How Cannabidiol (CBD) Works for Treating Anxiety

How Cannabidiol (CBD) Works for Treating Anxiety

by Jeremy Kossen at www.leafly.com

While we don’t normally think of anxiety as desirable, it’s actually a critical adaptive response that can help us cope with threats to our (or a loved one’s) safety and welfare. These responses help us recognize and avert potential threats; they can also help motivate us to take action to better our situation (work harder, pay bills, improve relationships, etc.). However, when we don’t manage these natural responses effectively, they can become maladaptive and impact our work and relationships. This can lead to clinically diagnosable anxiety-related disorders. We’ve all heard the saying, “stress kills.” It’s true!

Anxiety-related disorders affect a huge segment of our population—40 million adults (18%) in the United States age 18 and older. In response, Big Pharma has developed numerous drugs to treat anxiety-related disorders, from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac and Zoloft to tranquilizers (the most popular class being benzodiazepines such as Valium and Xanax).

While these drugs can be effective for many patients, some don’t respond favorably. Certain patients don’t see much improvement, or they can’t tolerate the side effects. Moreover, tranquilizers like Valium and Xanax can be highly addictive. Clearly, alternative treatments are warranted. Could cannabidiol (CBD), the most prominent non-intoxicating constituent in cannabis, provide a viable alternative for currently available anxiety medications? Quite possibly!

In recent years, CBD has generated a tremendous amount of interest among consumers, clinicians, and scientists. Why? Not only does evidence suggest CBD counteracts many of THC’s adverse effects, but numerous animal studies and accumulating evidence from human experimental, clinical, and epidemiological studies suggest CBD has powerful anti-anxiety properties. Administered acutely (“as needed”), it appears safe, well-tolerated, and may be beneficial to treat a number of anxiety-related disorders, including:

  • Panic disorder

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

  • Social phobia

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

  • Mild to moderate depression

How Does CBD Work?

CBD exerts several actions in the brain that explain why it could be effective in treating anxiety. Before we dive in, it’s important to note that most research describing how CBD works is preclinical and based on animal studies. As the saying goes, “mice are not men” — and, results from animal studies don’t always neatly transfer to human therapies. However, preclinical studies provide insights that move us in the right direction:

5-HT1A agonist: 5-HT1A is a subtype of the serotonin receptor, which is important because anxiety and depression can sometimes be treated with medications that target the serotonin system. This is why drug companies developed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac and Zoloft. SSRIs work by blocking reabsorption of serotonin in the brain, which increases availability of serotonin in the synaptic space. This helps brain cells transmit more serotonin signals, which can reduce anxiety and boost mood in certain cases (although the full biological basis for this is more complicated and not fully understood).

Similar to SSRIs, CBD may boost signaling through serotonin receptors. In an animal study, Spanish researchers found that CBD enhances 5-HT1A transmission and may affect serotonin faster than SSRIs. Researchers noted:

“The fast onset of antidepressant action of CBD and the simultaneous anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effect would solve some of the main limitations of current antidepressant therapies.”

Hippocampal neurogenesis: The hippocampus is a major brain area, and plays a critical role in a variety of brain functions. It’s most famous for its role in memory formation and cognition. Brain scans of patients suffering from depression or anxiety often show a smaller hippocampus, and successful treatment of depression is associated with the birth of new neurons (neurogenesis) in the hippocampus.

An animal study using mice found repeated administration of CBD may help the hippocampus regenerate neurons, which could be useful for treating anxiety or depression. Research shows both SSRIs and CBD may promote neurogenesis. This is significant, because evidence suggests that severely impaired neuronal plasticity may influence suicidal behavior. Future research comparing CBD and SSRIs effect on neurogenesis could open up promising new avenues in how we understand depression and how to most effectively treat it.

How Can CBD Help Anxiety?

Building on the foundation of animal studies, human studies are starting to provide evidence to demonstrate that CBD can improve many commonly reported anxiety-disorder symptoms, including acute stress and anxiety.

Human Studies Show How CBD Reduces Anxiety

Brazilian researchers conducted a small double-blind study of patients afflicted with generalized social anxiety. After consuming CBD, participants reported a significant decrease in anxiety. Researchers validated patients’ subjective reports by performing brain scans showing cerebral blood flow patterns consistent with an anti-anxiety effect.

In another small study, researchers had patients suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder perform a simulated public speaking test. Participants reported significantly less anxiety, findings supported by objective anxiety indicators like heart rate and blood pressure.

Researchers concluded, “[CBD] significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in their speech performance,” whereas the placebo group experienced “higher anxiety, cognitive impairment, [and] discomfort.”

