What Are Phytocannabinoids? The Full Guide

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Phytocannabinoids Explained

CBD and THC may receive the majority of the attention, but there are a total of 113 ‘phytocannabinoids’ among the 545 compounds found within a ‘typical’ marijuana plant.

Most of the time these are referred to simply as ‘cannabinoids‘ with the ‘Phyto’ added simply as an umbrella term that identifies these compounds as being derived from plants.

The key to understand is that there are a lot of them! While CBD and THC tend to make up the largest percentages, there’s a growing interest in how these additional cannabinoids interact with each other alongside terpenes and flavinoids also found within the plant.

Most cannabinoids tend to be found within the plant’s resin and the quantities they contain can vary depending on the particular kind of strain. Even though over a hundred may have been identified we do not yet understand very much about them.

The majority of research over the years has focused on the psychoactive qualities of THC with comparatively little interest in CBD, CBDa, or the perhaps the most interesting ‘new’ compounds – CBC and CBN.

Photocanninoids are derived from the plant, while it may surprise some to discover that the body also produces its own natural cannabinoids. These are referred to as endocannabinoids and have their own receptors dotted throughout the body. Phytocannabinoid oils are increasingly taken to help support our individual endocannabinoid system and give a boost to what we can (or may not be able to) naturally produce – just like how we may take any other supplement.

Some scientific research suggests that they may help with an enormous variety of health problems.

Phytocannabinoids – Why They Exist

So why do cannabis plants need phytocannabinoids? It’s for the same reason why the human body also requires them – to fight off external threats to their health.

Most phytocannabinoids are produced from the trichomes that cover the surface from leaves to stalk. It can essentially offer a kind of shield against bad weather/temperatures and even dissuade predators from eating them.

Trichomes are effective at:

  • Offering protection against frosts.
  • Preventing the loss of moisture to wind.
  • Stopping many predators from consuming the plant material.
  • Encouraging pollination.
  • Keeping the plant at a steady temperature in hot and humid environments.
Trichomes On Cannabis

Trichomes are also the primary producer of THC

Some other plants produce trichomes but the “high” is almost exclusive to the cannabis plant.

As for why the cannabis plant produces THC, the best theories tend to lean towards it being able to prevent microbial diseases. Unlike the human immune system, the plant needs to fight off risks before they have the opportunity to infect as they do not have any kind of remedial system. Trichomes are basically their first and only line of defense.

An interesting point worth mentioning here is that while trichomes do seem to serve as a deterrent to contamination, plants with higher levels of THC are no more or less susceptible to those with far less of these qualities. It seems that quantity/strength makes no difference at all.

So while phytocannabinoids serve some kind of protective role we are still quite some way from understanding exactly how this relates to the quantities/presence of THC – or why the psychoactive element exists at all.

How They Are Made

Phytocannabinoids are created by a process known as biosynthesis. Small enzymes such as THCA, CBCA, and CBDA react together alongside the cannabinoid precursors CBGA and CBGVA to create the core cannabinoids CBDA and THCA. Now the plant needs to expose these to heat (decarboxylation) during which some CO2 and carbon atoms will be shed. This will take a degree of time and accounts for the difference in speed that plants grow in varying conditions.

Over the final stages of the process, the CBDA will become CBD and THCA converts to THC. They can also then be broken down into other cannabinoids such as CBND and many others through oxidation – which is basically why there are so many cannabinoids in the plant.

How Do Photocannabinoids Interact With The Endocannabinoid System?

Earlier we briefly touched upon how scientific interest, research, and investment into the properties of cannabis have been stymied by a fascination with THC and the ‘high’ it gives. So little concern was placed into the cannabinoid receptors within the body that they were not really discovered until the late 1980’s.

You’d think such a groundbreaking discovery would have caused a rethink in the scientific approach to the properties of cannabinoids (and the health-supporting properties they might contain) – but nope! Research has so far identified only CB1 and CB2 receptors and has only recently started to believe that there could be a third (GPR55).

What makes this snails-pace progress even more bizarre is the solid proof for CB receptors being the most common neuroreceptor in the entire body. They play a vital role in the control and release of hormones, are essential to the immune and nervous systems, and have a considerable role to play in how the body both handles inflammation and copes with pain.

Here’s an example of what understanding just one of these endocannabinoids can deliver. Back in 1992 anandamide was identified by a team at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University. It very closely resembles THC by being able to regulate mood, memory, pleasure, and appetite. Colloquially known as the ‘bliss molecule’ it’s thought to be one of the reasons why we sometimes feel high after performing some extensive exercise – basically like a natural reward for our hard efforts.

