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As always, at the bottom there’s a Living Glossary of cannabinoid terms along with the weekly music recommendation.
This newsletter collects all the new cannabinoid science each week & is a free offering from my company White Whale Creations. We produce educational content for cannabis & psychedelic companies. You can see my portfolio here.
- So much data that we had to create new sections for…
- Women’s health, pregnancy & post-natal effects (really great stuff in here)
- Mental health
- The kidneys
- Vaping weed to save your teeth!
- Great new laws in California, bad things in New York & Florida
- The antibiotic power of the cannabinoids
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Best of cannabinoid science...
A review of 31 studies could not figure out why anyone used cannabis
Why do some people become more involved in cannabis use than others? A systematic narrative review on cannabis use transition predictors
This speaks to the hydra-headed power of the plant. People use it for more reasons than any set of surveys can capture.
A Johns Hopkins survey with Realm of Caring on why people use medical cannabis:
Online survey of medicinal cannabis users: Qualitative analysis of patient-level data
In humans, vaping cannabis meant less tooth loss, probably because of its anti-inflammatory effect
Vaping is Associated with Less Tooth Loss Among Medical Marijuana Users in the 2020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
Do you think we can turn this into a NIDA campaign: Save your teeth! Vape weed!
[it would need Dr. Seuss style war propaganda imagery]
A hearty review of CBG – the mother cannabinoid (and one of the most popular of the ‘other’ cannabinoids being sold out there)
The Origin and Biomedical Relevance of Cannabigerol
In kidney cells, CBD increases the antibiotic power of the drug gramicidin
Cannabidiol increases gramicidin current in human embryonic kidney cells: An observational study
And how to target staph infections with anandamide
Targeting the Achilles' Heel of Multidrug-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus by the Endocannabinoid Anandamide
One of the most criminally neglected (& proven) aspects of cannabinoids is their power against a host of microbes.
In guinea pigs, CBD & CBG for airway inflammation
The anti-inflammatory effects of cannabidiol and cannabigerol alone, and in combination
In a mouse model of neuropathic body pain from chemotherapy, CBG reduced their hypersensitivity to touch
Cannabigerol (CBG) attenuates mechanical hypersensitivity elicited by chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy
An evergreen note on reading restricted paper:
First stop for seeing if there’s a free version of a paper, use the Google Scholar Chrome extension (Mac version) or Google Scholar itself.
3 other helpful browser extensions are: Unpaywall, Open Access Button & PaperPanda
For the infamous backdoor, use Sci-Hub – the pirated papers repository (Chrome extension here). This works better for older paper than the stuff that just came out.
For Twitter users, send a Tweet of the paper’s title with the hashtag #icanhazpdf. It works because people are beautiful(ish).
Finally, email the author. They’re almost always happy to oblige because, thanks to the predatory academic publishing system, they don’t make a dollar off of their papers.
Popular science pieces
In the UK, here’s an interview with the researcher carrying out the largest ever study on the effects of cannabis on the brain (hattip to Col. Dr. Michael Lewis)
My cannabis counseling sessions for your health (or your patients)
For people looking improve their health with use CBD, cannabis & more novel ingredients like PEA (immune system) or oleamide (sleep), I offer counseling sessions on how to use these tools.
We’ll meet to discuss what you want to fix, we’ll come up with a gameplan of what to try, I’ll help you to buy it (the cost of products almost always comes out to less than $100) & then I’ll be there to talk you through trying them out to find the best routine for you. Plus, unlimited follow-up emails.
If you want someone experienced in listening to patients & coming up with a plan to help you find relief, book a 1-on-1 session with me here:
Your Personal Cannabis Counseling Sessions.
