “endocannabinoid” system in honor of its inadvertent unveiling while examining the virtues of THC. (In science, the prefix “endo” indicates an inner or absorbing quality, so adding “cannabinoid” was also the logical extension since those compounds are absorbed and put to use by our endocannabinoid system.)
The Basics of the Endocannabinoid System
Think of the ECS as a critical internal messaging system our body uses to get things done and maintain control over a variety of functions. Now keep in mind that you do not need cannabinoids for your ECS to properly operate but initial studies and research are indicating that cannabinoids exert a positive influence on our own internal cannabinoids.
Wait, you didn’t know we produce our own cannabinoids? Okay, technically, we don’t produce the same compound that the cannabis and hemp plant is capable of generating, but we come pretty close. Our body creates a molecule that looks and acts like cannabinoids but when produced internally, we call them endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids for short).
We’re still learning about them but so far two specific endocannabinoids have been isolated and remain under further study:
- Anandamide (AEA) – the first endocannabinoid identified, it is a fatty acid neurotransmitter that binds to THC cannabinoid receptors; it responds especially well to Δ9-THC and appears to affect the brain more than other areas (“anandamide” was inspired by the Sanskrit word “ananda” which means “internal bliss”)
- 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG) – this endocannabinoid appears to focus more broadly across the central nervous system; it seems to function more as a neuromodulator, sending important messages that can influence the transmission of signals between two communicating neurons
Okay, that’s enough of the white coat lab talk! Let’s return to junior high science class lingo…
We still don’t know a lot about either AEA or 2-AG; the best we can say is we know we don’t know much. We also know that our body appears capable of producing either endocannabinoid on-demand and that they help our internal functions to operate more optimally.
Because we can call up AEA or 2-AG at will, we have no idea what would be considered typical levels for either of these cannabinoids. We also still have no clue as to the mechanics behind their operations but we do know that endocannabinoids assist in the continuing operations of a variety of functions and processes, including:
We have also learned that the cannabinoids found in the cannabis and hemp plants do an excellent job of mimicking the roles that our own endocannabinoids play. Some people believe that cannabinoids do more than mimic our endocannabinoid behavior, postulating that they bring properties and compounds that transform our own endocannabinoids into sorts of super-heroes, with greater-than-usual powers.
It could be that a synergistic response is developed when external cannabinoids encounter our endocannabinoids; they are closely enough related that the possibility of teamwork evolving between the two is plausible.
How Your Endocannabinoid System Operates
You can break down your ECS into three main parts, as follows:
- Endocannabinoids – to which you have already been introduced
- Endocannabinoid Receptors – this is where endocannabinoids bind and perform their communications with and services to a variety of our internal functions
- Enzymes – help complete the task by breaking down endocannabinoids once they finish their assigned job
A closer look at both the receptors and enzymes will help piece together the larger picture of which the ECS is composed…
As previously mentioned, the ECS serves many internal areas in our body. This means you will find endocannabinoid receptors strategically located throughout the ECS so that endocannabinoids can bind to them and perform their directed task.
Cannabinoid receptors fall into one of two categories:
- CB1 Receptors – are primarily found in the central nervous system and will influence essential functions like appetite, moods, and sleep
- CB2 Receptors – are generally located in the peripheral nervous system and are likely to be found in immune cells
Thanks to their versatility, endocannabinoids can bind to either receptor; it’s as if they are summoned and given a directive and are talented enough to serve the proper purpose once they reach their destination.
Sometimes they act as alarms, waking up the immune system with a warning of a problem like inflammation; at another time, they might directly go after the CB1 receptor in a spinal nerve to alleviate pain or pressure.
When the job is completed, the remains of the endocannabinoids need to be removed. This is where enzymes are involved; they digest the endocannabinoids, making for an easy exit from the ECS.