Final Thoughts

Evidence from animal studies have begun to characterize the details of how CBD acts in the brain, and human studies of patients with and without anxiety disorders are starting to validate CBD’s efficacy as an anti-anxiety treatment. Given the huge social and financial costs of anxiety disorders in the U.S., CBD has the potential to play a significant role in treating a myriad of anxiety-related disorders.

While more research, including large randomized-control trials (RCTs), is clearly warranted to examine the long-term effects and potential for CBD, its demonstrated efficacy and highly favorable safety profile (particularly when compared to currently available drugs) make it a viable alternative or adjunct to currently available pharmaceuticals.

References

Blessing EM, Steenkamp MM, Manzanares J, Marmar CR. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics. 2015;12(4):825-36. PDF

Malberg JE, Eisch AJ, Nestler EJ, Duman RS. Chronic antidepressant treatment increases neurogenesis in adult rat hippocampus. J Neurosci. 2000;20(24):9104-10. PDF

Zlebnik NE, Cheer JF. Beyond the CB1 Receptor: Is Cannabidiol the Answer for Disorders of Motivation?. Annu Rev Neurosci. 2016;39:1-17. PDF

CBD illegal before it ws discovered???

This short article came from a larger article on ProjectCBD.org by Martin Lee, June 11, 2019

CBD became illegal before it was discovered.

Cannabis was effectively outlawed by the federal government in 1937 with the passage and implementation of the Marihuana Tax Act. The Act explicitly stated that cannabis resin or any extract from the resin was considered to be “marihuana” (i.e. the Evil Weed). Cannabidiol (CBD) is found in the resin, nowhere else in the plant. (Tetrahydrocannabinol – THC, aka The High Causer – is also concentrated in the resin along with a slew of other therapeutic compounds.) In effect, CBD, a nonintoxicating cannabis component, was prohibited by federal law before anyone actually knew that CBD existed.

It wasn’t until 1940 that Roger Adams, a University of Illinois chemist, first identified and synthesized CBD. Two years later, he was awarded a patent for his unique method of isolating CBD. Adams observed that CBD had pain-killing properties and he contributed to the 1944 La Guardia Report on the Marihuana Problem, which debunked many of the scaremongering reefer madness claims promoted by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. By the time Adams retired in 1957, he had published 27 studies on CBD and other plant cannabinoids. He was subsequently honored by the American Chemical Society, which established the prestigious Roger Adams Award in recognition of his life’s work. Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam picked up where Adams left off and elucidated the precise molecular structure of CBD in 1963. And he did the same for THC in 1964.

THC and CBD for Medical and Recreational Users: What Are the Differences?

Whether you are a recreational or a medicinal cannabis user, you must have asked yourself this question at least once: what’s the difference between THC or CBD and which ratio should I go for when buying marijuana?

Both of these substances have their own benefits on our body and mind, always complementing each other.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are cannabinoids, the two most prevalent chemicals in marijuana and the ones responsible for its popularity. There are more than 100 cannabinoids found in our favorite herb, but these two have been studied the most for their medical benefits.

These chemicals have a very positive impact on the human body — a group of cellular receptors and transmitters forms our very own cannabinoid system, which is in turn responsible for regulating hundreds of different bodily processes, including pain regulation, appetite, mood and many more.

Today we’re checking out an infographic from Greencamp which provides all the information about these two cannabinoids you will ever need, as well as a quick THC:CBD ratio guide that you can use to make better smoking decisions. So, let’s take a look at all the differences between these two mind blowing cannabis chemicals.

CBD Misconceptions

It doesn’t get you high, but it’s causing quite a buzz among medical scientists and patients. The past year has seen a surge of interest in cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating cannabis compound with significant therapeutic properties. Numerous commercial start-ups and internet retailers have jumped on the CBD bandwagon, touting CBD derived from industrial hemp as the next big thing, a miracle oil that can shrink tumors, quell seizures, and ease chronic pain—without making people feel “stoned.” But along with a growing awareness of cannabidiol as a potential health aid there has been a proliferation of misconceptions about CBD.

Read More

Beginners Guide To 9 Major Cannabinoids

This article was written by Dr. Jessica Fox , May 31, 2016 and came from Green Flower Media.

Lots of good information!!  Please share with others..... Elizabeth, Pianta Tinta

Have you ever wondered how cannabis actually works in the body?

If you’ve read up on the endocannabinoid system, you’ll know that our bodies are full of receptors that interact with cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that act directly and indirectly on cannabinoid receptors to help the body maintain stability and health.

