Discover the Vast World of Hemp

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Cannabis is both Hemp and Marijuana though they have different genetic expressions parametrized by THC. Cannabis naturally grows with a stiff upright stem, serrated leaflets, and glandular hairs. It is used to produce fiber, terpenes and cannabinoids for their therapeutic effects. [1]

Cannabis is grown to produce flower, seed, and fiber. It is also capable of remediating the soil. [2] It is the same family as hops (Cannabaceae). It is merely one of several species in the plant kingdom that produce phytocannabinoids.

Illegality/future predictions - Not to be confused with Hemp, marijuana is known for having levels of delta-9 THC greater than 0.3%. THC is the primary compound in marijuana that is reportedly intoxicating. THC typically bonds to CB1 receptors in your body which are highly concentrated in the brain and throughout some parts of the body.

Cannabis seed are one of few natural food sources high in omegas. Composed of plant fiber, 26% protein, and 29% oil, It is considered a superfood and has many uses. [12]

Hemp Seed Oil
Not to be confused with Flower Extract, it is derived from the seeds of cannabis plants. Hemp Seed oil can be extracted in many ways. The most common form is via pressure through industrial machines as shown in the video below: [5]


Containing exceptional amounts of unsaturated fats, Hemp is one of few plant species studied to produce such high levels of Omegas 3, 6 & 9. Since these fatty acids are not produced by the body, it must source these essential fatty acids from dietary sources. [13]

How Hemp Seeds Are Made
Most plants that produce flowers contain both the male and female parts. Cannabis however, has separate plants that specialize in either sex but not both. Male plants will produce flowers with pollen that will concept seed on female buds. Seeds made the natural way will typically produce half & half male and female parts.

Genetic Stability
Usually notated by F1, F2, F3, etc., is measured by the amount of generations a hybrid cross between a male and female of separate breeds “F1” have been conceived. The more generations a genetic cross of plants has been inbred, the greater the genetic stability and the lesser genetic variability will be expressed from seed to seed. The higher the number on the F, the more stable the genetic, but even a F20 strain will still express different phenotypes from seed to seed. The only way to achieve identical and uniform plants is by cloning from a single mother with the most desirable phenotype.

Feminized Seed
Feminized seed are produced through hermaphroditism. In high levels of stress during the late flowering stages, some female flowers may naturally hermaphrodite and produce male pollen to produce seed for next season. Females that are bred with this pollen will produce feminized seed where a very small percentage of those seeds will be male (typically less than 1%). There is little awareness on how feminized seed are made industrially and it is with the use of colloidal silver. This compound is sprayed on female flowers to forcibly stress them into producing male pollen to produce mass amounts of feminized seed.

Hemp Protein
Typically hemp protein powder is made from hemp seeds that have already been pressed for oil. This ground dry powder consists mostly of fiber and protein with remnants of the healthy fats from the leftover oil. Currently hemp protein powder products do not mention whether they are the pressed byproduct of hulled or raw hemp seeds. Judging from the high fiber percentages and grit in the taste, it is likely from raw hemp seeds. Hemp protein products are not very new to the market but as with many money hungry companies, product information and labeling is seldom represented accurately.


Fiber hemp plants have different genetics than those bread to produce seed or flower. Fiber plants are very tall and stalky ranging from 6ft to 12ft. [22]

There are typically two different parts that come from the stalk of hemp. The inner woody core is called hurd and the outer stringy fiber is called bast.

Bast
Different products can be made from both parts of the stalk. The bast is de-gummed and spun into threads for making fabric. Renown artists such as Rembrandt and Van Gogh have also used hemp canvass to paint several masterpieces like Starry Night. Canvas actually even comes from the root word cannabis!