Unlike cannabinoids, enzymes are quite particular. There are two different enzymes, each of which does its job on one of the two endocannabinoids in our system:
- AEA – is broken down by fatty acid amide hydrolase
- 2-AG – is usually broken down by monoacylglycerol acid lipase
It’s assuring to know that even our internal operating systems understand the necessity of maintenance and recycling with the mechanisms in place to accomplish such tasks efficiently.
The Functions of Your Endocannabinoid System
It’s only been about three decades since we became aware of our ECS, so it remains a mysterious territory rich with unimaginable discoveries still ahead of us. However, just from scratching the surface, we already know we are onto something very important.
Here is a laundry list of functions to which we have found some sort of connection to the ECS:
- Bone Growth and Repair
- Chronic Pain
- Immune System Responses
- Motor Control
- Various other functions, including:
- Cardiovascular System function
- Liver function
- Reproductive System function
- Skin and Nerve function
One common denominator between this broad variety of functions is that they all contribute to homeostasis, our ability to maintain a stable internal order and environment. For instance, when you bang your knee or get a cold, your body’s homeostasis gets out of whack. Fortunately for you and every other human, your ECS is on guard to get you back on the right and healthy track.
It’s too easy to leap to the conclusion that the primary responsibility of our ECS is maintaining homeostasis but we’re pretty positive that, if not the main, it is one of the essential functions of this amazing internal system.
Cannabinoids and Your Endocannabinoid System
So if our ECS is so amazing, why do we need the cannabinoids from cannabis and hemp plants?
The plain truth is that you don’t need cannabinoids but if you consume them it is almost certain they will benefit you, often in more ways than one. A more relevant truth is that, for millions of Americans, life without cannabinoids would be less enjoyable and fulfilling but likely bearable.
However, we are not about just going through an existence; we want everyone to thrive and get the most out of their own life. If a modest plant can help them in their quest for better living, we should grow acres of it. And we are at Fern Valley Farms!
But we digress… let’s talk about cannabinoids and your ECS.
Δ9-THC (and Δ8-THC)
We will give delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, aka Δ9-THC (or just plain THC to most consumers), top billing in our examination of how certain cannabinoids interact with our ECS. After all, it is thanks to Δ9-THC that we even know about the ECS; we could reasonably say Δ9-THC is the springboard that opened wide the doors of research that has been performed with hundreds if not thousands of results either pending or clearly concluded.
In its natural habitat, Δ9-THC is the most predominant cannabinoid produced by the cannabis plant. Of course, through horticultural practices and techniques, the production of this compound can be controlled resulting in either higher THC levels than are usual for the plant or such low levels (below 0.3% THC) to qualify the plant as hemp.
Research has revealed that Δ9-THC is able to multitask since it can bind with both CB1 and CB2 receptors. While the effects on the CB2 receptors tend to operate more autonomically and in the background, making them less noticeable, the effect that Δ9-THC has on CB1 receptors can, in contrast, be remarkably noticeable.
In terms of the layperson, it’s called “getting high” but that description is about as broad a brush as the side of a barn. While avoiding medical jargon, we can say that the following mental activities are often noticeably altered after consuming Δ9-THC:
- Problem Solving
Please note that we say those processes are altered, not permanently damaged or harmed. Granted, when we are flooded with feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations with which we are not familiar, we can fall into an anxious or panicky state. But then again, sometimes that wash of new experiences and sensations is precisely what is needed to break out of an undesirable state of mind or body.
Even experienced THC consumers can get thrown by a particularly potent strain of cannabis. Those same seasoned veterans will also admit that sometimes their state of mind and body is ideally poised to be affected more than usual when consuming the same strain they previously enjoyed. This is not to say they can consciously induce such a state but that some days our sensitivities are such that the same cannabis we regularly consume affects us more than usual.