Our bodies make their own cannabinoids – called endocannabinoids because they are produced internally – to work on cannabinoid receptors. By some happy coincidence of nature, cannabis and other plants also produce cannabinoids that interact with our receptors. These plant cannabinoids are known as phytocannabinoids.

Phytocannabinoids are just one of the cannabis plant’s active ingredients. Other plant compounds known as terpenes and flavonoids also direct how cannabis will work for you.

But the phytocannabinoids are the cornerstone of your medicine’s effect.

What do you need to know about phytocannabinoids?

There are over 85 known phytocannabinoids – some sources put the count well over 100! Here, we will tour the nine phytocannabinoids that have been most thoroughly documented, starting with the two most prominent compounds: THC and CBD.

The ins and outs of THC

Newcomers to cannabis are finding a lot of guidance through knowledgeable physicians.

THC is famous for its psychoactive effects and while those cognitive effects can have a variety of advantages or disadvantages depending on the situation, THC offers additional health properties that should not be overlooked.

THC is particularly valuable for managing pain and reducing inflammation, the compound directly addressing the underlying drivers of chronic pain and inflammatory disorders. THC also has great effect in reducing nausea and vomiting, and on the flip side of that coin, stimulating appetite.

Other common uses for THC include aiding sleep, managing glaucoma, reducing muscle spasms, and protecting the nervous system. The nervous system protection has made THC a useful tool in helping to manage autism, ADHD, and post-stroke symptoms.

THC does have some side effects to be aware of – especially if you take too much.

The most common side effects of THC include rapid heart rate, anxiety and paranoia, sleepiness, increased appetite, dry mouth and dry eyes, forgetfulness, dizziness, reduced blood pressure, and potentially hallucinations if you take a lot. For the most part, side effects resolve when the medicine wears off and are generally considered benign.

Getting your THC dosage just right can help you get the most benefit from your medicine while avoiding unwanted side effects, which typically arise when a patient has dosed over their tolerance. The side effect profile of THC is why cannabis doctors counsel their patients to start with a very low dose – around 2.5 – 5 mg of THC, and to gradually increase the dose according to how well they tolerate it.

Finally, you may have noticed that some of the uses for THC are the same as some of the side effects! This is because cannabis is the ultimate personalized medicine. A negative side effect for one person may be a positive side effect for another. A classic example is a patient with cancer regaining his appetite after medicating – what a blessing for him! Similarly, an insomniac will be deeply grateful for THC’s ability to cause sleepiness after an exhausting day.

CBD – the “new kid” on the block

CBD has changed how a lot of people view cannabis and for good reason.

While it has been around just as long as THC, CBD has only in the past few years become very popular in the medical cannabis world due to its effectiveness against epilepsy and cancer without the head high effects of THC. Though some would argue the claim that CBD is not psychoactive because it promotes relaxation and anxiety relief, it is generally accepted that CBD does not cause the euphoric high that THC does.

In addition to reducing or eliminating seizures and fighting the growth of tumor and cancer cells, CBD is an excellent treatment for anxiety. CBD is also an antipsychotic agent, which is why cannabis can actually be a useful tool in managing mental illness, contrary to mainstream belief.

Other popular uses for CBD include reducing muscle spasms and spasms of the small intestine, and application as a pain reduction and anti-inflammatory agent. Finally, even more so than THC, CBD protects the nervous system, making it a great tool for managing dementia and Parkinson’s disease, and essential for use with THC in autism and post-stroke care.

While typically much better tolerated than THC, CBD can have side effects of its own at very high doses, such as dizziness or lightheadedness, anxiety, decreased appetite, drowsiness, increased heart rate and palpitations, and jitteriness.

A really amazing fact about CBD is that it actually reduces undesirable effects of THC, such as inebriation, sedation, and racing heart. Specifically, in medicines with phytocannabinoid content of 4 parts or more CBD to 1 part THC (a 4:1 CBD:THC ratio or higher), CBD will dampen the head high and side effects caused by THC.

Not only that, but CBD can enhance the pain-relieving, nausea-reducing, and anti-cancer effects of THC (yes – THC is quite active against cancer cells too!).

Bottom line – your medicine is better when it contains both THC and CBD!

You said there were 9 major phytocannabinoids…

Though THC and CBD are the most well known phytocannabinoids, we continue to learn more about the characteristics and applications of the other seven.

#1) THCA is the acidic parent of THC found in the raw cannabis plant. When exposed to heat, sunlight, or time, the THCA in the harvested plant will convert to THC. THCA is non-psychoactive and is particularly useful for reducing nausea, reducing seizures, reducing muscle spasms, and fighting tumor and cancer cells.