For medical practitioners:
I’m also available to meet with medical professionals to advise them on using cannabis, cannabinoids & psychedelics in their practice. I’ve seen an uptick in the number of sessions for this & I can say that they find these one hour brain pickings quite useful because I’m a walking ‘rule of thumbs’ from my years of interviewing practioners. Plus, you get a follow-up email with all of the relevant science to your questions as well as recommended books & further resources. I can help you help your patients to better use these powerful tools of health. See here for more information:
Cannabinoid & Psychedelic Education Sessions for Medical Practitioners
the Headlines & Fav Articles
The head of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health slams the cannabis research barriers that block how it might help with the opioid crisis
In California, 2 new cannabis laws: one to protect against medical discrimination & one to allow patients to use cannabis at hospitals without treating it like every other prescription med that needs to be administered & stored securely by the staff
And a great bill where parental cannabis use will be "treated in the same manner as a parent’s or guardian’s use or possession of alcohol and legally prescribed medication"
Because in NYC, kids are still being taken from their parents because of cannabis despite a prohibition on doing so
In Washington DC, a federal worker who’s a medical cannabis patient that got fired for potentially being under the influence at work was ordered to have their job returned to them with full backpay
In Florida, new rules on medical cannabis limits means that patients will see their supply cut by a third
If there’s anything I’m against, it’s weight limits, taxes & THC caps on medical cannabis. It’s barbarism.
Alright! The UK government recently refused to give Bermuda permission to legalize cannabis – but they’re just going to go ahead with it anyway
Five members of the EU Parliament create a group an interest group for legalizing cannabis
Follow them on Twitter to support this movement (and to check out their photo. These look like some politicians you could have a good time at a bar with):
According to this twin’s study, legalization increases cannabis use by ~20%
Impacts of recreational cannabis legalization on cannabis use: a longitudinal discordant twin study
The War on Drugs & Harm Reduction
The stalwart Maia Szalavitz on the evidence for harm reduction & safe injection facilities over coercive policing & forced treatment
Psychedelics, Plant Medicines & Other Psychoactives
[This isn’t a deep dive into all of the science of psychedelics like I do for the cannabinoids. If a weekly newsletter with all the new psychedelic science would be of interest to your company, reach out to me]
San Francisco passes a psychedelics decriminalization resolution that instructs the police to make them “the lowest priority”
Check out the ‘Psychedelics & Trauma’ event by Doubleblind Magazine (great array of speakers)
And check out the Women Elders in Psychedelics by the Psychedelic Association of Canada
Using opium gum to help with the opioid crisis
On PSI phenomena in psychedelics
For a more in-depth look at this well-studied phenomena, see Dr. David Luke’s ‘Otherworlds: Psychedelics and Exceptional Human Experience’.
In India, using snake venom to get high
Snake venom - An unconventional recreational substance for psychonauts in India
I love how good humans are at figuring out how to get high. Also, sign me up for this.
For major depressive disorder, a comparison of psilocybin versus escitalopram (an SSRI) on rumination & thought suppression
Effects of psilocybin versus escitalopram on rumination and thought suppression in depression
And see a thread from the first-time first author here:
Tommaso Barba @tommaso_barbaMy first 1st author paper is out in @TheBJPsych ! We found out that psilocybin is superior in reducing rumination and chronic suppression of negative emotions compared to escitalopram. Big thanks to @RCarhartHarris and @LeorRoseman for the guidance. #Psilocybin #psychiatry #LSD
In the dying, LSD helped with end-of-life anxiety & depression
Lysergic acid diethylamide-assisted therapy in patients with anxiety with and without a life-threatening illness A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase II study
“All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses, And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.” - Walt Whitman
A survey of how health professionals feel about psilocybin mushrooms
Magic Mushrooms - an exploratory look at how mental health professionals feel and think about Psilocybin
Thread of a psychedelic that was big in the ‘70s & then disappeared: 6-FDET
Zeus Tipado @tipadoBeen doing a deep dive on 70s psychedelic science mostly because my knowledge of that era isn’t as nice as whatever modern era we’re in now. The MOST interesting thing I came across was a ‘psychedelic’ that appeared for like 10 years then suddenly disappeared: 6-FDET (1/11)
A collection of psychedelic animation hidden in kid’s shows (surprisingly, it’s the Ren & Stimpy that gets the closest…)
As someone who spent the last ten years building up a history of animation collection, I approve this message.
Law & Business
No evidence that cannabis legalization depresses the wages of agricultural or retail workers
Watching the grass grow: does recreational cannabis legalization affect retail and agricultural wages?
A $650M Ponzi scheme with cattle & cannabis
Sometimes you just wish that the documentary was already online.
From my beloved Matt Levine business column, a fraudulent group of cannabis companies that defrauded investors argues that the because of the illegality of the plant, the settlement against them only allows the swindled investors to recover their initial investments & none of the money above that
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2022-08-25/some-free-brokers-are-cheaper-than-others (paywalled - but if you sign up for the newsletter, you get these free)
https://www.law360.com/securities/articles/1523216/cannabis-cos-law-firm-say-csa-blocks-investors-claims (also paywalled)
Mat writes, “Love it! ‘You can’t demand your share of our profits, because we got those profits from crime, so we should get to keep them.’”