Since this discovery the same research department went on to identify a handful of other endocannabinoids: 2-AG is perhaps the best example for showing how important this could be. It plays a key role within the central nervous system and is essential to helping our immune system run effectively. Further studies have suggested that it may also be integral for pain control.

Despite these groundbreaking results, research into endocannabinoids remains far from even halfway accounting for the many ways that these are essential for keeping the body operating smoothly.

A Selection Of Interesting Phytocannabinoids

Understanding precisely what purpose all of these phytocannabinoids play is still far from understood. It’s far from pessimistic to assume that we are decades away from figuring out how they combine and work together. Yet there is some cause for optimism. What has been discovered so far (as noted with 2-AG) is overwhelmingly positive, and serves as a solid indicator that future discoveries are going to be extremely important.

Plenty of CBD enthusiasts have long believed in the ‘entourage effect’ whereby all of these cannabinoids can combine together somehow to provide a much more positive and beneficial effect on the body. We may still be a long way from categorically proving this theory, but it’s fair to say that early evidence suggests that they may well be on the right lines.

What Are Phytocannabinoids?

1) THC (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol)

THC is one of the most abundant compound found in the cannabis plant and tends to be removed for practical and legal reasons in most medical supplements. It’s the sole cannabinoid which provides the euphoric highs that the plant remains most famous for. By stimulating the brain’s reward center it can also affect appetite and mood.

2) THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid)

THCA is actually the most abundant phytocannabinoid in raw marijuana and converts to THC when it’s heated (decarboxylated). Very early research suggests a possibility that it may help to protect the brain, especially memory and recall. It’s early days but future studies are likely to focus on how it reacts with people suffering degenerative diseases.

3) CBD (Cannabidiol)

This is the second most common phytocannabinoid (behind THC) and most probably now the best known.

It’s an alternative to ‘medical marijuana’ whereby the whole plant is taken and can be found in products such as CBD oils.

As the industry is largely unregulated the quality and provenance of many of these products are often questionable.

4) CBDA (Cannabidiolic Acid)

Just like THCA, this will convert to CBD when subjected to decarboxylation. It has actually been one of the most studied phytocannabinoids.

5) THCV & THCVa (Tetrahydrocannabivarin & Tetrahydrocannabivaric Acid)

Generally speaking, this is only found in very small quantities but is thought to stimulate the appetite. Anyone who has ever had the “munchies” and blamed THC – now you know the real villain!

6) CBN (Cannabinol)

Even though CBN is the third most present phytocannabinoid in marijuana it still comprises under 1% in most strains although late harvests tend to contain a little more. CBN is an off-shoot from THC and is comparatively very benign.

Most studies (and they’re quite limited so far) focus on the potential it could hold for treating sleep disorders due to its mildly sedating effects.

7) CBC (Cannabichromen)

Here’s another compound that’s believed to be able to stimulate neural cell growth and production. It also needs to be subjected to heat in order to form.

8) CBDV & CBDVa (Cannabidivarin & Cannabidivarinic Acid)

Only found in raw plants, it is thought that when isolated this precursor could have strong anticonvulsant properties. Quite possibly one of the breakthrough aspects of medicinal marijuana.

Final Thoughts

Clearly, there’s plenty that we still have to discover when it comes to phytocannabinoids and how they affect and influence the human body.

Thanks to the sudden growth in popularity with cannabis/hemp-derived supplements the good news is that it has also stimulated a renewed interest within the scientific and medicinal research fields.

Unfortunately, identifying specific cannabinoids and understanding how they can interact with identifiable health conditions is invariably an expensive, time consuming and frustrating process.

What is becoming increasingly clear is that phytocannabinoids do appear to play a significant role in helping supplements effectively bind with the endocannabinoid system. It has long been theorised, but now the trickle of scientific finding is starting to indicate that there is some kind of weight in the ‘entourage effect’ concept.

Does CBD Make You Hungry?

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Does CBD Make You Hungry?

Worried about what effect taking CBD may have on your appetite? Scared of becoming a slave to crisps, pizza, and chocolate? Well don’t worry, you’re not alone!

One of the most frequent questions we are asked is whether taking hemp supplements will to lead to the famous ‘munchies’ associated with regular cannabis users.

No doubt you know the character from countless examples in movies and so forth. The typically long-haired guy wearing an obscure metal band T-shirt blazing away next to a pile of empty junk food containers…

Well, in all seriousness, it’s a valid question as CBD is well known to have zero physiological side effects thanks to being naturally benign.

But could it cause a psychological impulse to goggle down sweet and fatty foods? Let’s see what science has to say.