While we may notice the change in our coordination and thought processes, Δ9-THC is also working in the background on a variety of other wellness issues and concerns, including:
- Addiction – people addicted to opioids are finding that cannabis can help break that bad habit with fewer side effects
- Anxiety – by consuming cannabis, some people find it easier to distance themselves from worries and anxiety
- Appetite Booster – it’s called the “munchies” and a good dose of Δ9-THC can kick your appetite into high gear
- Battle Cancer – similar to CBD, Δ9-THC has properties that seem to slow or stem the spread of cancer; combining Δ9-THC and CBD seems to work even better
- Cancer Therapy – the nauseous side effect that cancer patients experience after chemotherapy finds great relief through cannabis consumption
- Chronic Pain – some people who never find relief from chronic pain with prescription drugs are more than pleased that cannabis can deliver much-desired relief
- Depression – sometimes a bad mood or unhappy state gets a necessary and appreciated lift by consuming Δ9-THC
- Expectorant – smoking or vaping cannabis loosens and releases phlegm and foreign matter from the lungs
- Glaucoma – for decades, medical experts have been aware of the ability of Δ9-THC to successfully ease eye pressure that causes glaucoma
- Inflamed Tissues – the ability of Δ9-THC to provide beneficial anti-inflammatory properties seems to be a common benefit linked to all cannabinoids
- PTSD – victims of traumatic experiences suffer from PTSD but Δ9-THC seem especially adept at helping people manage that condition
- Sedative – for many individuals, a solid night of sleep is assured through a good intake of Δ9-THC during the day and evening
- Seizures – another serious and important benefit offered by Δ9-THC is the ability to reduce or ease seizures, making it a popular choice for those suffering from epilepsy
- Weight Loss – even though you can get the munchies, Δ9-THC helps your metabolism in burning off fat; on average, cannabis consumers weigh less than the average adult
Meet the Newcomer: Δ8-THC
If you have been hearing about Δ8-THC lately, it’s not surprising because this is the latest and trendiest cannabinoid to hit the marketplace in years. As you may already suspect, Δ8-THC and Δ9-THC are almost identically composed; the only structural difference between these two compounds centers around the location of their double bond of carbon atoms (with Δ8-THC finding its double bond location between carbon atoms 8 and 9 while the Δ9-THC double bond location sits between carbon atoms 9 and 10).
This minor difference between the Δ8-THC and Δ9-THC compounds results in a major difference in effects. One of the reasons for the sudden explosion in the popularity and consumption of Δ8-THC products is because of the lighter, less intense, effects experienced when consuming Δ8-THC. In fact, many people refer to hemp flower strains treated with Δ8-THC as “weed light” because of the mildly psychotropic effects it delivers on top of the other benefits it offers.
Obviously, few studies have been performed on Δ8-THC to see what kind of benefits it may be capable of delivering to the human body. One is tempted to believe that it will perform very much like Δ9-THC since they are organized so similarly but such conclusions should be reached through research rather than belief systems.
For now, we have to say most people are flocking to Δ8-THC products because of the milder psychotropic effects they can enjoy. However, several decades ago we could make the same claim about consumers of Δ9-THC; they did it for the psychotropic effects and if other beneficial properties could alleviate certain conditions, so much the better! It wasn’t until after years of conclusive research and positive results that many of those Δ9-THC consumers then began declaring, “I knew it was good for me all along!”
Δ8-THC Fern Valley Farms Products
At Fern Valley Farms, we suspect that Δ8-THC is good for our body, mind, and soul, just like all other cannabinoids. To that end, we are thrilled to expand our line of quality hemp products to include a wonderful array of Δ8-THC products, from treated hemp flower strains to delicious edibles. As of this writing, we offer the following quality Δ8-THC products for your consumption:
- Delta 8 Bubba Kush CBD Flower – 16.36% D8, 10.95% CBD; Indica dominant
- Delta 8 Kush CBD Flower – 16.76% D8, 10.67% CBD; Indica dominant
- Delta 8 Specialist CBD Flower – 15.63% D8, 11.42% CBD; Sativa dominant
- Delta 8 Hawaiian Haze CBD Flower – 18.26% D8, 11.25% CBD; Sativa dominant
- Delta 8 Super Sour Space Candy CBD Flower – 21.91% D8, 9.32% CBD; Sativa dominant
- Delta 8 CBG White Flower – 14.68% D8, 9.77% CBG; Hybrid
- Delta 8 Moon Rocks – 13.15% D8, 11.29% CBD; Hybrid rolled in CBG kief
- Delta 8 Moon Rockets – a pre-rolled version of our Delta 8 Moon Rocks
- Delta 8 Gummies – each gummy contains 10mg of Delta 8 THC
We also have developed a very special one-of-a-kind product, Delta 8 Asteroids. This offers a high concentration (53.3%) of Δ8-THC by soaking selected CBD buds in a Δ8-THC distillate and then coating those buds with CBG kief. You won’t find this product anywhere else, so be sure to check out this uniquely treated CBD flower.