Hurd
The hurd is pulped and can be used to make paper, insulation, mulch, or even building material like hempcrete with very unique properties. There is research being done by independent companies to create hemp based bio-plastic form the cellulose found in them. There is still much research and development to be done for Hemp Fiber materials/products but it looks like a promising sustainable resource for the near future.
Hemp Fiber

Hemp Fibers have been used to make clothing and canvas for artists in the past. It has also been increasingly popular as a use in reinforcing composites as oppose to the use of glass fibers and has shown to exhibit potentially better results than glass fibers. [16]
Hempcrete

The combination of hemp hurds and lime to form a concrete like substance. Hempcrete will absorb CO2 from the environment over time post harvest. For a one foot thick wall, every square meter of wall will potentially trap about 107.5 kg of CO2 thanks to hemps high porosity. This figure does not include carbon emissions to build the wall and is the best figure for the least amount of lime in the blend. [15] As a carbon negative building material, hempcrete has the ability to cause significant environmental impact in a positive way as oppose to concrete or other conventional means.

Hemp Flower
Cannabis flower is where you will find the highest concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes. Here, a pollinated female would grow its seed for the next generation. However, when people like us grow for flower, we only grow female plants and exclude the males. This allows us to grow sinsemilla (Spanish for seedless) buds that produce much higher cannabinoid and terpene content than if it were pollinated. In this way, the plant can focus all of its resources into producing cannabinoids and terpenes instead of seeds.
Terpenes
Terpenes come from essential oils of plants and are groups of hydrocarbons responsible for the aromatic presence it has.  [19] Terpenes such as βcaryophyllene have a relatively high affinity to our endocannabinoid system receptors making them fully capable of affecting our experience with cannabinoids. [3] Some terpenes are odorless, though this doesn’t mean that they may not have any effect on our body. Each and every strain should have a terpene analysis to understand how that array of terpene concentrations affects your particular biology.
Extracts
Like with many other plants, their floral parts can be extracted. When it comes to cannabis, there are mainly two compounds that are most commonly extracted, here we will call them “oils”. Those oils are cannabinoids and terpenes. There are many different ways these compounds can be extracted and processed. There are two categories of concentrates: Solvent and Solventless.
Solventless Extracts

These extracts are typically made heterogeneously without dissolving the plant oils of interest. Usually these extracts are made with heat, and pressure. Though air and water would count as solvents, they are not harmful and will not leave any unwanted residual material in the extract. Here are a few different solventless extraction methods:
Dry Sift
This type of solventless extraction is usually built in to many grinders and called “kief catchers”. This form of extraction is made from very dry cannabis which is then passed through a screen or a sieve. The smaller trickle heads are collected then consumed or further processed.

Bubble Hash
Bubble Hash got its name from the way it sizzles and “bubbles” when smoked. This form of extract involves only water and cold temperatures to physically knock off trichomes which are then screened in various ranges of micron bags. The remnants are then air dried or freeze dried for maximum quality to then be smoked or pressed for hash rosin.

Rosin
Rosin is a form of extract obtained when two hot plates press raw flower typically packed in specific micron sized bags. This kind of extract is absolutely solvent free and reveals the quality of the pressed flower. This kind of extract may contain trace plant material.

Vapor Distillation
The Vapor Distillation form of extraction is not often spoken of. Hot air is passed through ground cannabis flower and the vapors are distilled. This process decarboxylates the cannabinoids and would be a very clean product aside from possible ways the vapors would interact with the type of hot gas that’s used. This topic is worth further research and development.

Solvent Extracts
There are many types of solvents that can be used to make extracts. Sometimes, when making concentrates like wax or shatter, There can be residual solvents left behind. Because some solvents can be dangerous to consume, legal states have placed a limit on how much residual solvents can be left behind. Here are some popular kinds of solvents used. [18]
Lipid
Lipid extraction involves a carrier oil such as olive oil, butter, or MCT oil. In this process cannabinoids are dissolved into an oil of choice which can then be used to make cooking recipes or consumed as is. Lipid extraction is the safest form of extraction and can happen in almost any kitchen with bulk flower.