#2) CBDA is the acidic parent of CBD found in raw plant. CBDA converts to CBD when it is exposed to heat, sunlight, or time. Like THCA, CBDA is non-psychoactive. CBDA is also great for reducing nausea, reducing inflammation, and fighting tumor and cancer cells.

#3) CBN is a breakdown product of THC. As harvested cannabis ages, THC will gradually be converted to CBN. CBN is known to be particularly useful for aiding sleep, and also good for reducing pain and muscle spasms.

#4) CBGA is actually the precursor molecule that is turned into THCA and CBDA as the cannabis plant develops, so it is found only in tiny amounts in the mature plant. In the harvested plant, remaining CBGA converts to CBG with exposure to air and light.

#5) CBG is useful as an antidepressant, a muscle relaxant, an antibiotic and antifungal agent, and as a blood pressure reducer.

#6) CBC is also found only in tiny amounts in the cannabis plant. CBC has pain reducing, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antifungal, and anti-cancer effects.

#7) THCV does have psychoactive properties, but much less than THC. THCV has been found to suppress appetite and can aid weight loss, and also has antiseizure effect.

Which phytocannabinoids are right for you?

An experienced physician can guide patients to getting the most out of cannabis.

Your goal should be to tailor the phytocannabinoid content of your medicine to the conditions and symptoms you want to treat. As noted before, cannabis is a very personal medication, with every person requiring a different medicine composition for even the same condition. As such, there is often much trial and error that goes into finding your ideal phytocannabinoid content.

You can use the details outlined above to help get you started in finding the best composition for your medicine, and here are some examples of the phytocannabinoids that may be useful for the most common conditions seen in many cannabis clinics:

Chronic pain: There are several different forms of chronic pain. Nerve pain may be best managed with CBD and THCA. Muscular pain often responds well to THC. A combination of THC and CBD can be useful for bone pain. Inflammatory pain can be managed with THCA or THC. Skeletal and internal muscle spasms can be relieved with CBD.

Insomnia: THC and its breakdown product, CBN, are particularly useful for aiding sleep. And spoiler alert for the follow-up article on terpenes and flavonoids: the terpene called Myrcene is a great tool for improving sleep!

Anxiety: CBD is the best remedy for anxiety, but at high doses can actually increase anxiety. THC can also be useful for anxiety, but only at low doses. Again, whether you’re using high CBD or high THC medicine, you should always start at a low dose and increase only gradually as needed to achieve the relief you’re seeking.

How does Cannabidiol (CBD) Work???

This article was originally published in O'Shaughnessy's Reader and reposted on the ProjectCBD website. Although some of it went over my head....I did get some interesting info from it. So give it a read and take what you can!!

Elizabeth - Pianta Tinta

Cannbidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of the marijuana plant, has generated significant interest among scientists and physicians in recent years—but how CBD exerts its therapeutic impact on a molecular level is still being sorted out. Cannabidiol is a pleiotropic drug in that it produces many effects through multiple molecular pathways. CBD acts through various receptor-independent channels and by binding with a number of non-cannabinoid receptors and ion channels.

Here are some of the ways that CBD confers its therapeutic effects.

CBD and FAAH

Unlike psychoactive THC, CBD has little binding affinity to either the CB1 or CB2 cannabinoid receptors. Instead, CBD indirectly stimulates endogenous cannabinoid signaling by suppressing the enzyme fatty acid amide hydroxylase (FAAH)—the enzyme that breaks down anandamide, the first endocannabinoid discovered in the mammalian brain in 1992.

Whereas the cannabinoid molecules found in cannabis are considered “exogenous ligands” to the cannabinoid (CB) receptor family, anandamide is an “endogenous” cannabinoid ligand—meaning it binds to one or more cannabinoid receptors and is found naturally inside the mammalian brain and body. Anandamide favors the CB1 receptor, which is concentrated in the brain and central nervous system. Because FAAH is involved in the metabolic breakdown of anandamide, less FAAH means more anandamide remains present in the body for a longer duration. More anandamide means greater CB1 activation.

CBD enhances endocannabinoid tone by supressing FAAH.

By inhibiting the enzyme that metabolizes and degrades anandamide, CBD enhances the body’s innate protective endocannabinoid response. At the same time, CBD opposes the action of THC at the CB1 receptor, thereby muting the psychoactive effects of THC.

CBD also stimulates the release of 2-AG, another endocannabinoid that activates both CB1 and CB2 receptor. CB2 receptors are predominant in the peripheral nervous system and the immune system.