Next on our list should be cannabidiol (CBD), since it was the first “legitimate” cannabinoid to sweep the nation with its popularity. In fact, it happened so fast that many state legislators were unprepared for the shift in attitude and consequent demand by the public that came upon the heels of the growing appreciation for the properties being discovered in CBD. Ironically, some states still limit the purchase and use of CBD products but because laws change so swiftly (in the proper direction of full legalization of CBD-derived products) it is hardly worth the effort to list current legal standings in all 50 states. These state restrictions are in place in spite of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 that decrees hemp plants to be legal in the eye of the federal government.
For the curious or those uncertain whether or not CBD poses legal concerns where they live, we urge you to research current laws online. With approval and legalization of THC also sweeping across the nation (and globe) right now, legal concerns about CBD may likely become a moot discussion within a decade, if not much sooner.
Meanwhile, what cannot be denied are the growing list of wellness properties and benefits contained in CBD, including (but certainly not limited to):
- Acne Treatments – most cannabinoids boast anti-inflammatory properties, but CBD seems to specifically limit sebum production, the cause of acne
- Addiction Management – breaking the opioid habit is difficult but CBD is a wonderful and gentle way to naturally beat addictions
- Appetite Booster – CBD seems to help sharpen the appetite when someone has little interest in food
- Bone Support – more seniors are consuming CBD specifically to help maintain strong and healthy bones as they age
- Cancer Treatments – chemotherapy is known for the extreme side effects it also produces, but CBD appears to have the ability to alleviate much of that discomfort
- Depression – some individuals regularly besieged by depression find CBD helps to lift their spirits and reduce oppressive feelings
- Ease Anxiety – often when feeling the onset of a panic attack or anxiety, consuming CBD can offset those anxious feelings and situations
- Lower Blood Pressure – CBD indirectly keeps the heart healthier by helping to maintain normal blood pressure rates
- Pain Relief – even those with serious chronic pain conditions like arthritis and multiple sclerosis can find relief with CBD
- Sedation – those having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep often find CBD helps deepen their states of calmness and relaxation which may lead to fuller sleep sessions
Because of its versatility in potential health benefits, along with its ability to treat serious health conditions and ailments, the demand for CBD continues to increase at exponential rates. Consumers have “normalized” CBD products so much they can now find them even in grocery stores and other traditional retail settings.
Although it may be convenient to pick up CBD products at local retailers if they are not specialists or direct producers they cannot give you much information or background on the products they offer. On the other hand, at Fern Valley Farms, we specialize in growing premium quality hemp plants in a variety of strains rich with CBD, with full disclosure of the cannabinoids found in each product you purchase. However, we sell more than hemp flower; we also offer an outstanding lineup of other wellness products using CBD extracted from our plants.
