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Searching for Connections Between Hemp Oil and Immune Health

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Introduction

Respected scientists from around the globe are actively researching the connection between Hemp Oil and immune health, revealing findings that may finally shine a spotlight on a plant that has been pushed aside for decades. New research suggests that Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil may assist our immune system in fighting off respiratory viruses such as COVID-19. Hemp Oil could soon become a reliable tool in the modern wellness arsenal and a viable treatment modality for conditions relating to immune health.

Scientists hypothesize that the compounds found in hemp, including CBD, interact with the Endocannabinoid System and aid in its ability to restore homeostasis amidst injury and disease. In addition, scientists are exploring the possibility that cannabinoids working alongside other organic plant compounds within the same plant may create an even more powerful approach to balancing the immune and respiratory systems, compared to the effects of CBD molecules isolated on their own. This phenomena is known as the entourage effect: each compound’s medicinal benefits are potentially increased when the integrated nature of those parts remain as such; the plant as a whole is more powerful than the sum of its parts.

Full Spectrum Hemp Oil is made from the stalks, leaves, and flowers of the hemp plant, and preserves all of these useful plant compounds and phytonutrients. The holistic use of the entire plant creates a synergistic combination of interactions inside the body, which is an important factor in their overall effectiveness. The plant matter in Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil contains cannabinoids like CBD, as well as terpenes, flavonoids, and important omegas, which all may contribute to anti-inflammatory and immunity responses in the body. In some studies, Full Spectrum Hemp Oil has also been found to attenuate acute viral inflammation, known as a cytokines storm, which can be detrimental and even deadly to a person suffering from a viral infection. CBD has been found to interact directly with the CB2 receptors in the immune system which can mitigate inflammation and even alert the body of abnormal cell growth. This research suggests that Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil could become a reliable tool in the modern wellness arsenal and a viable treatment modality for conditions relating to immune health.

Researchers have been actively studying the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) and how it relates to compounds contained in hemp plants. The ECS is composed of enzymes that create and break-down endocannabinoids, which interact with endocannabinoid receptors to carry out various functions throughout the body. Endocannabinoids within the body interact with endorphins, hormones, immune cells, and cell regeneration, among other biological processes. Endocannabinoid receptors exist throughout the brain and body, with CB2 receptors being present in high quantities in the immune system. The overall goal of this research is to discover ways that these robust hemp compounds may work together with the ECS to help regulate the immune system, fight inflammation, and enhance overall health.

Synchronicity™ is dedicated to combining decades of scientific research with cutting edge innovation, resulting in consistent, high quality, pure Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil products. Packed with omegas, vitamins, and other plant nutrients the Synchronicity™ line of full-spectrum cbd capsules topicals, tinctures,  and aromatherapy was designed to make this product easily accessible to those in need. Read on to learn about the latest discoveries from some of the world’s leading scientists and reach out to our customer service team if you have additional questions.

Hemp Oil and the Entourage Effect

The hemp plant is composed of various compounds that contribute to its supportive properties. For thousands of years these organic compounds have been used to help people with a variety of ailments ranging from pain relief to sleep as well as inflammation and immune function. The most well known hemp compounds are called cannabinoids which include CBD, THC, CBN, but hundreds more live in the plant. Each cannabinoid has its own unique characteristics, and their benefits are most effective when consumed in conjunction.

In an article about hemp and pain relief, Researcher Jegason P. Diviant states, “Hemp plants contain numerous therapeutic constituents that likely contribute to analgesic responses, including terpenes and flavonoids, which in theory, work together like members of a symphony, often described as the entourage effect.”

Terpenes are another crucial compound found in hemp plants and various other plants, fruits, and vegetables that are responsible for providing fragrance. Terpenoids, the oxidized or dried version, are what give hemp products their distinctive scent. Beyond providing the aromatic sensation in essential oils and pungent foods such as oranges or black pepper, terpenes may be playing a greater role inside the body. In his 2011 study of the entourage effect, Ethan B Russo posited that phytocannabinoid-terpenoid synergy could potentially reveal a host of new therapeutic products from the hemp plant.

Science is working daily to make medicinal progress. It may come out that one day, CBD is good for loads of aspects of the human body, and some of the research is very promising.

