There are tons of medical properties housed in the cannabis plant, and it doesn’t matter which kind. Whether its high-THC marijuana, or high-CBD hemp, (or even cannabis ruderalis), there’s a lot these plants can do. One of the newer findings is related to something that appeals to much of the population. A new study shows how hemp keeps honeybees alive for longer. Can it do the same for people?
Hemp has shown to elongate the life of honeybees by changing their antioxidant behavior. What might this mean for the animal kingdom at large, and for us humans? We’ll have to wait a bit longer for more specific answers. Welcome to our independent news publication centered on cannabis and psychedelics. Keep up with everything going on by subscribing to THC Weekly Newsletter, and get front-of-the-line access to deals on tons of cannabis products, including vapes, edibles, and other smoking equipment. You’ll also have access to a range of cannabinoid products including delta-8 THC. As a reminder, *cannabinoid compounds are not for everyone. We promote every consumer buy only the products they are happy with using.
The study setup
Researchers associated with the University of Life Sciences’ Department of Invertebrate Ecophysiology and Experimental Biology in Lublin, Poland, recently put out this study: Impressive Impact of Hemp Extract on Antioxidant System in Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Organism. The aim of the study was to investigate what happens to the antioxidant system when hemp extract is given to honeybees.
As per the researchers, “We examined the effect of hemp extract on the activity of the antioxidant system (catalase, peroxidase, glutathione, superoxide dismutase, and total antioxidant capacity) in the hemolymph of adult honey bees (Apis mellifera).” In order to do this, the researchers took the bees, and split them into three groups. It should be noted, only worker bees were used (non-reproducing females):
- Experimental group – Given pure syrup (sugar) to eat, and with hemp-soaked cotton strips put in the cage
- Experimental group – Given a syrup with sugar and hemp extract via syringe
- Control group – Given a sugar and water-glycerine mix to eat
The scientists collected the bee hemolymph (essentially bee blood) on the first day of the study, and then weekly until all bees were dead. The dead bees were also examined along with their blood. The results are quite interesting when looking at the ability to simply stay alive longer.
One of the most interesting findings of how hemp effects honeybees, is related to lifespan. The control group, which ate only sugar, lived approximately 35 days. The group given sugar and hemp separately lasted about 49 days, and when hemp was given directly to the honeybees via syringe, they lived on average 52 days, with the longest lifespan at 56 days. To put this in perspective, the standard lifespan of a worker honeybee is 2-6 weeks in hotter weather, and around 20 weeks in cooler weather. For warmer weather, it means the bees almost never live longer than 42 days.
The thought by the researchers, is that this is because “Hemp extract, thanks to its antioxidant properties, increased the activities of key antioxidant enzymes that protect the bee’s organisms against free radicals and thus delay the aging processes.”
They further explained, “The activities of all antioxidant enzymes were higher for the experimental groups, compared to those for the control group. The highest antioxidant activities were noted in the group supplemented with cannabis with the use of syringes.”
Though the scientists could not say what specifically about the hemp extract caused these antioxidant changes in the honeybees, it was postulated that “The increase in the activities of antioxidant enzymes could be caused by the influence of CBD on the permeability of ion channels, i.e., potassium, sodium, and calcium, and therefore change in the cell membrane environment.”
Added onto these findings was data which supported the syringe method as the best way to get the hemp extract to affect the honeybees. This it pretty standard, as we already know that in humans as well, IV injections are usually more useful than other methods, particularly oral ingestion.
Though this study certainly brings up questions of whether hemp has the same life-extending ability in humans, the researchers were more concerned with other factors. They closed the paper by saying, “Thanks to this, we believe that hemp extract can in the future contribute to the improvement of the natural immunity of honey bees and help them with the fight against environmental pollution and the increase of oxidative stress.” Considering the recent issues and concerns around bee populations dying out, this could prove a positive way to keep the flying stingers, healthy and happy.
Where else can we see this?