CBD Fern Valley Farms Products
The following is a sampling of the many categories of CBD products we offer:
- CBD Flower – just as THC offers various strains delivering different effects, our CBD flower strains include Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid strains
- CBD Kief – we also cull the finest particles from the hemp plant to provide kief in the same strains as our CBD flower collection
- CBD Wax – for those seeking stronger doses of CBD in one sitting, wax concentrates are highly recommended and popular
- CBD Tinctures – many consumers consider tinctures to be ideal for starting and finishing their day, as they can apply accurate and consistent dosages
- CBD Lotions – ideal for aches and pains or simply as a luxuriating indulgence, topical treatments can be highly effective and enjoyable
- CBD Edibles – another effective and popular method of delivering CBD to your endocannabinoid system is with edible products like our delicious gummies
- CBD Pet Tinctures – because most mammals also have endocannabinoid systems, we offer high-quality CBD oils tailored for cats and dogs
Next on our list of valuable cannabinoids is the compound cannabigerol (CBG). Although discovered way back in the 1960s, not much attention was given to this cannabinoid until recently. Now, everyone is getting more excited and interested in CBG as each year passes.
This is an unusual cannabinoid due to the fact that it is produced in abundance when plants are just beginning to grow. As they mature, the amount of CBG diminishes, being replaced by THC and CBD cannabinoids. At least, that is how it functions in the wild; experienced and knowledgeable horticulturists are skilled in preserving the CBG content as hemp plants grow, meaning humans can now take greater advantage of this valuable compound.
One trait that CBG shares in common with THC is its ability to positively interact with both CB1 and CB2 receptors. However, those interactions seem to be quite different than how Δ9-THC affects us. In fact, one property contained in CBG is the ability to inhibit psychoactive effects, such as can be caused by Δ9-THC. This is valuable to note in the event you, or someone you know, feel as if too much Δ9-THC was consumed and the compound begins to overwhelm the mind and body; CBG could be just the thing to bring everything back into balance and perspective.
Once you review the list of potential benefits that CBG may deliver, you may better understand why so many people are excited about this cannabinoid. Remember, that research on CBG is still in its infancy stage, so don’t be surprised to learn of new breakthroughs concerning CBG in the coming years. Meanwhile, what we know of its capabilities so far is already impressive, including:
- Antibacterial – CBG can even smackdown MRSA, a drug-resistant bacteria known for causing staph infections
- Anti-Inflammatory – as with other cannabinoids, anti-inflammatory properties seems to be part and parcel of CBG’s wellness potential
- Battle Cancer – researchers have demonstrated that CBG is able to block receptors causing cancer cell growth and inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer cells
- Glaucoma Treatments – similar to THC, CBG treatments can reduce eye pressure and increase aqueous humor outflow, both of which are crucial to improved sight
- Huntington’s Disease – because CBG can protect brain nerve cells from damage, it may work as a neuroprotectant, offering relief to sufferers of Huntington’s disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) – nitric acid causes IBD but cannot resist the properties of CBG by reducing swelling in the colon and slowing nitric oxide production
- Nausea – often a side effect of other treatments like chemotherapy, CBG has shown its ability to manage nausea
- Relaxation – perhaps its most popular property, millions are successfully conquering insomnia by regularly consuming CBG at night
Clearly, CBG runs the gamut of ailments, from mild discomforts and stress to serious conditions like cancer, glaucoma, and Huntington’s disease. This is one cannabinoid we should keep our eye on, as we suspect new properties will be revealed as research continues on CBG.