Linalool is an example of one terpene that is prevalent in hemp and also in lavender. One study found Linalool to be effective as an anti-inflammatory agent, but others have also shown it’s successful use for increasing relaxation and reducing anxiety, as well as being a sedative useful in treating insomnia. There are hundreds of terpenes naturally occurring in the hemp plant that may help the body to experience anxiety relief, pleasure, focus, and increased energy, amongst other benefits.

The possibilities of the endocannabinoid system and how it interacts with introduced compounds, are still being explored. Beta-caryophyllene, a dietary cannabinoid that can be found in leafy greens, is known to activate the CB2 receptor which influences immunity.

“The dual status of beta-caryophyllene as a terpenoid and a CB2 activator underscores the synergistic interplay between various components of the hemp plant,” notes Dr. Vasu K. Brown in her book on budtender certification and integrative healthcare. “There are many chemical compounds in marijuana, including cannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids (which give fruit skin its color). Each has specific medicinal attributes, which combine to create a holistic ‘entourage effect,’ so that the therapeutic impact of the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts,” she writes.

“Many compounds contribute to the healing properties of the plant,” Brown suggests. “To focus on only one aspect is a waste of time. Chemically extracting or isolating the healing properties from single compounds simply cannot be done with hemp due to the various terpene mixes, and the fact that most terpenes have healing properties that also follow the ‘entourage effect,’” writes Brown.

The entourage effect, or synergy of the cannabinoid compounds, is an important aspect of the effectiveness of cannabinoids in health applications. Many researchers believe that the entourage effect can only be achieved when all of the hemp plant nutrients, including the up to 113 different cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, are used simultaneously to create more potent benefits in the body. Many CBD oils have isolated the compound, in some cases separating it from its “entourage” of terpenes and other potentially beneficial substances. Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil is made from the stalks, leaves, and flowers of the hemp plant, and it contains multiple compounds (including CBD) whose combinations interact with one another inside your body. Scientists hypothesize that the compounds in hemp interact with the endocannabinoid system, and could become a treatment modality for immune related conditions. The way they impact health and the immune system is still being studied, but new research offers hope for those battling inflammatory and autoimmune disorders, and the existing evidence suggests a clear pathway between the immune system and the cannabinoids found in the hemp plant.

Omega Fatty Acids in Hemp Oil

Like fish oil, flaxseed, chia seeds, and other superfoods, Hemp Oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Because the body doesn’t produce all of its essential fatty acids on its own, food and supplements are an important source. According to the National Institutes of Health, omega-3 intake can have a positive effect on energy levels, heart and lung function, and the endocrine and immune systems.

Omega-6, another fatty acid found in Hemp Oil, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds, is a great alternative to saturated fats, according to Harvard Medical School findings. Once thought to be less important than omega-3s, the health implications of a diet that include omega-6s are becoming more recognized.

“Omega-6 fats, which we get mainly from vegetable oils, are also beneficial,” the Harvard article suggests, noting a reduction in harmful LDL cholesterol and an increase in protective HDL. “They help keep blood sugar in check by improving the body’s sensitivity to insulin.”

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Deep Connections: Inflammation and the Immune System

“Inflammation is a vital function of the innate immune system that is triggered immediately when it detects an invading pathogen or damaged tissue,” suggests another Harvard report on the effects of inflammation in the body. Inflammation acts as a barrier around acute injuries to contain an infected area.

Under normal circumstances, inflammation plays an important role in cell termination and repair. “However, if the threat remains and the immune response is constantly triggered—or an individual has a condition that is causing the immune system to react as if there is a threat—the inflammatory response can continue and damage the body instead of healing it,” the article explains.

“Unchecked, the immune system prompts white blood cells to attack nearby healthy tissues and organs, setting up a chronic inflammatory process that plays a central role in some of the most challenging diseases of our time,” the Harvard article notes. Chronic inflammation can lead to conditions like cancer, diabetes, asthma, Alzheimer’s, and rheumatoid arthritis, it suggests.

A 2009 study on the connection between endocannabinoids and immune regulation hints at potential treatment options for sufferers of chronic inflammation. Their work examined immune response in different cell types and their effect on the cytokine network.

“Studies from our laboratory have suggested that administration of endocannabinoids or use of inhibitors of enzymes that break down the endocannabinoids, leads to immunosuppression and recovery from immune-mediated injury to organs such as the liver,” the report states. “Thus, manipulation of endocannabinoids in vivo may constitute a novel treatment modality against inflammatory disorders.”