The Vanilloid Receptor

While CBD has little binding affinity for either of the two cannabinoid receptors, it has been shown to directly interact with other “G-protein-coupled” receptors and ion channels to confer a therapeutic effect. CBD, for example, binds to the TRPV-1 receptor, which is known to mediate pain perception, inflammation and body temperature.

TRPV is the technical abbreviation for “transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V.” There are several dozen TRP receptor variants or subfamilies that mediate the effects of a wide range of medicinal herbs. 

Scientists also refer to TRPV-1 as the “vanilloid receptor,” named after the flavorful vanilla bean. Vanilla contains eugenol, an essential oil that has antiseptic and analgesic properties; it also helps to unclog blood vessels. Historically, the vanilla bean has been used as a folk cure for headaches.

CBD is a TRPV-1 “agonist” or stimulant. This is likely one of the reasons why CBD-rich cannabis is an effective treatment for neuropathic pain.

Capsaicin—the pungent compound in hot chili peppers—activates the TRVP-1 receptor. Anandamide, the endogenous cannabinoid, is also a TRPV-1 agonist.

The Serotonin Receptor

Jose Alexandre Crippa and his colleagues at the University of San Paulo in Brazil and at the King’s College in London have conducted pioneering research into CBD and the neural correlates of anxiety.

At high concentrations, CBD directly activates the 5-HT1A (hydroxytryptamine) serotonin receptor, thereby conferring an anti-depressant effect. This receptor is implicated in a range of biological and neurological processes, including (but not limited to) anxiety, addiction, appetite, sleep, pain perception, nausea and vomiting.

5-HT1A is a member of the family of 5-HT receptors, which are activated by the neurotransmitter serotonin. Found in both the central and peripheral nervous systems, 5-HT receptors trigger various intracellular cascades of chemical messages to produce either an excitatory or inhibitory response, depending on the chemical context of the message.

CBD triggers an inhibitory response that slows down 5-HT1A signaling. In comparison, LSD, mescaline, magic mushrooms, and several other hallucinogenic drugs activate a different type of 5-HT receptor that produces an excitatory response.

The Adenosine Receptor

CBD’s anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties may in part be attributable to its activation of the adenosine receptor. Adenosine receptors play significant roles in cardiovascular function, regulating myocardial oxygen consumption and coronary blood flow. The adenosine (A2A) receptor has broad anti-inflammatory effects throughout the body.

Adenosine receptors also play a significant role in the brain. They down-regulate the release of other neurotransmitters such as dopamine and glutamate.

GPR55

Whereas cannabidiol activates the TRPV-1 vanilloid receptor, the A2A adenosine receptor, and the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, some studies indicate that CBD functions as an antagonist that blocks, or deactivates, another G protein-coupled receptor known as GPR55.

GPR55 has been dubbed an “orphan receptor” because scientists are still not sure if it belongs to a larger family of receptors.

GPR55 is widely expressed in the brain, especially in the cerebellum. It is involved in modulating blood pressure and bone density, among other physiological processes.

GPR55 promotes osteoclast cell function, which facilitates bone reabsorption. Overactive GPR55 receptor signaling is associated with osteoporosis.

GPR55, when activated, also promotes cancer cell proliferation, according to 2010 study by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai. This receptor is expressed in various types of cancer.

CBD is a GPR55 antagonist, as University of Aberdeen scientist Ruth Ross disclosed at the 2010 conference of the International Cannabinoid Research Society in Lund, Sweden.

By blocking GPR55 signaling, CBD may act to decrease both bone reabsorption and cancer cell proliferation.

PPARs

CBD also exerts an anti-cancer effect by activating PPARs [peroxisome proliferator activated receptors] that are situated on the surface of the cell's nucleus. Activation of the receptor known as PPAR-gamma has an anti-proliferative effect as well as an ability to induce tumor regression in human lung cancer cell lines.

PPAR-gamma activation degrades amyloid-beta plaque, a key molecule linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. This is one of the reasons why cannabidiol, a PPAR-gamma agonist, may be a useful remedy for Alzheimer’s patients.

PPAR receptors also regulate genes that are involved in energy homeostasis, lipid uptake, insulin sensitivity, and other metabolic functions. Diabetics, accordingly, may benefit from a CBD-rich treatment regimen.

CBD’s enzyme-mediated activation of the PPAR-alpha receptor may have antipsychotic effects. Polymorphisms or mutations in the gene encoding PPAR-alpha can result in deficient PPAR-alpha signaling, which has been linked to schizophrenia. PPAR-alpha activation is both anti-inflammatory and can decrease dopamine release, thereby minimizing schizophrenic symptoms.