(this is the only daily newsletter I read it & it’s what keeps me current with Big Business. I can’t recommend it highly enough. For more bite-sized Levine, follow him on Twitter)
The Plant & the History
Hemp microgreens as an excellent functional food
Hemp microgreens as an innovative functional food: Variation in the organic acids, amino acids, polyphenols, and cannabinoids composition of six hemp cultivars
A genomic analysis of wild & domesticated cannabis supports the Asian origin hypothesis
Genome-wide polymorphism and genic selection in feral and domesticated lineages of Cannabis sativa
Cannabis goes so far back in human history – and spread widely so quickly because of its usefulness – that we still don’t know where the hell it came from.
How to manage the growing & processing hemp for fiber quality
The effect of agronomic management of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) on stem processing and fibre quality
A clinical cannabis guide for neuroscience nurses
Cannabis-based medicinal products: a clinical guide
A CBD nursing guide
CBD: Key information for nurses
Clinical Studies & Surveys
For patients using medical cannabis, they saw no changes to their body mass index
Weight stability in adults with obesity initiating medical marijuana treatment for other medical conditions
In patients with Parkinson’s disease, nabilone (a synthetic pharmaceutical THC derivative) helped with anxiety & sleep problems
Non-Motor Symptoms in Parkinson's Disease are Reduced by Nabilone
In patients with chronic pain, synthetic THC (dronabinol) decreased pain intensity & improved sleep & quality of life
Effectiveness and Tolerability of Dronabinol Use in Patients with Chronic Pain: A Retrospective Analysis of 12-Week Open-Label Real-World Data Provided by the German Pain e-Registry
In patients with mouth & facial pain, they had lower levels of endocannabinoids in their saliva
Reduced Endocannabinoid Tone in Saliva of Chronic Orofacial Pain Patients
For endoscopy procedures, cannabis use has no effects on the testing & should not be a reason to forgo a necessary endoscopy
Illicit Drug Use and Endoscopy: When Do We Say No?
In dogs with itchy skin, they had higher levels of CB2 receptors in their skin, suggesting targeting the ECS in the skin as a treatment
Distribution of Cannabinoid Receptors in Keratinocytes of Healthy Dogs and Dogs With Atopic Dermatitis
2021: Where to find THC & CBD in dead bodies (hint: do not look in the vitreous humor)
Distribution of tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol in several different postmortem matrices
Somebody should turn this paper into a song…
Women, Pregnancy & Postnatal Effects
A survey of women’s cannabis use around menopause reported that many found it helpful for sleep & anxiety
A survey of medical cannabis use during perimenopause and postmenopause
Among women with endometriosis, cannabis consumption for symptom relief during the pandemic was common
Endometriosis and Cannabis Consumption During the COVID-19 Pandemic: An International Cross-Sectional Survey
Among patients with fibromyalgia, part of the ability of medical cannabis to help with pain results from their ability to help with sleep, anxiety & depression
Predictors of pain reduction among fibromyalgia patients using medical cannabis: a long-term prospective cohort study
In pregnant women using cannabis, once adjusted for medical & social risk factors, they were more likely to experience labor problems, an indeterminate fetal heart rate in labor, chorioamnionitis (bacterial infection of amniotic fluid & surrounding membranes), low-birth-weight & neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission
Outcomes of Cannabis Use During Pregnancy Within the American Association of Birth Centers Perinatal Data Registry 2007-2020: Opportunities Within Midwifery-Led Care
Recommended for You
A review of cannabis effects on birth saw an increased risk for low birth weight & early births
The effects of cannabis use during pregnancy on low birth weight and preterm birth: a systematic review and meta-analysis
In pregnant mice exposed to THC, their daughters had reduced ovary functions in adulthood
Prenatal Exposure to Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Alters the Expression of miR-122-5p and Its Target Igf1r in the Adult Rat Ovary
2021: In a cohort analysis (where they follow a group of children for many years), the children of mothers who used cannabis while pregnant “had more sleep-related problems, withdrawal symptoms, and externalizing problems, including aggressive behaviors and oppositional defiant behaviors”
Behavioral and Cognitive Differences in Early Childhood related to Prenatal Marijuana Exposure
OK, but “oppositional defiant behaviors” is just a psychiatrist’s fancy name for a kid who says “fuck you” to the man.