“Endocannabinoids have important effects on immune functions,” the study suggests. In addition to modulating T- and B-lymphocytes, they may also mediate immune cell activation and migration. The report references earlier research, and suggests a potential balancing effect on the immune system. “There have been a number of recent studies which have demonstrated that the endocannabinoids have both inhibitory effects and stimulatory impact on the immune system and may be actually important in homeostasis or control of the immune reactions,” the report suggests.

Jacqueline Jacques also discusses this topic in her 2018 article:

“The organs and cells of the immune system are rich with endocannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoid receptors are expressed in the thymus gland, spleen, tonsils, and bone marrow – as well as on T- and B-lymphocytes, macrophages, mast cells, neutrophils, and natural killer cells. The ECS is considered to be the primary driver of immune system balance and homeostasis. Although not all of the functions of the ECS in the immune system are known, the ECS appears to regulate cytokine production and to have a role in preventing overactivity in the immune system. Inflammation is a natural part of the immune response, and it plays a normal role in acute insults to the body (including injury and infection); however, when it is not kept in check it can become chronic and contribute to a cascade of adverse health issues. By keeping the immune response in check, the ECS helps maintain a balanced inflammatory response throughout the body.”

A group of Canadian Scientists recently released findings revealing the effects of endocannabinoids and immune regulation specifically relating to Cannabis Sativa Extracts and their effects on COVID-19 gateway tissues.

Dr. Steve Kraus, President of Synchronicity™ commented on these exciting discoveries:

“It has been long known that CB2 receptors are found throughout the human body especially in the respiratory and immune systems. They are designed to have the endocannabinoids bind to the receptors to signal specific actions such as maintaining the overall health of the balancing of the immune system. There has been some new research from Canada, announced in May 2020, demonstrating that other receptors, the kind that flu viruses need to enter human cells to attack the respiratory system, can be filled up by cannabinoids. Since these receptors are filled up or occupied by the cannabinoids, the virus doesn’t have the mechanism to widely attack the human body as strongly since they have far fewer receptors to bind to (up to 70% fewer receptors) to attack the human body. So the researchers have stated that cannabinoids decrease the number of receptors available to the virus giving your body more of a chance to fight the effects of the virus.”

He continues, “Dozens of research papers have been published connecting the human immune system to the human endocannabinoid system receptors for immune system support and regulation. Ultimately, the goal is to have a stronger immune system that isn’t compromised from viruses, inflammatory reactions, or from the stresses in life. Even the NIH (National Institute of Health) recognizes the connection between the immune and respiratory system regulation and the endocannabinoid system within the human body, so this newly published revelation should not come as a big surprise.”

The New York Post reported on these new findings in a recent article, stating that it’s important to note not all cannabis strains produce the same antiviral effects. Only a handful of the 500+ strains tested were successful, and all were high in CBD and low in THC. Although more research is needed, this is a step in the right direction for finding alternatives to help curb the spread of this deadly virus. “Given the current dire and rapidly evolving epidemiological situation, every possible therapeutic opportunity and avenue must be considered.”

New Frontiers: The Endocannabinoid System

In the late 1980’s, scientists discovered the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) while researching THC and how it interacts with the human body. The ECS is a major bodily system that exists in the human body and in the bodies of all mammals. However the ECS is not an isolated structural system like the nervous system or cardiovascular system. Jacqueline Jacques explains in a 2018 article, “Instead, the ECS is a set of receptors broadly distributed throughout the body that are acted on by a set of ligands now collectively called endocannabinoids (for endogenous cannabinoids). The two verified receptors are simply known as CB1 and CB2, although there are others that have been proposed. PPAR and TRP channels also mediate some functions. Likewise, there are two well-documented endocannabinoids: anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (or 2-AG).”

The system’s main function is to maintain homeostasis; to aid in the balance of all other bodily systems. The endocannabinoid receptors interact with hemp compounds very similarly to its own compounds, yet it is vital to understand that the ECS exists independently of the hemp plant, and is present in all humans whether they have consumed hemp or not. Years of human and animal studies validate the various regulatory roles that the ECS has in the body, influencing memory, pain, immunity, inflammation, appetite, energy and more.