Understanding Cannabinoids

Marijuana is known to contain well over 100 various cannabinoids, of which THC (the one that gets you high) and various forms of CBD make up the majority. Note that the oils/liquids that we enjoy have the THC removed for legal and practical reasons – only products containing less than 0.2% THC are legal in the UK.

The question is how these various cannabinoids bind with our body’s endocannabinoid system (yes we all have one!).

Our system is based upon multiple receptors that are found throughout the body from head to foot. When you ingest a supplement the theory is that it binds to these receptors and causes all sorts of physiological effects within the body. The effect of this depends on where there’s a deficiency and could influence anything from mood through to reducing inflammation.

Scientific understanding of exactly how these processes work is dim at best – largely because it has only recently become a focus of research.

One aspect of research which is ahead of the rest has focused primarily on the CB1 receptors and how taking hemp/marijuana may stimulate ghrelin – often regarded as the ‘hunger hormone’.

Generally, this is found within the brain and digestive tract which when released stimulates the desire to eat and in larger quantities prompts a desire for fat and sugar. An even more troublesome aspect is that it also encourages the body to store fat.

It’s believed that THC is the cannabinoid that’s mostly responsible for stimulating the appetite and releasing this excess ghrelin. Considering that all but a trace of this is removed during the manufacture of CBD products, it should mean that the munchies will not occur.

Will Using CBD Products Make Me Extra Hungry?

It’s highly unlikely that you will experience anything close to the munchies compared to regular cannabis users who intake large quantities of hunger promoting ghrelin.

That being said, by far the most overwhelming research into cannabinoids has been focused on psychoactive THC – which is why we still don’t know much about how CBD ‘works’. Remember that there are several dozen other cannabinoids which have barely been examined at all.

It’s important with all aspects of CBD to remember that people are physiologically different. Some people are simply far more ‘receptive’ to cannabinoids than others, which may go some way towards explaining why a very small number of CBD users report experiencing enhanced hunger.

Whether or not the tiny UK legal limit of 0.2% is really enough to stimulate this hunger is seriously open to debate, especially considering that the vast majority of products on the market contain far less than that amount.

Mr Bean Eating

One thing’s for sure – you’re not going to be as hungry as Mr Bean here!

I’m Using CBD – So Why Do I Feel Hungry?

Of course, there could be many other reasons why people are experiencing a more stimulated appetite. Anxiety, stress and all sorts of other conditions are well known to have hunger-pangs as one of their symptoms.

One aspect that may potentially explain why a few CBD users experience such symptoms could relate to the type of CBD extract that they’re taking.

‘Isolate’ CBD is where the manufacturer has taken extra measures to eliminate as much THC as possible from their product – often destroying the vast majority of other cannabinoids in the process.

On the other hand, ‘Full Spectrum’ CBD products look to retain as many of those dozens of additional cannabinoids during extraction as they are thought to aid the efficiency of CBD in absorbing effectively into the body.

It’s an interesting theory, but remember that full spectrum CBD must still fall within the legal THC limits – and once again – usually contains way below that threshold.

The Last Word

Speaking purely from anecdote, we are unaware of anyone who has really experienced munchies that can be explained by using CBD.

Mighty Vs Crafty – Which Is The Better Vaporizer?

Mighty vs Crafty Vaporizer

Storz & Bickel are quite understandably regarded as the best when it comes to dry herb vaporizers.

Sure, there’s a few other contenders out there who also manufacture magnificent devices – but nobody else has been in the game for so long, or built such a loyal and dedicated following.

Their balloon-based desktop vaporizers are still rightly regarded as the finest in their class – but what about their much more recent portable vaporizers?

Both the Crafty and Mighty sell like hot cakes and they perform at a level that smashes most of the opposition back a decade or two.

But they do have unique qualities that may lend themselves towards different styles.

Considering that for most people these will be pretty significant purchases and ones that you expect to enjoy for many years, it’s important to decide whether the sleek and portable Crafty Vaporizer or the punch of Mighty Vaporizer is better for you.

Here’s what you need to consider when making that decision:

Design & Aesthetics

We’ll come to the quality of the engineering shortly, but let’s begin by looking at the designs of each device.

Both the Mighty and Crafty look ‘industrial’ – built to last, survive the occasional accident, and thoroughly dependable. Those are exactly the kind of qualities that you need to look for when considering taking either vaporizer out and about.

What’s surprising happens to be the relative lightness of the actual unit. While the crafty weighs in at a smaller weight (about a third less) both feel proportionate in sense of denseness and durability.

Mighty vs Crafty - Comparing The Designs

Assessing the reliability and design of both devices should be key in making your decision.

Both models offer a retractable mouthpiece which is the only part of the device that may be snappable. Other than that they are as indestructible as it gets.