The honeybee study sheds light on how hemp effects antioxidant enzymes in honeybees, leading to elongated lifespans. Obviously, we as humans are looking for exactly this, as evidenced by a cosmetics industry that brought in huge amounts for anti-aging products in the last few years. It was as high as $58.5 billion the world over in 2020, with an expected $62.65 billion for 2021, and predictions for over $67 billion in 2022.
Unfortunately, the same kind of study performed on the bees, has not been performed on people, so the best we have to show how hemp effects aging, is in animal studies. There are, however, more of those. Like this study from 2021 entitled Effect of Cannabidiol on the Long-Term Toxicity and Lifespan in the Preclinical Model Caenorhabditis elegans. For those unfamiliar with the lingo, Caenorhabditis elegans are roundworms. Beyond the fact that no worms died from exposure to CBD in correct dosages, it was found that CBD helped with resistance to heat stress, increased lifespan by 18%, and promoted a 206% increase in late-stage life activity.
Yet another example isn’t necessarily related to lifespan, but to the abilities of the brain as it ages, and how cannabis can affect this. Entitled A chronic low dose of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) restores cognitive function in old mice, this 2017 study shows how aging mice can regress their brains to as far back as a two-month-old’s, when given a low-dose treatment of delta-9 THC. The researchers “show that a low dose of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) reversed the age-related decline in cognitive performance of mice aged 12 and 18 months.”
The researchers explained that “This behavioral effect was accompanied by enhanced expression of synaptic marker proteins and increased hippocampal spine density.” And that “THC treatment restored hippocampal gene transcription patterns such that the expression profiles of THC-treated mice aged 12 months closely resembled those of THC-free animals aged 2 months.”
What about humans?
The reason there are no human studies about how cannabis might elongate life, is because there are some pretty heavy restrictions on how research must be done when it involves people. Add onto this that we’ve got much longer lifespans than honeybees, roundworms, or mice, and the sheer ability to conduct such a study on healthy humans, is non-existent. This is not true when dealing with studies involving patients with illnesses, but as such studies can’t show the effects on a healthy individual, they are not helpful here.
So, while there is plenty of evidence on the myriad of health benefits associated with cannabis, including how it can help with the aging process, we cannot say through research that it has the capacity to elongate a person’s life. However, this doesn’t mean we can’t do everything possible to treat ourselves right, and attempt lifestyles that are good for us, and keep us going strong. Part of this involves using things around that are good for us, even if they don’t necessarily add years on outside of keeping us healthy. Like honey.
An interesting aspect of honeybees is that they produce honey, and we eat it. The study above doesn’t go into whether the honey created by these bees might be any different than honey created by bees not fed hemp extract, or what that could mean. Unfortunately, very little research is out there on this subject, but it is an interesting concept. One of the only studies about this, was performed by allowing bees to eat from hemp plants, and though the bees produced cannabinoid positive propolis and pollen, it came with the detraction that cannabinoid levels were low, and that not much actual honey was produced.
This doesn’t mean that different and/or better conditions can’t produce different and/or better results. One of the things we already know about honey, is it’s incredibly healthy and beneficial for all kinds of problems. What if eating the byproduct of an animal that has undergone treatment by something like hemp, could pass on a positive attribute to the eater? Perhaps more improved cannabis honey will be a thing in the future, whereby we can access all the great benefits of honey, with all the great benefits of hemp as well. And perhaps we’ll find out that it helps us live longer.
Life-extending honey might not be on the menu yet, but maybe there’ll be an update soon. Either way, that hemp can have such benefits on honeybees, mice, and roundworms in terms of life elongation and brain regression, is certainly an interesting concept, and one that should be explored further for human and animal benefit.
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Study Says… CBG For Glowing Skin
With all the new cannabinoids coming out, and the cannabis properties being studied, it’s easy to get lost in it all. We already know a lot about THC and CBD, but what about CBG? And what’s the new research pointing to CBG for skin health? Here’s a look at minor cannabinoid CBG, and the low down on how this compound can be used to keep your skin glowing.
