Cannabis sativa L. Two types; Industrial Hemp and Marijuana

We can deduce that what may have started as the same plant has been cultivated over centuries into two types of very different species.

This graphic breaks these simple differences down between these species. We should add that industrial hemp is grown four inches apart grown for its seedoil and fiber and marijuana is grown four feet apart for its intoxicating flowers.


Essential Fatty Acids

Essential Fatty Acids





The essential fatty acids are linoleic and linolenic acid. They are important for controlling inflammation, blood clotting, and brain development. Healthy skin and hair are maintained by fat. Fat helps the body absorb and move the vitamins A, D, E, and K through the bloodstream.

We do not produce these EFA’s so we must source them from or food and skin care.

Topical application of essential fatty acids improves hydration and elasticity and helps prevent skin breakdown in individuals with poor nutritional status. Hempseed oil virtually mimics our own natural sebum.

Hempseed oil is mostly polyunsaturated. Fats are lipids in which the constituent hydrocarbon chain possesses two or more carbon double bonds. Polyunsaturated fat can be found mostly in nuts, seeds, fish, algae, leafy greens, and krill. “Unsaturated” refers to the fact that the molecules contain less than the maximum amount of hydrogen.

They are considered the healthiest of the fats but they are also the least stable.

Hemp seeds can yield between 30–35% oil by weight. It contains about 85% essential fatty acids (EFA’s).

The unsaturated nature of hemp seed oil allows for two functions when applied topically. As stated above, essential fatty acids improve hydration and elasticity to the skin, but when an antioxidant such as vitamin E is added to the oil it forms a therapeutic combination to suppress free radical activity.


Free Radical Activity

Free Radicals













Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with an odd unpaired number of electrons and can be formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules. Once formed these highly reactive radicals can start a negative chain reaction like dominoes.

Danger comes from the damage they can do when they react with important cellular components such as DNA, or the cell membrane. Cells may function poorly or die if this occurs. To prevent free radical damage, the body has a defense system of antioxidants.

“Antioxidants are molecules that can safely interact with free radicals and terminate the chain reaction before vital molecules are damaged. Although there are several enzyme systems within the body that scavenge free radicals, the principle micro-nutrient (vitamin) antioxidants are vitamin E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C.

The less saturated the oil, the greater the chance of free radical activity. Because Hempseed oil is considered a polyunsaturated fat and is highly susceptible to this free radical activity. The negative result of free radical activity is oxidation. When an oil becomes too oxidized it becomes rancid. Oxidative rancidity is associated with the degradation by oxygen in the air. Via a free radical process, the double bonds of an unsaturated fatty acid can undergo cleavage, releasing volatile aldehydes and ketones. This process can be suppressed by the exclusion of oxygen or by the addition of antioxidants.

The process of drawing free radicals away from the skin is called free radical scavenging. Vitamin E, which is soluble in oil, is one of the most popular natural antioxidants and performs this function. A coating is formed when hemp seed oil is applied to skin. Free radical activity is drawn from the skin to the oil while the vitamin E suppresses free radical activity. The oil and vitamin E are then absorbed into this skin. The result is therapeutic in that the oxidative process is minimized. The body is allowed to repair any damage from oxidation, and the skin is soft and pliable.



The ongoing research into the medical benefits of Cannabis sativa L.,

There is ongoing research in Europe, Canada and Jerusalem concerning the medical benefits of the more than 421 recognized chemical compounds in Cannabis sativa L., or hemp. Cannabis Basics is interested in the approximately 80 terpenophenolic compounds named phytocannabinoids which have not be detected in any other plant, and the more than 120 terpenes and 23 flavonoids produced by Cannabis sativa L. The combination of phytocannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids has been scientifically demonstrated to modulate numerous physiologic and pathophysiologic processes. This modulation is achieved through the interaction between these compounds and the mammalian endocannabinoid system.

Endocannabinoid synapse

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The endocannabinoid system is comprised of two main endocannabinoids. The first is 2-arachidonoylglycerol and the second is anandamide.  The other components of the system are G-protein coupled cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, endogenous ligands which activate them and the mechanisms for endocannabinoid biosynthesis and inactivation.  The endocannabinoid system is ubiquitous in all mammals.