However, there’s one issue here that has irked a number of Mighty fans. For some reason, S&B opted to finish this with a rounded base – meaning that you cannot simply stand it upright on a table or flat surface. It’s one of those things that sounds ‘by-the-by’ but actually can become irritating, especially for those planning on using their device domestically.

Verdict: The Crafty offers the best in-hand feeling. While the Mighty is perfectly sound, that rounded base is going to irritate some of you who are picky!

Portability

We’ll make this brief because you most likely have already guessed the answer.

Crafty measures 4.3″ compared to Mighty’s 5.5″ in height and that extra inch and a bit matters. The weight is less of an issue. Both will fit most men’s jackets, but the Mighty is going to be a stretch for the average jean pocket.

Storz & Bickel released the Crafty to offer the finest dry herb experience when you’re out and about. It’s without question the winner here.

Crafty Vaporizer - Size

The Crafty is perfect for those who want a highly portable vaporizer.

Verdict: The Crafty wins again, but hold your horses…

Battery Life & Charging Times

So far the Crafty is showing its sleekness but the fact remains that besides the quality of vape (we’ll get there soon!) most serious vapers will be looking at battery life as one of their key concerns. After all, what’s the point in a having a brilliant device if it conks out after a few blasts?

The good news is that S&B are renowned for the quality of their batteries. In all seriousness, both of these devices should last way beyond their 2 year manufacturer’s guarantees. Their desktop (mains charged) old school vaporizers are known to last for several years, and the good news is that they haven’t cut any corners on their modern day portables either!

Assuming ‘session vaping’ between a small group you should expect the Crafty to last somewhere between 60-80 minutes. The Mighty will stretch that well towards the 2-hour mark and perhaps even a little longer.

Crafty Vaporizer Charging

Both the Crafty and Mighty are charged via a USB connection.

While it may appear that the Mighty – thanks to its additional bulk battery power – is the better option for batteries, it’s worth factoring in the way both devices are charged.

The Crafty can be powered up from USB source while the Mighty needs a wall outlet adaptor (which is supplied in the kit).

Weirdly, the former actually takes longer to refill than the latter. Expect a couple of hours to fully recharge the Crafty with 30 minutes less for the Mighty.

Verdict: Both perform well, however, there’s no denying the superiority of the Mighty. Longer lasting and faster charging – just remember that you’ll either need a suitable wall socket or a quality portable charging pack.

Temperature Control & Settings

Something most people tend to raise when comparing the Crafty and Mighty vaporizers tends to be along the lines of “why is that one so much smaller when they offer the same output?”. True – they both offer between 104°F and 410°F heating – but there’s much more to it than that!

The key thing to understand is that the Crafty is largely preprogrammed. You can adjust the temperature settings by the smartphone app – and for those who are into that sort of thing, it’s really very good indeed.

We reckon that most people will find the preprogrammed options more than sufficient, however. Just use the higher heats for flakes and slow roast for larger herbs. Yet the downer is you can’t alter temperature settings manually outside of those that are already set by the app.

The temperate settings are easily controlled on the Crafty via their dedicated smartphone app. Unfortunately there’s no app for the Mighty, however.

As for the Mighty, there’s that ever so reassuring digital display and buttons that will adjust your temperature as and when you wish.

For some dry herb vapers that’s simply what they like, and frankly, we can’t blame them either. Chopping out the screen and buttons sure helps the Crafty stay so portable and powerful, but don’t forget how nice and reassuring a simple interface can be – especially when your smartphone runs out of juice.

Verdict: All down to personal preferences. In our opinion, the Mighty wins here by default because it can be manually adjusted with ease. Yet those out and about may prefer the added stealth presented by the Crafty. Call this one a draw!

Quality & Performance

Both deliver absolutely fantastic vaping.

The instructions for both are easy to follow but note that after much experience using these devices a slightly rougher grind works really well.

The cooling chambers and convection currents are good enough to handle this over longer sessions, especially if you’re looking to prevent unnecessary wastage and burn.

One of the reasons to favour the Mighty is that ability to quickly lower or raise temperatures manually to ensure you enjoy the best of the tank. It really does make a difference.

If we’re trying to draw a line between the two, it has to be said that the Mighty – primarily due to its larger size – offers a slightly cooler vape over long sessions. Between the two for more casual blasts, there’s no discernable difference. Just expect the smoothest and cleanest herb vape going.

It’s worth also noting that both are capable of enjoying dry herb and concentrates. Should you decide to mix the two be sure to keep them clean (a handy little kit is provided – so no excuses!).