So not all bad…
A case study of CBD for autism
Cannabidiol in Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Case Study
A study of teens discharged from psychiatric care found that they used cannabis to enhance their positive emotions
Ecological Momentary Assessment of Cannabis Use and Affect Among Adolescents Following Psychiatric Discharge
In a test for auditory mismatch negativity (an aspect of schizophrenia), the results are complex but it seems like THC tends to make things worse while CBD helped to prevent THC from making things worse
Acute effects of Δ 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol on auditory mismatch negativity
In youth with a high risk for psychosis, cannabis use had no effect on their clinical status after two years but they did score higher for grandiosity & social anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure)
Cannabis use and attenuated positive and negative symptoms in youth at clinical high risk for psychosis
2021: In people with childhood trauma, they both used more cannabis & experienced more psychosis
Cannabis-induced dysphoria/paranoia mediates the link between childhood trauma and psychotic-like experiences in young cannabis users
2021: Certain variants of the CB1 receptor may make someone more liable to alcohol use disorder
Associations of CB1 cannabinoid receptor (CNR1) gene polymorphisms with risk for alcohol dependence: Evidence from meta-analyses of genetic and genome-wide association studies
In a survey of kidney patients, they used medical cannabis for pain relief & sleep enhancement
Patient views regarding cannabis use in chronic kidney disease and kidney failure: a survey study
2021: Long-term cannabis use not associated with kidney dysfunction
Long-Term Frequent Cannabis Use and Related Serum Cannabinoid Levels Are Not Associated with Kidney Dysfunction
A book chapter on kidneys & the endocannabinoid system
Endocannabinoids in Renal Physiology - From Tissue Homeostasis to Precision Medicine
Fun fakt: I cut my scientific teeth at a kidney stem cell lab in White Plains, NY, my first job after college.
Harms, Synthetic Cannabinoids & Cannabis Use Disorder
In the elderly, cannabis use is linked to difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
Marijuana Use and Older Adults’ Self-Reported Difficulty Concentrating, Remembering, or Making Decisions
In a review of cannabis potency & mental health, higher levels of THC increased the risk of psychosis & cannabis use disorder
Association of cannabis potency with mental ill health and addiction: a systematic review
How cannabis turned genes on & off (epigenetics) & how this might play into cannabis use disorder
Neurogenetic and Epigenetic Aspects of Cannabinoids
I did not know that SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) put the rate of cannabis addiction at 5% of people in the US.
2021: In human pancreas donors, chronic cannabis use is associated with impaired islet function (reduced insulin secretion)
Chronic marijuana usage by human pancreas donors is associated with impaired islet function
2021: A case report of a delta-8 THC user with a Brugada electrocardiogram pattern (an arrhythmia of your heart’s firing pattern associated with high risk of sudden cardiac death)
Brugada Electrocardiogram Pattern Induced by Recreational Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): A Case Report
2021: For driving, the number of fatal crashes involving cannabis increased since 2000
Trends in Cannabis Involvement and Risk of Alcohol Involvement in Motor Vehicle Crash Fatalities in the United States, 2000‒2018
2021: and where to find them in pilots who died in crashes
Cannabinoid distribution in fatally-injured pilots' postmortem fluids and tissues
In mice, how two big synthetic cannabinoids move through the body
In Vivo Bio-Activation of JWH-175 to JWH-018: Pharmacodynamic and Pharmacokinetic Studies in Mice
2021: An analysis of how the structure of various synthetic cannabinoids alters their binding strength to C1 & CB2
Structure-activity relationships of valine, tert-leucine, and phenylalanine amino acid-derived synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists related to ADB-BUTINACA, APP-BUTINACA, and ADB-P7AICA
A review finds positive evidence for using the cannabinoids to treat ADHD
The use of cannabinoids in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - a review of the latest literature.
2021: A review of how cannabis alters your emotional processing
Cannabis and emotion processing: A review of behavioral, physiological, and neural responses
Personally, when I’m being too much of an ogre, my wife suggests that “I step down to the basement.” And she doesn’t mean to clean the cat litter.