Ethanol
Ethanol extraction is a common and safe form of extraction using food grade 200 Proof Grain Alcohol. This alcohol concentration sterilizes the extract, reducing risk of a high microbial content. Flower is bathed in alcohol under cold temperatures. This mixture is then filtered through a specific micron filter. The remaining ethanol is evaporated then distilled for reuse. What didn’t evaporate is crude hemp extract which may contain very small concentrations of residual ethanol which gets reduced even greater when dissolved into a carrier oil for tinctures. Crude hemp extract can then be further processed to remove THC via liquid chromatography or can be turned into distillate. We believe whole plant extract is the best way to receive everything the plant has to offer.

CO2
As a natural gas, CO2 extractions are relatively safe forms of extraction. These systems are typically very expensive and can only be used with very clean floral material since CO2 doesn’t sterilize the contents like ethanol.

Liquid Petroleum Gasses
This includes Butane, Naphtha, Propane and others. This category of solvents are not typically used in herbal extractions but became popular when cannabis was an illicit drug as a cheap solvent alternative and has transitioned over when it became legal. These extraction systems are hazardous and consuming residual solvents from this category is unwanted.


Can be found in plants and animals. Cannabinoids made in plants are prefixed Phyto- and those made in animals are prefixed Endo (stands for endogenous). Phytocannabinoids have the ability to regulate our endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Some examples of phtocannabinoids  (CBD) and endocannabinoids (Anandemine). There are many cannabinoids out there and can be found in both plants and mammals.

Cannabis is not the only plant that produces phytocannabinoids. Other plants such as Echinacea, Salvia and Curcumin also produce similar compounds that can affect the endocannabinoid system though not as potently as Cannabis derived phytocannabinoids. In a research study, several herbs were tested to see how effective they were at triggering CB1 & CB2 receptors. Cannabis, one of 7 herbs they tested was the only plant that non-selectively triggered CB1 & CB2 receptors with modest affinity. [3]
There is mention in a book called Phytochemistry by F. Bohlmann and E. Hoffmann of a South African species of everlasting daisies that produce low levels of CBG (about 0.2%). [8]

Though other herbs are powerful in combination, cannabis is one of few that contain such high cannabinoid content with potent diversity in terpene profile.

Cannabis naturally produces CBDa, THCa, CBCa, CBGa, and CBNa. The little “a”, also called acid form, signifies an extra carboxyl group linked to that phytocannabinoid. In its acid form, phytocannabinoids are hard for the body to metabolize. One would have to consume excessive amounts to have any effect, and the effects would be different from its decarboxylated form. Once decarboxylated, the phytocannabinoids become much more *bioavailable and the little “a” notation is gone. As to whether the acid form is more effective or not would be a great topic for how the Endocannabinoid System would respond to it.

Bioavailable
Bioavailability is the fraction of absorption of a substance. For cannabinoids this ranges from 6-20% when ingested and up to 3 times or more when inhaled through smoke or vapor for decarboxylated cannabinoids. [6]

Decarboxylation
Decarboxylation is the chemical process (typically involving heat) in which a carboxylic acid group is removed from cannabinoids naturally produced in cannabis. The purpose and process of decarboxylation is simple, to convert the acid form of cannabinoids into its more readily available state for your body process which is typically done by heat. Follow this simple process to decarboxylate your cannabis:

1. Pre-heat your oven to 300* F
2. Increase the surface area of your flower for uniform heating using a grinder
3. Spread the flower evenly across a sheet of aluminum foil
4. Place the sheet of ground herbs in the oven
5. Cook for 15-20 minutes

You should now have a smelly room, and decarb’ed cannabis! Seeing smoke or fumes is normal as terpenes are very volatile and will evaporate from the cannabis initially so just be patient and wait the full 20 minutes. Undercooking the cannabis can result in only partially decarboxylated cannabinoids leading to less effect. You can then carry on to use it as seasoning on any dish like sprinkled over your salad, or mixed into any recipe where the texture and taste meet your liking. You can also extract the oils from the flower but this would require many steps and can be done in various ways.

