Cannabis Plant Structure & Uses

Cannabis (also known as Cannabis sativa L.) is a plant that contains several active properties that have various interactions within the human body when consumed. The structure of this plant is fairly complex due to the number of cannabinoids it contains, but its properties have long been studied and applied for different healing purposes, including the treatment of chronic pain, fatigue, and inflammation. 

 

Structure of the Cannabis Plant

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is often referred to as the main constituent of the cannabis plant since it is so widely used. In its herbal format, the cannabis plant is composed of dried-out flowers and leaves. Both resin and oil can be extracted from the cannabis plant and used for a variety of health and beauty products.

Cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) are two of the collection of cannabinoids that can be extracted from the cannabis plant. CBN is typically taken from plants that have been allowed to age. It has a relatively small impact on the body's central nervous system and does not produce any psychoactive effects. CBD is extracted from the flowers, seeds, and stalks of the cannabis plant. It acts on the 5-HT1A receptor, which is triggered by the release of serotonin in the peripheral and central nervous systems. It also interacts with TRVP1 receptors, which play a role in the regulation of body temperature, pain, and inflammation.

 

Anti-Inflammatory and Analgesic

Individuals with chronic inflammation tend to have irregular amounts of pro-inflammatory cytokines (signal proteins that also trigger pathological pain). CBD has been shown to decrease the amount of inflammation that exists in the digestive tract, especially the intestines, and does so by honing in on enteric reactive gliosis (which is known to play a role in ulcerative colitis) in the central nervous system. CBD is generally well-tolerated and has no known drug interactions.

 

Treating Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a complex and chronic autoimmune disease that is difficult to treat. It is characterized by chronic fatigue, pain, and sleep issues. Cannabis has been used to slow down the growth rate of keratinocytes, which make up about 90% of the cells found in the epidermis. Those with psoriasis tend to have a high accumulation of these underdeveloped skin cells, which causes itchy red spots and flakes to develop.

Researchers have found that the mediated signaling of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) interacts with two keratins, K6 and K16. CB1 is able to generate wound healing, which can decrease the appearance of psoriasis on the skin.

The cannabis plant has a long history of usage for health and beauty purposes, but its abilities continue to grow thanks to contemporary scientific technology.

 

Sources:
http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/drug-profiles/cannabis
https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/cannabinol
https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/cannabidiol
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22163000
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2503660/
https://www.healthline.com/health/cannabis-psoriasis#cannabis
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3628749/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22231745