The most researched and efficacious phytocannabinoids to date are: CBD, CBG, CBC, CBN, CBDA, CBGA, CBCA, CBDV, Δ9-THCA, Δ9-THCV, Δ8-THC, and Δ9-THC.  These compounds have numerous modulating actions on multiple mammalian tissues via the endocannabinoid system.  The tissues and or cells currently known to contain cannabinoid receptors are the CNC and PNS, ocular, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, hepatic, renal, endothelial, immune and hematopoietic.  More specifically, the CB1 receptor is primarily found in the CNS and PNS but is also found in pulmonary, ocular, endothelial, hepatic and renal tissues.  The CB2 receptor is primary found in the immune system and hematopoietic cells. Phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids appear to work as agonists and antagonists separately and in conjunction with other phytocannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids.  This complicated and demonstrated chemical interplay is in part what allows the physiologic modulation of multiple systems by these compounds.

The following is a list of the researched action associated with some Cannabis sativa L. phytocannabinoids.

Cannabis sativa L. phytocannabinoids

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Phytocannabinoids are just part of the chemical equation.  Terpenes are a large class of aromatic organic hydrocarbons structurally related to isoprene and are produced by a wide variety of plants.  They are referred to as terpenoids when denatured by oxidation, as when drying and curing flowers.

Terpenes are the main building block of any plant resin or essential oil.  They contribute to the scent, flavor and colors of plants.  Just as phytocannabinoids are part of the endocannabinoid system, terpenes impart many of their own effects individually or in concert with phytocannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids.

Terpenes are commonly incorporated into pulmonary medicines, such as bronchial inhalers and cough suppressants.

The following is a list of the researched actions associated with some Cannabis sativa L. terpenes.

Cannabis sativa L. terpenes

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Flavonoids have become popular in nutrition and medicine for their antioxidant benefits. However, these compounds have demonstrated numerous and wide reaching physiologic properties. These properties are due in part to their interaction with the endocannabinoids system. They also have demonstrated physiologic effects individually and independent of the endocannabinoid system.  However, our primary focus concerns their interaction with the endocannabinoid system, either individually or in conjunction with the other discussed compounds.

Flavonoids are aromatic polyphenolic compounds with a common chemical structure.  Several sub classes exist based upon variation of that chemical structure. They often occur as pigments in fruits and flowers. In Cannabis sativa L., more than 23 flavonoids have been identified, representing seven chemical structures which can be glycosylated, prenylated or methylated. These plant based compounds have been scientifically recognized as one of the largest and most widespread groups of plant secondary metabolites, with marked physiologic properties. Out of the currently 23 identified flavonoids in hemp, only a few have ben researched with regards to their physiologic effects.

A common flavonoid, not related to hemp but used in medication for years, is rutin. Rutin is a citrus derived flavonoid from the Fava D’Anta tree (Dimorphandra mollis). It is used as an adjunctive therapy for idiopathic chylothorax and hypercholesterolemia.

The following is a list of the researched actions associated with some Cannabis sativa L. flavonoids.


Cannabis sativa L. flavonoids

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Solving the pharmacologic problem of maximizing the specific benefits of these compounds is accomplished by limiting the Δ9-THC concentration to below 0.3%. This level is far below the psychotropic, while still providing the benefits of Δ9-THC.  Δ9-THC is an integral component required for modulating and potentiating the varied array of actions produced by phytocannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. Additionally, the hemp strains used and the ratio of the specific phytocannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids in the final product are critical in achieving and maximizing the desired effect. Furthermore, the correct dosing of the product based on the animals’ medical history, age, weight and pathophysiology is crucial. Phytocannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids are significantly less effective when they are used in a ‘one size fits all’ approach.  Moreover, single compound therapy decreases overall efficacy and in the case of THC, critically increases undesired side effects.

The research into these compounds and the beneficial medical effects are widely available. The amount and variety of research being initiated, investigated, and published is happening at an ever quickening pace in Europe, Canada, Jerusalem and some Asian countries. Even the Unites States of America, with its three-quarter century prohibition of cannabis and the semi-moratorium on cannabis research, including hemp, is starting to shift its policies. We recommend anyone interested in this or similar products investigate and read the research.

A final thought on the intelligent use of phytocannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids with your pets: these compounds are not a cure-all wonder drug. They are to be used as directed with any and all currently prescribed medications and therapies, as directed by your attending veterinarian. They are safe to use in conjunction with other veterinary medications and supplements.

Thanks to Canna Companion