Cannabinoid Conversion History
It was assumed that neutral cannabinoids (CBD, THC, CBC, etc.) were found to be existent in the raw plant until 1955 when it was only described by the Z. Krejči and F. Šantavý that there was a precursor to these cannabinoids, aka their acid forms (CBDa, THCa, CBCa, etc.). Then in 1964, Israeli chemist Raphael Mechoulam recognized CBG as the parent of THC and CBD which eventually degrade into CBN. Much of this research was successful due to advancement in finding enzymes in nature which facilitate the degradation/synthesis of cannabinoids starting with CBG. Though almost 200 cannabinoids have been discovered, after reading Phytocannabinoids: a unified critical inventory   it is evident that many of these are synthesized in a lab using enzymes not just found in plants but even bacteria and fungi.  Up until today, geneticists have only been able to see cannabis naturally produce a handful of cannabinoids primarily in their acid form in high concentrations but they can be degraded over time after harvest or broken down using enzymes/heat. [7]

There is mention in a book called Phytochemistry by F. Bohlmann and E. Hoffmann of a South African species of everlasting daisies that produce low levels of CBG (about 0.2%).

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a system found in most animals. It is used to regulate the entire nervous system, endocrine system and immune system in order to maintain health. [21]

How it Works
Endocannabinoids, receptors and enzymes are major parts of the ECS. Endocannabinoids are produced in the body as they are needed, the receptors are found throughout the body and are used as a spot for endocannabinoids to bind and signal the ECS, enzymes are responsible for breaking down the Endocannabinoids after they’ve completed their function. CB1 and CB2 receptors are the two main receptors in the ECS. CB1 receptors are widely found in the central nervous system/brain and CB2 receptors are in the minor nervous system/immune cells. We have two main endocannabinoids (cannabinoids produced in-body) anandamide and 2-AG as well as enzymes responsible for the endocannabinoid metabolism. The ECS along with the ligands (binding molecules), receptors and enzymes that make up the system’s function is called the endocannabinoidome. [10]

Effects of Phytocannabinoids on the Endocannabinoid System
Phytocannabinoids can modify the activity of the endocannabinoid system, they can activate and inhibit neural transmitters. Although anandamide, 2-AG and phytocannabinoids have more targets other than CB1 and CB2, and more pathways and enzymes, we will discuss the main ones that have provided research. [10][11]

Over the past decade scientists have seen connections between the Endocannabinoid system and a growing number of physiological functions including the nervous systems and minor organs. Further research indicated that the regulation of the Endocannabinoid system holds therapeutic promise for conditions including mood and anxiety disorders, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, cancer, stroke, hypertension, glaucoma, obesity and metabolic syndromes, etc. [9]

The endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating our bodies including homeostasis, hormone production, immunity and response to injury. [10]

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Fisar, Zdenek. “Phytocannabinoids and Endocannabinoids.” Current Drug Abuse Reviews, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2009,
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19630737[5] “Hemp Seeds Pressing - Прессование Семян Конопли - Hanfsamen Pressen - Lisování Konopí.” YouTube, Google LLC, 13 Sept. 2017,
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pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2016/NP/C6NP00074F#!divAbstract[8] Bohlmann, Ferdinand, and Evelyn Hoffmann. “Cannabigerol-Ähnliche Verbindungen Aus Helichrysum Umbraculigerum.” Phytochemistry, Pergamon, 20 Mar. 2001,
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0031942279830253?via=ihub[9] Pacher, Pál, et al. “The Endocannabinoid System as an Emerging Target of Pharmacotherapy.” Pharmacological Reviews, American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 1 Sept. 2006,
http://pharmrev.aspetjournals.org/content/58/3/389.short[10] Alger, Bradley E. “Getting High on the Endocannabinoid System.” Cerebrum : the Dana Forum on Brain Science, The Dana Foundation, 1 Nov. 2013,
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[14] “Canvas.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/canvas. Accessed 9 Mar. 2020.
[15] Rhydwen, Ranyl. “Building with Hemp and Lime.” Edited by Damian Randle, Hempcretedirect, Centre For Alternative Technology MSE Architechture: AEES,
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