CBG Fern Valley Farms Products
It should come as no surprise that our supply of quality CBG products generates lots of enthusiasm and sales; we already have developed a good variety of CBG products, including:
- CBG White CBG Flower – this marvelous hemp flower strain packs a potent 17.8% concentration of CBGa
- CBG White Greenhouse CBG Flower – by nurturing this plant indoors, our greenhouse CBG White (11% CBGa) illustrates the value of controlled growing techniques
- Delta 8 CBG White Flower – we take our classic CBG White (with a 9.77% CBGa concentration) and soak it with a 14.68% Delta 8 THC distillate
- CBG Kief – for a higher concentration of CBGa (33.3%!), this CBG kief can effectively deliver the goods with just a few puffs
- CBG Moon Rocks – we take a CBG Flower and drench it with a CBD distillate to create an excellent combo: 32.84% CBD with 10.35% CBG
- CBG Kief Dusters – if it’s pure and potent CBG you want, you want kief dusters made of CBG White buds (17.8% CBGa) rolled in CBG Kief (33.3% CBGa)
- CBG Gummies – each 10mg CBG cube offers an unusual Mango Turmeric flavor (the mango taste is heightened by the hint of turmeric) and make delicious wellness treats
- CBG Capsules – with 98.8mg of decarboxylated CBG (70% CBG Kief and 30% CBG Flower) and terpene extracts, relaxation and relief is just around the corner
If you have ever run across some aged cannabis flower strains, you may have been tempted to curse yourself for letting perfectly good herbal materials go stale. Ironically, those old, stale cannabis buds you find may not do the job it was originally intended to perform, but it is certainly not useless.
In the case of either cannabis or hemp plants, they continue producing cannabinoids well after harvesting. Now we have learned that aged cannabis and hemp plants contain another valuable cannabinoid: CNB.
Cannabinol (CBN) can be considered the senior in the family of cannabinoids since it is what THC is transformed into as it ages and loses its original potency and properties.
The following properties have already been identified as attributable to CBN:
- Antibacterial – CBN has been tested in the lab and passed with flying colors when it comes to battling different varieties of antibiotic-resistant bacteria
- Anti-Convulsant – several studies indicated that CBN can help with seizures and epileptic symptoms; it is even more effective when combined with CBD,
- Anti-Inflammatory – like most cannabinoids, CBN contains anti-inflammatory properties that can be applied to offer relief to many conditions
- Bone Cell Growth – in lab tests, CBN was able to initiate new bone tissue growth by gathering and modulating stem cells
- Pain Relief – in a new and unusual approach to alleviating pain, CBN releases peptides from sensory nerves
- Sleep Aid – as compared to a 10mg dosage of Valium (diazepam), just 5mg of CBN proved to be just as effective
- Stimulate Appetite – in a 2012 lab test, rats were given CBN to boost their appetites and it worked with the rats eating more food during longer sessions
We will definitely be keeping our eye on new CBN developments, as the research has just begun in comparison to CBD and even CBG. But we have seen enough to be convinced that CBN is yet another cannabinoid to add to our own wellness arsenal.
Introducing Our CBN Gummies
To that end, we are pleased and excited to introduce our first CBN product: our delicious pineapple-flavored CBN gummies. Each vegan gummy contains a full 10mg of CBN, a perfect amount for experiencing what CBN may do for you. These CBN gummies come in packs of 10 or 20; we recommend you begin with one gummy in the evening to better evaluate the effects. We must warn you though that these are really tasty, so it may be tempting to gobble down more than one. We suggest you have some other cannabinoid-free gummies or other treats on hand to satisfy your tastebuds, although the flavor of these CBN gummies is really hard to beat!
Now you have a general overview of four major cannabinoids found in hemp and cannabis plants, plus you have been treated to a virtual display of our many products filled with these different cannabinoids. While reading and learning about cannabinoids is valuable, it is also a bit like a hungry person reading and learning about the benefits and pleasures of dining. At some point, you need to dive in and experience it!
We encourage you to experiences a few of the morsels of goodness we offer, from freshly grown and harvested hemp flower strains to edibles, tinctures, and lotions. And remember… we even have your pets covered!
Check Out Cannabinoid Chat
For those of you interested in even closer looks at the different cannabinoids discussed above, we recommend you visit our Cannabinoid Chat series where we dive deeper into:
We also offer a companion series, Terpene Talk, where you can learn about the different terpenes found in our various products. Terpenes are the compounds that deliver flavors and aromas to the different hemp flower strains we offer; those compounds contribute to the overall effects you will experience when consuming different products. By gaining a greater understanding of the contributions which different terpenes can make when consumed, you may find selecting the right cannabinoid products for your personal wellness regimen that much easier.