Why Tinctures?

The natural occurring compounds found in plants are called phytochemicals and have been extracted using ethyl alcohol for use as medicinal remedies for a long, long time.  The ingredients in plants are highly soluble in alcohol and easily extracted, however cannabinoids are only significantly soluble in more concentrated ethanol solutions greater than 75% (150 proof) but ideally 190 proof should be used. With the 190 proof ethanol the cannabinoids, terpenoids, flavonoids and other essential oils will be easily extracted.

Tinctures made with alcohol are generally better preserved than other types of tinctures due to the antibacterial nature of alcohol. They tend to be more stable and reliable over a long period of time with or without refrigeration. This lends itself to a very long shelf life. Another plus with using ethanol in our tinctures is that the alcohol when taken orally permeates the mucus membranes of the mouth and is delivered into the bloodstream. This is a much quicker delivery system than taking an edible and waiting for the digestive system and liver to break it down.

Pianta Tinta Interview

Our first interview!!

Cannabis as a Sleep Aid for Insomnia: An Interview with Pianta Tinta

October 30, 2015, By Pamela Hadfield, Co-Founder & Director of UX

Topics: Insomnia, Pain, Cancer, Fibromyalgia, Muscle Spasms, Epilepsy

Tinctures are an easy-to-ingest way to administer marijuana.

Due its lack of psychoactivity and for its ability to effectively treat a variety of medical conditions, CBD (Cannabidiol) is the rising star among the cannabis plant’s cannabinoids. Pianta Tinta Collective, a new manufacturer within the cannabis marketplace, focuses on high CBD tinctures, oils and rubs ‘to enable others to live a higher quality of life.’ Their tinctures target insomnia and chronic pain as well as other common conditions people often face. Co-founders Elizabeth Knight and Dr. Kathy Acquistapace feel they have found their niche with a more medically oriented customer base and pride themselves on ongoing customer consultations with Dr. Acquistapace, the in-house Naturopath.

Pianta Tinta is also representative of the booming artisanal marketplace within California. Smaller product manufacturers often focus on sourcing the highest quality outdoor grown cannabis for unique offerings, such as CBD tinctures, that may or may not be found in your local dispensary. Elizabeth Knight took time to speak to us about Pianta Tinta and the growth of their business over the past year.

What was the inspiration for starting Pianta Tinta?

Pianta Tinta means ‘plant tincture’ in Italian. We chose that name because we focus on the cannabis plant as well as more natural modalities of healing. We founded our business based on Dr. Kathy Acquistapace’s research on CBD and the newly found applications for it as a medicine.

As a naturopath, Dr. Acquistapace was looking for more alternative natural medicines for her patient base. As she learned more and more about CBD, we became excited about the possibilities but also became aware of the lack of CBD alternatives in the market, especially within dispensaries.

As a business, we were most interested in entering the cannabis marketplace with products that were high CBD and very low THC. When you visit a dispensary as a first time medicinal marijuana patient, it is not that easy to find high CBD products. When a senior citizen enters a dispensary today they will most likely be presented with products that are very high in THC. Even a 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC may be too much THC for a first time cannabis patient. Ultimately, we decided to make tinctures as this is a very easy way to ingest cannabis.

What high CBD cannabis strain do you favor for your product lines?

We work with ACDC as our favored strain. It is a hybrid strain that is bred to have very high CBD content and very low THC content. It is not the easiest strain to grow but we think it works very well for the high CBD products that we produce. Our grower grows the ACDC strain outdoors, in organic soil; he uses grow pots without the use of pesticides/fungicides which we feel is very important.

We also test our products at Steep Hill Halent and CW Analytical labs. We first test the ACDC flower to know the cannabinoid ratios, the terpene profiles and to make sure it is free of any microbes, fungus or molds. After we go through making the tinctures we test again to get the final cannabinoid content, which is what we print on our labels. We strive to represent our product as accurately as possible.

Other than the ACDC flower, what other ingredients do you put within your cannabis tinctures?

Our tinctures are very straightforward. All of our labels list the ingredients, which include the ACDC flower/leaves and ethyl alcohol. We do not flavor or put any additional chemicals in our products. We pride ourselves on providing our customers with very ‘clean’ products.

Are you targeting a particular segment of the population with your product line?

The people we want to reach represent a wide range of ages and demographics. We believe that we are able to reach these people because our products positively address a wide variety of symptoms that affect almost all age groups. We often find that senior citizens are looking for alternatives from a regime that is far too heavy with opioids, so they are open to trying cannabis as an alternative. We see that younger people are far too stressed out and can use some anxiety relief, which CBD is also good for. Our products are for anyone who is seeking to use marijuana medicinally, and to receive the benefit from CBD.