“The endocannabinoid system, though relatively newly discovered, is extremely important and is responsible for two basic activities. The first is to modulate pleasure, energy, and well-being. The second is to slowly nudge the body back to health in the face of injury and disease,” writes Dr. Michael Moskowitz in the 2017 book CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medical Cannabis.

“The complexity of how it accomplishes these tasks has generated an astonishing amount of research in the last several decades, culminating in a basic understanding of the scope of this system only within the last ten years,” he continues. “Due to its part in restoring balance when illness or injury occurs, the endocannabinoid system plays a critical role in the regulation of disease.”

Moskowitz points to a 2013 study by Pacher and Kunos, and notes that the role of the endocannabinoid system in the body is complex, but may offer pathways to new treatments in the future. “Not surprisingly, it appears to interact robustly with several other non-cannabinoid systems in the body to accomplish its tasks of regulating disease and well-being, including the endorphin system, the immune system, and the vanilloid system,” writes Moskowitz.

He goes on to describe the “complex interplay of this system with other body and brain systems.” Endocannabinoids, he says, interact with endorphins, hormones, immune cells, and cell regeneration among others biological processes.

In mapping the endocannabinoid system, researchers have defined two receptors (CB1 & CB2), two main signaling molecules (AEA & 2-AG), and five enzymes, Moskowitz explains. “The CB2 receptors, while present in small quantities in the brain, are present in high quantities in the peripheral body in all tissue types but especially the immune system,” he writes. “AEA and 2-AG function as activators of the immune system in the peripheral body more prominently than as neurotransmitters. The activity of AEA and 2-AG in the body is focused upon stopping inflammation. It also alerts the immune system to the presence of cancer cells, causing them to attack these cells.”

Referencing the work of Sharkey and Wiley, Moskowitz notes the importance of the endocannabinoid system in gut health. “In health and illness, CB1 and CB2 receptors have a profound effect upon the gut – the authors of a 2016 study concluded that virtually all major GI functions are controlled by the endocannabinoid system,” he writes.

Our environment also affects the ECS, similarly to how our body produces cortisol as a response to stress or danger. Endocannabinoids produced throughout the body due to external or internal stimuli sync with receptors causing a physical response. These responses include but are not limited to decreased inflammation, stress, pain, as well as increased appetite, and energy. Ultimately the ECS is responsible for a wide variety of tasks, and organic compounds found in hemp can support this integral system.

Listening to Your Body: Individual Experiences

This is an exciting time for advocates and patients of holistic plant-based medicine, as more research continues to be conducted on the positive impacts of hemp on immunity and overall health. While acceptance of plant medicine for modern medical use is relatively young compared to other mainstream modes of treatment, big strides have been made in the past decade to understand the endocannabinoid system and learn potential ways to tap into its power for health and wellness.

Synchronicity™ is using this groundbreaking research to create the highest quality CBD products on the market. We have a patent pending for proprietary plant genetics that are rich in a full array of cannabinoid nutrients and low in THC (far below the legal .3% allowed under federal law for hemp). The DNA sequencing is listed on The National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Center for Bioinformatics (NCBI) websites and currently it is the only fully sequenced hemp plant. Synchronicity™ uses a gentle hand pressing method and a proprietary LipidTrans process to transfer cannabinoids and other beneficial nutrients from the plant into a Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil for consistent and safe consumer use.

Every circumstance is unique and every body is different. At Synchronicity™, we don’t believe in a one size fits all approach. Diet, age, health history and many other factors are at play, and we understand that you are the best judge of a product’s efficacy.

We encourage you to start a conversation with your doctor about the health benefits of hemp oil based on your own specific health needs. Perhaps just as importantly, we urge you to start a conversation with your body when determining if Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil capsules, topicals, or tinctures are right for you.

When beginning this journey, make sure to read ingredients and understand the products you are consuming; not all Hemp is created equally. Synchronicity products contain not only beneficial cannabinoids like CBD, but also additional natural therapeutic molecules that are known to support the immune system’s defense to viral infiltration. Beta Caryophyllene and Beta Myrcene are two powerful anti-inflammatory terpenes that help defend the body from viruses, while Chlorophyll is a powerful antioxidant with the ability to boost our immune system’s defense and ward off chronic disease.

If you’re interested in learning more about Hemp Oil properties or decoding some of the biology jargon referenced here, check out our glossary of CBD terms and our in-depth guides to Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil.

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