Crafty vs Mighty - A Full Comparison For 2019

Both devices deliver outstanding performance. These must be the best quality dry herb vaporizers currently on the market. Ultimately, deciding between the two is difficult. It really depends on how portable you want your device to be.

Both tanks can handle 0.3g – so while the Crafty is smaller, remember that it can pack as much of a punch as its Mighty brother.

Verdict: Very difficult to judge. Both are fantastic devices and you’ll only notice the barest difference over a long session when the Crafty is losing its battery life.

Final Thoughts

Choosing between the Mighty and Crafty vaporizer is really bloody difficult!

Both of these tremendous devices deservedly enjoy close to 5-star ratings when it comes to vaping performance. It simply does not get any better on the portable market.

The real factor which ought to be considered when choosing between them is figuring out how you intend to use them.

For sheer portability with unparalleled power just look no further than the Crafty. It’s a brilliant piece of kit that’s ready and able whenever you need it. Simply ideal for the ‘out and about’ vaper. Just factor in that the battery will not last for longer sessions (and that’s what power off buttons are there for).

As for the Mighty – it’s without question the perfect choice for domestic use. Sure – it can be portable – but overall this is the better choice for more prolonged and heavyweight vaping sessions.

If we had to make a personal choice? Both would be nice, but for general home use the Mighty vaporizer edges it. That adjustable panel makes life so much easier!

How Is CBD Extracted From The Hemp Plant?

The CBD Manufacturing Process Explained

Ever wondered why CBD manufacturers prefer hemp plants ahead of ‘classic’ marijuana varieties?

Legalities aside, it all comes down to the fact that while hemp still contains a little psychoactive THC (the component that gets you high) it’s much easier to remove when present in lesser amounts.

While it’s possible to create CBD extracts using marijuana plants, they are almost always well over the legal maximum amount of THC (unless used in legal areas or as part of a medically approved and licensed program).

Hemp is used for a huge variety of purposes – and has been for many hundreds of years. But it must be processed in order to extract the CBD (and other cannabinoids) for use in the supplements which we are increasingly familiar with today.

So what are the methods used to perform this crucial task? As we shall see, there are a few options – and it’s important to know how your chosen extract was produced, as it often is a key indicator of quality and effectiveness.

Supercritical CO2 Extraction

Supercritical CO2 Extraction Method

Broadly speaking, the majority of ‘premium’ CBD products that deserve such a label will exclusively use CO2 extraction methods.

The science is pretty straightforward and involves combining high pressure at low temperatures to produce a very concentrated extract containing all molecular features of the plant.

This can then be filtered to remove any unwanted components (such as THC). This is the exact same extraction method used for decaffeinating coffee beans.

How many times this process is performed depends on the manufacturer. Some prefer to repeat this process – just to ensure that the resulting product is within legal thresholds and other cannabinoids, terpenes, and minerals are retained. Others do their best to entirely eliminate those as well to try and produce a CBD isolate.

Perhaps unsurprisingly this is regarded as the most environmentally sound way to produce very high-grade extracts.

The downside is that it’s comparatively time-consuming and expensive – with those costs accounting for the high prices that such products can usually command.

Ethanol-Based Extraction

CBD Ethanol Extraction Process

Not long ago ethanol extraction was frowned upon but methods have improved considerably in more recent years.

This form of extraction involves using an alcohol solvent (ethanol) which absorbs the desired cannabinoids out of the hemp plant. Once completed this is then filtered – and here’s where the difference matters…

Some manufacturers will take great care to remove the overwhelming majority of the ethanol resulting in a good CBD extract. Others – usually those looking to produce in bulk for cheap retail prices – will take far less care with the result being a heavily diluted and low-efficiency extract.

However, don’t completely rule out ethanol produced extracts because some manufacturers have been able to use cold filtration methods to produce as near a perfect quality as those used in CO2 production.

Just perform your homework first, and bear in mind that each batch may vary in quality.

Reputable companies will provide and often even publish batch testing results to prove the quality of their extraction methods.

Hydrocarbon Extraction (Now Rarely Used)

Hydrocarbon extraction techniques were among the earliest used, primarily when trying to produce marijuana oils for recreational use.

It shouldn’t require much explaining that this is hardly ideal for manufacturing CBD isolates!

It was still used until a decade or so ago – usually by combining propane/butane/pentane to extract a low quality and often contaminated extract.

Needless to say, the use of these chemicals was dangerous for both the manufacturer and potentially even the end user.

It’s very rare to find any CBD products produced this way anymore (thankfully).

Lipid-Based Extraction

Lipid Extraction Method For CBD

There’s been a recent growth in the use of lipid extraction in legal US states, but it’s not something you’ll frequently find in the UK.

Very occasionally you may find a product that claims to use lipids to extract the desired cannabinoids.