Do your products target specific medical conditions?

We are not able to make claims as we do not have any clinical studies to back these up. However, anecdotally we have seen great success across a variety of conditions including adults with seizure disorders. For instance, we had a patient, a man in his fifties, who was having 4-6 seizures a month, and since taking our Super High CBD tincture he has had a total of 5 seizures since January. That is a huge reduction of seizures and in addition he was able to drop many of his pharmaceutical medications.

We have also seen a lot of people who have chronic pain, whether that be arthritis, pain from previous injuries, general inflammation, etc. This topic of pain covers a wide swath of medical conditions and can encompass so much, but we have found that many people have found relief with our Super High CBD product. We also have members of our collective with cancer who have added our Super High CBD as well as our High THC tincture and oil to their treatment regime.

Since virtually all pharmaceutical products carry unwanted side effects, CBD offers the alternative of providing the positive benefits without the negative side effects.

On your website, I see that you are promoting a new high THC tincture for sleep. Is this tincture good for treating insomnia?

We recently produced a high THC tincture that we feel is particularly good at relieving insomnia. As we all know, insomnia can be difficult to overcome. Not everyone has insomnia for the same reasons. For instance, one person may not be sleeping because they have pain related to inflammation. If you bring the inflammation down with a high CBD product, they may be able to get a good night’s sleep every night. In other instances, a high THC tincture will help relax a person who struggles to get to sleep and also help them to stay asleep longer.

Our newest tincture contains a high percentage of THC and almost no CBD. THC tends to relax people, however everyone is different. Some people find that CBD may relax them and others may find that a combination of THC and CBD may be best for them. As we are all unique, we recommend that people try our new high THC tincture for their sleep issues and see if their sleep improves. Some people may find that it works well and others may find that adding CBD to the THC may work best for them. We suggest that a person starts with a small amount before bedtime and keep a sleep log. This way, they can find what works best for them based on their own body.

You offer members of your collective consultations with your in-house Naturopath. What should a patient expect to gain from a consultation?

Dr. Acquistapace is our Naturopath. She has over 25 years of healthcare experience and her focus is on alternative and natural healing. She works with people who are wanting to reach their highest level of heath and explains to them how Pianta Tinta tinctures can be a part of their health plan. At Pianta Tinta, she often works with people, many first timers to marijuana, to better understand cannabis and how to integrate it into their lives. She is also available to answer more general health questions as well.

People are often overwhelmed by the amount of information they are given, especially those new to cannabis, so Dr. Acquistapace is there to help guide and consult with people along the way. Our customer base is often looking for answers and wondering how medical marijuana interacts with their body and possibly with their existing medications. Dr. Acquistapace consults in 15-minute increments over the phone, over Skype and in-person. We want to be flexible based on the patients needs.

What general advice would you give to people that are new to cannabis?

Read your labels! A lot of products are mislabeled or misrepresent the medicine. This is especially true for many of the high CBD hemp-based products that are sold over the internet. Hemp is different from cannabis and the products made from it is sourced differently as well. Make sure that the products are lab tested and make sure you know how much of the medicinal cannabinoids CBD and THC is in the products. Ratios are popular but it does not tell you specifically how much cannabinoids are actually in the product. It is important to educate yourself or consult with someone who can give quality advice before ingesting your medicine. Also read the label for any additional harmful or unnecessary ingredients such as residual solvents like, butane, naphtha, isopropyl alcohol, propylene glycol, dyes, artificial flavoring and fragrances.

How do you people find Pianta Tinta Tinctures?

We do not currently sell through storefront dispensaries. We have chosen to be a collective and produce and manufacture our own cannabis tinctures for our members. We are located in Vallejo and people pick up their products from us directly by appointment only. Before seeing us you will need to obtain your medical marijuana recommendation, which you can do through HelloMD. To obtain our products you must first go online to the Pianta Tinta website and fill out our short membership form, which requires a valid medical marijuana recommendation and photo ID. You can contact us to schedule an appointment or we are also able to deliver for a small additional fee.

By Pamela Hadfield, Co-Founder & Director of UX

Harvest time....

Flowering AC/DC strain

These are our AC/DC plants this month right before harvest..notice the little "crystals" on the leaves, these are trichomes, glistening translucent resin glands protruding from the buds, leaves, and just about everywhere else on the plant. The sticky coating of trichomes is home to the active ingredients in cannabis – the stuff that gets you high and has all the medical benefits – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and other cannabinoids. AC/DC has very little THC but very High in CBD!