But I usually clean the cat litter anyway because I feel guilty about it – and then I find myself scooping cat poop while high.
Anyway, cannabis makes me more in touch with my emotions – especially guilt.
A review of how cannabis alters the metabolism of your astrocytes (important neural support cells that help to regulate social behavior)
Astrocyte glucose metabolism highlights the link between cannabis use and social behavior
A review of the potential of treating lung cancer with cannabinoids
The potential of cannabinoids in the treatment of lung cancer
A more general review of treating cancer with medical cannabis
Medicinal Cannabis in Cancer Treatment
A surprisingly negative review on using cannabis for the symptoms of cancer
[Cannabis in oncology - much ado about nothing?]
I don’t often say this, but I feel like these Germans didn’t do their homework.
In mice, cannabis extract protected their sperm quality, perhaps via the flavonoids
Experimental validation and molecular docking to explore the active components of cannabis in testicular function and sperm quality modulations in rats
In mice with inflamed bowels, acupuncture reduced their anxiety via the CB1 receptors in the hippocampus (memory center of the brain)
Electroacupuncture Reduces Anxiety Associated With Inflammatory Bowel Disease By Acting on Cannabinoid CB1 Receptors in the Ventral Hippocampus in Mice
In mice of both genders, a balanced endocannabinoid system supports healthy sleep
Tonic endocannabinoid signaling supports sleep through development in both sexes
The rare cannabinoid cannabinerol (CBNR) helps neuronal cells to differentiate
Cannabinerol and NSC-34 Transcriptomic Analysis: Is the Dose Who Makes Neuronal Differentiation?
In male mice, an industry study of water-soluble CBN saw that it caused no adverse effects on their behavior, body mass or blood chemistry - except that at the highest levels, it caused a lower level of a type of white blood cell
The effects of subacute exposure to a water-soluble cannabinol compound in male mice
In a mouse model of sickle cell disease, inhibiting the MGL enzyme (which raises 2-AG levels) reduced their various measure of pain as well as their deficits in grip strength & nest building behavior
O-13: INHIBITION OF THE ENDOCANNABINOID REGULATING ENZYME MONOACYLGLYCEROL LIPASE AMELIORATES THE HYPER-NOCICEPTIVE PHENOTYPE IN THE BERKELEY MOUSE MODEL OF SICKLE CELL DISEASE
In rats with non-alcoholic liver disease, nano-soluble hemp seed oil protected against weight gain & disease progression
Formulation and Characterization of O/W Nanoemulsions of Hemp Seed Oil for Protection from Steatohepatitis: Analysis of Hepatic Free Fatty Acids and Oxidation Markers
In mice with no FABP5 (fatty acid-binding protein 5 - an endocannabinoid transporter & regulator), they had higher levels of anandamide & 2-AG across their brain as well as alterations to their excitatory & inhibitory synapses
Fatty Acid-Binding Protein 5 Modulates Brain Endocannabinoid Tone and Retrograde Signaling in the Striatum
In mice addicted to Oxycodone, a positive modulator of the CB1 receptor (similar to CBD) helped to lower withdrawal symptoms such as diarrhea & weight loss
The Cannabinoid Receptor Type 1 Positive Allosteric Modulator ZCZ011 Attenuates Naloxone-Precipitated Diarrhea and Weight Loss in Oxycodone-Dependent Mice
The kinetic reactions of THC, CBD & CBN to heat & acidity
Kinetics of CBD, Δ 9-THC Degradation and Cannabinol Formation in Cannabis Resin at Various Temperature and pH Conditions
How to make fast-dissolving CBD tablets
Development and Evaluation of Cannabidiol Orodispersible Tablets Using a 2 3-Factorial Design
In cannabinoid level testing, how to prevent the decomposition of CBD to THC & avoid the situation of the Michigan police lab last week that had potentially thousands of false positives from bad testing techniques
Thermal decomposition of CBD to Δ 9-THC during GC-MS analysis: A potential cause of Δ 9-THC misidentification
PS: This week, one wonderful album by two legends: ‘Mambo Sinuendo’ by Manuel Galbán of Los Zafiros & Buena Vista Social Club fame & Ry Cooder, the slide guitarist that Rolling Stone puts in the top 10 guitarists of all time. After these two created the first Buena Vista Social Club album together, Cooder remembers “Galbán and I felt that there was a sound that had not been explored in a Cuban electric-guitar band that could re-interpret the atmosphere of the 1950s with beauty, agility, and simplicity. We decided on two electrics, two drum sets, congas and bass: a sexteto that could swing like a big band and penetrate the mysteries of the classic tunes. This music is powerful, lyrical, and funny; what more could you ask? Mambo Sinuendo is Cuban soul and high-performance.”