These lipids (fats) are usually coconut or hemp oils. While they require no chemicals at all, measuring the levels of cannabinoids – especially THC – is difficult so you can never be sure what you are getting.

What Then Happens To Your Extract?

OK, so we have an extract – now what?

Some companies, especially those who appreciate the entourage effect such as Love CBD (combined additional cannabinoids = better product) will simply finish here and bend these oils into their products.

Yet there are additional processing methods which can be used to produce isolates. These are often marketed as containing ‘zero’ THC – with the downside being that the vast majority of those other terpenes and cannabinoids apart from CBD are usually also lost.

There’s a large market for isolates not only because they contain the lowest possible amount of THC, but also because some people believe (rightly or wrongly) that core parts of the chemical breakdown of the hemp plant are particularly useful.

Decarboxylation

Some companies decarboxylate their oils, whilst others do not.

Decarboxylation looks to remove psychoactive THC but retaining THCa (non-psychoactive) while helping to convert CBDA to CBD. Some people prefer it, others find it to be over-processed and contrary to the theory of the ‘entourage effect’.

Winterisation is another process worth being aware of. This involves freezing and keeping the oil for a period of time while the residual waxes, solvents, and lipids separate.

Once this is complete it’s possible to remove them so you have an extract that’s nothing but highly concentrated pure cannabinoids.

The removal of terpenes – often believed to be key to the efficacy of CBD – is the problem, but again some people prefer it.

Final Thoughts

It’s always a good idea to understand how your product was manufactured.

While most manufacturers will use good quality industrial hemp as their raw product, what happens afterwards can wildly vary in terms of quality.

The chances are that you’ll have seen ‘total’ CBD isolates on the market which is literally single molecule oil. These are entirely flavourless and retain no aspect of the organic plant at all (usually produced using a chromatography technique).

At the end of the day, if that’s what you want then, by all means, go ahead. But be aware that there’s a growing body of research – and masses of anecdotal evidence – that suggests effective CBD products tend to use a broader spectrum of the plant.

CBD Oil Sale Chats With CBD Asylum

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Can You Mix CBD With Nicotine?

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Can You Mix CBD With Nicotine?

Have you wondered what might happen if you combine CBD oil with a nicotine-based e-liquid? It’s a common question and one that raises quite a number of interesting points!

Those who already enjoy vaping nicotine infused e-liquids wonder if this may somehow negate the potential benefits that CBD may have to offer.

As we’ll see from exploring this topic, the relationship is a complex one.

Do Not Combine Sublingual Oils With E-Liquids!

First of all, we should make it clear that under no circumstances should anyone combine oil designed for sublingual use (taken under the tongue) with e-liquid.

CBD products intended for oral or sublingual intake use a carrying agent such as olive/coconut/hemp/MCT oil that simply doesn’t mix with the Vegetable Glycerin (VG) and Propylene Glycol (PG) found in e-liquids.

While they may appear to be similar to the eye, they are very different substances!

Oils are not designed to be heated whereas the VG and PG used in e-liquids are capable of producing vapour and a ‘throat hit’ that simulates conventional smoking.

Mixing the two together will in all likelihood damage your device and can potentially even be dangerous – after all, who wants to vape olive oil? Really?!

CBD Contains No Nicotine

Another point worth clarifying early is that CBD extracts contain no nicotine. Good quality CBD oils contain nothing other than cannabinoids and all the natural goodness from the hemp plant.

There are a small number of CBD e-liquids that also include a measure of nicotine, but so far these are quite rare to find in the UK (they are far more popular in the USA). Whether or not this is a good thing is really a matter of personal taste.

Specially configured juices that contain both compounds are obviously going to be ‘safe’ to use, but as nicotine is included there’s going to be the risk of becoming ‘hooked’. Nicotine is an additive substance after all!

Most (often self-identifying) ‘purists’ would argue that for this reason that it’s best to vape CBD independent of any nicotine.

Eddie Hall

Eddie Hall (World’s Strongest Man 2017) with the Nano Shot. The vial can be added to your favourite short-fill.

You Can Blend CBD E-Liquids & Nicotine Infused E-Liquids

But what if you’re a daily vaper who enjoys a particular flavour that’s not yet available in a specially defined style?

Well, there’s no reason why you cannot mix a CBD e-liquid (most of these are unflavoured) with a nicotine-based product.

The only thing to potentially look out for is making sure that the liquids are broadly similar in regards to their VG & PG mix.

With a few exceptions, the majority of CBD e-liquids adopt a similar ratio to most e-liquids, just keep an eye out for those designed with sub-ohm (heavy cloud producing) vaping in mind as these may not combine so well.

