In a recent Elevated Education session hosted by Logan from Fairwinds, we learned about Fairwinds’ philosophy: the science of full-body wellness. Logan taught us about our endocannabinoid system, the role of terpenes and essential oils, and how all of Fairwinds’ products are made with scientifically backed data that promotes wellness. In case you couldn’t make it out to our SODO or Shoreline locations for that event, here’s a recap of what we learned below:
What is the endocannabinoid system?
Logan began by introducing us to some basics about how the human endocannabinoid system works. The endocannabinoid system is a constantly functioning checks and balances system within our bodies that helps regulate many functions like our sleep cycles, mood, stress levels, appetite, and more. Our bodies produce endocannabinoids naturally regardless of whether or not we use cannabis. The two primary endocannabinoids produced in the human body are called Anandamide and 2-AG.
Our body has receptors that receive phytocannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, which are processed by the endocannabinoid system and found in the cannabis plant. The receptors where the phytocannabinoids bind are called CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are located in the brain and nervous system while CB2 receptors are located peripherally, in the organs, immune system, and skin cells. When cannabinoids bind to the receptors they cause the natural function of that receptor to either increase or decrease. Though CBD more readily binds to our CB2 receptors, it can also bind to the immune cell receptors and serotonin receptors (mood receptors) in our brain and has seen success in fighting inflammation and depression respectively. Activated THC primary binds to the CB1 receptors in the brain and is responsible for the psychotropic effects of weed.
We know about THC and CBD, but what is CBG?
CBG is also found in Cannabis and is considered the precursor or the stem cell cannabinoid. It is the first cannabinoid to show up on the plant as it’s growing. As the plant matures, the enzymes break down CBG turning it into THC and CBD. Most cannabinoid research focuses on THC and CBD but a lot of new studies on CBG show promise for helping with symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases, IBS, Crohns, and inflammation.
Is THC always psychoactive?
The short answer is no. Cannabinoids, including THC, can be taken in different forms where you won’t feel the psychoactive effects. CBD gets a lot of attention for this but THC can be just as effective. THC in its raw form is actually called THC-A and while it’s know to help with inflammation, it will not produce any psychoactive side effects. Only after the carboxylic acid group of atoms is removed by heat or other means (referred to as decarboxylation) can the THC bind to the CB1 receptors and cause psychotropic effects.
A question we hear often is “Will I pass a drug test even if I’m not using products that get me high?” Well, unfortunately, we’re not legally allowed to tell you if you will or will not pass a drug test but it’s best to not use any product containing THC if you know you have a test coming up in the next couple of weeks. As silly as this sounds, law in WA state says that cannabis retail stores are required to have at least a small amount of THC in ALL of the products they sell.
Why are terpenes important?
Terpenes are a really important part of the equation when considering how different strains of cannabis can affect your body. You may have heard of terpenes before as they aren’t just a component of the cannabis plant, but present in all living plants. Plants naturally produce terpenes in order to attract beneficial insects while deterring predators. Terpenes are important to experiences with cannabis because they provide flavor, smell, and enhance the effects. If you want to understand how different stains might affect you, get to know the most commonly found terpenes in cannabis, some of which include: myrcene, limonene, caryophyllene, terpinolene, pinene, humulene, ocimene, linalool, eucalyptol, and geraniol. Each strain contains a different concentration of terpenes which ultimately defines their unique characteristics and effects.
What is the entourage effect?
In a nutshell, the entourage effect claims that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. If you isolate certain parts of the cannabis plant such as CBD or THC to consume on their own, it’s not as effective as consuming the full cannabinoid and terpene profiles. The various compounds in a cannabis plant (including the minor cannabinoids and terpenes) work synergistically, and therefore give an elevated range of effects that is greater than any one of the components on its own.
An overview of some of Fairwinds’ products:
Let’s now take a look at how Fairwinds’ products fit into their philosophy of full-body wellness. Fairwinds grows their own plants and is DOH certified, meaning all of their products are guaranteed free of micro-toxins, heavy metals, yeast, mold and pesticides.
Flow Cream & Flow Gel
Commonly used for inflammation issues, these products also include other ingredients such as essential oils and herbs. Logan says that in terms of therapeutic effects, the other ingredients are just as important as the cannabis it contains. The Flow Cream is a topical which means it does not enter your bloodstream. Although it contains THC, it won’t create a psychoactive effect. The Flow Gel is similar to the Flow Cream but it is a transdermal product because it contains MSM (a form of sulfur that reduces inflammation), which takes the cannabinoids through the skin, deep down into the muscular tissue for better relief.
Tinctures are one of the quickest and most direct ways of getting cannabinoids into your system. Most tinctures are meant to be absorbed sublingually, through the thin skin underneath your tongue. Humans have mucous membranes under the tongue that will absorb oil and bring the tincture directly to your bloodstream. If you can’t stand the taste, you can also mix a tincture into your food or beverage. However, ingesting cannabis takes longer to feel the effects and you lose some of the potency due to it being processed by the liver instead of going directly into your bloodstream.
Fairwinds uses avocado oil as a base for most of their tinctures. Avocado oil is one of the healthiest and fattiest oils- rich in healthy lipids, omega 3s. Cannabinoids are fat soluble meaning that the oil helps increase the tincture’s bioavailability, more readily binding CBD and THC to your endocannabinoid system’s receptors.
The Fairwinds’ Essential Series consists of three different tinctures: Deep Sleep, Relief, and Digestify.
Digestify contains THCA and a blend of essential oils, which will not get you high, but may help combat nausea. While most tinctures are more effective taken sublingually, Digestify is one tincture that you are actually encouraged to swallow. The blend of essential oils are formulated to benefit the gut and work best when delivered directly to it.
Deep Sleep has a 2:1 ratio of CBD to THC, and contains a blend of sedative essential oils that help promote a relaxation and restful sleep.
Relief has a 1:1 ratio of THCA and CBD formulated with essential oils for brain and gut health to combat anxiety.
Capsules offer a way to consume cannabis using a method that is familiar to most people. Fairwinds’ capsules are designed to be time release. The cannabinoids, terpenes, and herbs are turned into a powder which slows the breakdown in the gut making the effects come on more gradually and last longer than other methods . Fairwinds also incorporates medicinal herbs into their capsules for added benefits. Two baseline herbs they include in all of their capsules are L-Theanine, a green tea extract, and black pepper extract which both help to slow down the enzymes that metabolize cannabinoids.
Stay up to date with upcoming Elevated Education events on our website’s events page. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always happy to help!
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