The Living Glossary
This is a running glossary of the basic cannabinoid terms. It will also function as the legend for the ‘neural ocean’ metaphor that I’m using in my graphic novel series on the endocannabinoid system based on Moby-Dick. You can watch a lecture laying out the full idea here - but we treat the human brain like the ocean: deep, mysterious & chockablock with fish, molecules & feedback systems that we don’t understand.
Endocannabinoids are whales. Phytocannabinoids are elephants (because what is an elephant but a whale of the land). And neurons are complex underwater cities where hundreds of fish interact.
The cannabinoids found inside all mammals & almost every other form of life besides insects
The Endocannabinoids System (ECS)
One of the most widespread signaling systems in the human body & brain - but only first discovered in the early ‘90s. Unlike most of the classical neurotransmitters, endocannabinoid are lipids, or fats. This makes them slippery, hard to study & a supremely sensitive signaling system because of the ability of cells to detect minute changes in lipid levels & act accordingly. Intimately connected to the immune system, the neuronal system & the hormonal system, as one old scientist said to me in his cups, “If you told me that the endocannabinoid system is where the body meets the soul, I’d believe you.”
Anandamide (AEA) [Our Great White Whale]
The first endocannabinoid neurotransmitter ever discovered. Widespread in the human brain & produced ‘on-demand’ when needed. Appears quickly, broken down quickly. Often called the neurotransmitter of balance.
[in our neural ocean metaphor, the sperm whale]
The second endocannabinoid neurotransmitter discovered. Only 2-AG & AEA have been well studied (thousands of research papers)
The first endocannabinoid receptor discovered. Mediates the psychoactivity (getting high feeling of THC). Most importantly, it’s the most widespread receptor of its class in the human brain.
[the bar in the membrane wall of the neuronal city where endocannabinoid whales meet with messenger fish to pass on their messages into the interior of the cellular city]
The second endocannabinoid receptor discovered. Found in almost every organ of the body & closely connected to our immune system. The CB2 occurs at low levels in the brain where it responds to neural insults.
[a gay bar in the membrane wall of the neuronal city]
FAAH (fatty acid amide hydrolase)
The enzyme that breaks down anandamide & a frequent target of drug discovery for modulating the endocannabinoid system. If you inhibit the FAAH enzyme, it does less breaking down of AEA, and your AEA levels rise. More balance.
[the giant squid that slices sperm whales in half]
Diacylglycerol lipase (DAGL or DGL)
The enzyme responsible for producing 2-AG.
MGL (monoacylglycerol lipase - also sometimes abbreviated as MAGL)
The enzyme that breaks down 2-AG. Another frequent target of drug discovery because inhibiting MGL raises 2-AG levels
[a giant octopus that eats blue whales]
An endogenous fatty acid amide whose only reason for not being labeled as a classic endocannabinoid is because it doesn’t bind to the CB1 or CB2 receptor - but it’s a hugely important neurotransmitter found in every cell of the body. A long body of work stretching back to World War 2 has found it to be an amazingly safe & effective drug for a number of things related to the immune system. Available as a dietary supplement, this is one of the best-studied cannabinoids in humans. Highly recommended.
[North Atlantic Right whale of course. Just look at that grin…]
NAAA (N-acylethanolamine acid amidase)
The enzyme for breaking down PEA, with a special function as a messenger for pain & inflammation as well as in the control of obesity.
[a giant Giant Pacific octopus that eats Right whales]
An endocannabinoid related to sleep. They discovered it by keeping cats awake for 3 days & then analyzing their spinal fluid. You can buy it on Amazon. 2 scoops helps you to sleep while 6 scoops is a very pleasant psychoactive experience (Hamilton Morris has called it his favorite way to get high - which is saying something). It’s also worth considering for cancer treatment.