Much More Research Is Needed

Most of what we know about the interaction between cannabinoids and nicotine stems from the findings of studies that have focused upon classic cannabis consumption.

These have specifically looked towards THC (of which only a microscopic amount is retained in CBD products) and nicotine. Very little has been done relating purely to CBD – and the truth of the matter is that how it binds with our endocrine system is still far from understood.

There’s no evidence – either scientific or anecdotally – that combining nicotine with CBD makes either substance more or less addictive.

Taken at face value, nicotine is perhaps the best known addictive substance on the planet whereby we’ve never encountered anyone physically addicted to taking any kind of cannabinoid supplement. Quite simply, hemp contains no addictive substances.

One interesting aspect of research that’s worth considering is that people who take cannabis without tobacco (nicotine) in a habitual, high intake style do experience a shrinking of the hippocampus that relates to depleted memory retention.

On the flip side, people who take cannabis alongside nicotine tend to experience an expansion of the hippocampus that actually enhances memory.

Whether or not that’s related to a specific cannabinoid compound is still to be identified – so again, much more scientific research needs to be done.

Final Thoughts

So where does this leave the many thousands of people interested in finding a way to add some CBD supplementation to their routine nicotine fix?

If you want to monitor your cannabinoid intake, we’d advise you to have a separate vaping setup besides your daily vaping device. It’s simply easier to measure.

For those of you who are happy to enjoy CBD as you vape throughout the day (and there’s absolutely no harm in doing this), you can opt for either a specially infused e-liquid – with or without added flavours – or consider one of the new ‘additive’ style products recently released to the market.

These are generally quite high strength CBD extracts that are designed to be added to standard e-liquids (either with or without nicotine). These types of juices are designed to avoid crystallisation, which is a common problem.

More research needs to be carried out into how nicotine and CBD compounds work together in the body, but there’s no reason why the two cannot be enjoyed side by side.

After all, people have been doing so for thousands of years so far! Just be sure to find a way that suits your style.

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What Are Cannabinoids? The Ultimate Guide

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Cannabinoids Explained

You may be surprised to learn that there are 85 identified and proven phytocannabinoids that are scientifically deemed ‘active’. These are components of the hemp plant that are symmetric to those naturally produced within our own bodies. Yes, we naturally produce our own cannabinoids and they are rather essential to various aspects of our wellbeing.

Some research suggests that the true number could be reaching into the low hundreds if we include terpenes, flavonoids and a host of other bits and pieces. But what the heck are they?

Cannabinoids are one of the very tricky aspects of understanding what constitutes hemp. Much research still needs to be conducted into the nuances of how these seem to bind together, and may potentially offer some kind of supplementary benefit towards addressing an assortment of health issues.

Those who have considered taking CBD oil may have encountered ‘premier league’ companies who publish independent reports on the composition of their products.

You’ll likely be familiar with CBD and THC – but what about CBGA, CBC, THCV, amongst others?

The 9 Major Cannabinoids

Here’s everything you need to know…

What Are They & How Do They Work?

Cannabinoids naturally occur in the Sativa cannabis plant. This is, of course, famous for both recreational and medical use – and remains a Class B drug in the UK making possession, cultivation, and its sale illegal.

Only THC imparts the ‘high’ – which is why many CBD products are now legal and freely available because they contain less than 0.2% of this psychoactive element. By removing the THC, good quality extracts retain – to varying extents – the remaining cannabinoids that are natural to the plant.

People take these supplements to support the cannabinoid receptors that are dotted naturally around the body. These receptors play a role in all kinds of bodily processes, including memory, cognition, pain regulation, mood, and hormonal control.

It all comes down to how well the supplements bind to these receptors, with a growing body of experts believing that products offering a ‘full spectrum’ or ‘whole plant’ range of cannabinoids being superior. So the more cannabinoids the better – in our opinion!

Before we take a look at the most common cannabinoids and what they do, it’s worth pointing out that accepted medical science is still a far way from understanding exactly how these may work.

While CBD products are benign, harmless and impossible to overdose on, there’s still much conjecture over what if any benefits they actually hold.

Our experience would suggest that anecdotally speaking, those who have found most success using CBD have done so by taking high-quality full-spectrum varieties. No promises though!

The 9 Major Cannabinoids Found In Hemp

THC

(Tetrahydrocannabinol)

THC - Chemical StructureLet’s start with the most famous. THC gets you high. Depending on your point of view, it’s either the most or least desirable part of the plant.

One of the reasons cannabis has been used medicinally for thousands of years and by many contrasting civilisations is that it’s a natural anaesthetic.