 

AC/DC strain

 

The pistils on a female plant (in these photos, they are brown) are there to receive pollen from the male plant if it is available. When the plant flowers, the pistils start off a creamy color and as time goes on, they end up turning colors and dying. When they start turning brown, it is a time to watch closely in order to harvest it at it's peak. These plants contain very little THC, with a large amount of CBD (cannibidiol). The plants must go through a drying period for a couple of weeks before we can send it in for testing and start the tincture making process.

Photo of Trichomes


Trichomes act as an evolutionary shield, protecting the plant and its seeds from the dangers of its environment, allowing it to reproduce. These adhesive sprouts form a protective layer against offensive insects, preventing them from reaching the surface of the plant. The chemicals in the trichomes make cannabis less palatable to hungry animals and can inhibit the growth of some types of fungus. The resin also helps to insulate the plant from high wind and low humidity, and acts as a natural ‘sun-screen’ in protecting against UV-B light rays.

This article is from the online website ProjectCBD. It is important to know that even though CBD and THC are the top cannabinoids most people know about, there are many other compounds in the plant that work together and have healing properties......

Terpenes and the "Entourage Effect"

Most animal studies with cannabidiol utilize synthetic, single-molecule CBD produced by biochemical laboratories for research purposes. In contrast, whole plant extractions typically include CBD, THC, and more than 400 trace compounds. Many of these compounds interact synergistically to create what scientists refer to as an “entourage effect” that magnifies the therapeutic benefits of the plant’s individual components—so that the medicinal impact of the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts.

It is important to consider the entourage effect (or lack thereof) when extrapolating data based on animal studies: 100 milligrams of synthetic single-molecule CBD is not equivalent to 100 milligrams of a CBD-rich whole plant cannabis extract.

“Cannabis is inherently polypharmaceutical,” Dr. John McPartland notes, “and synergy arises from interactions between its multiple components.”

Terpenes

Consider the role of terpenes, for example. Terpenes are volatile aromatic molecules that evaporate easily and readily announce themselves to the nose. Various researchers have emphasized the pharmacological importance of terpenes, or terpenoids, which form the basis of aromatherapy, a popular holistic healing modality. Marijuana’s compelling fragrance and particular psychoactive flavor are determined by the predominate terpenes in a strain.

Around 200 terpenes have been found in cannabis, but only a few of these odiferous oily substances appear in amounts substantial enough to be noteworthy, or nose worthy, as it were. Among them are monoterpenes, diterpenes, and sesquiterpenes, which are characterized by the number of repeating units of a 5-carbon molecule called isoprene, the structural hallmark of all terpenoid compounds. The terpenes in marijuana have given the plant an enduring, evolutionary advantage. Pungent terpenoid oils repel insects and animal grazers; others prevent fungus.

Terpenes, it turns out, are healthy for people as well as plants. A September 2011 report by Dr. Ethan Russo in the British Journal of Pharmacology discussed the wide-ranging therapeutic attributes of terpenoids, which are typically lacking in “CBD-only” products.

Beta-caryophyllene, for example, is a sesquiterpene found in the essential oil of black pepper, oregano, and other edible herbs, as well as in various cannabis strains and in many green, leafy vegetables. It is gastro-protective, good for treating certain ulcers, and offers great promise as a therapeutic compound for inflammatory conditions and auto-immune disorders because it binds directly to the peripheral cannabinoid receptor known as “CB2.”

In 2008, the Swiss scientist Jürg Gertsch documented beta-caryophyllene’s binding affinity for the CB2 receptor and described it as “a dietary cannabinoid.” It is the only terpenoid known to directly activate a cannabinoid receptor. And it’s one of the reasons why green, leafy vegetables are so healthy to eat.

Terpenoids and cannabinoids both increase blood flow, enhance cortical activity, and kill respiratory pathogens, including MRSA, the antibiotic-resistant bacteria that in recent years has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Americans. Dr. Russo’s article reports that cannabinoid-terpenoid interactions “could produce synergy with respect to treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections.”

Marijuana’s bouquet of terpenes—that “riot of perfumes,” as the poet (and hashish-eater) Arthur Rimbaud once said—plays another important role. Terpenes and CBD buffer THC’s tricky psychoactivity. Cannabinoid-terpenoid interactions amplify the beneficial effects of cannabis while mitigating THC-induced anxiety.

The terpenoid profile can vary considerably from strain to strain. Patients who abandon a suitable strain for one with higher THC and/or CBD content may not get more relief if the terpenoid profile is significantly different. The nose knows: Choose a cannabis strain that smells good to you.