CBG is the new word in skin care, with new research pointing to tons of benefits like hydrated skin, less inflammation and redness, and a way to lessen blemishes. If you’re trying to keep your skin looking young, CBG might be the best way to do it. We cover everything in the cannabis industry, and work hard to bring you the best news out there. Make sure to subscribe to the THC Weekly Newsletter to keep up to date on everything going on, and to check out exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and many other products! We’ve also got great offers on cannabinoid products, like HHC-O, Delta 8, Delta 9 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCO, THCV, THCP & HHC. Find them in our “Best-of” lists, and enjoy!
What is CBG?
CBG (cannabigerol) is a cannabinoid of the cannabis plant, much like THC and CBD. Whereas THC and CBD occur in much higher amounts, CBG is a minor cannabinoid, only showing up as about 1% of the plant. CBG exists because of the decarboxylation of cannabigerolic acid, the precursor molecule to CBG. Most CBG gets converted to THC, CBD, or other cannabinoids during growth.
This does have one important implication. Though CBG is a naturally occurring cannabinoid, (unlike delta-10 THC or THC-O-A), it doesn’t occur in large enough amounts to be able to extract it from the plant and use for products. Manufacturing products requires a good bit of a raw material, and in this case, the plant itself cannot provide enough. So any CBG products out there can only exist by synthesizing the CBG.
Only a little research has been done on CBG thus far, but as the cannabis plant gains more and more traction, each little piece of it is being examined. This past month, the first research on CBG for skin care benefits was published, which we’ll get to in a minute. It can surely be expected that more research will be out on this compound soon enough, as its thought to play a role in many things, like stimulating the appetite, as an anti-inflammatory agent, for antibacterial properties, as an antioxidant, and with neuroprotective attributes. It is not psychoactive, and it’s chemical formula is C21H32O2.
In terms of legality, CBG isn’t specifically mentioned by a UN scheduling treaty. If it’s derived from marijuana (high-THC cannabis) it’s illegal, however, if derived from hemp (low-THC cannabis) it is legal. It should be remembered, that the need to synthesize it means that anything used for products will not be hemp-derived, but synthetically derived, and therefore not covered under the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalizes hemp products if they’re actually derived from hemp.
CBG can be bought in many forms. It can be an oil, a distillate, an isolate, as a high CBG flower, in vape carts, and in edibles like gummies. It can also be found in creams and other skin care products.
Research says CBG is great for the skin
Published January 13th, 2022, this study sheds a bit more light on CBG for the skin: In Vitro and Clinical Evaluation of Cannabigerol (CBG) Produced via Yeast Biosynthesis: A Cannabinoid with a Broad Range of Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Health-Boosting Properties. One of the findings of the study is that CBG has shown to regulate more genes than CBD, which include several related to skin health.
When skin cells were triggered to produce a cytokine reaction and show oxidative stress, it was shown that “CBG and CBD reduce reactive oxygen species levels in HDFs better than vitamin C.” CBG went a step further, inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokine releases from inflammatory inducers like ultraviolet A (UVA), ultraviolet B (UVB), chemical, and C. acnes, much of the time more potently than CBD.
Study investigators used 20 subjects, who were given a 0.1% CBG serum, or placebo, which was put on the skin for two weeks after the skin was irritated by sodium lauryl sulfate (found in nearly every hair washing product). The CBG serum caused a statistically significant improvement over the placebo for transepidermal water loss, and reduction in redness.
The study went on to say, “While CBD and CBG modulate many targets at the gene level, the data presented here demonstrate that CBG has greater potency in modulating specific cutaneous targets.” They explained why this might be, saying, “CBG has previously been reported to act as a partial agonist for both CB1 and CB2, while CBD does not bind to CB2, but may affect CB1 receptor activity via an indirect method. Thus, we can speculate that CBG’s ability to modulate both cannabinoid receptors may lead to its improved activity and efficacy in skin.”