It’s also the compound which may help alleviate nausea (one reason why it’s so popular with patients undergoing chemotherapy) and lowers general inflammation.

THC also accentuates appetite and is sometimes used for helping resolve sleeping disorders.

The downside is that the ‘high’ is a very personal thing – some people love it, others may feel extremely anxious, sick and exhibit dry eyes and throats. For this reason, when cannabis is used medicinally (long established in certain US states and very slowly starting in the UK) it’s often prescribed in very low doses, at least to begin with.

CBD

CBD - Chemical Structure

(Cannabidiol)

Depending on who you listen to, CBD is either psychoactive or not! While it makes up the second largest part of the Sativa plant after THC, it does not carry over any of the high. That being said, many people swear that it helps make them less anxious and/or prone to depressive thoughts – meaning that surely it must be psychoactive? Regardless of who you believe, taking CBD will not flag on drugs tests or in any sense make you feel high as you would by taking THC.

There have been some pretty clear scientific tests which suggest that CBD can potentially help with some health issues (epilepsy and muscular diseases being the most prominent).

It’s also believed to help with a wide variety of issues in some cases, primarily for helping regulate processes within the body and especially help manage inflammation, pain, and psychological distress. There are no side effects, and if anything it serves to reduce those which may be experienced by taking THC.

Between them, THC and CBD constitute around 85% of the entire plant. Naturally, this begs the question of how important the other cannabinoids are, and what they may offer in such relatively limited quantities.

THCA

(Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid)

THCA - Chemical StructureAs keen-eyed readers may have guessed, this is an acidic precursor that will over time and through exposure to sunlight and heat become THC.

At this stage, it is not psychoactive and can be combined into CBD products to deliver the benefits of THC without the high.

Among other potential benefits, these include the essential anti-inflammatory properties that have made the cannabis plant so popular for so long, and may even help with attacking cancerous cells (depending on how far you trust rodent-based research).

CBDA

CBDA - Chemical Structure

(Cannabidiolic acid)

You’ll notice this listed a lot as an active ingredient in generally higher quality products.

Just like the above, it’s the acidic parent of CBD and delivers all the positives of the matured compound.

This depends on exposure to heat, time and sunshine.

Expect to find a good deal of this in ‘whole plant’ varieties as it is thought to be crucial in helping bind supplementation into the body.

CBGA

CBGA - Chemical Structure

(Cannabigerolic acid)

Arguably the most important building block for the mature plants, this will mostly disappear as it morphs into THCA and CBDA.

There will likely be a very low remaining percentage in full spectrum extracts.

It’s believed to aid with spreading and carrying other cannabinoids throughout the body.

CBN

CBN - Chemical Structure

(Cannabinol)

Enthusiasts may have noticed that older plants deliver more sleepiness than the classic THC driven high when taken recreationally.

THC gradually turns to CBN once the plant has been harvested, and there may be a small amount retained in your CBD product. This is a good thing, and ought to be of particular interest to those hoping these supplements can help with sleeping problems and anxiety.

Even less is known about the final three key cannabinoids so take these with a pinch of speculation! They will be present in small quantities in any decent extract.

CBC

CBC - Chemical Structure

(Cannabichromene)

Even mature plants contain very little of this essential cannabinoid, and post-extraction there is likely going to be little more than a trace remaining.

However, and while research is barely in its infancy, there are noises that this may be one of the most important cancer-fighting components.

It’s identified as a natural antioxidant and antifungal component, but in such small quantities, there is a large question mark over how much difference it may actually make.

CBG

CBG - Chemical Structure

(Cannabigerol)

Some experts believe this could be one of the most significant cannabinoids relating to mood and depressive disorders. It may also help particularly with blood pressure and circulation problems, but for now, that is far from demonstrably proven.

What you may notice is that there is a growing range of quality extracts that promote having a higher than usual quantity of CBG – so read into that what you will.

THCV

(Tetrahydrocannabivarin)

THCV - Chemical StructureWhile carrying a very gentle psychoactive effect, THCV has been identified as probably the most likely cause for the success that has been found using these supplements to address seizures and epilepsy.

Clinical trials are underway at the moment, and their conclusions are eagerly awaited.

Final Thoughts

These nine cannabinoids are the most distinctive and understood components that ought to be present in any good full spectrum extract.

While they may not seem to make that much of a difference independently, the “entourage effect” which they may provide when combined and working together is why many people take those lab result breakdowns so seriously.

Only recently has the tide started to turn away from ‘pure’ CBD isolates that largely destroy any other cannabinoids towards more full plant varieties.

Whether or not that change in fashion is going to help anyone more or less depends on your opinion, but in ours, the more cannabinoids the more natural the extract – and that’s never a bad thing!