[Humpback whale, because it sings hippies to sleep]
Oleoylethanolamide (unfortunately, also abbreviated as OEA sometimes)
An analog of anandamide, this lipid acts via the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR-α) receptors on the cell’s nucleus. These alter genetic transcription, a powerful method of cellular control. In animal models, oleoylethanolamide causes them to eat less food & drink less alcohol. In roundworms, it causes them to live longer. For the orphaned GPR119 receptor (a receptor that might one day be officially designated as a cannabinoid receptor), it may be the native ligand (the thing that binds to it). It’s already identified as the native ligand for hypoxia-inducible factor 3α (HIF-3α). OEA also interacts with our histamines.
[Pygmy sperm whale. Not well known, a smaller cousin to the sperm whale]
Fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs)
These transport proteins move fatty lipids such as the endocannabinoids around the body. While still mysterious, they’re thought to move anandamide between membranes as well as transporting it to be broken down by the enzyme FAAH. Several types of FABPs exist in humans. THC & CBD bind to some of them. This may explain why endocannabinoid levels tend to increase after consuming cannabinoids. As the brain ages, the levels of FABPs decrease.
The cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant.
THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or Δ9-THC)
The well-known & well-studied molecule in cannabis that gets you high - and helps in a number of other fascinating ways.
[African elephant. Powerful, unpredictable, beautiful]
The cousin of THC that does not get you high but does a lot of the heavy lifting in why hemp has been such a staple of medicine since before recorded history. In most plants outside those bred for the recreational market, CBD is the most common cannabinoid. It binds to a wide swathe of receptors outside the endocannabinoid system including three serotonin receptors, two opioid receptors, a dopamine receptor as well as glutamate & GABA (the two most widespread neurotransmitters, the basic neuronal signals for excitation & inhibition, respectively)
[Indian elephant. sweet, gentle, you can work with it]
The third most common cannabinoid in the plant, it’s not well studied in humans despite a number of intriguing preclinical studies, especially as an anti-inflammatory and for pain. Nonpsychoactive, it interferes with the breakdown of AEA & 2-AG (leading to a rise in their levels) as well as interacting with the vanilloid receptors.
[Sri Lankan elephant. Little, sweet, not as well known as it should be]
CBDV is like CBD with a shortened tail (side chain). Also nonpsychoactive, it tends to occur at low levels in most cannabis cultivars. It’s known to be an anticonvulsant & is suggested for treating autism in humans & in animal models. The cannabinoid pharmaceutical company GW has it in their developmental pipeline as GWP42006.
[An Asian elephant with a short trunk]
Δ8-THC (delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC8)
A more rare cannabinoid in the plant – but one with psychoactive effects. At the moment, the ability to source Δ8-THC from hemp makes it a ‘legal high’ that’s become a hot seller across the US. Of course, the usual legislative & regulatory backlashes are following. It’s been studied as a treatment for glaucoma, eye injuries & the nausea of chemotherapy. Most people describe it as a nice mellow way to get high.
[The forest species of the African elephant – smaller & more elusive]
A terpene that’s also a cannabinoid.
The terpenes of cannabis give the plant its smell. Also found in oregano, black pepper, lavender & hops, beta-caryophyllene has a spicy sweet woody smell. But unique among terpenes, this one also binds to the CB2 receptor, making it a dietary cannabinoid. It shows a potential for treating inflammation, pain, anxiety & seizures. The FDA has designated it to be GRAS (generally regarded as safe) & thus it can be safely used as a food additive.
[a terpene/cannabinoid that travels through the air? That could only be a flying elephant]
Nabiximols (ie Sativex®)
A pharmaceutical 1:1 CBD:THC spray produced by GW Pharmaceuticals. One of the first cannabinoid pharmaceuticals on the market, Sativex is an approved treatment for neuropathic pain, spasticity, overactive bladder & the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
Epidiolex® (in the UK, Epidyolex®)
An isolated CBD formulation approved for treating the severe seizures of Dravet syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, or tuberous sclerosis complex. Produced by GW Pharmaceuticals, the doses tend to be incredibly high – hundreds or thousands of milligrams of CBD every day in young children. But even with that, the side effects tend to only be lethargy & stomach upset.
Dronabinol (ie Marinol® and Syndros®)
A synthetic form of THC for the treatment of anorexia in AIDS patients & the nausea of chemotherapy. These tend to not be popular with patients because it’s a horse dose of THC with no modulation by the other molecules in the cannabis plant like CBD.
A synthetic derivative of THC approved for treating the nausea of chemotherapy patients.