The study authors concluded: “We demonstrate for the first time that minor cannabinoid CBG, when applied topically, clinically promotes skin health by reducing the appearance of redness and improving barrier function better than a placebo. Based on the data presented here, CBG is an attractive new candidate for dermatological use, outperforming its more well-known derivative, CBD, in several in vitro studies.”
As a note, this study was not done using CBG directly extracted from the plant, but instead used synthetic CBG which was “prepared via biosynthesis using yeast strain CEN.PK2-1D.”
How does all this make CBG good for your skin?
Studies can get very technical, and sometimes we just want to know what it means for us as consumers. Since CBG has antioxidant properties, this implies it deals well with free radicles, which are a reason for premature aging. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help bring down puffiness and redness in the skin, as well as antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help keep skin clear of infections.
This means CBG can calm down inflamed skin, reduce blemishes, clear out pores, balance sebum in the skin, and help with cellular turnover. Since CBG can help cells retain moisture, it can keep your skin looking and feeling hydrated. This also helps maintain a youthful appearance as drying skin is a part of aging. This ability to retain moisture helps the skin to show aging signs at a much slower pace, as well as helping it retain its glow.
Apart from these benefits for the skin, CBG is thought to enhance the function of the neurotransmitter anandamide, which effects feelings of pleasure, motivation, appetite regulation, sleep, and pain sensation. From previous research, CBG is also associated with bringing down inflammation from inflammatory bowel disease; reducing intraocular pressure in people who suffer from glaucoma; slowing down cancer cell growth, and possibly being a treatment for Huntington’s disease.
What CBG products for the skin exist?
Plenty of companies are getting in on the CBG game, offering products infused with just CBG, or a cannabinoid combination. In the future it can be expected that many more options will be available containing CBG. For now, here are a few possibilities for those interested in improving their skin’s health.
Mask Skin Care offers a line of CBG infused products like Under Eye Patches ($8), Face Masks ($16), Anti-Aging Masks ($16), and Spotless Masks ($16) to help with blemishes and oily skin. The products are not tested on animals, have a USDA organic certification, and contain no toxic chemicals. Using natural extracts, this company produces products that help condition skin, and keep it at its finest. Interested buyers can check out the ‘Where to buy’ section to find retailers in their area.
Kanabigerol also has a whole line of CBG products. The company offers products like a Cosmetic Universal Ointment (€ 26.90/$30.77), Revitalizing Face Cream (€ 49.90/$57.08), Silky Cleansing Gel (€ 38.90/$44.49), and Skin Oil (€ 29.90/$34.20). All of these products are infused with 4% CBG. I did not see anything on the website about being cruelty-free, or being chemical free, and some products do contain Vaseline, which is mineral oil, and a byproduct of the oil industry.
The company Happy Dance also offers a CBG option with its Soul Revival CBD+CBG Hand Cream ($20), which is great for keeping your hands from getting too dry, what with constant handwashing, and exposure to the elements. This hand cream is made without formaldehyde, parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, sulfates, synthetic dyes, or synthetic fragrances.
For those who want to use a pure oil on their skin, Pharma Hemp has CBG Drops (€44.90/$51.37). According to the company, these drops are produced using a raw extract made through an alcohol extraction, diluted with MCT oil. The oil contains a high amount of CBG along with other cannabinoids like CBD, and compounds like terpenes. It comes in three strengths: 5%, 10% (€84.90/$97.11), and 15% (€124.90/142.88).
Cannabis oil has many benefits from its many cannabinoids and terpenes within. Whereas a whole plant extract can certainly do some good, so can cannabinoids on their own. With more coming out every day about the benefits of CBG for the skin, the beauty industry is certainly taking notes, and incorporating this naturally-occurring cannabinoid into products.
Hello readers! Welcome to CBDtesters.co, your #1 internet location for the most relevant and important cannabis and psychedelics-related news of interest today. Check us out regularly to stay up-to-date on the constantly-moving universe of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and make sure to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter, so you’re never late on getting the news.
Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.
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